Sunday, April 14, 2024

Intercom: A platform review 2023

In the rapidly evolving landscape of communication technology, intercom chatbots have emerged as powerful tools that transcend traditional methods of interaction. These intelligent systems, integrated into intercom platforms, are designed to facilitate seamless and efficient communication between individuals and organizations. This article explores the significance of intercom chatbots, examining their evolution, applications, and impact on user experience and business operations.

Intercom is a chat solution that offers chatbots and live chat for apps and websites. So, should you purchase Intercom in order to build chatbots?

Now let’s get started!

In this article you will know:

  1. What is Intercom?
  2. User Interface
  3. Components of Intercom
  4. User’s/Client
  5. Messages
  6. Channels
  7. Integrations
  8. Promotions
  9. Pricing
  10. Analytics
  11. Templates
  12. Client Assistance
  13. Conclusions

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What is Intercom?

Intercom markets itself as a platform for conversational relationships that enables you to build stronger bonds with your clients. Three primary features are offered by them: live chat, chatbots, and a help desk.

This article will be concentrating mostly on live chat and chatbots in this review. You have three different types of chatbots with Intercom:

1.Task Bot: This chatbot will only engage in conversation when one of its teammates has closed it or if no teammates are assigned to it. For instance, the Task Bot will automatically respond with “VOC AI typically replies in a few minutes” when you ask a question.

2.Custom Bot: This chatbot has predetermined flows and components and is an entirely custom chatbot.

3.Resolution Bot: This chatbot responds to consumer inquiries automatically (based on keywords).

User Interface

Intercom offers a very helpful “quick-start guide” to assist you in getting started with their platform when you sign up:

Once Intercom is configured, you can create two different types of chatbots: Task Bots and Custom Bots. When there are no live chat agents available, the Task Bot is a chatbot that will only communicate with you and will usually display an automated message such as “We usually respond in two hours.”

Intercom uses a Flow Builder when you want to make a custom Bot (a chatbot flow with elements):

After you’ve decided what your Custom Bot will say, you can add Rules to specify which pages you want this chatbot flow to appear on.

Lastly, ascertain the chatbot flow’s objective (which you can utilize for analytics):

Additionally, prior to your chatbot going live, you can preview its flow:

Due to the size of Intercom’s product (which includes chatbots, helpdesk setup, and more), the interface can be a little challenging to use at first. Furthermore, words like “Outbound” and “Operator” that aren’t defined in the interface (unless you look it up) are used. The same is true of the chatbot names; you must first determine which one to use out of Task Bot, Custom Bot, and Resolution Bot.

Thus, while the UI is generally very simple to use, configuring your chatbot can be a little challenging at first.

Components of Intercom

Enough chatbot building blocks are available in Intercom to build a decent chatbot. Although they are missing a few things—like audio, galleries, and attachments—they are by no means unusable. One feature of Intercom’s elements that I find appealing is the ability to show Helpdesk articles within your chatbot:

User’s/Client

You can view a comprehensive list of all the people who have chatted with your chatbot in Intercom:

You can view a user’s custom fields, tags, recently viewed pages on your website, and more by clicking on them:

Simply ask the user a question using Intercom, record their response in a custom field, and tag them. By filtering on particular custom fields and tags, you can make your own user segments.

Messages

You can use big Posts or Banners with Intercom to broadcast to your users. Regretfully, a series of messages cannot be created; however, a series can be created, which we will discuss later (in the marketing section). Fortunately, chatbots can be created in multiple languages; however, translating a chatbot is not a simple task.

Channels

Intercom allows you to set up email campaigns to be sent automatically, like client onboarding campaigns, whenever a new client sign ups. Intercom offers other channels that you are able to use with your chatbot but not with live chat:

  1. SMS
  2. Twitter
  3. WhatsApp
  4. Instagram
  5. Facebook

This is a disadvantage since it prevents you from giving your users an omnichannel chatbot experience.

Integrations

The most crucial integration of any chatbot platform is the live chat feature that is already included in Intercom:

Additionally, they have their own App Store with more than 100 direct software application integrations:

The fact that any developer can add to their App Store is what makes it so amazing. For instance, Telegram integration is not offered by Intercom itself. But you can make this integration yourself by using an app from their app store. If that’s not sufficient, you can integrate with practically any software program on the planet using Zapier or Make (formerly Integromat). You can create an API call to get or send data from other systems, and you can receive webhooks when events occur within Intercom.

Promotions

Intercom primarily offers the following seven marketing opportunities for their product:     

  1. Website widget
  2. Chats
  3. Posts
  4. Product Tours
  5. Banners
  6. Mobile Push
  7. Mobile carousels
  8. Series

Let’s examine each one individually:

Intercom’s Website Widget

Intercom’s website widget is advance. Initially, you can configure your widget to blend in with your website’s branding:

Next, you can greet your users with customized messages by using Chats.

Intercom Chat

You can send your users customized greeting messages with Intercom Chats:

You can configure distinct welcome messages for each page and user type by using Rules:

These regulations are also fairly detailed. Even if a person clicks on an advertisement, you can still target them (using UTM parameters). Not only that, but you can also display the greeting only in response to the user’s last contact or after a predetermined number of seconds on the page.

Intercom Posts

The main distinction between Intercom Posts and Chats is that the former open with a brief post inside the chat widget.

You can write a lengthy post that pops up:

Intercom Product Tours

Offering a tour of your product is one of Intercom’s greatest marketing opportunities. There’s better way to onboard new clients than simply walking them through the process step-by-step. Making a tour is very easy—all you have to do is click on sections of your website to include instructions:

Intercom Banners

Intercom offers Banners for your website to use. You can use banners, which are highlighted sections at the top or bottom of your website, to advertise special offers or promotions.

Intercom Mobile Push

Only if you are using Intercom for your iOS or Android app can you use the Mobile Push feature of Intercom. You can send push notifications to people who have the app installed on your phone by using the Mobile Push feature:

Intercom Mobile Carousels

You can send an image carousel when someone opens your iOS or Android app using the Mobile Carousel feature of Intercom. For instance, you can showcase new features of your app using the mobile carousel:

Intercom Series

If the user fulfills certain requirements, you can send emails, posts, chatbot flows, and product tours using Series, a visual campaign builder. For instance, you can use Series to make a campaign for new customers’ onboarding:

Pricing

Intercom’s pricing structure is a little ambiguous and complex.The Start plan from Intercom costs $39 a month and includes live chat exclusively. The following plan is called Grow, and it costs $99 a month. It includes live chat, five live chat agents, email integration, help desk articles, mobile carousels, banners, and two chatbots that suggest articles and qualify leads (not enough to create a full chatbot):

Choose one of their Conversational packages, which start at $499 per month and include 10 live chat agents, all the different types of chatbots, all the different channels, analytics, and more, if you want to build your own custom chatbot:

The strange thing about these most recent plans is that they don’t give you access to every feature on the platform. For instance, the Series feature is absent from the Conversational Marketing plan but present in the Conversational Customer engagement plan. Therefore, it’s unclear how much it would cost to have access to every feature on the platform.

What happens to the cost in the event that we require more than ten live chat agents? What would the cost of that be? Their website does not offer that either.

Analytics

Intercom has quite comprehensive analytics. First, you can see the number of users who have reached a goal you’ve set for your chatbot flow:

Additionally, a dashboard of analytics for all of the Intercom conversations is visible to you:

Intercom offers so many analytics that it would be difficult for me to include them all in one review, but they are plentiful. I only want to draw attention to one more: user input that the chatbot was unable to comprehend. You can use “Training for the Resolution Bot” to examine frequently asked queries and come up with responses for them:

Templates

Intercom offers seven templates for creating a personalized chatbot. You are unable to make these templates on your own and distribute them to others. To make them easier to reuse, however, you can make duplicates of your chatbot’s elements and flows.

Client Assistance

Intercom has an extensive documentation and a number of tutorials outlining their platform, they offer email and live chat support.

Conclusions

Intercom chatbots significantly impact user experience by providing instant and personalized responses. Unlike traditional intercoms that may require human intervention, chatbots operate 24/7, ensuring continuous accessibility. Users can receive assistance, information, or support at any time, leading to increased satisfaction and engagement. The ability of chatbots to understand natural language contributes to a more user-friendly and intuitive interaction, making communication more efficient and enjoyable.

Thus, should you purchase Intercom in order to build chatbots? Yes you can.

Intercom features an intuitive interface, built-in AI and NLP, the ability to assign custom fields and tags and create user segments, the ability to embed your chatbot on your website and iOS/Android app, built-in live chat, over 100 direct integrations, a plethora of marketing options, eCommerce integrations, and extremely sophisticated analytics.

The disadvantages of intercom are limited to three.

Intercom can be intimidating at first. They have so many features and so many different marketing opportunities that I had no idea where to begin. Therefore, don’t be shocked if it takes you some time to comprehend Intercom completely.

Second, Intercom isn’t the right chat program for you if you’re looking for a single solution that combines all of your chat channels. You can only use Intercom to embed your chatbot on your website or app; it cannot be used on other platforms like SMS, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. These channels can be used with live chat, but not with your chatbot.

Thirdly, you may find intercom to be too costly. The numerous features and marketing opportunities offered by Intercom make purchasing this chatbot builder entirely worthwhile. However, there’s a chance that Intercom is too pricey in certain situations, such as when there aren’t enough visitors or existing client

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