Intercom Launches Business Messenger

Intercom today launched its new business messenger, a messaging platform that is designed to do much more than enable chat conversations, allowing users and customers to take actions such scheduling and self-service as well as access apps from partners including Google, Shopify, Stripe, Product Hunt, Atlassian, and Aircall. The platform also enables users to build their own apps, either for just their own teams or for external use by other Intercom users.

“We think this is kind of a before and after moment,” says Brian Donohue, director of product management at Intercom. “Before, messengers were really basically about chat; now, it’s after, where they’re about way more than chat and the power that we’re offering actually expands them to where it’s almost like, is this even a messenger anymore, and we think the word ‘messenger’ will now just broaden in what it means.”

The new messenger features a redesigned, completely customizable home screen that aims to go beyond the typical chat functionality of a messenger. More specifically, those that interact with it can take actions such as requesting a demo or meeting, checking the status of an order, and completing a signup or purchase. Including capabilities such as these in the messenger reduces the need to move to another channel and aims to boost productivity for sales, marketing, and support teams. Users can also design their own apps that work within the messenger home screen, so that customers can take actions without starting a conversation, or apps that work within conversations.

“We think in the future businesses will be using messengers as the dominant way that they’re talking to customers, and vice versa,” Donohue says. “We think it will follow the trend that we’ve seen in the consumer space…the dominance of messengers in the consumer space. That dominance is not yet reflected in businesses talking to their customers, but we think that that’s just a matter of time. For us, the bet here is that we very much think messengers will be the norm as the way for customers to reach out and for businesses to talk to their customers.

“What we’re introducing with this release is really an expansion of what a business messenger is; we’re really reimagining what it is because it’s no longer just about chat. We actually now are enabling people to get things done without ever leaving the messenger. For us this is a big investment in what we see as the future way that companies will get more stuff done with their customers.”

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