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Tips for using Intercom to help with your COVID-19 response

It’s a challenging time right now, and you might be seeing more customer conversations as a result.

We’ve written about how you can manage your customer communications in a crisis detailing how you can proactively make it easier for your customers to get the answers they’re looking for, as well as on dealing with the inbound queries that you might be facing.

We’re also republishing this Help Center article to further help you reduce your Support team’s load so they can provide your customers with the personal conversational support they need.

Highlight timely FAQ content with the Content Showcase app

With any spike in support conversations you’ll find that many of the questions being asked are the same. There’s usually some useful content that you can present to your customers up front to help them find the information they need. This should lead to fewer conversations and more headspace for your team.

You should put all of these questions and their answers together in an article, a blog post or on your website. Then add them to the Messenger home screen with the Content Showcase app.

Read this article for a complete guide to the Content Showcase app.

Triage and answer conversations with Custom Bots and Resolution Bot

Custom Bots

For questions that can’t be answered by your FAQ, e.g. when you need to get some details from your customer first, you can use Custom Bots to start the conversation quickly, and give your team a head start. Custom Bots allow you to triage your conversations any way you like. You can:

  • Find out more about what your customers need, and point them in the right direction.
  • Identify customers who need urgent assistance, and prioritize them accordingly.
  • Collect information or applications from customers for you to process at a later date.

Learn more about triaging conversations with Custom Bots here.

Resolution Bot

Resolution Bot can instantly answer your customers’ common questions, so your team can focus on conversations where a human touch is needed.

In most cases Resolution Bot should be trained based on questions you’ve already received, but in new situations that lead to an influx of questions you can easily define example questions for Resolution Bot to answer. To keep answers targeted and relevant, you should also define situation specific trigger words so Resolution Bot knows exactly which conversations to answer.

 

Find out more about Resolution Bot here.

Both of these methods will free up your team, so they have more time to provide hands on personal support when it’s really needed.

Only proactively communicate with your most active customers

In truly urgent situations you may want to reach out to your customers in advance, so you can be sure they’re supported with all the information they need. To ensure your message reaches all the right people, there are some things you should do, and some you should avoid:

  • Do send a chat or post in your app. Reaching customers in context ensures you’re not interrupting or overloading them.
  • Do send messages to engaged recipients only.
  • Do send emails in a predictable cadence of smaller batches. Going from 100 emails a day to 10,000 can cause email providers to mark your message as spam.
  • Don’t send messages to people who no longer use your product or service. E.g. a message about your COVID-19 response, sent to someone who stopped using your service after a trial 2 years ago, is unlikely to be relevant
  • Don’t send emails to your whole user base indiscriminately

Before contacting your customers during challenging times, question if you really need to message them at all. Are you providing them with something of value, or adding to information overload?

Check out this collection for more good advice on ensuring your emails are delivered.

Rely on Saved Replies to keep your team in the loop and up to date

When the situation is evolving constantly around you, it can be hard to ensure your team has the most accurate and up to date information at hand. With well managed saved replies, this becomes much easier, as you only need to update the information in one place, and it’s immediately accessible to your team in the Inbox.

Learn how to create, manage and use saved replies here.

Prioritize conversations with the customers that need you the most

When you have an influx of new support conversations, you’ll want to support those customers who need it the most as quickly as possible. With a little organization and automation this is a much simpler task.

You can use priority rules to easily identify and highlight certain conversations, while still routing them through all the regular channels to get support. It’s a simple way to shine a light on the conversations where some extra attention is needed.

Another approach is to let assignment rules send those conversations to a dedicated inbox where they can get more urgent support.

These rules are flexible enough to highlight conversations based on keywords, the type of customer or geographical regions that might be more affected than others. They can even be used in tandem for a more nuanced solution if needed.

Looking forward

Beyond the immediate need to support more customers, there are other things to keep in mind that can benefit you know and in the future.

Share the load

Your support team might be the ones handling these conversations, but your wider company cares about your customers too, and can offer valuable insight on the situation from a more zoomed out perspective. With Zapier, or the Slack app, you can share incoming conversations outside of the Inbox for those who might not see them otherwise.

Tag conversations for later

Tagging conversations from this situation, can provide a wealth of information for you to look back on. This can be done manually by your support team, automatically by tag rules, or both.

You’ll learn more about your customers and how your app fits into their lives and can see what worked and what didn’t when supporting them during this period.

This also gives you the opportunity (when things have quietened down) to celebrate all the heroes on your team who really stepped up during this period and showed exactly what it means to help people with personal support.

Only by pulling together will we all get through this, but get through it we will – and we’ll be here to help you stay connected with your customers at this incredibly challenging time.