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Switch FAQs

Learn more about Switch with these answers and tips.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

Here are some answers to common questions you may have during the Switch setup and installation…


Does Switch work with my phone system?

Yes! Switch works with all phone systems. But not all phone systems can use the API method of installation so you may need to use the call forwarding method.

What's the best way to install?

There are two ways two set up Switch - via call forwarding and API. Many of our customers use call forwarding to set up Switch as it's simple and compatible with all phone systems. The API offers more control and customization for handling call data, but isn't compatible with some phone systems such as Aircall, Zendesk, and TalkDesk.

In short, if you want a straightforward setup, call forwarding is a great option. But if you want a more robust option, find out if your phone system supports API and try this installation.

Do we have a list of outside systems that support the integrations types?

No list at the moment. Common AVRs, Aircall, Zendesk, and TalkDesk cannot use API and would require installing using the call forwarding option.

Is there an option to migrate from an external tool to Switch?

No, not at the moment.

Availability, cost and reporting

Does it work outside of the US?

Yes, Switch will work almost anywhere in the world, except New Zealand and Saudi Arabia (due to local SMS laws).

Note: Since we currently only provide US forwarding numbers, if you’re not based in the US, some phone systems may charge you for international call forwarding.

How will I be charged for using Switch?

Switch is charged based on how many calls you deflect with it each month. A deflected call is counted when the user selects the option to switch on the phone call. You will be charged even if the end user never sends a message in the messenger. The pricing model is tiered based on your usage, with the price points found here

Note: Some phone systems may charge you for international call forwarding if you are not based in the US

How can I see how many calls are deflected?

You can easily see how many calls you've deflected by filtering the Conversations report by “Phone switch”. You can also keep tabs on all your Switch usage through the “Monitor” tab in Switch settings. Find out more about reporting here.

Can I provision numbers for other countries other than US?

No, we currently only support provisioning US numbers for Switch.

Using Switch

How does Switch handle users and leads?

By default, Switch creates a new lead when a conversation starts. You can change this in Switch settings. If you opt to identify existing users, Switch will associate the conversation with existing users in Intercom who have a matching phone number. If no matching phone number exists, a new lead will be created. And if two users with the same number already exist, the conversation will be attached to the user who was seen last.

When is the conversation created?

Conversation is created only when user sends a message and not when SMS is sent or Messenger link (sent in SMS) is clicked.

When does Switch try to merge user and lead profiles?

Switch only tries to merge profiles when the conversation first comes in. If there is no phone number match at this stage, nothing will merge.

What is an audible message?

This is the message you add to your IVR which lets your customers know they can switch to chat in the Messenger. Here are a few example scripts you can adapt to your business:

  • "Thank you for calling us. All our agents are busy at the moment. You can remain on hold, or you can switch to our online messenger by pressing 1", or

  • "If you'd like to switch to chat to avoid waiting on hold, please press 2"

What happens if someone calls in from a landline?

Switch will check to see if the phone number can receive an SMS. If not, it will prompt the caller to put in their mobile number so it can send an SMS to them. Canada is the only country from which we cannot detect if the phone number is a landline or a mobile phone.

We cannot send SMS or prompt the caller for their mobile number in the case of private numbers or numbers starting with 0800 (non-geographic toll-free). In these cases we recommend setting up a conditional block in your phone system and not offer Switch as an option if the number is private or starts with 0800.

Does Switch SMS support localization?

Yes, the SMS sent to your customers from Switch is completely customizable across all the languages you have set up to support.

Does Switch support creating custom data attributes?

No. Call forwarding does not support creating CDAs. This prevents teammates from creating multiple different rules or Workflows for switched conversations.

With the call forwarding installation, it doesn’t support customers from making multiple rules or custom bots for switched conversations - so this means only a single rule or Workflow can be used on switched conversations?

It's still possible, but it would be based on different things. For example, with call forwarding you could create multiple rules depending on user data.

Example: from switch is true and phone starts with "+1" to route to the US Support team (or phone starts with "+44" to route to the UK support team).

What's possible in the API is passing through CDAs directly from the call, so if the caller pressed 1 to talk to support then switched, you could route based on the fact they already selected 1 on the phone.

If browser language is not detected or tracked properly, do we use any other alternate option?

Yes, we use the the first 3 digit of the country code is used to find the user language. For eg if it +49 then SMS will be sent in German if the language is set in Messenger settings.

What are the attributes that are specific to Switch conversation which I can use?

From Phone Switch: This attribute is not visible in UI. When a user opts which option a note is attached in the conversation and this identifies whether the attribute is set to true or false. Main used to set up automation rules

Page URL: "starts with" or "contains" used for triggering bots

Channel: Phone Switch used in reporting

Is there an API I can use to create a call switch?

Yes. Our developer docs are here 📚

Is there any specific user attribute to identify who landed by switching to chat?

No, there is no attribute to identify the leads/users. Only way to identify is the conversation via From phone switch attribute.

Why is the short URL ( sent in the SMS different every time even though it is sent to the same user?

That will be different because we use it to track if the user clicks each time and see if it was switched successfully or not.

If an end user presses a number earlier in the phone tree “i.e. pressed 2 for a lost debit card” and then gets the prompt to Switch, will teammates have that context in Intercom of their previous selections?

This is possible if the phone system supports an API call. As part of the API call, you can specify custom attributes. These attributes will create or match existing CDAs in Intercom, which will be populated on the user’s profile and can be used to target rules and Workflows.


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