Intercom vs Zendesk: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Zendesk vs Intercom A Detailed Comparison

intercom versus zendesk

With over 100,000 customers across all industries and regions, Zendesk knows what it takes to interact with customers while retaining and growing relationships. Compare Zendesk versus Intercom to determine who will be the best partner for your business at every phase of the customer journey. Essentially, Desku is not an option but a reliable replacement for Zendesk and Intercom that companies can rely on at lower costs and improved performance. With this kind of organization, you will not only find your favorite apps but also discover new ones to meet your needs.

In a nutshell, none of the customer support software companies provide decent assistance for users. But it’s designed so well that you really enjoy staying in their inbox and communicating with clients. Intercom live chat is modern, smooth, and has many advanced features that other chat tools don’t.

For example, you can read in many Zendesk Sell reviews how adding sales tools benefits Zendesk Support users. Choose Zendesk for a scalable, team-size-based pricing model and Intercom for initial low-cost access with flexibility in adding advanced features. When comparing Zendesk and Intercom, various factors come into play, each focusing on different aspects, strengths, and weaknesses of these customer support platforms. Personalized messaging, in-app messaging, product tours, and chatbot capabilities set Intercom apart from Zendesk.

You could technically consider Intercom a CRM, but it’s really more of a customer-focused communication product. It isn’t as adept at purer sales tasks like lead management, list engagement, advanced reporting, forecasting, and workflow management as you’d expect a more complete CRM to be. Intercom, on the other hand, was built for business messaging, so communication is one of their strong suits. Combine that with their prowess in automation and sales solutions, and you’ve got a really strong product that can handle myriad customer relationship needs.

You will be able to find the most common chatting system with a single communication channel. So, communicating with customers on different communication channels would be difficult on Intercom. Both the platforms have the knowledge base feature, and in my opinion, both of them are becoming winners.

Intercom works with any website or web-based product and aims to be your one-way stop for all of your customer communication needs. In this article, we’ll compare Zendesk vs Intercom to find out which is the right customer support tool for you. We’re big fans of Zendesk’s dashboard with built-in collaboration tools, but we wish the Agent Workspace came with the Team or Growth plans–not just Professional.

Top 10 Intercom Alternatives for Amazing Customer Support

In 2023, conversational messaging will play an essential role in customer service. Customers increasingly expect to receive fast, convenient, and personalized support. Zendesk also has a clear and customizable interface, but it has more features, so it might take a bit longer to learn. Talking about the Intercom, it has flexible pricing plans that its experts can help adjust as per your requirements to match contacts and number of seats.

Intercom’s ticketing system and help desk SaaS is also pretty great, just not as amazing as Zendesk’s. Their customer service management tools have a shared inbox for support teams. When you combine the help desk with Intercom Messenger, you get added channels for customer engagement. Intercom is a customer support platform known for its effective messaging and automation, enhancing in-context support within products, apps, or websites.

So if an agent needs to switch from chat to phone to email (or vice versa) with a customer, it’s all on the same ticketing page. There’s even on-the-spot translation built right in, which is extremely helpful. Intercom’s solution offers several use cases, meaning the product’s investments and success resources have a broad focus. But this also means the customer experience ROI tends to be lower than what it would be if you went with a best-in-class solution like Zendesk. If a customer starts an interaction by talking to a chatbot and can’t find a solution, our chatbot can open a ticket and intelligently route it to the most qualified agent.

Robust self-service and knowledge management

In this context, Zendesk and Intercom emerge as key contenders, each offering distinct features tailored to dynamic customer service environments. Zendesk has an app available for both Android and iOS, which makes it easy to stay connected with customers while on the go. The app includes features like push notifications and real-time customer engagement — so businesses can respond quickly to customer inquiries. Compared to Zendesk and Intercom, Helpwise offers competitive and transparent pricing plans. Its straightforward pricing structure ensures businesses get access to the required features without complex tiers or hidden costs, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious organizations.

  • Moreover, research says that companies can reduce customer resolution times upto a great percentage through the helpdesk software.
  • Intercom is great for talking to customers in real-time, like through live chats or in-app messages.
  • Currently based in Albuquerque, NM, Bryce Emley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NC State and nearly a decade of writing and editing experience.
  • Zendesk is a great option for large companies or companies that are looking for a very strong sales and customer service platform.
  • You need a complete customer service platform that’s seamlessly integrated and AI-enhanced.

You can use it for customer support, but that’s not its core strength. Intercom built additional tools to aid in marketing and engagement to supplement its customer service solution. But we doubled down and created a truly full-service CX solution capable of handling any support request. Zendesk offers robust, pre-built reports for sales and support teams.

Setting up Intercom help centers is also very easy and intuitive, with no previous knowledge required. After this, you’ll have to set up your workflows, personalizing your tickets and storing them by topic. You can then add automations and triggers, such as automatically closing a ticket or sending a message to a user. However, customers can purchase multiple Intercom plans to use together, or purchase add-ons to select just the features they want. The Zendesk Admin Center panels allow administrators to control settings, accessibility, automations, and workflows for everything from chatbots to integrations and custom APIs. Intercom wins the sales pipeline tools category because its campaigning and sequencing tools integrate all channels and unique services, like carousels and product tours.

I tested both options (using Zendesk’s Suite Professional trial and Intercom’s Support trial) and found clearly defined differences between the two. Here’s what you need to know about Zendesk vs. Intercom as customer support and relationship management tools. Use ticketing systems to manage the influx and provide your customers with timely responses.

You can also contact Zendesk support 24/7, whereas Intercom support only has live agents during business hours. It’s divided into about 20 topics with dozens of articles each, so navigating through it can be complicated. Both Zendesk and Intercom have their own “app stores” where users can find all of the integrations for each platform. Since Intercom is so intuitive, the time you’ll need to spend training new users on how to interact with the platform is greatly reduced. Users also point out that it can take a couple of hours to get used to the flow of tickets, which doesn’t happen in CRM, and they aren’t pleased with the product’s downtime.

It is also not too difficult to program your own bot rules using Intercon’s system. There are 3 Basic support plans at $19, $49 and $99 per user per month billed annually, and 5 Suite plans at $49, $79, $99, $150, and $215 per user per month billed annually. Hivers offers round-the-clock proactive support across all its plans, ensuring that no matter the time or issue, expert assistance is always available. This 24/7 support model is designed to provide continuous, real-time solutions to clients, enhancing the overall reliability and responsiveness of Hivers’ services.

Intercom vs Zendesk: User Assistance and Support

The highlight of Zendesk’s ticketing software is its omnichannel-ality (omnichannality?). Whether agents are facing customers via chat, email, social media, or good old-fashioned phone, they can keep it all confined to a single, easy-to-navigate dashboard. That not only saves them the headache of having to constantly switch between dashboards while streamlining resolution processes—it also leads to better customer and agent experience overall.

Intercom self-service chatbot widgets, highly customizable and capable of conversing in 32 different languages, embed into your website or application. The ticket display’s Side Conversations tab allows agents to initiate internal conversations via email, Slack, or ticketing system notes–without leaving the ticket. Agents can choose if the message is private or public, upon which a group thread is initiated in the ticket’s sidebar, where participants can chat and add files. Zendesk’s Admin Center provides tools that automate agent ticket workflows. Design and send out mobile push messages–phone pop-ups containing text and images that prompt customers to take action and redirect to a specific app page when clicked. The Agent Workspace highlights tickets based on the issue and urgency, assigning each one a priority–agents can also tag tickets based on recency, hold-vs-open status, and urgency.

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With Messagely, you can increase your customer satisfaction and solve customers’ issues while they’re still visiting your site. If you want both customer support and CRM, you can choose between paying $79 or $125 Chat PG per month per user, depending on how many advanced features you require. Create a help center combining knowledge base articles and a customer contact request form, embeddable into any webpage or mobile app.

Zendesk vs Intercom for customer support

However, compared to the more contemporary designs like Intercom’s, Zendesk’s UI may appear outdated, particularly in aspects such as chat widget and customization options. This could impact user experience and efficiency for new users grappling with its complexity​​​​​​. Intercom’s solution aims to streamline high-volume ticket influx and provide personalized, conversational support. It also includes extensive integrations with over 350 CRM, email, ticketing, and reporting tools.

If you want dashboard reporting and integrations, you’ll need to pay $19 per agent per month. Multilingual content and other advanced features come with a $49 price per agent per month. It really shines in its modern messenger interface, making real-time chat a breeze.

intercom versus zendesk

Intercom does have a ticketing dashboard that has omnichannel functionality, much like Zendesk. Their reports are attractive, dynamic, and integrated right out of the box. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. You can even finagle some forecasting by sourcing every agent’s assigned leads. You could say something similar for Zendesk’s standard service offering, so it’s at least good to know they have Zendesk Sell, a capable CRM option to supplement it.

Zendesk is a customer service software offering a comprehensive solution for managing customer interactions. It integrates customer support, sales, and marketing communications, aiming to improve client relationships. Known for its scalability, Zendesk is suitable for various business sizes, from startups to large corporations. Intercom’s user interface is also quite straightforward and easy to understand; it includes a range of features such as live chat, messaging campaigns, and automation workflows. Additionally, the platform allows for customizations such as customized user flows and onboarding experiences.

Software

This is fine, as not every customer support team wants to be so available on the phone. The best help desks are also ticketing systems, which lets support reps create a support ticket out of issues that can then be tracked. Ticket routing helps to send the ticket to the best support team agent. For Intercom’s pricing plan, on the other hand, there is much less information on their website. There is a Starter plan for small businesses at $74 per month billed annually, and there are add-ons like a WhatsApp add-on at $9 per user per month or surveys at $49 per month. Your typical Zendesk review will often praise the platform’s simplicity and affordability, as well as its constant updates and rolling out of new features, like Zendesk Sunshine.

That their customers are fully satisfied with their products and services, and so is the motto of our Desku chatbots. So, by holding Desku’s hand, you can open doors for a long list of happy and fully satisfied customers. Messagely’s live chat platform is smooth, effective, and easy to set up.

intercom versus zendesk

Besides, the prices differ depending on the company’s size and specific needs. We conducted a little study of our own and found that all Intercom users share different amounts of money they pay for the plans, which can reach over $1000/mo. The price levels can even be much higher if we’re talking of a larger company. If you’d want to test Intercom vs Zendesk before deciding on a tool for good, they both provide free trials for 14 days. But sooner or later, you’ll have to decide on the subscription plan, and here’s what you’ll have to pay. If I had to describe Intercom’s helpdesk, I would say it’s rather a complementary tool to their chat tools.

So you see, it’s okay to feel dizzy when comparing Zendesk vs Intercom platforms. Sendcloud is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that allows users to generate packing slips and labels to help online retailers streamline their shipping process. Businesses should always consider a tool’s TCO before committing to a purchase. Many software vendors aren’t upfront about the cost of using their products, maintenance costs, or integration fees. Altogether, this can significantly impact affordability in the long term. Intercom is the new guy on the block when it comes to help desk ticketing systems.

While Intercom Zendesk integration is uncommon, as they both offer very similar products, it can be useful for unique use cases or during migrations from one platform to the other. However, the right fit for your business will depend on your particular needs and budget. If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution with lots of features and integrations, then Zendesk would be a good choice. On the other hand, if you need something that is more tailored to your customer base and is less expensive, then Intercom might be a better fit. Intercom also offers a 14-day free trial, after which customers can upgrade to a paid plan or use the basic free plan.

Zendesk has more pricing options, and its most affordable plan is likely cheaper than Intercom’s, although without exact Intercom numbers, it is not easy to truly know the cost. They have a 2-day SLA, no phone support, and the times I have had to work with them they have been incredibly difficult to work with. Very rarely do they understand the issue (mostly with Explore) that I am trying to communicate to them. The support documentation is incredibly lackluster, and it’s often impossible to know which guide to use as they have non-sensical terminology that makes even finding the appropriate guide very difficult.

Zendesk, less user-friendly and with higher costs for quality vendor support, might not suit budget-conscious or smaller businesses. Pricing for both services varies based on the specific needs and scale of your business. When comparing the omnichannel support functionalities of Zendesk and Intercom, both platforms show distinct strengths and weaknesses. Leave your email below and a member of our team will personally get in touch to show you how Fullview can help you solve support tickets in half the time. Discover customer and product issues with instant replays, in-app cobrowsing, and console logs.

Intercom has a full suite of email marketing tools, although they are part of a pricier package. With Intercom, you get email features like targeted and personalized outbound emailing, dynamic content fields, and an email-to-inbox forwarding feature. Email marketing, for example, is a big deal, but less so when it comes to customer service. Still, for either of these platforms to have some email marketing or other email functionality is common sense. Zendesk can also save key customer information in their platform, which helps reps get a faster idea of who they are dealing with as well as any historical data that might assist in the support.

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But to provide a more robust customer experience, businesses may need to consider integrating Intercom’s AI tool with a third-party customer service platform, as it falls short of a full-stack offering. In today’s world of fast-paced customer service and high customer expectations, it’s essential for business leaders to equip their teams with the best support tools available. Zendesk and Intercom both offer noteworthy tools, but if you’re looking for a full-service solution, there is one clear winner. Messagely’s chatbots are powerful tools for qualifying and converting leads while your team is otherwise occupied or away. With chatbots, you can generate leads to hand over to your sales team and solve common customer queries without the need of a customer service representative behind a keyboard.

There is a really useful one for Shopify to provide customer support for e-commerce operations. HubSpot and Salesforce are also available when support needs to work with marketing and sales teams. Zendesk has many amazing team collaboration and communication features, like whisper mode, which lets multiple agents chime in to help each other without the customer knowing.

Intercom plan prices are determined based on your specific business needs, so interested users must contact them for specific price details. Inside a ticket, the workspace center console displays the ticket’s conversation. The right side of the screen displays all customer contact information and company interaction history, and the agent can contact the customer via any channel with just a few clicks. The workspace left-hand column notifies agents of all ticket updates. The top of the agent workspace shows an agent’s open tickets, ticket statistics, and satisfaction statistics, as well as tabs depicting all current tickets. Intercom offers admin full visibility and control over all company inboxes, as well as agent access controls and role management.

With Intercom, you can keep track of your customers and what they do on your website in real time. Like Zendesk, Intercom allows you to chat with online visitors and assist with their issues. For basic chat and messaging, Intercom charges a flat fee of $39 per month for its basic plan with one user and $99 per month for its team plan with up to 5 users. If you want automated options, Intercom starts at either $499 or $999 per month for up to ten users, depending on the level of automation you’re looking for.

You can opt for code via JavaScript or Rails or even integrate directly with the likes of Google Tag Manager, WordPress, or Shopify. Businesses of all sizes can rely on the Zendesk customer service platform and benefit from workflow management, powerful AI tools, robust insights, and more. If that sounds good to you, sign up for a free demo to see our software in action and get started.

Here is a Zendesk vs. Intercom based on the customer support offered by these brands. If you thought Zendesk prices were confusing, let me introduce you to the Intercom charges. It’s virtually impossible to predict what you’ll pay for Intercom at the end of the day.

Its $99 bracket includes advanced options, such as customer satisfaction prediction and multi-brand support, and in the $199 bracket, you also get advanced security and other very advanced features. Zendesk pricing is divided between a customer support product called “Zendesk for support”, and a fully-fledged CRM called “Zendesk for sales”. Intercom users often mention how impressed they are with its ease of use and their ability to quickly create useful tasks and set up automations. Even reviewers who hadn’t used the platform highlight how beautifully designed it is and how simple it is to interact with for both users and clients alike. Although it can be pricey, Zendesk’s platform is a very robust one, with powerful reporting and insight tools, a large number of integrations, and excellent scalability features.

intercom versus zendesk

These plans make Hiver a versatile tool, catering to a range of business sizes and needs, from startups to large enterprises looking for a comprehensive customer support solution within Gmail. On the other hand, Intercom, starting at a lower price point, could be more attractive for very small teams or individual users. However, additional costs for advanced features can quickly increase the total expense. Intercom stands out for its modern and user-friendly messenger functionality, which includes advanced features with a focus on automation and real-time insights.

As with just about any customer support software, you can easily view standard user data within the messenger related to customer journey—things like recent pages viewed, activity, or contact information. You can create articles, share them internally, group them for users, and assign them as responses for bots—all pretty standard fare. Intercom can even integrate with Zendesk and other sources to import past help center content. I just found Zendesk’s help center https://chat.openai.com/ to be slightly better integrated into their workflows and more customizable. Triggers should prove especially useful for agents, allowing them to do things like automate notifications for actions like ticket assignments, ticket closing/reopening, or new ticket creation. Their template triggers are fairly limited with only seven options, but they do enable users to create new custom triggers, which can be a game-changer for agents with more complex workflows.

Its sales CRM software starts at $19 per month per user, but you’ll have to pay $49 to get Zapier integrations and $99 for Hubspot integrations. Finally, you can pay $199 per month per user for unlimited sales pipelines and advanced reporting along with other features. For very small companies and startups, Intercom also offers a Starter plan–with a balanced suite of features from each of the above solutions–at $74 monthly per user. This article will compare Intercom vs Zendesk, outlining each tool’s features, ease-of-use, pricing and plans, pros and cons, and user-support options. Intercom’s app store has popular integrations for things like WhatsApp, Stripe, Instagram, and Slack.

The dashboard’s left-hand column organizes and sorts all tickets by urgency. When an agent clicks on a conversation, the full conversation history populates the middle screen. Behavior-based messaging allows you to customize every last detail of triggers and rules including–which channel sends the message, when it sends, where it sends, and who gets targeted. Intercom’s help center allows you to draft and organize collections of articles, accessible to customers via a search bar in the Messenger widget.

Provide self-service alternatives so customers can resolve their own issues. This serves the dual benefit of adding convenience to the customer experience and lightening agents’ workloads. Intercom’s integration capabilities are limited, and some apps don’t integrate well with third-party customer service technology. This can make it more difficult to import CRM data and obtain complete context from customer data. For example, Intercom’s Salesforce integration doesn’t create a view of cases in Salesforce.

While Intercom offers unique feature options that weave together well into campaigns and series, it lacks voice calling–a critical feature–and spreads its more advanced features out too much among plans. Intercom has a unique pricing structure, offering three separate solutions, each intended for a distinct use case. We wish some of their great features were offered in multiple plans, but none features overlap among plans. Intercom’s large series of bots obviously run on automations as well.

Whether you’ve just started searching for a customer support tool or have been using one for a while, chances are you know about Zendesk and Intercom. The former is one of the oldest and most reliable solutions on the market, while the latter sets the bar high in terms of innovative and out-of-the-box features. Broken down into custom, resolution, and task bots, these can go a long way in taking repetitive tasks off agents’ plates. Intercom’s chatbot feels a little more robust than Zendesk’s (though it’s worth noting that some features are only available at the Engage and Convert tiers). You can set office hours, live chat with logged-in users via their user profiles, and set up a chatbot. Customization is more nuanced than Zendesk’s, but it’s still really straightforward to implement.

You can use Zendesk Sell to track tasks, streamline workflows, improve engagement, nurture leads, and much more. Understanding these fundamental differences should go a long way in helping you pick between the two, but does that mean you can’t use one platform to do what intercom versus zendesk the other does better? These are both still very versatile products, so don’t think you have to get too siloed into a single use case. Brian Kale, the head of customer success at Bank Novo, describes how Zendesk helped Bank Novo boost productivity and streamline service.

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