Marketing Alternative Conversion Optimization Customer Support Management

8 Intercom Alternatives For Your Online Business

You must know that you don’t need an MBA in marketing to understand that stellar customer service is essential for the long-term success of your business.

A stellar customer support to your real-time visitor will undoubtedly help increase the growth of your customer base as well as will customer engagement making memorable experience every time.

Where am I going with this?

You will get your answer soon.

According to Firstsource Survey

“Web chat is becoming a new wave of customer relationship and management adoption tool.”

Through this survey, I got to know that – more than half of US users prefer to resolve their issue through web-chat and self service instead of calling the customer care handle.

Web Chat is now widely used in various sectors like banking, healthcare, insurance, utilities, and education providers. The same way email automation got popular because of the burden it reduced to send transactional emails to the customers and prospective customers.

This kind of ticketing service improve customer relationship management and it performs tasks like sending automated messages when needed.

Source: TransferChat

You must have noticed those chat widgets on websites that are designed to help the visitors in their search or help them if they are stuck somewhere? Yes, that’s what I am talking about.
It somewhat looks like this:

Source: Primaseller Website

Or this:

Small business and enterprises recognized this opportunity and started using this customer support software tool to interact while a customer is making a purchase or visited their website. This form of engagement turns the visitor into a lead and then to a potential customer. It also help solve customer problems immediately.

These potential customers are reached out by the information that has been garnered while chatting through emails or calls. It’s a great way if you’re looking to find a loyal customer for your business.

If we closely look at the pattern, chat can be called as the first point of contact between the business and their users. It’s , however, imperative for startup owners and startups to use the Webchat tools which would provide them with the ease and accessibility to talk to their customers.

At the same time, the customer is doing self-service which means solving their own problems without being dependent on others.

This is how the cycle went on:

Webchat > Fill out form > Chat with the agent/customer support > Use that information for email marketing/ Phone call for pitching > Annoy them until they make a purchase.

On the part of customers, it should be as hassle-free as possible because.. let’s face it, we live in a world that doesn’t like waiting. How many times do you have to provide your information to enter the live chat, shouldn’t live chat just be “live chat” as it claims to?

A machine without actually solving the customers’ query in hand. This, in turn, led to frustration on the part of consumers and the cycle of avoiding “chat service” altogether thus ruining all the marketing sales efforts.

It’s then Intercom came to the rescue of the startups who could sense that the chat is doing something wrong that is leading to customer disappointment. This innovative solution led to some of the creative use of the service and the clients who are using this tool.

In their blog post, they have clearly mentioned the case where the web chat service is lagging behind and how did they change the way web-chat was looked upon.

Just imagine, how great it would be to have a solution where you simplify communicating with your customers in a really easy way and get most out of your marketing sales efforts.

Intercom is the first solution and one of the best-preferred tools used by many small and medium business teams to integrate their live chat function, email campaign problems and all types of marketing automation needs.

Any critical email of a customer to track or follow up after a purchase is an essential feature for any company. Communicating with your customer should be hassle-free and easy.

Customer facing applications like Intercom helped in customer communication efficiently and thoughtfully with the help of their live user data besides each chat message. And hence, automation helps to streamline, measure marketing campaigns and tasks effectively that would make you feel like you have an army of great marketers for working for you at your disposal.

Innovation doesn’t wait for anyone!

Intercom didn’t release any new solid features and was lagging almost behind in website engagement and transactional emails. There was a need for tools like Intercom who overcame these obstacles.

So, in this article, I am going to tell you the best Intercom alternatives to take a look at and grab it for your commercial needs. I understand the nuances of running a successful business with a great customer support facility.

We know that tech keeps changing and our hunger for a better product doesn’t end if rapid innovation is taking place in our surroundings.

In this post, we are going to talk about the best intercom alternatives you should be using to run a smooth business – with their feature, integrations and pricing .

Next, comes Help desks which have been implemented in a lot of ways by business owners and startups. It’s one of those best practices if followed by the businesses, then HelpDesk can actually meet the crucial need of the potential customers/visitors, that is, being operational and providing “Help”. Help Desk works in this way:

It issues tickets that would concern the department and the problem specific to that problem.

These tickets are used to know the information like who is taking care of the ticket, what is the current status of the ticket raised etc. This ticketing system when in use is provided by many tools that are also a great alternative to Intercom such as:

Chat tools are offered by the help desk providers itself. Chat is now considered as one of the many features of the broad help desk.

There are also independent tools in these categories like Zopim for just chatting aided help for the visitors and then you’re looking for tools like Userengage which provides a wholesome front-end support to the visitors that includes personalized email marketing platform, segmentation, marketing automation features among others, that ultimately will help the business to communicate with the best customer.

Quora Intercom discussion

Let’s start with my first favourite Intercom alternative of this article –

1.)UserEngage.io (now user.com) : Popular Intercom Alternative

“Turn every visitor into a Happy Customer”

Is what claimed by this user friendly yet powerful marketing automation tool that automates live chat, email campaigns for marketing, and visitors actions. They serve the biggies like Magento, WordPress, Shopify etc.

According to the customer review that I read of user.com chat software, “All data, action events in one place. Understanding which will be able to take the right action at the right time.  This intercom alternative will help power the live chat.

Capterra user.com review

The features of UserEngage include:

Personalized email marketing campaigns.

Dynamic form – choose one or make your own.
Segment your visitor’s profile according to their interest/ stage/ demographic or any filter you want.

Connect your account through the app on your phone – so that you respond to each and every message from your users without any delay. I have come across the pop-ups which pop up even after subscribing to the blog, but UserEngage has built a system that doesn’t show the popup to their subscribers. Clever, I must say.

Email marketing is no longer referred to as SPAM as the system with dynamic segmentation, targeted made easy and personalized experiences, the subscribers will only be able to read the specific content that they want to read. It’s an age-old approach that makes sales communication better.

Read their article on how to create successful email campaigns and leave it to email marketing automation to deliver the best.

UserEngage Uses:

Intercom alternatives like Userengage are cleverly built to help digital marketers manage their customer communication and reach out the potential clients effortlessly. The solution to go for that integrates chat, email marketing, and marketing automation. UserEngage provides growth and customer satisfaction through the real-time chat feature.

Simple marketing automation can also be done and repetitive tasks can be automated. Team communication can also be done through this tool. It also has a feature of an already visited page, so that a short note for that visitor can be “Hi, I checked you were checking out our pricing page, is there something we can do to clarify?”

All these actions can be used to make a funnel for your business that is superbly relevant to your visitor:

UserEngage Integration:

UserEngage provides a dedicated plugin for your platform to simply integrate without any hassles. Be it your online store, CRM or team- communication software – UserEngage will integrate for your convenience. It provides database import through MailChimp, or Intercom or CSV file.

UserEngage Pricing:

UserEngage’s pricing has been fixed to fit the bill for freelancers and startups. Starting at $49 per month, this tool is worth taking a look at for the NGOs, hobbyists, and small businesses as well.

They offer a free trial for 14 days as well. Through this plan, the users can track 50k users per month. Get unlimited chat and conversation history which means, if you want to cross-check something from last year’s chat history, then you can easily browse through chat functionality.

The most popular pricing package that this Intercom alternative is selling is priced at $249 per month package. Apart from having the many features that are in the basic package, clients will get to track up to 5k users per month as well as get an unlimited number of automations.

You get basic reporting and tracking for your business decisions and your language version as well. The integration will include shops and CMS like WordPress etc.

Update: Userengage is now GDPR and CCPA compliant and GDPR and CCPA Data Processing Addendum (“DPA”) is now a part of Userengage Service Agreement. Detail about overall data processing rights and all discussed here.

ParametersIntercom Userengage
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Easy to use and manage customer communication across various channels.
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
No polling feature
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Looking for a tool that help manage multiple channels.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $49/mo

2.) FreshChat: Reliable Alternative to Intercom

Freshchat is the sixth software product from Freshworks one of the popular Intercom alternatives, a cloud-based chatsoftware. It’s a modern messaging platform designed to revamp the conversational marketing and messaging experience for all businesses. The launch of Freshchat trades back to the acquisition of Konotor in December 2015.

It was soon followed by another acquisition of a social chat platform, Chatimity in October 2016. Finally, the most recent chatbot startup acquisition of Joe Hukum laid down the foundation brick for Freshchat.

In the official announcement blog, Srikrishnan Ganesan who is responsible for building chat, noted: “While our earlier chat product was fully integrated with the help desk offering, we’ve had many customers who just wanted to use chat for sales and some others who wanted to use a single chat product across sales and support.

Other products from Freshwork’s desk include Freshdesk, Freshcaller, Freshservice, Freshsales, and Freshteam.

Features of Freshchat

When we talk about Freshchat as one of the Intercom alternatives then one should know that it aims to revamp the way sales and customer support interactions happen. It works on the core concept of capturing leads across websites and engaging with them smartly. To facilitate contextual and smart conversations, Freshchat offers lots of features.

You can record events like page visits, report downloads, and such to understand the what, where and how of your visitors. This setting also gives you direct information of user properties (like geography, etc). Once you have information about user properties, you can segment and group your leads.

Freshchat also helps in triggering engaging messages before your user loses interest in your brand. You can send targeted automated messages at the right time to the right customer resulting in much better customer support management.

Lead capturing and retention forms the core functionality of Freshchat unlike Intercom, enabling you to onboard, educate, retain and re-engage your customers.

Freshchat also has bots for intelligent lead capturing even when your team is offline. You can customize the tone of your bot according to your brand proposition, set expectations, and unburden your team from being around 24/7 to exchange pleasantries.

The Freshchat bot isn’t just functional in giving out intelligent replies to your leads. It auto-uploads leads directly into your CRM so that your sales team never miss an opportunity.

Freshchat smartly helps in automatically assigning conversations to the right person within the team to resolve issues faster. With the help of information like the current skills and conversations, conversations are assigned to specific team members. However, it remains in your discrete to set the conditions on which the assignment will happen.

Your leads can find FAQs in multiple languages within the Freshchat messenger. It accelerates issue resolving process. Also, you can instantly take a feedback on your FAQs by asking for upvotes or downvotes. That way, you know if your FAQs are really doing the job.

Another unlikely feature in a chat service is that of team productivity. Freshchat facilitates team member collaboration towards a common goal with features like

  • Smart plugs to pull in all the context from external apps and systems within the conversation
  • Quick Canned responses to common queries
  • Labels to categorize and track conversations quickly
  • Private notes to keep updates, take notes, record learnings, etc.
  • Desktop notifications for both visitor and teams members on their immediate availability or activity
  • Read receipts for team conversations
  • Business hours to let your website visitors know when you are available
  • Bulk actions including segmentation, assigning and responding to multiple conversations with one action

Without metrics and measurements, any effort goes in vain. Freshchat is no exception. The real-time dashboard that tracks your team’s performance and speed of response offers an overview of how things are proceeding. The customer ratings help to evaluate each team member’s performance.

You can keep a track of all conversations across different days, time, week, etc. and compare the same with earlier reports to evaluate current trends.

Freshchat Pricing

The features of Freshchat clearly shows that Freshchat isn’t just about lead capturing. It’s a smart, personalized and context-dependent chat service. The pricing plans are as follows:

‘Sprout’ is a free tier plan for up to 10 active team members and unlimited contacts. The paid plans start at $19 per active team member per month and go up to $49 per team member per month.

All the pricing plans (including the FREE tier plan) offer unlimited contacts, priority inbox, integrations with Facebook Messenger, Slack and Freshdesk, mobile app, and notifications (desktop and push notifications).

When you upgrade to any of it’s paid plans, you get these and more features to explore.

Freshchat Integrations

Freshchat offers a robust integration list, bringing the best of all communications together. It offers integration with Slack, Facebook Messenger, ClearBit, Zendesk, and the entire Freshworks ecosystem.

Integration with Facebook messenger app is definitely very helpful as you can send out information on the same platform as your customer.

The app of Freshchat enables you to send push notifications to team members to respond even when one isn’t active inside the app. Why stop customer interaction when you can continue selling and supporting on-the-go.

GDPR and CCPA update:

Freshchat has recently made itself GDPR and CCPA compliant and to ensure that it has introduced the following features:

  • Not store IPs: This will ensure that the user location never gets disclosed.
  • Turn-off social profile enrichment: Obtaining and recording information from social media will no more be applicable.
  • Opt out of analytics: No information will be sent to third parties for analytics.
ParametersIntercom Freshchat
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Context based chat service
Highly personalized chat with its powerful AI
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
The customer support is not very good.
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Business looking for a chat support.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at Rs 999/agent/mo

3.) Boomtrain (Zeta global) – Powerful Intercom Alternative

It classifies itself as “Artificial Intelligence for Marketers” another platform similar to intercom.

Boomtrain’s machine learning may be rocket science but the tool help accumulates useful insights about the visitor and provides recommendations predictive through analytics that will deliver personal experiences to the website through emails and mobile communication.

Unique personalization algorithms will help the marketers check and track user behaviour and profiles through track code and effectively use this superpower to Boom your email marketing automation better.

Sound’s cool already? Let’s have a look at its features, integration, and pricing.

Features of Boomtrain:

On-site messaging service that helps a user interact and engage on site.

Source: YouTube; BoomTrain webinars

Boomtrain is an email marketing solution built around features such as an asynchronous tracking code to analyze visitor behavior, unique personalization algorithms, and workflow automation.

BoomTrain Features:

  • Engage: Boomtrain helps website visitors to engage throughout the session in your site. The conclusion drew from past behavior, using analytics and machine learning together , makes the conversation relevant and start relationships with business’s best foot forward.
  • Retain: Helps retain your customers through real-time messaging. In turn, helps your valuable customers to keep coming back.

BoomTrain Pricing:

If you’re looking to get started with Marketing Automation only; then the plan starts at $1,000 per month. It’s expensive when compared to Intercom but you need to hear me out.

Marketing Automation Tools with an Artificial Intelligence solution costs $2,500 per month whereas; BoomTrain also has la carte options available for Onsite & In-app for $1,000 per month and Messenger / Lightbox at $500 per month each.

For enterprise; BoomTrain has custom prices available which cover a fully customized AI-driven marketing engine to help deliver 1:1 experience across all online channels.

ParametersIntercom Boomtrain
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Predictive analysis to create personalized emails .
Power Artifical intelligence backing
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Expensive
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Business looking for a tool that offers powerful AI tools.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $1000/mo

4.) Helpscout : Strong alternative to Intercom

This tool that has a logo that reminds of the Boy’s scout program – is here to help the marketers with their unique Knowledge base support system and Help Desk. They have rightly built this in order to pinch every communication that is going out in the most perfect – personalized – way possible. Robo emails are already long forgotten and don’t work anymore.

Customers trust interactions that have a human touch to it.

HelpScout help desk software learned that a typical help desk tool can give the business person headaches and waste resources from the vast numbers of unhelpful automation, ticket numbers, and customer portals.

This maze of obstructions that came with help desk software in communicating with customers can cost you the one frustrated customer. HelpScout has been very carefully hand-weaved by skilled engineers to provide a seamless customer experience as well as chats for internal team communication.

Let’s have a look at what HelpScout help desk software has to offer to its customers with regards to Pricing, integration, and feature.

Helpscout Integration:

Helpscout comes with 40+ integrations that will help your business integrate with your existing platform and deliver the best. Utilities, CRM, Support, E-commerce and Invoicing, Marketing in addition to Communication- Internal or External, – it facilitates integration with all the major player listed out in the above category.

Helpscout features

Knowledgebase

Knowledge base helps you compile Docs with ready answers for customer support whenever needed by them. When all the frequently asked questions and best practices are there in one place, your potential customers find answers to their queries right away.

A knowledge base is optimized for the right keyword entered in search bar by the visitor. This will help the doc URLs rise through the rankings in your domain as well, thus providing a complete SEO solution for your business.
Knowledge base is a unique self-serving feature where customers find the solution themselves on-site without waiting for the customer support of your team. All guides and training videos are compiled in the knowledge base where customers prefer to find the answers themselves before contacting the support.

Analytics: This knowledge measures the visitor searched terms on-site in addition to failed search items that will ultimately improve the health of your docs and knowledge base.

Pricing:

Helpscout’s pricing has been fixed keeping in mind the pockets of small and medium enterprises which are focused on customer experiences. It’s available in two pricing plans one is the Standard and the other is the plus. You get a 90-day free trial plan that is quite generous for its features

The standard plan is priced at $20 per user per month and the Plus plan is at $35 per user per month.

Intercom alternative – Helpscout pricing

Bonus: Read HelpScout’s article on Customer Support salary Report for the year 2016. And how HelpScout can help you make your customer support team a little bit happier with their features. After all, a happy employee means a happy customer.

ParametersIntercom Helpscout
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Communication that sounds very much human.
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Customization is limited for some users.
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Best for freelancers and medium sized businesses.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $12/user/mo

5.) Liveagent: Recognized Alternative to Intercom

LiveAgent is a robust customer support portal with real-time live chat, a built-in call center, and a universal inbox. It also comes with advanced automation features, rules and plenty of integrations making it an efficient customer service tool for businesses of all sizes. The best thing is you can try the free trial without entering credit card details.

Liveagent features:

1.) Universal Inbox: A universal inbox ensures that all the data that you need that includes emails, phone calls, social media mentions, live chat messages are organized and added at one place. You can also answer incoming messages directly from your inbox. Sounds great! right?

2.) Ticketing: The ticketing system is quite a handy yet crucial component of any help desk software. This system collects all the customer communication into one place making follow up easy. So all the information related to customer conversations from various channels, such as email, social media, calls is converted into tickets. So, your customer support system efficiency improves automatically and it will enable you to connect with your customers like never before.

3.) Automated ticket distribution: The automatic ticketing system ensures that your sales executives have an optimal workload on predefined rules.

4.) Time rules: A set of automation rules that are exactly time-dependent help manage the customer tickets. They come in handy to perform tasks such as email reminders, follow-ups or resolving queries that are inactive in a while, or adding tags.

Pricing

Livechat is available in four plans that are:

  1. Ticket : $15 per agent per month
  2. Ticket+chat: $29 per agent per month
  3. All-inclusive : $39 per agent per month
  4. Free
ParametersIntercom Livechat
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Communication that sounds very much human.
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Customization is limited for some users.
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Best for freelancers and medium sized businesses.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $12/user/mo

6.) Accredited Intercom Alternative:  JivoChat

JivoChat is a suite that offers mobile chat wizards, helping companies to streamline their customer communication in a way that can motivate users to subscribe, read their content, or purchase their product.

JivoChat comes packed with powerful features instead, such as real-time visitor monitoring, livechat , hotkeys, chat logs, page view history, and a lot of ways to engage customers.

Jivochat features:

1.) Livechat: This feature of Jivochat software allows you to connect with your customers in real-time. It will work on any device be it a mobile OS or a desktop and supports a total of 20 languages. Livechat is a great way to connect with your audience and engage them before they leave your website.

2.) Whatsapp business : You can connect Jivochat with Whatsapp and sell your products to customers in the most used chats messenger Whatsapp .

3.) Callback: Jivochat is quite a powerful software product that also gives you the opportunity to connect with your customer quickly on-call within 30 secs or less with them only providing their phone number.

4.) Connect with your team: Jivochat also provides a messenger where you can connect with your team member for one on one or group interactions and questions. Chats not just for customers but also for your teams

Pricing

Jivochat offers two prices one is the Basic and the other is the professional version. The basic plan is free for up to 5 agents. The professional version costs Rs.514 per agent with a whole set of additional capabilities such as chat transfer between agents, quick Canned responses with an automatic helper, utilizing built-in CRM and a lot more.

Jivochat pricing
ParametersIntercom Jivochat
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Interface is very easy to understand.
Works well for managing customer chat on different channels.
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Not many administration features to manage chats from different sources.
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Best for e-commerce companies.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at Rs 514/agent/mo

7.) Delightful Intercom Alternative:  Tidio

Tidio is another alternative to Intercom that is a chat and communication support software and provides live chat, messenger, e-mail, and chatbots in one place. It’s a great way to save time as this software allows you to communicate with your customers seamlessly.

It also improves your support and help boost your sales by engaging with customers answering their queries or getting feedback all in real-time while you sit back. Additionally, Tidio is available on the go with Android and iOS features so you never miss anything related to your business.

Tidio integrations

Features of Tidio :

  1. Fast communication: Tidio allows you to manage all your communication from one single dashboard. It promises to simplify the complete communication process making it fast and efficient.
  2. Chatbot automation: Get AI-powered chatbots that work 24/7 providing solutions and live chat to your customer queries.  They can save abandoned carts, generate leads, improve sales, offer discounts, and much more.
  3. Email marketing: Email marketing campaigns with ready-to-use templates with single clicks.

Pricing

Tidio offers four plans Free, chatbots, communicator, and email marketing. The pricing starts at $18 per month. The chatbot plan offers features like unlimited active chatbots, chatbot templates amongst some of the features. Depending on your needs you can either take one or more plans as needed. If you ask me I don’t think it is expensive.

Tidio pricing
ParametersIntercom Tidio
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Easy to use interface
Enough chatbot elements for customization.
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Lacks growth tools for Facebook messenger
Chatbot support only for websites and Facebook messenger
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Best for business wanting a chatbot for website or Facebook messenger.
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $18/mo

8.) Drift : Valuable alternative to Intercom:

Drift is another intercom alternative that comes with its own set of unique features. As per Capterra Drift has been labelled as the first conversational marketing platform. It focuses on improving the customer buying experience, generating leads and conversions, accelerating the sales cycle all with the help of live chat empowered through artificial intelligence and chatbots.

When you compare Drift with intercom or other live chat software then it doesn’t offer anything that justifies its price tag. Some things that Drift does offer exclusively as compared to its competitors are allowing you to book meeting with your clients without using any third-party app. They also offer a best-fit lead qualification bot that uses powerful machine learning algorithms to filter the aptest profiles. But again it is way too expensive.

Features of Drift

  • Drift’s chat widget: The chat widget is one of the great ways to connect with your customers. The drift chat widget is very intuitive in nature offering a great user experience
  • Teams: As most businesses have separate sales and support separate teams this feature of Drift is very helpful for chat routing and live chat. But it is available in the enterprise plan.
  • Chat routing: It helps to transfer chat to the right agent , person or team. It also provides a round-robin feature for leads being passed to your sales team.
  • Apps : Drift has apps for ios and android devices as well.
  • Personalized playbooks: Drift collects the IP address and cookies that help to deliver personalized welcome greetings to your users. It is a great way to grab the attention of your customer as soon as they visit your website.
  • Reporting and analytics: Drift provide reports of team performance which has metrics about your team’s interaction with visitors; conversation volume that includes general data related to conversations; Routing Rules is the report telling where your conversations are being routed.

Below is an image of how Drift provides reporting :

Drift analytics

Pricing

The intercom alternative Drift offers three pricing plans: standard, pro and premium and the cost increase with the number of seats/ users/ agents you have. The thing about Drift is that its pricing is expensive when you compare it to other live chat tools.

Below is the breakdown of pricing that Drift offers:

Drift pricing
ParametersIntercom Drift
What is good?A lot of marketing features.
Advanced analytics
Exceptional chat widgets
Powerful chat routing features
What is not good?Limited chat integration.
Can be expensive for some users.
Expensive
Best forBig business and ecommerce. Businesses wanting good analytics
PricingPaid plan starts at $29/moPaid plan starts at $40/mo

Userengage.io vs Intercom

Coming to our initial discussion, Intercom alternatives, we are now going to compare the features of Intercom with UserEngage chat platform:

Today’s small and medium enterprises want top-notch customer desk support and chat features and hence the service providers up the ante through their competitive edge.

  • Going through a wide variety of customer review, I am concluding to mark Userengage with an A+ in the subject of customer support and engagement over Intercom. Integration system for Intercom lacks in various system and applications.
  • Languages that these chat software tools support are –
    – Intercom – USA, UK, Canada, and Europe
    – UserEngage –  USE, Canada, South Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Germany, India, Middle-East, Japan, and UK.
  • Intercom provides only phone support while if you choose Userengage you will get Live Chat Support and Phone support also.
  • Pricing for Userengage starts with $49 per month and Intercom pricing comes with combined packages for its customers starting with $87 per month. A bit pricey for the NGO’s and hobbyists as we discussed above. Pricing for UserEngage is user-based solution and accelerates with the increase in users that are tracked monthly to give the understandable insights from interactions.
  • Customer types for Intercom can vary from freelancers to Small and mediumbusiness owners. While UserEnage is trusted by Small and Large Enterprises.
  • We cannot create email campaigns in Intercom or spy cold email users – which can be done in Userengage.
  • Marketing automation is already possible in Userengage through its models, user paths-in-action, and Dynamic forms feature – all of these ways are absent in Intercom. Userengage also provides SMS service to its customers so if you have

Boomtrain vs Intercom

At the surface, BoomTrain provides less service when compared to Intercom support but it doesn’t mean that its features are less helpful to businesses.

BoomTrain offers user engaged live chat functionality that integrates machine learning to help marketers while Intercom provides features –

  • Help Desk support
  • CRM
  • Email Marketing
  • User Analytics at the same time

After acquiring Nudgespot, they have a good competitive advantage over Intercom and are now providing chat solutions similar to Intercom.

BoomTrain can be still considered a cheap yet awesome alternative for Intercom that provides best in class marketing automation features for the business.

Coming to the pricing front – Nudgespot/ BoomTrain doesn’t charge according to the number of customers or subscribers a business has. Starting with $500 per month, NudgeSpot also has a free trial to test its features after which you can purchase the service.

Zopim vs Intercom vs Olark

Zopim – One Picture is worth a thousand words:

Zopim – an Intercom alternative

Here is another picture to tell you why this shouldn’t be the case:

Not convinced, here is another picture to make you understand why Zopim failed to provide its users with the best of what they wanted:>

Intercom focused on chat features that simply helped address customer pain through direct communications without focusing on lead generation or building subscribers lists – all of which will be dead if the visitor/customer doesn’t have her queries resolved at the earliest.

According to Hubspot inbound marketing,

“50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first..”

It’s the same with the end-user consumer as well. Intercom is definitely using that to their advantage.

G2crowd Olark review


Olark Vs Zopim: When you use Zopim chat software it might act like an old-school chat messenger with no theme change and design option to go with. Olark comes with a chat widget that can be designed as per your website and have a host of seasonal designs to create an interactive platform for your support teams. Olark also allows you to send targeted and automated messages.

Quora Olark discussion

Zopim comes with a  free tier plan – which can still be a good cheap alternative for customer communication while Olark offers a wide of feature you’d expect from a live chat functionality widget. Customer service for both the tools might be a problem as they don’t have 24*7*365 customer service coverage.

A gentle reminder: Userengage chat software is still ruling the roost with the best-in-class features, service and pricing.

Intercom Vs Feshdesk

Source: Quora review

If your business focuses on multichannel customer support across email, phone and chat along with powerful insights then the best fit is Freshdesk.

If your business is SaaS-based which is looking for automated messages (emails) and excellent marketing automation features and improved sales – then go for Intercom as it is best fit.

Lastly, if you’re looking just for Live chat real-time support – then the perfect fit platform is Olark.

Olark won’t be your best bet if you are looking for the holistic customer support solution. Here is trivia for you – Olark started out to support e-commerce businesses only later branching out to provide features and service for small businesses and startups.

Freshdesk is a traditional messaging platform from India, that offers a solution to the knowledge base and ticketing system for your business.

Intercom vs HelpScout

To start with Intercom vs Helpscout – Intercom provides a mobile app for android devices. I almost missed the ease of access from my device while using Helpscout.

For freelancers, Helpscout seems to be the preferred option over Intercom.
The support base of Helpscout is armed with the phone, online, knowledge base and video tutorials whereas I didn’t find the help of video tutorials or guide while using Intercom.

Intercom Pricing starts at $87 per month while some of the basic features are offered free from Helpscout.

Best live chat competitive grid:g2.com
Intercom alternativesPricing Features summary
User.comUser.com offer 4 plans:
Free:$0/mo
Personal: $49/mo
Business: $249/mo
Premium:$1349/mo
User.com is an easy-to-use platform to manage your customer communication effortlessly across various channels.
It integrates marketing automation, email marketing, and chat.
FreshChatFreshchat offer 5 plans:
Sprout: Free
Blossom: Rs.999/agent/mo
Garden: Rs.1999/agent/mo
Estate:Rs.3299/agent/mo
Forest: Rs.4999/agent/mo
All the pricing is based on annual billing
Freshchat is a context-based chat service that captures leads and engages with them smartly based on the action performed.

The bot functionality captures lead even when your team is offline and automatically uploads them to your CRM for further actions.
HelpscoutHelpScout is available in four plans:
Free
Basic:$12 /user/month
Standard:$20/user/month
Plus:$35/user/month
HelpScout gives your communication and emails a human touch.

This tool works best for freelancers as well as medium-sized businesses.

It also comes with a knowledge base where your users can find answers. The analytics keeps a track of the failed user searches and accordingly updates the knowledge base.
Boomtrain(Zeta global)The Boomtrain marketing automation is available at $1000/moBoomtrain is classified as Artificial intelligence for marketers that gather useful insights about the user and the visitors.

It implements predictive analysis and helps you create personalized emails and messages.
Intercom alternatives

So we had a detailed discussion in this article on the best Intercom alternatives and their specific features. Which are your favourite tools for Helpdesk and improved sales and customer support? – or basically, connecting with our customers? Share your comments below!

Questions related to finding Intercom alternatives:

What are some good intercom alternatives?

Some good Intercom alternatives to try are ZenDesk, Drift
, FreshChat and Zoho.

Which is a better live chat software intercom or Zendesk?

ZenDesk will fit well in areas like analytics and reports, fixed pricing irrespective of users, generous free trial plan and great customer support. Talking about InterCom is great for email marketing, great UI and in-app messaging(that ZenDesk almost doesn’t have. For pricing Intercom is a bit expensive to try and Zendesk is more flexible with pricing.

How much is Intercom pricing ?

Below are the InterCom plans:
Start: $39/ mo
Grow : $99/mo
Accelerate: $499
Scale: $999

Is freshchat free?

Yes, freshchat has a sprout plan that is free. It will fit 10 team members and unlimited contacts. Although the features that you get with it are pretty limited but still help you with your needs of customer support services.

Which is a cheaper Intercom or userengage?

Intercom has 4 plans irrespective of the number of subscribers. While UserEngage pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have. UserEngage fits really well for small businesses or startups but you will have to provide the credit card info.

How to choose the best chat for your business?

The best chat that you should choose for your business should be based on your personal needs and budget. Intercom and UserEngage are pretty good options to improve your customer support.

Is Intercom still worth it?

Intercom is one of the best customer systems out there. It feels more authentic as compared to using automated messages that have no human touch.

Drift vs Intercom – which is the better one?

If you’re looking for a customer support tool that focuses on sales then Drift is perfect for that purpose. Intercom covers support, marketing, and sales all in one. Both tools are powerful and great for enterprise-level businesses.

Does Intercom integrate with Whatapp?

No, Intercom doesn’t integrate directly with Whatsapp but you can use third-party apps to get this integration work.

Why should businesses implement software like Intercom?

Livechat is a great way to reply to queries related to your business, solve problems quickly and build strong relationships with your customers. It is a simple and affordable way to improve your customer support.

Livechat vs email – the better option?

Livechat is a faster, efficient, and easier communication platform between customers and businesses.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff Team at Sprout24 is a team of Software Product experts, reviewers and analysts. Trusted by over a million readers across the globe.

31 Comments

  1. Emma Reply

    These days there are bounty Intercom Alternatives for promoting your business! The most prevalent is Intercom, Personally for new companies I would suggest Drift is a less expensive contrasting option to Intercom. It’s 100% free in case you’re simply beginning and you can utilize it as a CRM and utilize visit for lead gen to catch messages.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Yes Emma, you are right!
      But Drift is quite new and is improving a lot day by day 🙂

  2. Daniel Fo Reply

    This looks perfect for what we need, and the price is certainly right.

  3. hugo Reply

    Intercom is amazing, however can be very exorbitant for a startup. Anybody know of any open source alternatives? , I cherish Intercom yet it appears to be greatly costly. To do all that I need I’m looking a couple of hundred dollars a month. They have isolate bundles for guests versus clients and bolster versus in-application.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hugo, thanks for the comment. If you are looking for an opensource alternative; then, I would refer you to use Mautic for marketing automation and for chat you can use tawk.to app.

  4. Gerald Salazar Reply

    Intercom saved the startup companies. How did it actually help? For most of the startups, providing a reliable chat service was a nightmare. This is when intercom came to the scene and solved the problems by identifying the major problems in chat service causing customer dissatisfaction.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Gerald, for startups, Intercom actually simplified the unorganized customer details at one place. This helped them with simple automation and tracking of their customer activities. Not only this; it also helped to free a lot of man hours. So, the concept like this won.

  5. Marta Reply

    Thanks Ankit for such an insightful article! “Let’s start with my first favorite Intercom alternative’ – wow, feels great to read! We’re doing our best to guarantee the positive experience with the app 🙂 Did you know that we are now implementing the CRM module?
    Thanks again!

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey Marta, Thanks for the updated informaiton!
      That’s great to hear from userengage.io; yes, CRM module can be a great fit for the end business.

  6. Charles Baker Reply

    Small companies are trying to find new opportunities for a tool that will speed up purchasing and visiting website. All visitors should be potential customers and that is a nice principle that should be involved in every variant. I particularly use Userengage because it has personalized types of campaigns and that is the most important thing for a small enterprise.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey Charles, thanks for the review about Userenagage.

  7. Jose Morris Reply

    Well, yes, I am aware of chat widgets on websites that are prima facie designed to help the visitors in their search or help them if they are stuck somewhere? Well, well, well…as we say, advice should be given only when asked for. Most of my website initiated web chats has been an irate/frustrating experience. They ping you either the moment you land on the website or just when you begin to find it interesting and doing a whole lot of web page surfing across the website.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Thanks for sharing the experience Jose. Yes, there are set of websites who are doing chat widow pop-up instantly; which distracts the focus of end user.

  8. Jennifer White Reply

    I can understand the popularity of webchat as a preferred way in resolving issues by consumers. In fact the websites of digital marketing firms have some of the juiciest creativity displayed in the way they conduct their webchats. It is really humorous at times.

    However in the field of banking, webchat could be difficult to imagine.
    Or maybe, it can happen after a person has logged in with his net banking id and password. Still, i personally feel, for banking purposes telebanking is quite good. I personally feel a great sense of safety on telebanking, talking to a customer service executive who is capable of handling any of my queries.
    Webchat, i don’t ..i could handle a lot ..but isn’t there a risk of theft of key account information?

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey White, these are great points for webchat.
      Yes, it makes more sense to use webchat after the customer is logged in into their net banking account.

  9. Arthur Jackson Reply

    Great topic you’ve chosen, Ankit. Which website would recommend for studying the webchat feature? Like, which website do you think is somewhere in the ideal zone of handing webchats. I recently saw one saying “you don’t have to wait to get this reply, you can request it on your email” That was quite unique to my mind.

  10. Have you tried Altocloud? Their out of the box reporting is really good, if you’re looking for growth metrics it’s a better alternative.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Checking this Claire.

  11. Justin Reply

    We’ve been using Intercom.io for about 2 years now. However, they are moving to a new pricing model that’s going to increase our costs 50-100% this year. We’re too small of a company to absorb that increase so we’re looking for an alternative.

    I think our use case for Intercom is slightly different than most other customers. We’ve migrated away from website and in-app pop-ups and are using it primarily for email onboarding and marketing campaigns. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort into integrating dozens of custom data fields (activities within our application) with Intercom so we’re able to provide highly-segmented emails to our customers. So, for us, this is not a “sales leads” generator but an email onboarding and marketing campaign solution. We use a different solution for chat.

    So, can anyone provide a recommendation on a good (but low-cost) email marketing tool that can incorporate the same custom data for advanced segmentation? MailChimp isn’t the answer. Drip.com? Others?

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey Tom,
      Thanks a lot for reply. Looking at your answer, I could clearly see you should use some solution like marketing automation and integrate it with a chat client or chat+help-desk client.
      Recently our team at Aritic created this massive marketing automation selection guide- https://aritic.com/the-most-detailed-marketing-automation-selection-guide . Do have a look through this.
      Yes, drip can be a good alternative, apart from this as of today, there are many alternative solutions available.

  12. Russell.K Reply

    I love the chatting feature whenever I visit a website. It makes it easy for the user to put up any queries that he wish to know. The only thing that turns me off is the constant pop-ups that keep showing up when you do not even need it.

  13. Donald Bailey Reply

    Intercom is great software that facilitates a healthy relationship with the customers. The customers can send their queries and get the reply asap without testing their patience. It is also not that complicated and is super simple to use.

  14. Pradeepa Somasundaram Reply

    Intercom is an all in one tool for Customer support platform. No doubt it offers better way to acquire, engage and retain customers .
    Pros:I see it as all- in -one tool for sales, marketing and Customer support.
    Cons: It is very expensive when the customer base starts increasing, for SaaS startups who plays on customer volume,this is very expensive
    Talking about public knowledge base there are many drawback like Difficulty in Creating a product knowledge base for public- Without turning your help center “on” customer can’t do independent search on articles,
    Custom Domain setting-If you want your own domain, you will need developers to link your site to a custom domain
    ,Customising your knowledge base- branding is very minimal, Your materials are placed inside Intercom with very basic tools to customise.Editing and Publishing- has a basic user interface. There is no way to change any formatting or edit the source code of your articles directly.
    If you are adding intercom Knowledgebase alternative the I would like to recommend document360.
    Get more for the same price.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      That’s great to hear Pradeepa.
      Will look upon this.

  15. Victoria Reply

    We finally found a great alternative to Intercom.
    After searching for months we found Customerly and it’s amazing!
    I love that I can manage my all clients with a simple and useful platform, the constant support in the live chat is amazing!

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Victoria, let check this. I will evaluate it.

      • Roman Eaton Reply

        Hello Ankit.
        We did a lot of interviews with Intercom users and noticed the repeatable behavior of small teams. They really love Intercom on the early-stage period before they get a huge receipt for the next period.
        We are running an affordable all-in-one alternative to Intercom with its live chat, knowledge base and email marketing.
        Would be pleased to share with you the paragraph for this article.

  16. Angelina Reply

    The one thing that I do not like about freshchat is that it has less number of features as compared to other providers. Even when you get access to full features they still lack some of them. Maybe they plan to add some more in the coming time.

  17. Luca Micheli Reply

    Hi there,
    Since a lot of people are referred from this article to try Customerly I wanted to add personally what can do for you.

    1. A Free Basic Plan with Live Chat + Knowledgebase software + Mobile Apps + SDKs
    2. Video Call your users In-Page and share the screen without any software
    3. Smart Assignment rules
    4. Drag & Drop Email Template Builder
    5. Behavioral Funnel
    6. In-app Survey
    7. NPS

    If you want to give it a shot it’s totally free to start. And our plans are definitely cheaper than Intercom 🙂

    “Customerly has been nothing short of amazing for our team to handle customer engagement and support for our 3 SaaS apps. We are 8 month’s in, and still just as glad that we walked away from Intercom to Customerly.”
    Ty Duran, CEO @ MarketPlan, ConvertPages, ConversionFly

  18. Intercom alternative Reply

    Intercom is a great product but it doesn’t fit with small businesses. Better look at Crisp that could totally fit within this article, feel free to contact me if you would lik to for a product review.

  19. Walter Long Reply

    Intercom is pretty easy to use and navigate plus their support is very helpful. In case of any queries their staff is always ready to help. You can get all the details related to your queries instantly.

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