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The best intercom alternatives in 2023

The Best Intercom Alternatives and Competitors in 2023

In the dynamic world of customer service, maintaining a seamless line of communication is pivotal. It’s not just about presenting customers with a fantastic product or service, but also providing a customer service experience that exceeds their expectations. But, what if the tools that facilitate your communication seem to be falling short, or are too costly for your business model? You may feel caught in the crossfire of mounting customer queries, missed opportunities, and escalating costs. Fear not, as we have got you covered with this comprehensive guide.

Intercom, a dominant player in the customer communication landscape, has been the go-to platform for many businesses for sales and marketing communications. Starting as a simple chat widget, it has gradually evolved into a robust platform, albeit with a strong focus on sales and marketing. Although its live chat and chatbot automation tools are beneficial for customer service on your website, if your organization maintains a fully-fledged support team, the feature set might seem a little underwhelming. You might find yourself yearning for a more comprehensive ticketing system, more insightful reporting, and more efficient knowledge base management.

Moreover, the pricing plans of Intercom, which can start from $67/month for small businesses and scale up considerably for larger enterprises, might seem a little daunting, especially if you are on the lookout for a pricing model that is more predictable and uncomplicated.

The Best Intercom Alternatives for 2023

Are you seeking a platform that is more customer support-centric? Perhaps a solution that is more budget-friendly? Whatever your needs may be, we’ve curated a list of the best Intercom alternatives for 2023. Each of these platforms offers a diverse range of capabilities, specifically designed to cater to your unique needs. Let’s delve deeper into each of these alternatives.

1. HelpCrunch

Screenshot of HelpCrunch, a cost-effective Intercom alternative with multi-channel messaging

If you are in search of a platform that excels in multi-channel messaging, HelpCrunch is worth considering. It stands out as it offers free migration from Intercom, which can make the onboarding process hassle-free. The offerings of HelpCrunch go beyond just being a cost-effective solution. It’s a platform that integrates a help desk ticketing system, Facebook messenger chat integrations, email marketing, pop-ups, and automated messaging all under one roof.

The multi-channel messaging feature enhances customer satisfaction by streamlining the management of app messaging, chats, emails, social media, and more in a single tool. Therefore, if your priority is to manage customer communication across multiple channels effortlessly, HelpCrunch can be an excellent alternative to Intercom.

Pros of HelpCrunch:

  • Offers free migration from Intercom.
  • Provides multi-channel messaging for comprehensive customer interaction.
  • Incorporates features like a help desk ticketing system, Facebook messenger chat integrations, email marketing, pop-ups, and automated messaging.
  • Price: Starts at $12/member per month.

2. Olark

Olark's live chat interface, an ideal standalone chat solution among Intercom alternatives

Olark is an excellent Intercom alternative if your team requires a standalone live chat option to engage with website visitors. Olark’s live chat software comes with advanced insights, organized customer data, and offline messaging. This means your support team is always ‘on’, even when they are not active. In addition to these features, Olark offers AI-powered bots to automate parts of your messaging, enabling your team to cater to customers efficiently.

Furthermore, Olark offers features to store customer data and chat transcripts in your CRM, access in-depth reporting, automate conversations, and ensure your live chat is accessible. Therefore, if a robust live chat option is on your checklist, Olark can be a significant addition to your business toolkit.

Pros of Olark:

  • Robust live chat software with advanced insights and organized customer data.
  • Ability to automate conversations using AI-powered bots.
  • Integration with CRM to store customer data and chat transcripts.
  • Price: Starts at $29/seat per month.

3. HubSpot Service Hub

Dashboard view of HubSpot Service Hub, an Intercom alternative for all-in-one business solutions

For large businesses that are already familiar with HubSpot, HubSpot Service Hub can be the ideal alternative to Intercom. Known as a leading martech tool, HubSpot offers an all-in-one suite of tools that include capabilities for landing page creation, lead generation, email marketing automation, customer support, sales prospecting, and more.

Since HubSpot is an all-in-one tool, it makes sense as an Intercom alternative for large brands who are familiar with other aspects of HubSpot’s toolkit. The Service Hub not only provides customer support but can also streamline other aspects of your business operations.

Pros of HubSpot Service Hub:

  • Comprehensive toolset for various business operations.
  • Highly beneficial for existing HubSpot users.
  • Combines customer support with sales and marketing tools.
  • Price: Free plan available. Premium plans start at $45 per month.

4. Zendesk

Interface view of Zendesk, a renowned Intercom alternative for enterprise-level solutions

If you belong to a large or enterprise company that requires scalable sales and service solutions, Zendesk could be your go-to Intercom alternative. Known for its extensive offerings, Zendesk provides a variety of business solutions, particularly in the service and sales domains.

Zendesk allows for a shared workspace and shared inbox that can track SMS, calls, and emails, along with knowledge base management, automation, reporting, and more. Thus, for businesses that require extensive features and scalability, Zendesk fits the bill.

(Note: If you’re keen on exploring other similar platforms, check out our detailed guide on Zendesk alternatives.)

Pros of Zendesk:

  • Offers a vast array of business solutions, particularly in service and sales.
  • Supports a shared workspace and a shared inbox for tracking SMS, calls, and emails.
  • Provides knowledge base management, automation, and reporting.
  • Price: Starts at $19/agent per month.

5. Freshdesk

Screenshot of Freshdesk's dashboard, a unique call center-focused Intercom alternative

Freshdesk emerges as a unique Intercom alternative as it provides robust support for businesses that use call centers for customer support. It’s the perfect solution if you’re looking to set up, expand, or manage your call center. With Freshdesk, you can easily buy a new number, manage your call center team, and access features that can enhance your team’s efficiency.

Apart from these, Freshdesk offers other helpful features like help desk software, messaging and chatbot support, and omnichannel communication. This means you can reach your customers across various platforms, ensuring a seamless customer support experience.

Pros of Freshdesk:

  • Specially designed for businesses that require call center support.
  • Allows easy management of a call center team.
  • Offers help desk software, messaging and chatbot support, and omnichannel communication.
  • Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $19 per agent per month.

6. LiveChat

Interface of LiveChat, a robust and affordable Intercom alternative

LiveChat is a great choice if you’re searching for an Intercom alternative that fits a smaller budget. LiveChat offers features to cater to businesses seeking support for sales, marketing, and customer service – all at a fraction of Intercom’s cost.

What sets LiveChat apart is its robust support tool that includes reporting, ticketing solutions, routing rules, and more. Its live chat tool is equally powerful, with automation, canned responses, chat transfers, and personalization features. All these elements combined make LiveChat an effective and affordable alternative to Intercom.

Pros of LiveChat:

  • Robust support tool with reporting and ticketing solutions.
  • Provides automation, canned responses, chat transfers, and personalization in live chat.
  • Cost-effective solution with a wide range of features.
  • Price: Starting at $16/agent per month.

7. Tidio

Tidio’s straightforward interface makes it a go-to choice for businesses requiring quick setup for customer support and marketing teams. Tidio can be easily set up using its WordPress plugin or JavaScript code, promising an approximate setup time of just five minutes.

Tidio excels in providing a range of support features like multi-channel communication, lead generation and nurturing, chatbot AI, and more. If your team is striving to meet customer support goals, a quick-start tool like Tidio could be a great solution.

Pros of Tidio:

  • Easy-to-use interface for quick setup.
  • Offers multi-channel communication, lead generation and nurturing, chatbot AI.
  • Ideal for teams requiring a quick boost in customer support.
  • Price: Free plan available. Premium live chat plans start at $15/operator per month.

8. Crisp

Crisp positions itself as an excellent tool for startups and small businesses due to its completely free plan and simple interface. It comes with a desktop or mobile app for your team and provides access to numerous features without needing a premium plan.

Crisp’s top features include co-browsing, a CRM, a shared inbox, a chatbot, a ticketing system, and more. Plus, it has several integrations like Slack, Zapier, Salesforce, and WhatsApp to make processes even easier for your team.

Pros of Crisp:

  • Offers a free plan and simple interface.
  • Provides co-browsing, CRM, shared inbox, chatbot, ticketing system, etc.
  • Supports integrations with tools like Slack, Zapier, Salesforce, and WhatsApp.
  • Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $25/month per website.

9. Twilio

Twilio is a cloud communications platform that allows developers to build, scale, and operate real-time communication within software applications. As an Intercom alternative, it stands out for its APIs for SMS, voice, and video communication, offering companies the ability to craft a communication infrastructure that suits their unique needs.

Twilio offers a high degree of customizability and flexibility, making it a great fit for businesses of all sizes looking to build a bespoke communication solution. Its APIs are robust and scalable, meaning they can easily support high volumes of communication, and the cloud-based architecture offers easy integration with other systems.

Pros of Twilio:

  • Provides APIs for SMS, voice, and video communication.
  • Highly customizable and scalable.
  • Cloud-based architecture for easy integration.
  • Price: Varies based on usage.

10. Drift

screenshot of Drift, an Intercom alternative focusing on conversational marketing

Drift shares similarities with Intercom in its strong focus on sales and marketing but is considered here due to its live chat and custom chatbot tools. Drift’s live chat tool lets businesses set appointments, answer questions, share help center articles and videos, send pricing information, and more.

According to its website, Drift’s main objective is revenue acceleration, a goal supported by its tools for sales, marketing, and customer support. If you’re looking for a flexible platform that doesn’t confine live chat strictly to support, Drift could be the tool for you.

Pros of Drift:

  • Strong emphasis on sales and marketing.
  • Offers robust live chat and custom chatbot tools.
  • Aims for revenue acceleration via sales, marketing, and support tools.
  • Price: Free plan available. Contact Drift for pricing for paid accounts.

Intercom Alternatives Comparison Table

SoftwareStandout FeaturesBest ForRatingPricing
IntercomPowerful sales and marketing focus, live chat and chatbot automationSales and marketing focused businesses4.5 / 5
via G2
Starting at $67/month
HelpCrunchHelp desk ticketing system, Facebook messenger chat integrations, multi-channel messagingMulti-channel messaging4.7 / 5 via G2$12/member per month
OlarkOrganized customer data, AI-powered bots, advanced insightsStandalone live chat4.3 / 5 via G2$29/seat per month
HubSpot Service HubAll-in-one suite for support, sales, marketing, and operationsLarge businesses already using HubSpot4.4 / 5 via G2$45 per month
ZendeskLarge suite of business solutions, Shared workspace, Knowledge base managementEnterprise companies4.3 / 5 via G2$19/agent per month
FreshdeskFunctionality to support businesses with call centers, omnichannel communicationCall center support4.4 / 5 via G2$15/agent per month
LiveChatRobust support tool with reporting, ticketing solutions, routing rulesSmaller budgets4.5 / 5 via G2$16/agent per month
TidioQuick setup, multi-channel communication, lead generation and nurturingQuick and easy setup4.7 / 5 via G2$15/operator per month
CrispCo-browsing, CRM, shared inbox, chatbot, ticketing systemStartups and small businesses4.5 / 5 via G2$25/month per website
TwilioFlexibility and scalability, robust API for communication solutionsCustomization and scalability4.4 / 5 via G2Varies based on usage
DriftStrong emphasis on sales and marketing, robust live chat and chatbot toolsConversational marketing4.4 / 5 via G2Contact Drift for pricing

Wrapping Up: Finding the Right Balance for Exceptional Customer Experience

In the end, the best Intercom alternative for your business will be one that ticks all the boxes for your specific needs. Whether it’s multi-channel support, affordable pricing, ease of use, or scalability, the right platform will not only help enhance your customer support but will also drive your business towards growth and success. Remember, your ultimate goal is to ensure an exceptional experience for your customers, and the tool you choose should be an enabler of that journey.

Choosing the right customer communication platform is crucial for your business, and it may come down to individual preference and specific needs. If you’re still torn between the popular choices, you might find our comparison of Intercom vs Zendesk helpful.

Happy hunting!

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