How to Get the Most Out of Your Intercom Inbox

There’s a lot to love about using Intercom Inbox to manage your CX. If you receive up to 2k interactions per month, an inbox-first strategy managed by a small but mighty team is enough to create positive brand interactions with your customers.

As you start to scale and your customer interactions increase to more than 5k per month, it’s time to re-evaluate your CX strategy. It doesn’t make sense for your bottom line to hire more CX agents—you’ll never be able to keep up with the demand. Instead, you should be thinking about scaling the great CX you have built from the ground up with an automation-first and customer-first strategy.

You’ll need to level up your Intercom game with kickass integrations that support your expanding and increasingly diverse customer base. In short: you need a strategic automation partner that centralizes all your customer-brand interactions, handles data securely, offers unparalleled support, and unifies your customer experience. Here’s what you need to know.

Why automation is so important for your CX

An automation-first CX strategy is better for your customers, better for your teams, and better for your bottom line. 

A great bot built on the foundation of conversational AI works around the clock: offering support, delivering personalized, proactive engagement, and qualifying leads. You can also deploy it pretty much anywhere, meeting your prospects and customers in the channels they’re most comfortable in—be it on the website, social channels, or text messaging, and both in-app or via a browser, on mobile, or on a laptop. 

An automation-first CX strategy also relieves overworked teams of repetitive, menial, or mind-numbing tasks, freeing them up for more meaningful problem-solving. Your agents shouldn’t be spending most of their time answering FAQ. They should be working on creating valuable relationships with your customers.

Most importantly for the context of this article, an automation-first strategy easily scales with your growth. It doesn’t matter if you go from 2k to 10k interactions per month if you have a robust conversational chatbot that can handle 70%+ of that on average. When you leverage conversational AI and machine learning for an automation-first CX strategy, you’ll see a boost in revenue, customer lifetime value, and agent productivity.

What to consider while looking for automation-first CX solutions

Not all automation is created equal, and when shopping around for automation tools there are a few key components to look out for: It centralizes all your brand interactions, it integrates seamlessly with Intercom, it handles data securely, and it comes with partner/vendor support.

Centralizes all your brand interactions

While something as simple as automating your FAQ will free up your support agents and decrease response time significantly, your CX strategy should be more concerned with creating valuable customer interactions at each stage in their journey. 

Content is 80% of the opportunity with automation, the technology is the other (important 20%). You need an automation-first solution that is focused on making it simple for you, as a business leader, to craft meaningful and results-oriented experiences from automation—not just inbox management. 

This means automating personalized, proactive messaging that reaches your customer when they’re ready for it. It also means finding a solution that can triage inquiries, route them to the right person at the right time, pre-qualify prospects, and populate their data into your Intercom ecosystem.

But that’s not all. Here’s a fun stat for you: 90% of global customers want to use messaging to interact with businesses. There’s a clear trend indicating that the future of customer-brand interactions is on social channels and messaging, not over email—and this just doesn’t work with your “vanilla” Intercom Inbox.

For this kind of cross-functional automation to work, your content needs to live in one framework, accessed through one dashboard. Otherwise, managing all that content and planning for how it lives in different automation functions can get painful. You will lose track of automated experiences when they are siloed in insular channels instead of unified in a holistic strategy. It’ll also be harder to maintain consistent brand interactions with your customers, which is just Bad CX 101.

Look for an automated solution that is optimized for a large variety of messaging channels and can centralize automation for all customer interactions from all stages of the customer experience within a single dashboard. This guarantees the benefits trifecta: more consistent customer experience, more efficient agents (since the bot can accurately route to sales and support as needed), and ultimately better business results.

Integrates seamlessly with your Intercom Inbox

This one should be obvious. The automation solution you choose has to seamlessly integrate with your Intercom Inbox, otherwise it’s… well, pretty useless. Any tool that requires you to jump through hoops—or requires even more in-between-tools—is just not worth the hassle.

Look for a solution that has a robust handoff process. For example, Ada Glass for Intercom passes the chat transcripts, summaries, and conversational data from the bot straight to your inbox. This saves time for agents when conversations get passed to them as they have all the context they need to dive in. It creates an optimal experience for both your customers and your agents, with significantly less effort for both sides of the conversation, and faster resolution times.

Handles data securely

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, you absolutely cannot neglect the importance of data security. You’ll be automating 1000s of interactions, customers will share their personal or professional info with you, and you’re going to be accountable for what happens with that data. 

Make sure your automation partner has robust security and compliance strategy that gives you confidence in their ability to securely handle your customer data. Keep this top of mind while you’re vetting different vendors and proactively ask them about it.

Comes with partner/vendor support

Finally, look for a partner, not just an automation tool. As your business continues to grow, you’ll need a vendor who can provide personalized and speedy support, who’ll share advice and expertise, and who’ll help you scale—a partnership that’s mutually beneficial and long-term.

For example, Ada offers our partners shared slack channels, 99.5% uptime, and access to expert Automated Customer Experience (ACX) Consultants to guarantee results with your automation strategy.

How to automate your Intercom Inbox

Ready to get down to business? Here’s what to do:

  1. Find the right provider: Start by finding an automation-first partner that meets all the criteria listed above. If your business has other particular automation needs, double-check that the provider can accommodate them.
  2. Make sure that it can pass context to your Intercom Inbox: The tool you use should be able to automatically pass and store the transcripts of conversations and customer details in Intercom, so that your agents don’t have to do it manually. Bonus points if the tool also provides a summary of the conversation, which saves your agents time and contextualizes the conversation for them!
  3. Go for the low-hanging fruit: Identify your top conversational topics to automate. What are some automated flows that can quickly start adding value to your customers and your teams?
  4. Think cross-functionally: Build conversational experiences that automate support and drive conversion across the customer journey. Include members from sales, marketing, support, and product in this process.
  5. Fine-tune: Learn from conversational trends, topics, and customers to continuously improve your conversational content and flows. 

Intercom is a fantastic CX tool, and with the right automation partner, you’ll deliver an unparalleled customer experience (definitely) and be crowned CX champion of the world (probably).

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