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Proactive support with Intercom

‎CTO & Co-founder, Auth0

Matias Woloski


Intercom customer Auth0 works in a very complex domain. Most of their users need help, even if they don’t realize it upfront. As a result, they’re fanatical about support.

They also understand that most users don’t complain; they just disappear. Because of this, they’re extremely proactive with their customers, and it pays off.

What follows is a guest post from Matias Woloski from Auth0 about how Intercom powers so much of their communications, including proactive communications.


Auth0 is a platform service that provides Single Sign On (or “SSO”) across any type of app with a long list of authentication providers. We work with two types of customers:

  • Cloud apps developers: These are companies that want to offer single sign on with enterprise identity providers (e.g. Active Directory/LDAP etc.), or any social identity provider (LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
  • Enterprises: Companies who want to have their employees use a single set of credentials to log in all their apps (both internal, and external)

We deal with people who are very knowledgeable about their domains, but are not necessarily experts on security or identity. Anyone who has ever touched SAML tokens, digital signatures, or WS* protocols, knows that it is nothing but simple. We want to solve this through better abstractions and tools, and crucially, outstanding customer support.

Reactive vs Proactive Support

Don’t you feel great when someone offers their help when they see you are in trouble? Even better, when they do so before you even know you are in trouble? How nice would it be if the cable company calls you right away when you’ve lost internet and helps you get it restored? The ROI on outstanding customer service is outstanding customer loyalty.

When we first heard about Intercom, we initially believed it could help us with sales. We didn’t realise how valuable it could be for supporting our customers. Once we integrated it into our product, its potential, and later the results, were obvious.

Here is how we deliver Fanatical Support™.

1. Detect User Errors

Every time one of our users gets an error, we are notified through HipChat.

2. Expose the details

Our bot (qrafty) creates a short-lived link with the details of the exception, including which user is having the issue.

3. Notify the team

If the team is online, everybody gets the message and can jump to Intercom by typing @qrafty intercom with {company-slug}

4. Contact the User Affected

We use the notification style and send the user a message explaining what’s going on and how it can be solved.

5. Delight the User

By reaching out proactively with the solution to a problem that they experienced only seconds ago, we keep the user in flow, and set them up for success.

We are engaging in lots of other clever communications with our users via Intercom. Recently we started detecting when users came from the Windows Azure Store, and began sending them appropriate tutorials which has had great results. Every day we discover new ways of connecting with our customers to improve their experience.

Happy users are great marketers

Our experience shows that customer support is one of the best way to get the word out for your product.

You can sign up to Auth0 for free during the beta and, if you send us a message through Intercom with this keyword INTERCOM-AUTH0-SHAZAM, you will get 2 months free on the standard plan.

Why does this work

When your customers need education in order to be successful, proactive support is a fantastic conversion & retention tool. Much like CircleCI, Auth0 are hell bent on providing great support for their customers. And unlike CircleCI, most of their users need help, but don’t necessarily know it. Starting conversations in a friendly way is a great method for ensuring customer success