Are you looking for the more affordable (or better) solution than Intercom? Go no further, because this is going to be your only resource for that.
Whether you want to become the new Customer Success Hero, or you want to triple your website conversions with live chat, each of these tools will help you to do that. 🚀
So, the 4 best Intercom alternatives (by our research and opinion) are:
Believe me, I know the struggles you're facing right now - so I decided to do extensive research on the best Intercom alternatives.
Don't get us wrong - Intercom is a really great tool. But like everything else, it has its flaws and shortcomings.
Why only 4 Intercom Alternatives? 😮
You're probably wondering right now why we chose only 4 Intercom alternatives? Well, to be honest, there are 100s of similar tools like Intercom out there. But not all of them are direct Intercom competitors. Hence, we can't include them in the Intercom alternatives list.
There are dozens of different and simple live chat widgets for your website, that honestly, don't get results. 😒
We've tried more than 20 different Intercom competitors, and by our standards, these four are the best on the market.
For better understanding, we evaluated each of these tools with the following scores:
- Easy to set-up (1-5)
- Easy-to-use (user experience) - (1-5)
- Customization options (1-5)
- Value for money (1-5)
- Ability to better support customers (1-5)
- Features score (number of features comparing with Intercom) (1-5)
After the weeks of detailed planning, researching and using a lot of different Intercom alternatives, I decided that the best ones are: lemtalk, Zendesk, HelpCrunch and Drift.
Also, based on the different parameters (like pricing and the product overall), I gave particular use cases for each of these tools. On this way, it will be easier for you to choose the best Intercom alternative that fits your needs.
So, in this article, we will go deeply through each of these 4 Intercom alternatives.
We will see what's the best Intercom alternative for your particular situation and use case.
If you don't want to read detailed overviews, feel free to skip to the bottom of the article and see the detailed comparison table.
But before we go deeper into each of these tools, let's see what are the pros and shortcomings of Intercom.
Advantages of Intercom
Like I already said, Intercom is a great product for your customer support, success and capturing leads.
Without a doubt, it does a pretty well job in these fields.
- It's easy to use
- Onboarding is quick and easy
- It has a lot of different features
But, it's not perfect for everyone.
It's great for big companies that need all of those features and that have the budget to pay for it.
But, what about smaller companies with less than 50 employees?
Shortcomings of Intercom
There's a couple of (important) flaws of Intercom:
- Relatively High-prices - Even if Intercom has the "startup" package for $49/mo, it's relatively hard to get it. They're reviewing submissions manually, and from time-to-time, sometimes they won't accept you.
- Confusing prices (suddenly, your fees can increase dramatically) - Intercom is calculating its prices per seats and active people. The strange thing is, that active people are people who sent or received your message in 90 days. These "90 days" were always confusing to me. In other words, for the 201 - 500 active people (in the lowest package), you will need to pay $16/mo to the additional price of $87/mo. But since Intercom counts active people in the scope of 90 days, that means that you can have 67 - 166 people per month. That's a pretty high price for a low amount of people. Right? 😮
- For me, customer support wasn't helpful - even if it's the customer support and customer success product, sometimes, its employees are struggling with supporting its customers. What's the reason for this - I don't know - but the other people had the same situations (as you can see on the screenshots below).
And we're not the only one who experienced these problems. Actually, there are a lot of people who highlighted these exact obstacles.
Now, let's review 4 of the best Intercom alternatives! :)
lemtalk - Intercom alternative helpdesk Slack app for SMBs
lemtalk is our own product, and thus - that doesn't mean that we're going to promote it. Like for every other Intercom alternative, we're going to honestly review it.
For SMBs who are looking for the Intercom alternative that will help them to convert more leads, make successful customers and who want to become loved by users, lemtalk can be a great choice.
A short overview of lemtalk
lemtalk is the helpdesk Slack app - that means that it can't work if your team doesn't use slack daily. With lemtalk, you can answer to all of your messages from Slack, whether they came through email, live chat, Facebook or SMS.
It looks like this:
Integrating live chat to your website takes less than 1 minute while creating your FAQ and Knowledge Base pages is quick and simple.
Advantages of lemtalk over Intercom
It's important to understand that lemtalk isn't Slack integration (like the Intercom's one). It's built for Slack, and thus - it has much better functionalities and user experience inside your Slack channels.
How can this benefit you?
- All customer's messages will be placed, stored and answered from one space - no need for the hundreds of tabs and confusing navigation through different products
- It's super easy to use - just type your message like you would do while writing to your colleague
- You can use it on-the-go - If you have Slack mobile app, you can quickly and easily answer your inquiries whether you're on the beach, on the train or in your office
- From one place send answers to multiple locations - just type your answer in Slack, and the message will be sent to your customers, whether they contacted you through Facebook, Live Chat, Email or SMS.
But, the best thing about lemtalk is:
You won't need to use our product almost at all. The only reasons why you need to use our product is:
- If you want to build push notifications, automatic messages or popups
- If you want to create a FAQ/Knowledge base
And that's it. On average, our users are using our product two to three times per month. Everything else is done in Slack - where your work happens. It saves your time and efforts.
lemtalk also has friendly customer support. Whether you're paying the smallest package or the highest one, you'll have the same support priority as everyone else. We look at our customer as on our friends. We're building relationships with them and sometimes even helping them if their inquiries aren't connected with lemtalk at all.
Shortcomings of lemtalk
Like everything else, lemtalk also has a couple of flaws and shortcomings.
- It isn't feature-rich like Intercom - If you're looking for the tool that has everything the same as Intercom has, then lemtalk isn't the tool for you. But if you're looking for the simplified Intercom alternative, with only the most important features that will boost your growth and make your customers feel in love with you, then it can be a good option. We like to be super focused, so we decided not to create "just another Intercom alternative" - instead, we're focusing on fewer things - but we're making them perfect.
- It's built for SMBs - If you're the enterprise - lemtalk can't be the right fit for your company - except if you're looking for just simplified live chat solution. From the beginning, we focused our efforts on building the product that will be handy for SMBs, and that will make them easy to convert and support their customers. We love when our customers are successful.
- It can't work without Slack - Unfortunately, lemtalk can't work if you're not using Slack. It's built for Slack just like the plugins are built for Wordpress. On the other way, if you want to use lemtalk but you're not using Slack at the moment, you can create a free account on Slack whenever you want, and you will be ready to convert more people and make customers happier.
We're not like Intercom. Our pricing is clear and understandable. No hidden fees.
In each plan we have, we're serving the unlimited number of agents and website visitors/customers. In other words, there are no fees for additional seats or limits in the customer's numbers.
This is great since you will be paying the same fee over and over again - even if you reach 100 agents and 1.000.000 customers (we really hope you will 👼).
We want from all of your colleagues to become customer success heroes.
We have three plans:
- Startup plan $48/mo
- Business plan $96/mo
- Agency plan $249/mo
To easily understand each Intercom alternative's pricing, we will calculate the price of each alternative for 5 team seats/agents
For 5 agents, lemtalk will cost you $48/mo or $96/mo.
Intercom vs lemtalk - how are they different?
lemtalk comes as the simple Intercom alternative. Intercom has much more features than lemtalk (like product tours for example), but lemtalk is super-focused on two things - lead conversion through live chat and offering great customer support.
The biggest difference between Intercom and lemtalk is in Slack integration. Intercom has Slack integration, but lemtalk's one is more powerful and easier to use.
When it comes to pricing, lemtalk is more affordable than Intercom. The lowest plan costs $48/mo, and it doesn't have any hidden fees. Also, in all plans, there is unlimited number of seats, agents and customers.
lemtalk's score as the Intercom alternative
As mentioned, we evaluated each of the intercom alternatives with different scores. Here're the lemtalk's score:
Is lemtalk the best Intercom alternative for you?
If you're the SMB that uses Slack daily and if you are looking for simpler and less-robust Intercom alternative that's focused only on live chat and customer support (and does that job as best as possible), then lemtalk can be the right tool for you.
If you're the enterprise who needs a more robust platform with more features for customer engagement and user onboarding, then lemtalk isn't the good intercom alternative for you.
HelpCrunch - affordable Intercom alternative
If you're looking for exactly the same product like Intercom, but just cheaper one, here's HelpCrunch
A Short overview of HelpCrunch
HelpCrunch is the customer communication platform that's almost 100% similar to Intercom (although it still misses some features that Intercom has - such as product tours).
Basically, it's the simplified Intercom alternative for SMBs - and more affordable.
Advantages of HelpCrunch over Intercom
HelpCrunch isn't just simplified Intercom alternative, but it also has a couple of advantages over Intercom:
- The unlimited number of conversations per month - Just like in lemtalk, in HelpCrunch you also don't have limits on conversations on a monthly basis. This is something that Intercom doesn't have and bills you significantly for a couple of hundred more visitors
- It has deep integration with your product - HelpCrunch provides you with really in-depth information and data about your customers. You can see customer's data while chatting with them
- It's easier to use - by our experience, UX is cleaner, simpler and easier to use :)
Shortcomings of HelpCrunch
Although HelpCrunch is a great tool, it has a couple of flaws:
- It doesn't have "full Slack integration" - Although this can be a "subjectively" opinion, HelpCrunch, unlike other Intercom alternatives (including Intercom, lemtalk and a couple of other ones), doesn't have full Slack integration. In other words, you can receive notifications in Slack whenever someone sends you the message, but can't reply to them from your workspace. If you're using Slack daily, this could be a problem - since if you're not using this feature, your team can loose a little bit more time and efforts.
- You can't customize subdomains - Although HelpCrunch's development team is working on this right now, you can't customize your subdomains at the moment.
Unlike lemtalk, HelpCrunch bills you per seats per month. But this still better pricing method than Intercom ones, since Intercom bills you both per seats and per people you support in a course of 90-days.
Overall, HelpCrunch is cheaper by 20 - 30% than Intercom.
It has two different packages (excluding the enterprise one - for which you will get a custom price):
- Standard - from $15/mo per seat
- Premium - from $25/mo per seat
For 5 seats, HelpCrunch will cost you $75/mo or $125/mo.
Intercom vs HelpCrunch - how are they different?
Although HelpCrunch has a little bit fewer features than Intercom (mainly in the customer engagement and user onboarding sphere), with its competitive pricing and similar service, HelpCrunch positioned itself as the great Intercom alternative.
In terms of pricing, HelpCrunch is more affordable than Intercom. In terms of features, Intercom has more functionalities - but in HelpCrunch you have everything you need to generate and support your customers.
HelpCrunch's score as the Intercom alternative
Is HelpCrunch the best Intercom alternative for you?
HelpCrunch is good both for SMBs and Enterprise companies who are looking for more affordable Intercom alternatives with almost the same functions and features for customer support and lead generation.
So, if you're looking for the product that's almost the same like Intercom, but more affordable than Intercom, then HelpCrunch can be the best Intercom alternative for you.
Drift - Intercom alternative for enterprise
Drift is more focused on sales and lead generation than customer support - but it has a lot of similar features as Intercom, so we considered it as the great Intercom alternative.
A short overview of Drift
Drift uses mostly chatbots to generate quality leads in real-time.
If you're looking for the Intercom alternative that's more sales-oriented than Intercom (but still has customer support functions), than perhaps Drift can be the great Intercom alternative for you.
Let's break Drift down!
Advantages of Drift over Intercom
From all over Intercom alternatives we mentioned (or will mention), Drift has the most interesting and similar features like Intercom - hence, it's more expensive and best for enterprises, not SMBs.
Let's see Drift's advantages:
- It has more automation possibilities - Drift is sales oriented - and it mostly uses the chatbots to generate leads for your company (but it also offers the live chat solution) - Hence, it has a lot of different automation possibilities - more than any other Intercom alternative out there
- It has in-depth and strong reporting - Drift's extensive reporting will help you to make great decisions and monitor your sales funnel in real-time
Shortcomings of Drift
Drift is a really amazing product, but it has a couple of shortcomings:
- It's not built for customer support and customer engagement - Yeah, Drift has a lot of similar features like Intercom (such as live chat), and you can definitely provide customer support and customer success from Drift. But, that's not what's Drift built for. If you're looking for the solution that will, before all, supercharge your sales and then help you to improve customer support, then Drift can be a good option for you. If the customer support is your top priority then you should think about other Intercom alternatives.
- It's a little bit expensive - Value for money is great, but Drift isn't built for SMBs who have a very low amount of customers. Instead, it's built for teams and companies who are ready to scale and supercharge their sales.
Drift has a couple of different categories for pricing:
- For individuals - two packages - one is free forever, while the other one is $50/mo
- For teams - smallest package starts for $400/mo + chat seat for $40/mo and the other one starts at $1500/mo + chat seat for $80/mo
- For enterprise companies
For 5 team members, Drift can cost you $600/mo or $1900/mo.
Drift also offers a startup plan for the companies who have less than $1M in funding and less than 10 employees. If the Drift team approves your application, you can take the Pro plan for only $50/mo.
Intercom vs Drift - how are they different?
Intercom is more focused on customer communication, support and customer success, while Drift is more sales-oriented and its focus is more on chatbots and boosting sales.
On the other way, Drift can also help you to support your customers and make them successful, but it's not what it's built for.
In terms of pricing, both companies are similar.
Drift's score as the Intercom alternative
Is Drift the best Intercom alternative for you?
If you're the startup or enterprise, and if you're looking to boost your sales and convert more leads rather than to support your customers, drift can be a great tool for you.
Also, keep in mind that Drift is an expensive tool, and it can cost you anywhere from $5000/year and above.
Zendesk - Intercom alternative built for customer support
Zendesk is a mature company that's in the customer support industry for a while now. It has a lot of different features and its services are extremely focused only on customer support.
A Short overview of Zendesk
Zendesk is the Intercom alternative built for customer support. It's one of the oldest helpdesk products on the market, and thus, the most robust one.
When you first look at Zendesk, the first difference between Intercom is in its 30-day trial version.
It has a lot of separate products you can use - such as live chat, phone support, and many others.
Advantages of Zendesk
- It has more customer support features than Intercom - as I mentioned, Zendesk is built for customer support - and thus, it has a little bit more customer features than Intercom. For example, in Zendesk, you can support your customers through phone, while you can't do that in Intercom
- It has better customer support - in our opinion, Zendesk has better and more available customer support than Intercom. While we were evaluating Zendesk, in some cases we were getting faster responses than from Intercom's support reps. This gives a little bit better overall impression.
Shortcomings of Zendesk
We found that Zendesk has a little bit more shortcomings and flaws than any other Intercom alternative - this is probably because it's a mature product and it's relatively hard to keep up with the trends.
- Outdated UX/UI - While using some of the Zendesk's apps, you will have an experience that you're living in the 2006th.
- Fewer customization options in Live Chat - Live Chat looks so 00's. Zendesk doesn't have too much customization options like other Intercom alternatives
- Harder onboarding and bigger learning curve - It's relatively hard to start using Zendesk. It's more of a technical nature, and it's complicated to learn about the product. You will need a little bit more time and efforts than in other Intercom alternatives
If you're the smaller company and if you want to use Zendesk, than fortunately, Zendesk has friendlier pricing for smaller companies than Intercom has - especially if you're buying products separately.
It also has a lifetime free plan.
But if you're looking for the all-in-one plan, Intercom is more affordable than Zendesk.
At Zendesk, basic plans start at $5/mo, while the all-in-one basic plan starts at $89/mo/seat.
Price for 5 team members will be $445/mo or $745/mo
Intercom vs Zendesk - how are they different?
Even if Zendesk has a little bit outdated UI/UX, its customer support capabilities are way better than Intercom's ones. If you're looking for the all-in-one customer support software, and if you don't mind paying more than for Intercom, in that case, Zendesk can be a great tool for you.
Zendesk's score as the Intercom alternative
Is Zendesk the best Intercom alternative for you?
If you're receiving a huge amount of customer support requests per month and if you can't find the better way to organize your support workflows, then Zendesk can be a great Intercom alternative for you.
Also pay attention that, if you need all of the Zendesk's products, you may finish with paying more than for Intercom.
lemtalk vs HelpCrunch vs Drift vs Zendesk
Here's the moment where we need to compare all of the four best Intercom alternatives.
Fortunately, this is gonna be easy since all of these Intercom alternatives have different use cases and they're built for different companies with different goals.
Anyway, here's the detailed comparison table, and below, we can once again see what's the best Intercom alternative for you:
Which Intercom alternative is the best for you?
So, we're at the end of this detailed comparison.
So, let's see what's the best Intercom alternative for you:
If you're looking for the product that's almost similar like Intercom but just more affordable, then HelpCrunch will be the best Intercom alternative for you.
If you're looking for the sales-oriented Intercom alternative, then Drift will be the best choice.
If you're looking for the Intercom alternative that has a lot of customer support options and you don't mind paying more than for Intercom, then Zendesk will be the best Intercom alternative for you.
- You're looking for the Intercom alternative with less features (but with only the most important ones that are implemented perfectly)
- You're looking to improve your website conversions and support your customers on a better, more effective and less time-consuming way
- You're the SMB and you're using Slack daily
then lemtalk will be the best Intercom alternative for you.
If this is the case, feel free to try lemtalk right now.