Improving customer communication with Intercom.io

Never has a strapline been truer for a web company than it is for Intercom.

I’ve followed intercom for a while and have been using the app as a CRM since we started. But we’ve not used it for everything in the strapline – primarily because you need to pay. For email marketing we’ve been using Campaign Monitor. For in app messages, Postmark and custom built triggers. And for customer support, email and Basecamp. It has been a real mix.

But in January, I set a goal to improve customer communication. From initial sign up to customers going cold, we needed a better system for reaching out and helping people use Tracks. I also wanted to improve how we manage feedback.

That’s what I set out to do.

Intercom starts at $50 per month, so I wanted to make sure it was the right investment. After researching how to use it, I found this article on message scheduling to be invaluable, plus there are a couple of case studies on the Intercom blog that are handy. The result is that we now have a system in place that can be measured.

Even though it’s still early days, I feel it’s making a difference. The stress levels of having to manually follow up on new sign ups or users going cool is certainly gone. But more importantly, I think new sign ups and existing customers are winning out of it. Here are some reasons why:

1) Even closer to the closest

We are able to contact founding members and people we know well easily. We tweaked a feature for a handful of users and told them in the app, to which we got replies like “marvellous”. We might not have received this sort of instant feedback in the past.

2) Everyone likes sexy

Intercom allows me to contact people who I know have issues, to say that you can now contract me directly via Intercom if the problem happens again (which is kind of sexy). One customer responded with “this is an awesome customer service tool”.

3) Goodbye no-reply

Tracking who is going cold and then emailing them is time intensive. This is solved with Intercom’s auto messages. These messages are still personalised, come from me and have my photo in them. So it’s not a “no-reply” type email.

4) Improves the experience

Going through the process of reading about message scheduling really gets you thinking about on boarding and customer retention: two of the most important parts of any business – and two of the most important parts of the customer’s experience.

5) No one wants more BS

I’m not a marketer by trade, so I don’t think about things like customer personas. But when you are setting up Intercom you have to really think about the information you use to segment types of users and usage. Again, I think this is good for the customer because messages are more relevant and targeted = less BS.

To conclude, my goal was to improve customer communication this year. We’ve taken the first steps of doing that by properly running with Intercom. So far it looks like it’s going to be a good investment for our customers.