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Top 5 Intercom Alternatives in 2024 based on 34,000+ Reviews

60% of business leaders say that providing excellent customer service increases client retention.1 Intercom, which initially emerged as a chat widget provider, has extended its capabilities to serve as help desk software. While Intercom seems like a complete product, it may not be the optimal solution for your organization, since different companies have unique demands. There might be other alternatives on the market that can better fulfill the demands of your organization.

In this article, we list the potential limitations of Intercom based on its ratings, price plans, and user reviews; and examine top Intercom alternatives to help tech buyers on their B2B buying journey.

Comparison of Intercom and its top 5 alternatives

VendorsTotal reviews*Average rating*
Zendesk Support Suite10,3464.2/5
Salesforce Service Cloud4.5814.4/5
Zoho Desk7,1824.4/5

Freshdesk
6,5934.4/5
Intercom4,3564.5/5

Front
2,2504.5/5

*Review counts and average ratings are based on G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius data as of 09/30/2023.

Note: With Zendesk Support Suite and Salesforce Service Cloud at the top of the list, other vendors are ranked according to their total number of reviews.

VendorsLow-code no-code Self-service optionsCustomer feedback Visual remote assistanceService cloud voiceSoftware integrations
Supported languages

Zendesk Support Suite
In premium plans1200+30+
Salesforce Service CloudLow codeAdd-onIn premium plans2500+35+
Zoho Desk5000+40+

Freshdesk
650+30+
IntercomNo codeAdd-on350+44+

Front
No information is available.100+

Vendor selection criteria

Considering there are numerous cloud contact center vendors, the lists (above) are narrowed down based on the given vendor criteria below

  • Number of reviews: 2,000+ total reviews on G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. 
  • Average rating: 4.0+/5 on G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius.

Intercom

Intercom is a customer communications service used by 45,000+ customers that allows companies to communicate with their users and customers for customer support, lead generation, email marketing automation, and product marketing.

Pricing (per seat/month, billed annually)

  • Essential: $392
  • Advanced: $993
  • Expert: $139 4
  • A 14-day free trial is available, then costs you $0.99 per resolution.5

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.5/5
  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Trustradius: 8.8/10

Cons

Complex pricing: It might be more expensive than other live chat software choices, especially for large enterprises. The pro/premium element plans can lead to $1000+ costs per seat/ month.

Source: Intercom 6

Figure 1: Price structure of Intercom

Unfair billing: The ‘people reached’ are the individual users who received at least one outbound message from you in the previous 30 days. Your fee could vary based on the number of users who communicated with bots or received an outbound email, message, or phone call.

You can reach 1,000 individuals with the starter plan, however, if you exceed that limit, you will be charged for an additional 1,000 reaches priced at $15 additional user/month for the starter plan (see figure 2).

Source: Intercom 7

Figure 2: Intercom’s pricing example for additional people (for starter plan, monthly billed)

Poor customer service: Users who tried to receive information on a feature cannot get it since they don’t have an “annual subscription”, the platform’s customer support team frequently ignores and shifts tickets to other departments. 8

Limited features on non-premium plans: Some users think that premium plan features such as customized analytics can be more accessible. Users believe having time-limited demos of features would be more engageable for prospective early adopters.910

Next to zero reporting or analytics: Some reviewers mentioned that the reporting features are not advanced, and it does not offer well-optimized statistics.11

Long inquiry response time: The customer support team’s first response time is long, some users had to wait 3 days in chat to explain the problem and to get an answer.12

Top 5 Intercom alternatives

1- Zendesk Support Suite

Zendesk, founded in Denmark, has been providing online omnichannel help desk services since 2007. Zendesk is exclusively focused on CX. The platform lets IT, marketing, customer service, and HR departments control, manage, and schedule support inquiries from a single location. You may service clients through their chosen channels through live chat/help center, email, phone, and social media integration via a unified workspace.

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.3/5
  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • Trustradius: 7.9/10

Pricing (user/mo, billed annually)

  • Suite team: $5513
  • Suite growth: $8914
  • Suite professional: $11515
  • Suite enterprise: Contact with the vendor

Pros

Multi-channel support: Customers say the platform has an exceptional customer relationship management and support system that simplifies ticket management, and customer experience which enables them to integrate with email, phone, live chat, and messaging apps.16

Successful cross-platform integrations: ZenDesk efficiently integrates with other popular applications, such as CRM or project management systems, improving customer management and workflow efficiency.17

Unified workspace: It enables the customer success team to have a 360° view of the customer tickets, resulting in high customer satisfaction.18

Automated ticket process: It streamlines the ticketing process, when an inquiry is created or closed, a notification email is automatically sent to the customer, hereby, shortening the response times.19

Cons

Visibility can be improved: It is difficult to monitor end users and track/record tickets since Zendesk’s interface has just a tiny sidebar text box with no central repository.20

Hidden costs: There are additional costs for features that they claim are “included with your subscription”.21

Sales support calls are misleading: Some users have charged extra for inconclusive sales calls.22

Limited features on basic plans: Services such as live chat and messaging, as well as self-service software are only offered on high-cost growth and professional plans.

2- Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is a fully customizable all-in-one customer service and help desk platform that integrates seamlessly with other Salesforce products. Founded in 1999, Salesforce helps businesses of all sizes and industries in their digital transformation process in customer service by leveraging the power of real-time data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation. 

Pricing (seat/mo)

  • Starter: $2523
  • Professional: $8024
  • Enterprise: $16525
  • Unlimited: $33026

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.3/5
  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • Trustradius: 8.9/10

Pros

Detailed analytics and reporting: Users draw attention to the platform’s robust analytics and reporting capabilities providing meaningful insights such as key performance indicators highlighting response times and customer satisfaction rates.27

User-friendly reporting for non-tech people: Service Cloud is simple to use, and users emphasize that they achieve nearly 100% adoption by using the intuitive interface, enhancing productivity.28

Top-notch customer service: Service Cloud is a powerful customer service tool, and its customer support team assists users in resolving complex operational and technical issues by constantly communicating with the users to find a tailor-fit solution to their problems.29

Streamlined workflow: Service Cloud can easily integrate with robotic process automation solutions. It is simple to connect with social networks for client inquiries, delivering workflow automation in the workplace and allowing the customer service team to seamlessly integrate multiple communication methods.30

Transparent billing: It has a transparent billing policy. Customers who want a customizable plan can clearly understand the price of each additional feature.31

Cons

Long report generation time: Service Cloud may become rather sluggish when using reporting functions.32

An insufficient number of metrics: More metrics and AI solutions can be added to enhance new features such as omni-channel routing, simplified troubleshooting, and deployment alternatives.33

Complex deployment and adaptation: It is complex to deploy and navigate the platform, which requires serious setup procedures to adapt to effectively match unique business demands.34

Expensive licensing: The licensing expenses related to certain features and user licenses may be too expensive for smaller businesses.35

3- Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk service for organizations, trusted by over 100,000 businesses worldwide, offering customer support ticket management and client relationship management.

Pricing (seat/mo, starting from)

  • Express: $7.0036
  • Standard: $14.0037
  • Professional: $23.0038
  • Enterprise: $40.0039
  • A 15-day free trial is available for up to 3 seats.

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5
  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Trustradius: 8.9/10

Pros

Powerful integration: Zoho Desk works effectively with other Zoho products and third-party applications, creating a streamlined workflow.40

Easy to use: Zoho Desk is a highly practical, simple-to-use, and convenient customer service tool that assists users in solving inquiries successfully.41

Reporting and analytics: The reporting and analytics provide detailed insights into operations, enabling users to see patterns, monitor performance, and make data-driven modifications.42

Multi-channel support: Zoho combines chat, email, and social media into one integrated platform, which simplifies communication and guarantees that no client query is unanswered.43

Cons

Poor customer service communication: Receiving support and clear replies from the customer service agent is problematic.44

Confusing features: It is unclear what features are available and how they should be combined to develop a customized self-service support desk.45

Insufficient customization: Zoho Desk lacks customization.46

For more information about Zoho Desk and its alternatives please check out our data-driven and transparent article on Zoho Desk Alternatives.

4- Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a customer service software to optimize your company’s client support. It provides seamless support across numerous channels, including chat, e-mail, phone, social media platforms, and AI bots, in a single platform. Freshdesk assists your team in saving time, processing tickets, and minimizing repeated manual labor by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), and automation.

Pricing (seat/mo)

  • Growth: $15.0047
  • Omni-channel growth: $29.0048
  • Pro: $48.9949
  • Omni-channel pro: $59.0050
  • Enterprise: $69.0051
  • Omni-channel enterprise: $99.0052

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5
  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Trustradius: 8.6/10

Pros

User-friendly UI: The UI is highly user-friendly and simple, with no unimportant features floating about, enabling users to effortlessly categorize and prioritize multiple subjects.53

Multi-channel support: Freshdesk features a unified workplace by streamlining contacts and conversations between customers and service teams. It includes a variety of autonomous interfaces, such as phone, email, social media, and chat to help with productivity and efficiency. It promotes a wider reach and better documentation of customer engagement and communication.54

Automation: Freshworks’ automation features help to reduce manual tasks, improve efficiency, and guarantee quick responses to customer conversations. The platform’s automated ticketing system allows businesses to arrange and prioritize customer queries and collect specific information from customers, facilitating unique and efficient responses.55

Extensive knowledge base: Collection of articles, FAQs, and self-help guides reduces support tickets, helping customers to find solutions by themselves.56

Cons

Expensive for small businesses: For small businesses or startups, the price options might be exceedingly costly.  Freshdesk could introduce cheaper plans or more flexible pricing plans.57

The spam feature can be improved: The spam filter can be extremely restrictive, mistakenly categorizing requests as spam and then filtering them wrongly.

5- Front

Front is a customer service platform that emphasizes human interaction. Front’s goal is to build deep, individual connections with clients rather than consider them as tickets to simplify communication while providing superior service at scale.

Pricing (seat/mo, billed annually)

Starter: $1558

Growth: $4959

Scale: $7960

User Ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5
  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Trustradius: 8.6/10

Pros

Rapid customer service: The service team quickly responds to emails.61

High number of plug-in and integration options: Users appreciate a vast number of plug and software integration options, enabling them to smooth user experience.62

Cons

No calendar feature: The app lacks the Calendar feature, users can’t check the calendar.63

Gaps in display: Users want a more responsive design to use the screen on small or large displays, without having gaps.

Nested emails: When numerous emails with an identical title arrive on the same date, Front will nest them together, causing service providers to make errors.64

For more on customer service software

Check out our other articles on customer relationship management and help desk software to learn about other popular options like Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud, Freshdesk, or Front:

Transparency statement

AIMultiple serves numerous tech companies, such as Salesforce and Zendesk.

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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