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Lead Creation, Matching, and Merging
Lead Creation, Matching, and Merging

How does lead/user matching work? Can I merge a new contact with an existing one?

Tarek Khalil avatar
Written by Tarek Khalil
Updated over a week ago


Before we create a new conversation in Intercom, we need to know whether the individual contacting you exists in your Intercom workspace or not. This means we must have some criteria on which to match new contacts.

It's important to note that Octopods user matching only works with our SMS (Twilio, MessageBird, Nexmo, TextMagic and Africa's Talking) and WhatsApp channels at the moment. 

For all other channels, a new lead will be automatically created when someone contacts you for the first time. This is the default behavior.

How does user matching work?

For example, if a customer with phone number +353 888 888 999 sends you a message on your company’s Twilio SMS number, we will:

  • Check if a user/lead with the same phone number already exists in your Intercom workspace.

  • If a matching contact exists, we will assume they're the same person. If not, we will create a new lead in Intercom.

  • We will then create a new conversation in Intercom for that user or lead, and display their incoming SMS message.

What happens if two users were matched by phone number?

If you have two users in Intercom that have the same phone number, we will make use of the one that has the latest Updated At value.

What happens if Octopods can't identify a match with an existing user? Can I merge them manually?

Currently, we're only able to match contacts based on their phone number. This works for our SMS and WhatsApp channels.

For other channels, we will create a new Intercom lead when someone sends you a message through that channel for the first time. You can merge this lead to an existing user or lead by using the Merge with existing user/lead feature in our Inbox app:

You will be asked to enter the ID of the user or lead you'd like to merge this contact with. You can obtain the user ID from your contact's profile, as shown in the image below:

Please note:

Once you perform manual merging, it affects the user database and cannot be reversed. Because that action is part of Intercom's API.

For more technical information please read Intercom API documentation.

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