12 Great Ways to Use Intercom As Your Customer Success Software

Last updated on June 13th, 2023

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Below are 12 actionable ways to lower churn, onboard users, turn customers
into advocates and more using Intercom as your customer success software.

Related: Yes, You Can See the User's Screen from

Also see: 9 Smart Hacks to Use With

We’ve had experience using Intercom in 2 different companies

The first, Upscope, is no-download
interactive screen sharing for your helping your least technical and most
confused customers. See their screen instantly and highlight where to click.

The second is Anymailfinder is for email
marketing and sales teams to rapidly find leads.

We’ve used
for around 3 years.

The 12 points covered are

  1. Using Intercom statistics to show the real value of customer success.

  2. Creating automated feedback when someone cancels.

  3. Giving proof when communicating feature requests to development teams.

  4. Validating good fit customers early on

  5. Onboarding enterprise clients and not losing them. Recommended!

  6. Re-engaging customers who seem to be inactive.

  7. Checking in with target customers quickly.

  8. Turning customers into brand or product advocates.

  9. Working as a team across CS, Support, Account mgt.

  10. Reaching customers even before they state a problem.

  11. Directly asking why people are not using a feature.

  12. Basing your help articles on questions they really want answered.

If you’re new to Intercom then read this section

Imagine a new customer arrives on your website, starts a live chat with you
and you answer their key questions. Then they sign up, get a series of
on-boarding emails over several weeks that automatically encourage them to
trial and purchase the product and educational articles that answer their
questions. Intercom’s 3 main modules combine to do exactly that.

was a movie, it would be like the scene in Men In Black where they approach
the MIB building.

All you see at the front is one security guard reading a newspaper but behind
him is a door that leads to an entire world saving operation.

With Intercom, all the customer sees on the front-end is a simple chat box…
bit like this guy in a hallway with a newspaper who says ‘hello’.


Just one guy reading his paper, that’s how Intercom chat feels on the
front-end. Very simple...

…but behind the door is the huge operation with teams co-ordinating to answer
one question, onboard them, educate them in the product and make sure they
keep communicating with them over time


for most customers really is a chat box. For companies, it’s an entire
communication, marketing and sales system where all team members can

It has 3 main modules.

  1. All emails and chats from one customer are in one feed on the Intercom
    Inbox module.

  2. All outgoing sequences of on-boarding emails for customers are done by the
    Messages module.

  3. All help and educational articles are handled by the Articles module.

Customer success teams can work across all 3 modules alongside technical
support and key account management.

Ok, let's start. 12 ways to use Intercom as your customer success software.

1. Use Intercom statistics to underline the value of customer success

“The failure to quantify and correlate the financial value of client
retention by Customer Success is why most (if not all) CS initiatives fail /
are not funded.

When Customer Success quantifies its contribution, it stops being about
evangelism and starts being about the financial relevance of CS to the
viability of the organization.”

Nicolle Paradise

Intercom and its add-ons have statistics to prove the value of your work.

As we said above, Intercom let's you set up sequences of emails that are sent
to customers in the database.

A customer success team will be a key influencer in onboarding email
campaigns, in-app messages and the educational section and Intercom has stats
for each of them, down to individual a/b testing stats for emails.

In addition, besides creating your own reports through filtering and exporting
data, you can use 3rd party add-ons to provide stats for churn, feature
adoption, product engagement and more.

These are the stats for one email message of one campaign.


These are the stats for an entire set of email campaigns in one table.


Intercom Add-ons like Notion provide a deeper range
of stats for every team over and above Intercom’s own.


It’s also possible and useful to set up emails that send your customer
success metrics

to your clients e.g. how much they’re using your app and so how much value it
gives them. It helps clear out bad-fit

Ever wanted to see what a company’s full campaign of emails looks like

along with click stats?

See the entire set of Intercom onboarding
Upscope uses along
with click through stats.

2. Create automated feedback for low renewal rates

“Reviewing feedback from cancellation surveys can be helpful to pinpoint

If customers aren’t renewing because they don’t see the value, for example,
CSMs can test messaging campaigns focused on coaching and educating customers
on how to achieve their goals using the product or service.”


How to do this with Intercom? Create an automated exit survey email.


Within intercom you can set an email based on custom attributes which are
triggered by a cancellation.

In fact, you can send a sequence of emails if they have not replied to the

On one project we’ve also created a form when they cancel and set up the
cancellation email based on the option they select

If they cancelled because of a competitors pricing then ‘offer to match it’.
If they cancelled because they ‘did not find it useful’ then find out what
they’re looking for e.g. “I just saw that you’re unsubscribing because you
don’t find it useful. We would love the opportunity to give you some info on
ways our other customers are using this as you may not have been aware of the

For a deeper set of feedback forms, use the Intercom addon
Survicate and checkout a tool specifically built for
Intercom called Userfeed

3. Give proof when communicating feature requests to development teams

“Product Managers and Engineers also have their own deadlines and pressures
so there must be a business case to prioritize”

Ellie Wu

Tag feature requests as they come in and then add them up for proof.

You can filter by tags on Intercom


Statbot.io stats for Intercom tags.


As we chat to a user we tag them with, for example, ‘Download file feature

Intercom gives you filtering options on tags, you can click through and see
each individual conversation and the total number tagged for each one.

(note: the statbot.io intercom integration also creates
alternative and sometimes clearer statistical tables for Intercom)

4. Validate good fit customers early on

“If you have to close bad fit customers to make your quota, you’re a
hustler, a closer… some might even say you’re a good salesperson. But you know
what you won’t be?… Working here much longer!”

Lincoln Murphy

To validate good fit customers, auto email them and then call them.


Above is an automatic email with a gif of Upscope’s
Minh waving to say hello and telling them that she’ll call them but only to
focus on the problem they’re fixing, not to sell to them.

We set up an automatic Intercom email triggered a day after they’ve signed up
and begun the trial saying that we might call.

We state the specific questions and the time limit on the call and tell them
it’s not about sales but understanding the

You’ll find out quickly if you’re talking to the 16 year old who signed up for
his course work project or a real customer who you needed guidance.

If you’re live chatting with them then also consider Dan Martell’s approach to
live chat sales that also includes some very good simple and direct

5. Onboard enterprise clients and don’t lose them

“When a company has 100,000 employees, they can’t be managed the same way
they would be at a 10-person or even a 100-person startup.”


Check if you’re communicating these 11 features larger clients need


Intercom onboarding emails won’t work for enterprise clients who never
actually sign up but they might be in your Intercom lead list
. Enterprise
clients won’t necessarily turn up, sign up and begin the free trial in the way
startups would. They may have entire buyer teams who ask a few questions about
feature sets to compare you to others.

They are looking out for certain features that, many startups especially, give
the least attention to on their features page.

You can create in-app messages on your separate enterprise page and also send
an email to Intercom leads (enterprise customers may not sign up but ask
questions and give you their email) and include the following features if you
have them.

These are the features that enterprise buyer teams might look

  1. Product Assortment: Different versions of a product to meet differing

  2. Single Sign On: Enable enterprises to manage users from a single,
    central directory

  3. Audit Logs: Provide admins with a detailed trail of account activity

  4. Role Based Access Control: Allow for the separation of privileges by
    user role

  5. Change Management: Empower admins with tools to roll out
    features/product changes

  6. Product Security: Demonstrable application security through best

  7. Deployment Options: Data security + application overhead + flexible

  8. Team Management: Centrally managed collaboration with coworkers is a

  9. Integrations: Enable data portability by allowing data in and out of
    your app

  10. Reporting & Analytics: Allow admins to demonstrate value gained
    from your app

  11. SLA and Support: Big businesses are less forgiving than beta customers

It also might help to check if you’re linking whitepapers and comparison
tables in the in-app / email messages you send.

The above list is from this great read:

Also, read about how we imagined enterprise sales would be and how it turned

6. Re-engage customers who seem to be inactive

“Emailing or calling works well to bring customers back to engage with the
product or service”

Ellie Wilkinson

How? Intercom records a users total sessions and your other activity

based stats to figure out if they should receive an automated email.


In Upscope, during a trial period, if the user has not
actually begun to use the product they are sent the above email with an offer
to extend the trial. It’s based on their use of a key feature which is tracked
within Intercom.

Ever wanted to see another company’s full set of emails with all the tricks?
You can see the entire sequence of Upscope email templates for Intercom

If you’re a real geek for this then check out a roundup of the best
onboarding emails by 29 different

7. Checkin with specific customers quickly

“Checking in without a clear purpose is waste of time for the CSM and the
customer. Leverage usage data if you have it to create an opportunity to drive
value based on indicators”

Ellie Wu

“A lot of this can be handled with tone. Keep it light and friendly, and
show that you’re trying to help. Don’t skip right to business; check in about
how they’re doing, or share a relevant article or tip. Take a genuine interest
in them.”

Ellie Wilkinson

How? Create a manual group message by filtering customers


When you know your customers and you know that they’re not using a feature you
might also know it’s because they were not on-boarded.

On Intercom, rather than setting up an automated message which might catch the
wrong people at the wrong time, you can create a manual message and send it to
a usage based filtered group of customers. The message can contain a link to
the Intercom help section which is generated by the
Articles module or a blog post.

It’s faster than sending them one by one and it’s a bit like a regular email
they might get but exactly the one they needed.

8. Turn customers into brand or product advocates

“Highlighting the success that customers have achieved with the product and
service can also illustrate value clearly and encourage customers to share.”

Ellie Wilkinson

“If they’re more motivated by internal recognition, make them look good in
front of their boss.”

James Scott

Use key Intercom custom attributes to generate a testimonials email.


Lets say you can filter those for whom it’s clear they’re getting value from
the service, for example if they’ve had over 1000 sessions and are using all
key features. Set up an automated Intercom email to ask for a testimonial

... or give them another reason to share your product. For Upscope, we
gained 60 reviews on Capterra in 2 month
s because Capterra offered to give
our users gift vouchers for posting a review. Read about our SaaS reviews
process here.

If they’re motivated to prove to their boss how good they are then build
them an email using their own key statistics from using your service. (It’s
sad that I’m writing this and realise that we’re only doing the bare minimum
here ourselves and yet everyone has to report upwards at some point). Let's
say you reduce their customer support time. Got any stats for that?
them of the amount of time they’ve saved the company in an email with that
stat included.

9. Work as a team across CS, Support, Account mgt

“At Moz, technical support focuses on providing reactive support and
technical troubleshooting, account management maintains the relationships with
customers on Premium and Enterprise subscriptions, and customer success owns
onboarding and engagement strategy to proactively teach customers to succeed
with the product”

Ellie Wilkinson

Assign conversations automatically or manually based on who they are.


Automatically assign according to value

You can assign conversations automatically so that the key account manager
gets to see emails and chats from, for example, companies on the enterprise


Of course, some queries need to be read and then assigned. If the technical
team gets a query and knows that customer success team need to be notified of
a problem they can assign the conversation to them.


Internal notes can be added or pinged to a colleague

Alternatively (and this is quite common and effective) you can send an
internal note to a team member to ask for input on a conversation and then
choose to assign the conversation if necessary.

10. Reach customers early when they have a problem

“It’s a lot more powerful to reach out to a customer and solve a potential
problem before the customer asks for help.” There will be a silent majority
out there as only 4% of users say anything so you can’t assume they don’t have
the problem because they did not complain.”

Jacob Firuta

Export users, calculate a health score and contact unhealthy ones


If you’ve added enough attributes from your database into Intercom then you
can export all users along with those attributes into an excel file. Then
build your own health score by giving e.g. a mark out of 10 for the following:

Overall usage of your product like session counts

Usage of the key features of your product

Growth of the account in $ over time

Length of time as a customer

Number of upsells completed

NPS Survey results

How often do they call Support?

Product feedback

Community involvement

Factors will vary by product. Add up your health score
and then contact them. There are ways to do some of this within Intercom
directly via filters but on the first go it’s easier to see it in a

11. Directly ask why people are not using a feature

“We decided to send a quick follow up email to all the users who should be
using the new SSO login feature but, for some reason, weren’t.

Despite its drawbacks, a follow up like that can be a powerful tool. It will
not only give you access to customer feedback but will also show your
customers that you care and appreciate their opinions”

Jacob Firuta

Send an automated email if a key feature use attribute is not triggered


This is nice and simple, as it should be. Using attributes, figure out if
they’re not using a feature and contact them.

Below is an example of an email Upscope uses to extend the trial of those who
have not used it enough in the first 7 days of the trial.


12. Have help articles answer questions they have


Add articles that exactly match the way they ask you questions

The intercom ‘Articles’ module allows you to build articles you can insert
into chats and it now also auto displays articles in the chat even before
they’ve asked a question.

It’s tempting, when you first install intercom, to build articles off your own
understanding of what people will want but many of these will remain
relatively unread. If you build articles directly off questions as they come
in, you’ll find it to be in tune with their desired clarity and they’ll feel
you understand their real problems.

The key advantages to doing this

  1. Article titles that match questions speed up resolution time.

  2. Avoids the frustration of going through a long article to find the exact

  3. It feels damn good to give customers the exact answer in a short well
    written article.

  4. Better for SEO as they google the same questions they ask.

Make sure the articles all link logically to each other so they continue to
educate themselves in steps.

To finish, here is a great quote on working out REAL desired customer outcomes


Mitchell Harper has built companies generating $200m in revenue and is one of
the most read and bluntest writers out there with great advice. Here is a gem:

“When was the last time you woke up and said “today I’m going to buy some
software/consulting/services/apps/etc?”. Seriously, when was it?

No One Gives A Sh*t About Your Product

They want to buy a specific RESULT your product gives them.

Spanx sells undergarments, but is in the RESULTS business of helping women
(and now men) appear slimmer immediately, without having to lose weight

BeachBody sells workout programs, but is in the RESULTS business of helping
you get in shape without having to leave your house”


It’s good to keep this in mind while setting up Intercom on-boarding

Intercom is built to tell one story all the way through because it allows you
to set up both in-app messages, sequences of emails and an entire help section
of individual articles linked to those in-app messages and emails.

When you’re clear on the outcome your customers want to achieve it will change
and impact every email sequence, in-app popup and help file. The Intercom
co-founders themselves believe you should sign up to your own product every 2
weeks to test if the onboarding is still
. You
can of course also segment customers using Intercom attributes because they
are all slightly different.

Here is a nice way to define the outcome before starting the setup:

Our company sells [X] and is in the RESULTS business of [helping Y do Z]
so what Intercom emails, in-app messages and articles do we need to help them
achieve that result?

Guide users into becoming customers

Upscope is a 'no download' screen sharing tool used by
customer support, success and sales teams to guide even the toughest most time
consuming users through your web app from sign up to purchase by instantly
seeing their screen and highlighting where to look next.

Even when people need a product they don't buy into it so need to be walked
through and that's what Upscope does. It makes that conversion to a buyer

There’s a 2 week free trial, learn more about Upscope starting


What marks does team upscope get for the above 12


Use Intercom statistics to underline the value of customer success 3/10 We
look at stats often but we need to apply maths properly to specific

Create automated feedback for low renewal rates. 2/10 We did this on a
previous project but right now it’s an occasional manual effort.*

Give proof when communicating feature requests to development teams. 8/10
We tag feature requests and keep a spreadsheet of key problems customers are
really trying to fix and we don’t rush to build wrong features but fight for
improving the core first.*

Validate good fit customers 7/10 We started to do this recently in more
depth and it’s definitely a culture thing too. Slow to start but gaining
momentum now that the team know the calls are not about sales but about seeing
the problem.*

Gain enterprise clients.5/10 We emphasise enterprise features but have no
comparison tables or specific tactics to reach out to leads.*

Re-engage customers who seem to be inactive. 6/10. We do this through
automated emails rather than manual messages but there are some big gaps.

Checkin with specific customers quickly. 5/10. We do this manually and
again, the system has gaps which we’re trying to fix through building new
Intercom notifications that will remind us based on features.

Turn customers into brand or product advocates. 8/10. The automated
testimonials email works very well. We need to improve with case studies.

Work as a team across CS, Support, Account mgt. 8/10. We do work well and
are starting to think the same way about customer success.

Reach customers early when they have a problem. 7/10. We’ve layered
several points of communication to reach out when they’re having install
problems but partly because that’s such a key moment. More is needed outside
of it.

Directly ask why people are not using a feature. 5/10. We do remind them
of features though the way the question is phrased is a prompt rather than
getting to the depth of it.

Base help articles on questions they actually ask 4/10. We would have got
a nine out of ten on another intercom install but on Upscope we’ve really got
to get our act together as we enjoy this exercise.

Want to see all the Upscope Intercom on-boarding emails?

See the full set of email templates used by Upscope for helping users through
key steps
. Be kind, we’re
learning too.

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.