SLAs (service level agreements) help set a target for your team to provide a consistent, high-quality customer experience. By setting SLAs with Inbox rules, you can provide each customer with the perfect level of support.

SLAs allow you to:

  • Ensure your team prioritizes urgent conversations.
  • Provide VIP customers with support based on response times you’ve agreed with them.
  • Set time-based targets for your sales team to reply to high-value leads.
  • Set internal performance goals for your support team.

Note: SLAs are only available on certain Intercom plans. See our plans and pricing here.

To start setting conversation SLAs with rules, go to Inbox > Automation > Rules, and click ‘New rule’:

First, give your rule a name, and select at what point in a conversation it should be triggered. For this example we want to trigger the rule as soon as a customer starts a new conversation:

Next, select the filters a conversation should match for the rule to apply. For example, if you want your sales team to prioritize conversations with high-intent leads, you could target leads who start conversations on a certain page, or use specific words in their conversation:

Pro tip: You can mix ‘And’ & ‘Or’ filters for more specific targeting.

Once you’ve defined your filters, add ‘Apply conversation SLA’ as an action:

And choose an existing SLA, or click ‘New SLA’:

Then, name your SLA:

Pro tip: Give each SLA a clear and specific name, so you can easily identify and track them in your SLA reports.

Next, set the target for your team’s first response time.

This is the time it should take a teammate to reply to the first message in a conversation that matches your rule. You can also set a target for your next response time:

This is the time it takes a teammate to reply to each subsequent reply from a customer who matches your SLA rule.

Important: SLA rules take your office hours into consideration. For example, if your office hours are set to 9am - 6pm, and your SLA first response time is 15 minutes, a message received at 5:50pm will have an expected response time of 9:05am on the next working day.

Once you’ve added your SLA, click ‘Save and set live’ to set the rule live:

Note: You can pause or delete an SLA rule at any time. If you do, the SLA rule will stop applying to new conversations. However, it will still apply to conversations that matched the rule before you paused it.

Pro tip: You can add additional actions to each rule, like marking a conversation as priority, tagging it, or assigning it to the right team.

Prioritize conversations with SLA targets

When a conversation matches an SLA rule, you’ll see the first response target in your conversations list.

The SLA target will continue to count down until you reply. If you haven’t replied within the SLA target, its status will change to ‘Overdue’:

When a teammate replies, the SLA target will change to the ‘next response’ target, if you have set one.

You can easily reply to the most urgent SLA targets first, by sorting your conversations by ’next SLA target’:

If an SLA rule no longer applies to a conversation, you can easily remove it:

What’s next?

  • Review your performance against response time targets with SLA reports
  • Enable the bot inbox to exclude time spent with Custom Bots and Resolution Bot from your SLA reporting.
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