Operator is a bot that automates repetitive tasks, so your team have more time to focus on delivering personal support. It:  

  • Automatically answers simple questions, so customers don’t have to wait
  • Closes conversations it answers 
  • Shows your team’s availability 
  • Qualifies your leads
  • and more 

Note: While some features work on the Intercom Platform, you’ll need specific Intercom products to access certain Operator skills. 

The first bot with manners 😇 

Operator only gets involved in conversations when it knows it can help. We don't refer to it as a 'chatbot', because it's designed to complement human conversations, not replace them. For example, it won’t interrupt when you’re talking to a user or keep asking questions to users who don’t engage. 

How Operator works with Articles 

When a users asks a question in the Messenger, Operator suggests relevant articles to help answer it. We call them smart suggestions.

Note: Smart suggestions are available with Articles, our knowledge base product

Operator's smart suggestions free up your support team to tackle more complex questions.  


  • Smart suggestions won’t appear until you have 10+ live articles in your Help Center. 
  • Operator only suggests articles when a user’s question contains more than 5 words and less than 30 words (note: it excludes words like ‘the’ and ‘a’).
  • Operator won’t suggest articles to users who visited your Help Center in the past 15 minutes. 

When a user reads an article, Operator will ask if they got what they needed, like this: 

If a user clicks ‘Yes’, Operator will automatically close the conversation, so it never reaches your inbox. 

Then, it lets users know that they can reach out for help in the future, like this: 

Note: Whenever a teammate replies to a conversation, it gets assigned to them and Operator will no longer contribute to the conversation.

Your Articles Insights show you how many articles Operator has successfully resolved for users. 

Get feedback on articles 

When a user reacts negatively to an article, Operator follows up so you can resolve the issue. 

Note: We felt it was more transparent for your auto reply to come from a bot than a human 😀 So, now your auto reply comes from Operator, rather than a teammate. It can’t be customized. 

How Operator works with Articles and Inbox 

Automatically suggest articles in the inbox 

Operator leaves unanswered questions open, ready for your team to reply. It also suggests articles to your teammates during conversations to help them move faster. 

Note: Smart inbox suggestions are only available with Articles and Inbox. 

How Operator works with Inbox 

If you have Inbox - our help desk product - Operator will help you speed up and improve your support: 

Show your team’s availability

Operator tells customers when your team is likely to reply. Your reply time appears when a lead or user asks a question. 

And when a user or lead asks a question outside office hours, Operator lets people know when you’ll be back. 

If you haven’t done so already, set your office hours and reply time now.

Collect each lead’s contact details

Operator asks leads for their email or SMS so you can get in touch if they leave your site. 

Note: The SMS collector is only available with Inbox Pro

Get feedback on conversations 

After you close a conversation with a customer, Operator will ask that customer to rate their experience. This helps you measure your support performance.

Note: Conversation ratings are only available with Inbox Pro. 

Stay updated on GitHub issues  

Operator notifies you when a GitHub issue related to a conversation is resolved, so you can follow up with the customer. 

Important: To start getting GitHub updates you’ll need to set up the integration

How Operator works with Messages and Inbox

Operator can automatically route, capture and qualify leads who chat to you in the Messenger.

When a new lead starts a conversation in the Messenger, Operator asks if they're new leads or customers, so it can route them to the right team.

If they answer 'Yes, I'm a customer', Operator will route them to a team of your choice. If they answer 'No, I'm not a customer yet, Operator can qualify them by asking for up to four pieces of data.

Operator will then add their qualification data to their profile, so you can easily check this info when you're chatting to them in the inbox.

You can also follow up with qualified leads by assigning them to a specific team, adding them to Salesforce, send a meeting invitation and more.

Configure your Operator skills  

All of Operator's skills live in one place. To see everything Operator does, just visit your ‘Operator settings.’ 

From here, you can turn some Operator skills on/off, like this: 

What’s next? 

There are a few things you should do to get the most from Operator: 

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