Intercom today introduced Custom Bots to help businesses automate conversations with customers and use data to pair customers with the right member of a sales team.
Custom Bots build upon Operator, a service for the automation of qualifying leads on a website or mobile app that was launched by Intercom last fall. Custom Bots can incorporate selections from the Intercom App Store. Launched last week, the App Store was made to allow the integration of more than 100 SaaS products that let bots do things like automate booking meetings or schedule demos.
Like several available bot platforms on the market today, Intercom’s Custom Bots for the automation of customer interactions can be made without ever writing a line of code. They can also be made to respond to questions based on data about a specific customer drawn from CRM software, like Salesforce and HubSpot, or based on previous visitor activity or Clearbit data.
Custom Bots on Intercom can also be programmed to hand conversations to human customer service agents or sales agents.
“We’re betting that humans plus bots beat bots or humans working in isolation and believe that combining the brilliance of humans with the scale of bots will lead to unprecedented growth opportunities,” Intercom VP of product Matt Hodges told VentureBeat in an email.
Intercom’s sales bots compete in an increasingly crowded field of bots and chat services, such as those designed for top-of-the-funnel conversations, like Salesforce’s Einstein bots, which were made generally available last month, and offerings from startups like Drift.
Others in the general business-customer interaction space include Google’s RCS Messaging, Apple Business Chat, Facebook’s Messenger Platform, and WhatsApp, which launched the Business API for large businesses to automate some conversations with customers.
Intercom currently has 30,000 paying customers and powers 500 million customer conversations a month.
Since the closure of a $125 million funding round in March, led by Kleiner Perkins, the company has received a $1.275 billion valuation.