Intercom Introduces Custom Bots

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Intercom today launched Custom Bots, its new chatbot technology that brings together messengers, apps, and bots, making it easier to create and automate bots that can target potential customers and employ apps to enhance the customer experience.

“We saw that we could take messengers and bots and apps that we have been working on with our ecosystem to deliver the best automated experience so every conversation with a visitor can end up in a concrete next action,” says Debby Shepard, product manager at Intercom.

Custom Bots has five key features. First, it enables code-free creation of custom bots with their own identity. “You can easily create custom bots without a developer…and you can get a bot up and going within a few minutes,” Shepard says.

Second, it includes Bot Auto Messages (BAM), bot-triggered conversations and messages based on targeting such as visitor activity. “With bots you’re going to want to be able to decide which visitors they’re going to appear to, and use activity like what page that visitor is landing on or how many times are they a repeat visitor…to give them a different experience,” Shepard says. “And so with our custom bots [users] can target them at the right visitor.”

Third, it offers the ability to build custom questions and reply buttons as well as conversational workflows with multiple branches. “If you’re writing a dialogue, you will want to be able to write your own questions and provide responses that the bot can understand for the visitors and direct that conversational flow,” Shepard says.

Fourth, Custom Bots can use apps from the Intercom App Store to automate booking meetings, scheduling demos, or syncing with CRM systems—essentially, you can “guide visitors through this dialogue path to the best endpoint for what they’re interested in and what they’re thinking about,” Shepard says. “You can guide them to a webinar, or [have them] sign up for your newsletter, or share with them your self-serve sign-up for a trial, or assign them to the right team.”

Finally, Custom Bots includes a reporting feature. “Any customer will want to understand how their bots are performing, and so we deliver some metrics and reports around how the bots are working, who’s receiving them, [and] what actions are being taken,” Shepard says.

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