If you want to make sure a conversation gets answered by the right person in your company, you should assign it to a particular teammate or team. There are three different ways you can do that in Intercom. You can:

  • Manually assign conversations to a team or teammate
  • Automatically assign conversations to a team or teammate (you can evenly assign conversations ‘round robin style’ to a specific team too) 
  • Assign all conversations to one team or teammate 

Manually assign conversations 

When you need to involve a teammate in a conversation you can quickly assign the conversation to the best teammate or team who can answer it. For example, you can pass a particularly technical question to a support engineer or you could send a pricing question to the sales team. 

You can also bulk assign messages to other members of your team by ticking the check box next to multiple conversations. This is useful if you’re rushing into a meeting and don’t have time to answer a few pressing conversations, for example. 

Automatically assign conversations 

To access your assignment rules, just select the Inbox icon from the left-hand navigation bar and click ‘Assignment rules.’ 

Note: Assignment rules are available with Inbox Pro.

You can use these rules to assign incoming messages to a team or teammate based on the content of the first message and/or any information about the lead, user or company that you track in Intercom. This means you no longer need to manually assign incoming messages, and your customers will get the best response faster. 

Important: Assignment rules only work on new incoming messages that would normally appear in your unassigned inbox. They don’t work on replies to messages you send, auto messages or any messages sent directly to an individual. Also, if you have assigned your auto message replies to a particular teammate, this will trump any assignment rule you've set up. 

How to create an assignment rule 

When creating a rule you can use any tag, segment or attribute about a lead, user or company, along with any information about the message, such as content, URL it came from or email addresses the message was sent to. Simply set the 'If' criteria for the message, and then choose who to assign any instance of that messages to. When a rule assigns a conversation, it will appear in the inbox it has been assigned to and show which rule assigned it. Like this: 

What does priority mean? 

When you get a new message from a user or lead, we check the rules you have created in the order they appear on the page. If a message matches one of the rules, we will assign it to the person or team you set. If a message matches two or more rules, the one higher on the page will take priority and will be assigned to them. To change the order of the rules on the page, simply drag the rule to move it up or down.

You can also create a ‘lowest priority’ rule to catch any conversations that don’t match existing assignment rules. This allows you to assign them to a specific teammate or team inbox. You can find this option below your assignment rules. 

If lowest priority is set to 'nobody', it will go to your 'unassigned' inbox.

Example use cases 

Assignment rules ensure the right messages go to the right people so your customers can get a better response faster. Here’s some examples of how you can automatically assign messages: 

Multiple incoming email addresses 

You can assign messages from different incoming email addresses to the right team. This way your support@company.com emails can go to the support team, and sales@company.com can go to the sales team. To do this, first make sure to forward mails from both addresses to your incoming email address in Intercom. Then you just create rules using the ‘Email To’ filter to ensure the right messages go to the right teams.

Supporting multiple languages 

You can use the browser language of your users or the country they are in to ensure your Spanish users are replied to by your Spanish support team, your French users are answered by your French team, and so on. 

Offering priority support 

You can set up an assignment rule to auto assign messages from your high paying users to your VIP support team. This can help your team prioritize who to reply to first, and ensure you respond to your high paying customers fast. 

Evenly assign conversations among a team by round robin 

It’s easy to share new leads evenly among your sales team, or share conversations evenly among your support team. Once set-up, your conversations will be assigned on a rotating basis to available teammates. 

Simply create an assignment rule, choose a team and select ‘by round robin’:

Note: Teammates can temporarily remove themselves from the round robin by turning on ’away mode’

Assign all conversations to one teammate or team  

Maybe you only have one person on your support team. Or maybe the other members of your team won’t be in your office on a particular day. In cases like these, you can choose one team member to handle all new messages. Or you can assign messages to one team like your support team. 

To access your assignment rules, just select the Inbox icon from the left-hand navigation bar and click ‘Rules.’ Then click 'Create new rule.' 

Next, give your rule a name, add a rule and select the desired teammate or team you'd like to assign these messages to. 

Control who can reassign conversations

You can control who can reassign conversations that are already assigned to teammates. This ensures your sales and support teams don't lose conversations that they're working on in their own inbox.

Just go to Teammate settings > Edit, and tick 'Prevent reassigning conversations':

Note: This permission only prevents reassigning from a teammate's inbox. Teammates will still be able to assign conversations from team inboxes and the 'Unassigned' inbox.

Close conversations as you reply

When you reply to a message, you can click ‘Reply and Close’ to help reduce the clutter in your inbox. Then as soon as your customer replies, their message will reappear in your inbox. 

Next, learn how to loop teammates into conversations to discuss problems behind the scenes.

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