• 8 Product managers at Desk.com
  • 50% Engagement rate of messages
  • 2 Years with Intercom

In 2014, the Desk team released an all-new version of their platform filled with powerful new features and updates. Their product management team turned to Intercom to learn how customers use these new features, and how they could make Desk.com even better.

Challenge

To make a great product, it’s important to truly understand how and why your customers use it. With thousands of customers in hundreds of different industries, this has always been a challenge for Desk.com. In fact, Senior Product Manager Scott Kozinchik often felt disconnected from his customers. Even using a combination of tools to track user behavior and send surveys, he wasn’t getting the kind of valuable information he needed. It was time consuming to connect with the right customers and conversely, customers didn’t have an easy way to reach the product managers.

At larger companies that have many customers, staying in direct touch with all of your customers can be challenging.

“There are often many customers that have great ideas and feedback, but it’s not always clear to them how they can share those great thoughts with the right people at the company,” Scott says. “Conversely, as a product manager, it’s not always easy to find the customers that have the most valuable feedback when you need them most.”

Scott and his team relied on Desk.com’s support staff to identify customers who submitted feature requests or feedback. Then the product managers would folow up with surveys to better understand how customers were using the product. It was a lengthy process involving Desk.com tickets, JIRA tickets, and lots of old-fashioned legwork.

“The cost of this process was time and quality of feedback,” says Scott. “Response rates were fine, but it was a laborious process.”

Surveys, quite frankly, aren’t the best way to really understand your customers.

To make matters worse, the Desk team didn’t have a good way to segment users. Their database lacked the detailed information they needed to dive into user behavior. “Segmentation is key,” says Scott. “You need to understand who’s making the feature request and what they would use it for. From there, you can make educated conclusions about new features.”

Solution

Scott and the other seven project managers at Desk switched to Intercom to connect with customers. They ported their user database and added key info to create segments within Intercom. Now they can sort users by activity level, geography, company size, and more. It makes identifying and tracking users fast and easy. And once a group of users is identified, they can send in-app messages right away.

The team can also set automatic messages that are triggered by events. When a customer uses a new feature, for instance, Intercom can send an in-app message asking for feedback. Because the customer just used the feature, they’re far more likely to respond with detailed info, says Scott. Or the team can use a simple thumbs up/down survey to quickly learn if a feature resonates with the audience.

After users have responded, feedback data can be quickly viewed and analyzed in the Intercom dashboard. The team can see open rates, clicks, and more at a glance. “There are plenty of tools that tell you what features your customers use, but sometimes they miss the most important feedback: why customers use features. Intercom gives us that,” says Scott.

Result

The Desk.com team gets a greater than 50% response rate to their Intercom inquiries for feedback. They’re also able to reach more customers with Intercom. Overall, the number of responses they receive has skyrocketed. And those responses, says Scott, are far more detailed and insightful than old survey results. Desk.com customers are happier to hear from a product manager instead of receiving an impersonal survey.

Intercom also makes it easier to contact customers directly, he adds. Using segmentation and detailed user interaction data gathered in Intercom, the team can quickly identify customers to call or meet in person.

Finally, Scott and his team use Intercom to organize local Desk.com user meetups around the world. They can easily identify users by geographic location and send out an invite.

Intercom bridges what can be a large void between product managers and customers.