Is there a way to explicitly set the First Name for a contact?

  • 1 July 2021
  • 6 replies

Hey all! First post here.


So here is my situation: One of our users is named John Michael LastName - "John Michael" being their full first name. We send a lot of outbound messages (emails, posts, etc.) and use the First Name token to pull in everyone's first name in our greeting. Unfortunately, for this user, it is just pulling in "John" every time.


This user has written us back multiple times letting us know their full name and that they would like to be addressed as such (understandably!). So, I am wondering, is there any way we can explicitly set in Intercom that their first name is "John Michael" and NOT "John"?


Thanks in advance! 🙂


Best answer by Eric Fitz 2 July 2021, 11:44

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6 replies

Userlevel 1

Hey @cheyenne​ 👋 Intercom recognises the first name as the first word before a breaking space in the string value of the "Name" attribute.


If you want "John Michael" to be the first name, you'd need to update the value of the attribute to include a non-breaking space between "John" and "Michael", and a breaking space between "Michael" and LastName.


I hope this makes sense (it was a bit of a head scratcher for me when I first came across it in my Support days!) but feel free to come back to me if you'd like me to elaborate further.

Hi @eric f11​ - thanks for the info! I'm glad to know it's possible to do this.


However, I'm not quite sure how to enter a non-breaking space there. Would this need to be done via import?

Userlevel 1

It's possible to enter a non-breaking space through a keyboard command, but that would depend on the device you're using.

So does this mean that if someone’s name is “John Paul Smith”, Intercom will assume their first name is “John” instead of “John Paul”?  This doesn’t seem safe to assume.

Hey! I have a similar question, to get around this issue - I added a ‘First Name Prefered’ Attribute and wanted to export the users I would be emailing, and add this in correctly. One issue I have is that I can’t export first name and last name as separate fields unless I export ALL columns. In our case, this would be a HUGE file and would make it completely unwieldy to perform any functions in the final sheet. Is there a way to export first name and last name without exporting all columns ? @Eric Fitz 

Userlevel 4
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@Kathleen Swift Hey there!

Currently it looks like the only way to export that First Name and Last Name as separate items is to export all columns. I can see how that isn’t the most convenient method. I’ll flag this with our product team to see if there’s any improvements they can make around that in the future. Thanks for pointing that out!