Alternatives

Intercom Alternatives: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Support Tools in 2023

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Intercom started from a chat widget, eventually adding more features to become one of the customer communications platforms. Today, it boasts a customer base of over 25,000 businesses that use it for its customer support features. 

However, saying Intercom is a feasible customer support platform for every business size would be an overstatement. Although it has helpful features like chatbot automation and live chat, it is outside the price range of early-stage startups. Also, Intercom's pricing isn't transparent, which can result in unexpected surprises for growing businesses. 

None of this is to say that Intercom isn't a good customer support solution. It's just not fit for everyone. 

That's where Intercom alternatives come in. The ones we've mentioned in this guide have excellent customer support features suitable for all kinds of businesses, including small startups.

14 Best Intercom Alternatives 

When selecting a customer support platform, most businesses look at two main things: pricing and support features. The following alternatives rank well on both these metrics. Let's check them out.

1. JustReply 

Best For: Full-fledged customer support for early-stage startups 
Pricing:
3 paid plans ranging from $15 to $399 per month 

JustReply is an AI-powered customer support tool that enables companies to offer support to their consumers through email, a help center, and live chat. 

Don't confuse it with an AI chatbot, though. That's not what it is. Instead, JustReply believes early-stage startups (before Series A) shouldn't automate customer support channels with an AI chatbot and should instead be more personal with their customers. That makes a lot of sense. 

Unlike old-school customer support Intercom alternatives that lack the flexibility of modern tools, JustReply boasts a minimalist design and lightning-fast technology to amp up the user experience. Even better, JustReply has transparent pricing. There are three paid plans, and you get to pick one. It's that simple — no hidden costs or nasty surprises down the line. 

Some notable features of JustReply include: 

Multichannel Support 

JustReply is available for the channel where you feel most comfortable. Be it live chat, email, voice support, or video support, JustReply allows you to do it all through the widget. 

Exceptional User Experience 

The following features make the user experience a delight: 

  • Speedy Setup: You can set up JustReply in no time to get started instantly. 
  • Minimalist Inbox: The clean inbox design makes finding messages a breeze.
  • Beautiful Help Center: Select from 3 minimalistic and visually stunning templates to make your help center look and feel accessible. 

Powerful Search 

Need to look for a message? Or a macro? Use the + k command to search for anything in your workspace. It makes navigating your support tool easier than ever. 

Smart Editor 

The Notion-like editor makes it simple to create and edit support articles. If you find yourself stuck at a point, use the ''++'' command to let AI autocomplete the article for you.

Slack

JustReply also integrates natively with Slack, enabling customer support agents to discuss, assign, respond and resolve conversations directly from within Slack.

2. Userpilot 

Screenshot of UserPilots dashboard
Intercom Alternative #2 - UserPilot

Best For: User onboarding and in-app support 
Pricing:
Starting at $249 per month (Enterprise plan requires custom quote)

Userpilot is a powerful in-app support tool that allows SaaS companies to design personalized onboarding experiences for their subscribers. It has plenty of features for in-app messaging, such as driven actions, modals, banners, slideouts, tooltips, and more. 

You can use checklists and interactive walkthroughs to guide your users through the onboarding process seamlessly. Plus, the AI-powered writing assistant lets you create quality copy for customer support. 

The built-in analytics features let you track customer engagement and product performance over time. More importantly, Userpilot also integrates with CRM, feedback, and analytics tools. 

3. Help Scout

Screenshot of Help Scout inbox
Intercom Alternative #3 - Helpscout

Best For: Customer support workflow automation 
Pricing:
Three plans, ranging from $20 to $65 

Help Scout claims to be a ''complete customer support solution.'' One of its highlighting features is the shared inbox, which allows easy collaboration on customer support issues. 

Other features include a library of saved replies, private notes, tags to automate workflows, conversation categorization, and reporting. Help Scout's AI also summarizes conversations to create a bulleted summary with a single click. 

You can also use it to compose helpful responses, adjust the tone, lengthen or shorten replies, check spellings, and even translate texts. 

4. Userlike

Screenshot of Userlike's dashboard
Intercom Alternative #4 - Userlike

Best For: Real-time customer communication 
Pricing:
Starting at $90 per month (Enterprise plan requires custom quote)

Userlike presents itself as a ''customer messaging platform'' with a focus on real-time communication and live chat. The platform also assists you in lead generation through its Messenger, which you can use to offer features like video calls and live translations. 

You can also create operator groups on Userlike, allowing customers to choose the department they want to talk to. Plus, the platform integrates with popular CRM and help desk tools to streamline your workflows. 

5. HelpCrunch 

Screenshot of HelpCrunchs dashboard
Intercom Alternative #5 - HelpCrunch

Best For: Multichannel customer messaging 
Pricing:
$20 per member per month or $495 per month for unlimited members 

HelpCrunch is among the most popular Intercom alternatives because it lets companies migrate from Intercom for free. The platform also offers a help desk ticketing system, where you can prioritize and categorize messages. 

But what differentiates HelpCrunch is its conversational marketing tools, such as automated messaging, email marketing, Facebook Messenger chat integrations, etc. 

Like JustReply, HelpCrunch is also available on multiple channels. You can reach customers through email, social media, chat, in-app messaging, and more. 

6. Pendo 

Screenshot of Pendo's dashboard
Intercom Alternative #6 - Pendo

Best For: Mobile-based customer support 
Pricing:
Starts at $8,000 per year (Growth and Portfolio plans require custom quotes)

Pendo distinguishes itself from the competition by serving as a prime customer support tool for businesses that want to provide support to their consumers through mobile apps. The platform works for web apps, too. 

Its main features include localization, advanced analytics, in-app guides, survey tools, and guide templates. You also get access to an NPS dashboard that helps you track your customer satisfaction levels and make data-driven decisions. 

7. Zendesk

Screenshot of Zendesk dashboard
Intercom Alternative #7 - Zendesk

Best For: Enterprise companies 
Pricing:
Starting at $55 per agent monthly (Suite Enterprise plan requires custom quote)

Chances are you've already heard of Zendesk due to its widespread use in large corporations. Like some other customer support solutions in our guide, Zendesk also offers omnichannel communication. You can reach customers through social messages, voice, chat, and email. 

Zendesk also has a help center where you can provide self-service options for customers, reducing the workload on your support team. Additionally, you can provide automated support through bots and predefined responses. 

With more than 1,000 integrations, Zendesk's marketplace lets you expand your customer support team's functionality. The analytics dashboard further helps you track your team's performance and identify areas for improvement.

8. HubSpot Service Hub

Decorative image of HubSpots service hub
Intercom Alternative #8 - HubSpot


Best For:
Growing businesses 
Pricing:
Three plans ranging from $18 to $1,200 per month (Free version is also available) 

HubSpot Service Hub initially offers customer relationship management (CRM) solutions but now has tools for support operations and automation, too. 

Its multichannel support extends to Facebook Messenger, live chat, email, etc. The customer support team can also use shared inboxes to collaborate and provide efficient support. 

Speaking of efficiency, the platform has conversational bots that can handle common customer questions and requests on your website or business app. There's a reporting dashboard to see your team's performance and customer satisfaction levels, too. 

9. Olark

Screenshot of Olarks conversation design
Intercom Alternative #9 - Olark

Best For: Live chat 
Pricing:
$29 per month 

Not every organization needs a comprehensive customer support solution. If you already have such a solution and only need to supplement it with live chat, Olark is a good option. 

Its live chat software allows you to help customers and gain useful insights to fuel your company's growth further. You also get access to AI-powered bots for message automation. 

Olark's other features include customer data storage, chat transcription, in-depth reporting, and conversation automation. The best part is its low pricing, which makes it accessible for small businesses. 

10. Freshdesk 

Screenshot of Freshdesk's dashboard
Intercom Alternative #10 - Freshdesk


Best For:
Ticketing and live chat 
Pricing:
Three plans, ranging from $15 to $79 per agent monthly (Free plan is also available for up to 10 agents) 

Freshdesk markets itself as a customer support tool to ''scale support experiences without scaling costs'' and rightfully so. Its integrated ticketing system makes it easier to manage customer queries from various channels, including email, social media, phone calls, and more. 

Similarly, your customer support team can help consumers through multiple channels, from social media to email. The ticket dispatch system ensures that the right ticket is assigned to the right agent. 

What makes Freshdesk stand out from other Intercom alternatives is its knowledge base creation feature that enables customers to find answers without needing support. Its collision detection is also impressive, preventing work duplication and saving time. 

11. Tidio

Screenshot of Tidio's dashboard
Intercom Alternative #11 - Tidio

Best For: Multilingual support through chat widget 
Pricing:
Five plans, from $29 to $394 

Tidio is an excellent customer support solution for companies with customers spread across the globe. The platform's multilingual chat widget supports Italian, German, French, English, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese by default. Businesses can also add new languages, depending on their customer base. 

Other features of Tidio include AI-powered responses and conversations that save your support team time they'd otherwise spend on repetitive replies. The platform also lets you offer multichannel support through social media, live chat, and email. 

It integrates with Facebook Messenger and Instagram, too, enabling you to respond to customers from these popular social media platforms. Tidio's satisfaction surveys give you insights into your customer service so you can make necessary improvements. 

12. Crisp 

Screenshot of Crisps dashboard
Intercom Alternative #12 - Crisp

Best For: Small businesses and startups 
Pricing:
Starting from $25 (Enterprise plan requires a custom quote) 

Crisp is suitable for small businesses, especially those operated by a single member or small team, because of its simple user interface and the free plan. It's available on both the mobile app and desktop, making it simple to support customers from any channel. 

The most noteworthy features of Crisp are: 

  • Ticketing System: Your support team can create tickets for customer inquiries, organize them by priority, and respond to them from a central dashboard. 
  • Shared Inbox: Here, you can collaborate with your team and assign conversations to specific members, reducing the workload for each person. 
  • Co-Browsing: Use it to provide real-time assistance to customers by accessing their browsers. 

More importantly, Crisp also integrates with software like Salesforce, Zapier, and Slack. You can even connect it to WhatsApp for swift communication. 

13. Zoho Desk 

Screenshot of Zoho's dashboard
Intercom Alternative #13 - Zoho


Best For:
Tracking customer requests 
Pricing:
Three plans ranging from $14 to $40 per user per month 

Zoho Desk is among the top-rated Intercom alternatives for customer support due to its exceptional customer agent productivity and ticket management features. First, it includes multichannel support through social media, instant messaging, live chat, telephone, and email. 

Second, it has helpful ticket management features to streamline customer inquiries. The AI-powered automation facility further reduces the workload for agents. 

Third, it has robust self-service features like a customizable help desk. Businesses also get access to custom reports through the dashboards to see different key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics like response time, ticket volume, and customer satisfaction. 

Zoho Desk integrates with a host of other tools like Slack, Salesforce, Zapier, Trello, and Microsoft Teams. You can even integrate it with Intercom. 

14. Twilio 

Screenshot of a Twilio commercial
Intercom Alternative #14 - Twilio


Best For:
Customer data management and personalized experiences 
Pricing:
Starting at $120 (Business plan requires a custom quote) 

Twilio offers many customer support features as other platforms but stands out due to its data management capabilities. The platform gives businesses a comprehensive customer view, including communication history, to improve engagement and build relationships. 

Key features of Twilio include: 

  • Flex: It's a contact center product businesses can use to create a personalized omnichannel customer experience.
  • Engage: The tool allows businesses to provide personalized customer experience. 
  • Segment: This is where you manage customer information. 

Twilio also offers WhatsApp and SMS integrations.

Takeaway 

Are you ready to make a decision yet? The Intercom alternatives we've listed above cover all the bases, even the ones the Intercom misses. 

Take a thorough look at your requirements and needs. Then, decide what's important to your business. Once you have a list of must-haves, dive back into this list to choose the Intercom alternative that checks all your boxes. 

Don't hesitate to test a few platforms. Most of them have free trials or demos you can take advantage of without fearing that you may lose your money. Nevertheless, they are all more affordable than Intercom, so it’s worth trying.

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