How did we get by in the era before Intercom?

Once upon a time, support tickets were stilted email threads, phone calls through the helpline, or one-off messages in support forms. Questions and requests came in, and support reps did their best to stay on top of the incoming flood of inquiries, answer questions, and calm aggravated customers.

Some questions may have been about getting core value out of your product:

“How do I import my data and get started?”

Others may have been feature requests in disguise:

“Do you guys support a GitHub integration?”

“How do you not have a public API yet!?”

“Is there a shortcut available to trigger this functionality?”

Strategic support requests were summarized and reviewed once a period and pushed into a feature backlog or buried in an all-hands presentation, and in some cases, completely lost in the support ticket repository never to be surfaced again.

Flash forward to the present.

The Intercom revolution is upon us, shifting the way we connect with our customers from fundamentally transactional interactions into partnerships. On many teams – including ours at productboard – support, sales, and account management all rely on Intercom to chat with prospects and customers throughout the day. Canned replies have been replaced with personalized gifs and emojis, and a number friendships we’ve forged with customers over Intercom chat have carried over into the real world, through coffee meetups and local professional events.

Now that interactions with customers feel so natural, all sorts of details are divulged, offering new insights around what users really need:

Customer conversation in Intercom

By continuing to treat support tickets only as issues to be resolved, we allow gold nuggets of customer insight to get buried daily. They’re there for the taking, but few organizations have adapted to the new mode of customer support by developing systems to funnel valuable product insights back to the product team.

Some have tried, by developing complex tagging schemes in Intercom. Whenever users ask for certain types of features or describe pain points with a given product, the conversations might be tagged “feature A” or “product B” or “painpoint”, but the resulting tag clouds soon grow complicated and difficult to act on. Intercom does a lot of things extraordinarily well, but it takes a dedicated tool to help product teams spot interesting trends in user feedback and prioritize what to build next.

That’s where productboard comes in.

With productboard’s Intercom integration, you can funnel those insights back to the product team so they can be put to use in prioritizing what to build, and ensuring it gets built in the right way.

When your colleagues on sales and support have conversations with prospects and customers that touch on what users need, or how the product could be improved, they can apply a designated tag to send it over to productboard.

See it for yourself! 🎥

Consolidate user inputs

Once in productboard, the contents of Intercom conversations can be analyzed alongside feature requests, bug reports, notes from customer calls, user research, and other forms of user inputs that are automatically streaming in from a variety of customer touchpoints. For example, you might also be forwarding in emailed feature requests, and auto-importing results from a Typeform user research survey via Zapier.

If in the past, user feedback made its way to the product team by way of 5, 10, or 15 channels – and often remained silo’d in support tickets, inboxes, Evernotes, and email inboxes – it certainly offers peace of mind just to have it all stored in one place.

Consolidate user feedback from many sources with productboard
Consolidate customer ideas, feedback, and requests from many channels

Identify valuable user insights

Next you’ll want to capture the most interesting details from each conversation. That way, you’ll be able to resurface them at just the right time down the road – when you’re prioritizing what to build, and deciding how to build it!

In productboard, you do that by highlighting insights and linking them to related user needs and feature ideas. You can even indicate how important the need is to the user, so you’ll be able to take that into account during prioritization.

Link user insights to related user needs and feature ideas
Link user insights to related user needs and feature ideas

 

Confidently decide what to build next

Linking insights to related feature ideas means that for every user need and feature idea you capture in productboard, you can see everyone who’s ever requested it and exactly what they said. You can navigate back to the original Intercom conversation for more context, or to reply to the user and continue the conversation.

“Hey, we’re considering building CSV export functionality and I see this is something you requested in the past. Would you mind letting us know why this would be helpful for you?”

If before it was difficult to remember who’d actually asked for some feature by the time you got around to building it, now you’ll know just who to follow up with.

In productboard, you can see everyone who's requested a feature, what they said, and how important it is to them

Next, you might want to quantify your top requested features, weighted by importance. Or perhaps zero in on just your top requests from the past week, month, or quarter. That’s all possible in productboard.

Quantify your top requested features with productboard's user impact score
Zero in on the top-requested feature ideas

Visualize not only which features matter to users, but which support your product strategy, and will propel your business to new heights.

Prioritize what to build next based on clear strategic criteria
Visualize which features best support your product strategy

Rally everyone around your plans

Lastly, excelling as a product manager isn’t just about building the right features in the right way. You’ll want to align your immediate team around what’s coming next, and rally the rest of your organization around your plans. For that, there’s productboard’s Roadmap – customizable for different audiences and always up-to-date!

Share your roadmap
Share a flexible, auto-updating Roadmap that always stays up-to-date

 

Start putting valuable user insights in Intercom to use!

Ready to see how productboard helps some of the world’s top product teams make products customers love?

Get started with a free productboard trial and enable the Intercom integration!

productboard is the all-in-one product management platform that helps teams understand what users need, prioritize what to build next, earn buy-in for their roadmaps, and engage user community in a whole new way. With productboard, teams can consolidate user research & feedback streaming in from a variety of sources, see exactly who’s requested which feature ideas, and push features straight into agile planning tools when ready for development. From its headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Prague, productboard serves hundreds of top-performing product teams worldwide, including Zendesk, Invision, DellEMC, Avast, Sprout Social, and Envoy. productboard is the solution of choice for passionate product teams dedicated to making products that matter.