Powered by Chat: How Intercom is Evolving the Messenger


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Since the early days of dial-up internet, messenger services have been connecting people around the globe. What started as simple instant messenger text conversations have evolved into an entirely new language filled with emojis, gifs, and videos. Without question, the internet has forever changed the norms around how people communicate.

“I was at Facebook at the time, loving Facebook, and the Facebook [ I was at] was unrecognizable from Facebook today. This is back in 2013. The reason I joined when I was at Facebook, I was working on social products and at the time Facebook was seeing explosive growth as people were starting to use the messenger and go talking to their friends on the platform. So we're seeing these new changes in how society communicates because of these new technologies, like Facebook, Twitter, et cetera.

That’s Paul Adams, the Senior Vice President of Product at Intercom, a company that took those same ideas and implemented them with the goal of making communication between customers and businesses a two-way street. Paul joined IT Visionaries to discuss why Intercom views its product as a relationship-based platform and what that means for businesses in today’s world. Plus he talks about recognizing the need to pivot when necessary, and the evolution of the chatbot.

Main Takeaways

  • More than a Bot: In order to engage with your customers in a way that is both effective and scalable, you have to deploy a strategy that is three things: proactive, automated, and human. Proactive in the sense that you are thinking about ways to reach customers, automated in that your system utilizes some form of a chatbot, and human so when the conversation needs more attention, someone is there to assist.
  • Competition Breeds Success: Never look at competition within your space as a negative. Instead, use your competitors as a source of validation that your product is on the right track. Then use that same inspiration to find ways to ideate your platform.
  • Building Relationships: A conversation platform must focus on building relationships — not just with clients, but also with customers. Messaging platforms should integrate ways that users can have a personal and intimate relationship with the end-user, which will ultimately help to drive their engagement.


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