If you’re looking for an advanced customer communications platform, chances are you’ll love Intercom… until you see the pricing 😬
Perhaps you already use it, but it’s becoming quite costly as your business needs increase.
On the other hand, it takes so much time to customize the tool and collect the data that you probably don’t want to go through the same process again.
What if we told you there are Intercom alternatives that provide just as many functionalities (and even more) at a much more reasonable price? Customerly, the tool we created even has a built-in Intercom importer that transfers all your data automatically.
Sounds too good to be true?
Luckily, it’s not. Let’s look at 14 best Intercom alternatives to try for your business!
14 Best Intercom Alternatives
The best Intercom alternative for Customer Support, Marketing Automation and Customer Satisfaction is Customerly. It’s tailored for B2B SaaS and here is a quick video on the key features.
Customerly is the most sophisticated behavioral messaging platform that helps you send the right message at the right time to your target audience.
We offer a wide range of services, including:
- Customer support
- Marketing automation
- Customer satisfaction
You can keep all of your customer-related campaigns centralized in Customerly.
It’s no surprise that Customerly is the #1 Intercom alternative for an easy and painless switch.
Here are some benefits Customerly offers to improve customer satisfaction and communication.
Customerly’s goal is to help centralize all communications. This means you can have all data about your users, teams, and conversations in a single, shared inbox.
What does this look like?
On the left side, you can find:
- Scheduled and mentioned messages
- Search bar
This means that you can easily mention any of your teammates and assign them conversations.
You can also schedule messages for later, filter them based on several criteria and make tags that show the progress of each conversation. To save everybody’s time, you can set up your own canned responses with one short key in a second.
This brings us to one of the most exciting features — the template builder. You can drag and drop text blocks, images, gifs, buttons, and many more without any coding knowledge.
You can use these templates for:
If you don’t know where to start, Customerly also offers a rich library of pre-made templates that you can use.
Moving on to the right side now. Here, you can get all details about your users. This includes:
- User information
- Conversation history
- Contact notes
Customerly also offers inline instant translation to help you communicate with people all over the world. In case your customers need more than a written note, you can start a video call within the chat. No need to use any additional video conferencing tools. Pretty cool, right?
Now let’s talk a bit more about Customerly’s Help center.
Did you know that the average cost for each support ticket is $5? Plus, research shows that 67% of people actually prefer self-service over a talk with a human agent.
So why not give people all the information that they need?
Customerly helps you make a rich knowledge base that people can access within the chat widget. They don’t even have to switch tabs to open articles – they can read everything they need in a single place. Here’s how it works:
- Create a database of frequently discussed topics by adding relevant articles to the help center.
- Identify keywords within this database that people may look for.
Customerly then automatically matches customer requests to keywords and sends the right info to the customer. The best thing is that people can read all articles within the chat widget without opening new tabs.
Voila, customer crisis avoided and money saved!
Customerly’s goal is to redefine customer-centric communication. This is where workflows come into play.
You can use workflows to cover different campaigns, such as:
- Behavioral-based followup
- Customer reviews
- Account recovery
- Upgrade recovery
Customerly workflows are very easy to make. First, you need to create a list of contacts and identify the end goal of your emails. Second, you can create an email template (or simply choose from Customerly database). Finally, you must determine which emails or chats you want to automate and adjust the settings accordingly.
To emphasize the importance of workflows, let us share some numbers. One of our clients reported a 20% increase in customer engagement after implementing Customerly workflows.
With Customerly, you can send quick surveys (starts with plenty of templates) to be answered directly through the live chat feature. This method provides up to 65% more responses than email surveys.
Customerly also tracks customer loyalty to your brand by emailing Net Promotor Score—NPS—surveys that provide immediate customer feedback.
You can use this feedback to identify what people enjoy the most and everything you need to improve.
Video Live Chat Support
Live chat widgets are available through many, if not all, Intercom alternatives on our list. Customerly, however, takes it up a notch with live video chat services to strengthen personal relationships with clients and ultimately increase revenue.
This feature provides real-time support to customers via desktop or mobile app. The built-in screen share option encourages a live step-by-step tutorial for customers to avoid any doubts or unanswered questions about their inquiries.
Improvements can’t be made without first measuring success. This is why Customerly believes in making reports for everything!
- Chat Reports tell you how many conversations you get, how many you answer and how many are completed in one day.
- Agent Reports show team performance. They prevent problems from happening with key metrics to follow progress.
- Help Center Reports show you what articles from your Help Center are used the most and which aren’t as useful.
- Failed Search Reports tell you what your customers are asking without getting any results. They can indicate what articles should be added to the help center.
You’ll be shocked when you see Customerly’s affordability with all these features and more.
- ESSENTIAL – $7/month (3 teammates) – $2.33 per teammate
- Ideal for solo entrepreneurs or small groups that need a centralized inbox and a good marketing tool for delivering product updates
- STARTUP – $39/month (6 teammates) – $6.5 per teammate
- This plan is intended for small teams that need unified communication and more marketing automation features. It encompasses everything in the basic plan plus marketing and email automation with a long list of integrations available.
- PRO – $82/month (10 teammates) – $8.2 per teammate
- Customerly’s most popular plan for established companies offers a complete suite for automation. Everything on the startup plan includes video calling, NPS, in-app surveys and preset canned responses.
- ENTERPRISE – $249/month (unlimited teammates)
- Large teams benefit most from this option because it offers unlimited chat history and a tailored number of contacts for each business. All the features from the pro plan are present in addition to team reports, live translations, tailored onboarding and extremely rapid support.
“I love that you can set up a knowledgebase along with a live chat for all visitor inquiries. Gone are the days when I’d have to use multiple software.”
These are companies that switched from Customerly to Intercom and found a great Intercom alternative at a fairer price.
Fatture in cloud: Leading Italian Invoicing Software counting 500K active users, switched from Intercom 6 years ago and increased ARPU with dedicated customer satisfaction tools.
Here is Daniele, CEO at Fatture in Cloud, who sent us a video review of their experience in searching for an intercom alternative and their successes by using Customerly toolset.
Paymo: Helps small businesses manage their projects from planning to invoicing and everything in between. “We wanted to switch from Intercom because it became unbearably expensive, and we tried to find a reliable app that could offer the same features at a more affordable price.”
Nibol: Their mission is to make people free to work and connect anywhere they feel happier. “Customerly not only has Messaging, Live Chat, NPS, and Help Centre exactly as we needed, it also has a team that constantly supports us in making the best use of the tool”. Switched from Intercom in 2022.
HelpCrunch is another highly-rated Intercom alternative to consider. This platform prides itself on its multi-channel customer support.
You can stay connected to your customer base on one dashboard—regardless of the conversation’s origin.
People usually love HelpCrunch because of its transparent pricing, customer-centric support team and customizable chat.
You can also use the help center as a full-time self-service solution for customers, reducing support costs.
- You have access to unlimited chats and contacts.
- The free migration tool helps transfer data smoothly.
- Integration ability connects HelpCrunch to other apps and tools.
- One shared space controls and centralizes chats on many channels.
- Many users reported frequent bugs in vital systems such as notifications and untimely messaging triggers.
- Cancelation results in immediate termination of a subscription with no refund for the remainder of the subscription period.
- FREE TRIAL – 14 days
- BASIC – $12 pp/month
- PRO – $20 pp/month
“Excellent price point and has all the most important features I was looking for. Support has been excellent for me so far to help me get started. It also has a multilingual feature that I absolutely need for my Canadian customers.”
Olark is a live chat software system that allows you to engage with customers instantly. Website visitors can easily contact your business directly through a chatbot on your website with this live chat feature.
The live chat system permanently saves chat transcripts for future reference. This means that you can use keyword searches through old chats to find a solution quickly.
Using these transcripts, you can also form canned responses for shortcut replies when dealing with frequently addressed topics.
- The user-friendly interface is straightforward and fits most website designs.
- Live chat software quickly puts customers in direct communication with a company.
- Transcripts filled with product feedback track customer satisfaction.
- The integration system is difficult to manipulate and requires the need for outside applications.
- There is a lack of necessary customization features for individual businesses because of the one-size-fits-all approach of the software.
- There isn’t a mobile app for users to respond on the go.
- FREE TRIAL – 14 days
- BASIC – $29 pp/month
- PRO – unique pricing plan
“Olark offered the basic features that you’ll need for your business to start chatting with customers on your website. It has an easy-to-use interface. Chat is another avenue to engage with customers who are not willing to call or email.”
Crisp is primarily known as one of the cheaper Intercom alternatives when it comes to customer service software. They even offer a free limited plan.
The advanced ticketing system streamlines customer communication. All support agents can view tickets simultaneously using this system. The option to create automated messages for each ticket is also helpful when the team is extra busy or out-of-office.
- Crisp is affordable and offers a free basic plan for new businesses.
- It has an advanced ticketing system that puts all customer communications in one shared inbox.
- An interactive video game entertains website visitors while they wait for a response.
- There is no keyword search option within chats and using designated search filters is complicated.
- This customer service platform doesn’t track many essential customer satisfaction metrics and therefore lacks reporting abilities.
- It only works well for small companies because of some missing essential features—like private inboxes and team chat widgets.
- ESSENTIAL – free forever plan (2 people)
- PRO – $25/month (4 people)
- UNLIMITED – 95$/month (20 people)
“I love the feature set they have, and the support is very responsive. We are using the service for 6 months since launched MVP and going to upgrade soon as the activity is increasing. I also love their different language feature as we are servicing clients globally.”
Freshdesk is good for growing businesses because the pricing plan is agent-dependent. You can easily add additional customer support staff to the account at any time and the price of the selected plan increases accordingly.
Another reason Freshdesk is one of the popular Intercom alternatives is advanced security. The company performs frequent network and system audits to ensure maximum user protection and data protection.
- The Freshdesk messaging system lets you see all messages in one place no matter what media they are initiated on.
- Multiple service representatives can handle the same conversation together using shared ownership.
- Integrations are available with multiple social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
- It is impossible to manage customer feedback about products and services in an organized way.
- There is no centralized location that includes all client information relevant when answering customer concerns and handling inquiries.
- A deficit in the customer service department is known to cause a shortage of direct, quick responses.
- FREE – free plan (10 agents)
- GROWTH – $18 pp/month
- PRO – $59 pp/month
- ENTERPRISE – $95 pp/month
“The interface is intuitive and customizable, and the canned responses save a great deal of time for my team and me. The interface allows us to see all open tickets and of all closed tickets, and there is a search function that has never failed me”
Twilio is one of the most data-based Intercome alternatives on the list. The Twilio Segment customer data platform—CDP—provides insight into each customer with immediate first-party information.
This customizable application on this software offers a unique experience for each business. This includes everything from marketing campaigns to the flexible cloud contact center.
- Twilio Live is a space where you can build interactive audio and video to live-stream for clients.
- Twilio Frontline safely connects customers to employees from anywhere.
- Twilio Segment personalizes campaigns on different channels and involves a single API to collect and unify customer data on the database.
- Recently, many Twilio phone numbers have been blocked by phone companies making it hard to get in touch with your client base.
- The API account is not very marketer-friendly and is more geared toward developers.
- The setup of the customer service software requires a knowledge of code and is complex.
- FREE TRIAL – includes limited complimentary account balance
- FLEXIBLE – feature usage-based pricing plans
- SendGrid Email API – $14.95/month
- WhatsApp Business API – $0.005/message
- Programmable Messaging – $0.0075/message
“Fantastic service for the money they ask for! Twilio is a wonderful tool for building an infrastructure for making phone calls and sending SMS messages. Certainly, it has a learning curve, but overall it’s much easier to get set up and running than most of its competitors in the industry.”
7. Hubspot Service Hub
Hubspot is a pretty popular name in the sales and marketing industry. It makes sense that they would branch out and offer a customer service hub to their repertoire.
This could be a practical Intercom alternative for you if you already use other Hubspot tools. Being familiar with the desk software makes it easier to get started using the live chat, omnichannel messaging platform and inbound calling features.
- Hubspot has a straightforward customer portal where customers can guide their own experience and see their chat history with service reps.
- VoIP calling is available to make calls to your clientele directly through the platform.
- The CRM used in the service hub is well-known and has already proven to be highly functional in marketing and sales.
- The customer portal is short on features, only offering ticket tracking.
- The conversation search feature is said to be inaccurate with mismatching results when trying to encounter an exact phrase or word.
- Initially, it takes a while to set up your account and get used to the abundance of information and tools available.
- FREE – free plan for basic CRM
- STARTER – $45/month (2 people)
- PROFESSIONAL – $375/month (5 people)
- ENTERPRISE – $1,200/month (10 people)
“HubSpot Marketing Hub is easy to use and includes many excellent tools to help marketers do their job. Nothing feels clunky or like a disjointed, hamfisted acquisition add-on. The HubSpot team constantly adds new functionality and features, driving more value to users.”
Automation is key to Drift customer relationship management. The AI-powered customer service chatbots give assistance immediately and can be customized to fit the unique look of your business.
Drift’s main objective is growing your revenue and pipeline. That is why the live chat feature is not only used by the support agents, but also by the sales and marketing team. You have the ability to assist, up-sell and advertise all in one conversation.
Here is an extensive comparison between Intercom and Drift.
- Self-service bots autonomously answer customer requests at lightning speed so nobody is ignored or put on hold.
- Service metrics such as CSAT score and deflection rate are calculated for the future optimization of your business.
- Drift mobile app for IOS and Android is a great way to keep in touch with customers on busy days.
- The Drift code has been reported to have a relatively slow loading time on websites that delays the customer experience.
- There is no way to organize your customer base by region unless they are located in Canada or the US.
- Bots require constant upkeep and management and will malfunction if left unattended.
- FREE – free plan available (1 seat)
- PLANS – Prices not disclosed
- PREMIUM – small businesses (estimated $600/month for 10 seats)
- ADVANCED – medium businesses
- ENTERPRISE – large businesses
“It is helpful that the platform is able to understand what human is saying and know what part of the website to point someone to. It can also send PDFs of white pages that someone may have an interest in seeing.”
LiveAgent is an Intercom alternative that communicates its priority through its name. A ticketing system controls live chat conversations. In these convos, live chat agents utilize customer profiles when answering customer questions.
It’s one of the great live chat Intercom alternatives with an extensive list of 135 features. Animated chat button and personalization components give LiveAgent an edge up in the market.
- Agent collision detection prevents multiple agents from working on the same ticket simultaneously to increase efficiency.
- It’s possible to video call with customers and colleagues through the call center system.
- The tool offers 212 seamless integrations including Slack, Gmail and Optimal Call.
- The fact that everything is customizable means that you need to take time to manually adjust features.
- User experience can be complicated because chat history can’t be saved. If you accidentally log-out you need to start the exchange again.
- FREE – free limited plan available (1 person)
- TICKET – $15 pp/month
- TICKET & CHAT – $29 pp/month
- ALL-INCLUSIVE – $49 pp/month
“LiveAgent is a really eas to set up tool which heps us a lot in our day to day work. It takes a lot of work from us and offers a really simple but great overview about all your problems. It is very beneficial and worth it’s money for sure.”
The coolest thing about ClickDesk is the video chat feature. Customer support agents can give detailed explanations through a video chat with their customers in just one click.
ClickDesk also offers a mobile app for its powerful live chat tool. This functionality is super flexible and supports quality customer interactions. Live chat mobile makes it simple to answer customer questions from any place at any time.
- Live chat software on ClickDesk includes video and voice messaging capabilities to make explaining complex solutions easier.
- Social media integration increases traffic by connecting to the customer through the live chat app.
- Various reviews described the customer support department as subpar with long wait times and no refund policy.
- ClickDesk software always requires an internet connection and is not convenient when you are out of the office.
- FREE – free plan for 10 users
- LITE – $14.99 pp/month
- PRO – $24.99 pp/month
- ENTERPRISE – $39.99 pp/month
“Very user friendly for the agents, no need to be tech savvy to use it, easy implementation, great knowledge base.”
LiveChat is for those looking for a more direct help desk software without all the bells and whistles. It is made to support customers without a complicated setup or time-consuming app modifications.
LiveChat’s interactive messaging platform shares announcements, promotes new products and interacts with customers on a more personal level. On this platform you can reach out to clients with a personalized message based on their profile and behavior on your site.
- It’s simple to save and reuse canned responses with a convenient hash-tag search tool to speed things up.
- The 14-day trial lets users explore all the features listed on the team plan for free.
- Tagging conversations according to their context, with department name or title of the issue filters, reports in an organized way.
- LiveChat pricing is relatively expensive when compared to other Intercom alternatives.
- The chats are not customizable based on appearance and are pretty basic as far as design goes.
- FREE TRIAL – 14 days
- STARTER – $24 pp/month
- TEAM – $49 pp/month
- BUSINESS – $69 pp/month
“Live chat provides a rapid and personalized communication with your clients which helps you grab your clients attention and get business from them. Live chat has very customer focused approach and it provides the right tools to help your business.”
HelpScout has been in the game since 2011. It has the quality customer service experience it takes to be a great Intercom alternative.
The highest-rated features include email-to-case, ticket response user experience and the centralized customer portal. Helpscout can help you increase company productivity by 52% through an organized inbox and task automation.
The tool’s customer support software fits well with companies of all sizes and client bases, from small businesses to giant enterprises.
- A collaborative shared inbox simplifies multi-departmental customer inquiries and provides a channel for private note-sharing with co-workers.
- The customer management section saves customer information to individual profiles so that they can be looked up during future conversations.
- Beacon is a Helpscout tool that suggests relative help content and gives a customer access to their company-wide chat history.
- Duplicate help tickets and profiles are often created for the same client and require after-the-fact manual merging.
- Finding old tickets once a case is closed can be tiresome and takes a lot of digging.
- The list of available integrations is not as extensive as other Intercom alternatives.
- FREE TRIAL – 15 days
- STANDARD – $25 pp/month
- PLUS – $50 pp/month
- PRO – $65 pp/month annual plan
“Very easy to set up and maintain a workflow. As a result, our customers are very happy with the human support and self-service received. Docs are awesome – our team can plan accordingly, write and publish the product documentation in one place.”
Zendesk holds its efficient ticketing system in pretty high regard. It can organize, set a status and transfer tickets rapidly to decrease customer wait time.
Zendesk help desk software provides cross-channel support through a centralized CRM that is marketed mainly toward larger businesses. The software can increase ROI by strengthening employee satisfaction and saving big on licensing.
- The self-service feature has an extensive knowledge base to help website visitors find the answer before contacting you.
- Zendesk offers more than 1000 integrations with common business apps.
- The ticketing system is the gold standard and is more reliable when compared to Intercom.
- The AI chatbots are complicated to set up and control if you don’t have prior experience.
- There is no email campaign marketing offered through Zendesk.
- The company support staff does not always know details about all the extensive features available in the more expensive plans, leaving you to figure them out on your own.
- FREE TRIAL – 14 days
- SUITE TEAM – $49 pp/month
- SUITE GROWTH – $79 pp/month
- SUITE PROFESSIONAL – $99 pp/month
“It gives you the freedom and tools to develop a structure in your customer support channels while maintaining flexibility to adapt to your needs. Evaluations of competitors have shown a higher degree of personalization.”
The main objective of this Intercom alternative is to combine customer service with sales to generate more revenue. This is done through the live chat widget, chatbot tools and the offering of various discounts during the user experience journey.
Not to mention, the free account with Tidio is one of the last-standing free Intercom alternatives available and includes a lifetime of unlimited conversations.
- Facebook Messenger integration is the most popular integration used with Tidio.
- Customer inquiries are departmentalized based on whether they require assistance with sales, support or finance.
- There is a decent free lifetime plan available for 1 agent that includes basic features and software needed for quality customer service.
- Many user reviews mention that the notification sounds on Tidio are equally loud and mismatched for the client and support team members.
- The integrations are lackluster in comparison to other intercom alternatives.
- The user can’t change plans once they sign up for an account and are stuck with the plan they initially chose.
- FREE – free limited plan available (1 person)
- COMMUNICATOR – $19 pp/month
- CHATBOTS – $39 pp/month
- TIDIO+ – $289 pp/month
“Being able to see when an active visitor is on the site, and being able to take over the chat when the boot is unable to continue to increase the interactions with the customer.”
Why search for Intercom alternatives?
As you probably know by now, Intercom is a popular customer communication platform that is used for sales and customer support. Its most notable features include a modern messenger and interactive live chat installable on any website.
So…why should anyone be searching for the best Intercom alternatives in 2022?
Intercom is expensive. Companies with limited budgets are no longer able to afford this once-novel business messenger software.
Besides, the Intercom alternatives provided on the list above have similar features and are cheap as chips in comparison!
2. Customer service
It’s been said that the Intercom customer service department needs to step its game up, especially considering the company offers customer service software!
Customers are searching for viable Intercom alternatives because of delayed responses and the passing around of tickets through departments with no answer in the end.
Bugs happen, we get it. However, fewer glitches are expected from a senior customer service platform such as Intercom.
These Intercom bugs are highly evident in their email automation tool feature. These software problems have also been reported as long-standing, among other important company features.
How to find the best intercom alternative?
Finding the best Intercom alternative really depends on what your company prioritizes from its customer service platform.
- Does your business rely heavily on social media for inquiries or customer engagement?
You probably want to choose an Intercom alternative that integrates well with big names in social media—Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp for example.
- Is your business expected to grow exponentially within the upcoming years?
It’s important to consider a transparent flexible pricing plan which allows enough interactions compared to the traditional contact-based pricing plans. You won’t be charged per contact anymore but only with the contact, you are interacting with. Also, you need to be able to add service agents for a reasonable fee.
- Are you tired of poor customer service quality from your current customer service support provider?
Choose Intercom alternatives that focus on addressing any issues with real solutions. i.e. How to get more opens of your email campaigns.
Different Intercom alternatives will work for different businesses. You must choose a software solution that aligns with your company’s specific goals and objectives.
Intercom Alternatives Comparison Table
|Standout Features||Pro Plan Price||Offers Free Plan|
|Customerly||Unlimited Contacts & Intuitive Help Center & NPS Score Surveys||$82/month (10 users)||YES|
|Help Crunch||Unlimited Chats & Contacts||$20/month |
|Olark||Report Transcripts||Unique Pricing||NO|
|Crisp||Advanced Ticketing System||$25/month |
|Freshdesk||Shared Conversations||$59/month |
|Twilio||Multi-Media Personalized Campaigns||Flexible Pricing||NO|
|Hubspot||VoIP Direct Calling||$375/month (5 users)||YES|
|Drift||Self-Service Bots||$600/month (10 users)||YES|
|LiveAgent||212 Integrations||$29/month |
|ClickDesk||Live Chat Video & Voice Messaging||$25/month |
|LiveChat||“#”-Driven Canned Responses||$49/month|
|HelpScout||Collaborative Inbox Note Sharing||$65/month |
|Zendesk||Organized Ticketing||$79/month |
|Tidio||Facebook Messenger Integration||$39/month |
To conclude, it’s all about quality customer support and communication channels when trying to boost business.
Intercom is not the only player in the game and certainly not the g.o.a.t. in customer service. With over 800 customer service software listed on the G2 website, you can be sure there is a better solution.
Take Customerly for a test drive with the 14-day free trial to really experience the difference that the best Intercom alternative can make for your customers!
Who are Intercom’s competitors?
Intercom competitors are customer service platforms offering features and software similar to Intercom but at a better price. They include customer services software companies such as Customerly, HelpCrunch and Orlark.
Is Intercom like Zendesk?
Intercom and Zendesk are both customer service platforms that offer similar features but are not the same. Zendesk’s features focus on personalized messaging, while Intercom has more variety of broader software and customer service tools.
Can I use Intercom for free?
Intercom offers a 14-day free trial for customers who enter their credit card details at sign-up. After the 14-day trial period, there is no free plan available with Intercom.