There are dozens of services that offer customer support infrastructure with various features and different pricing options. As in everything else, this market has leaders which names stand out among other similar solutions. Or rather, a mature leader with an impeccable record — Intercom.
This platform provides tools for business support, marketing, and sales all over the world. Using it you join biggies like New Relic, Atlassian, Shopify, — a big plus to any brand image. Nothing is perfect, but Intercom was close.
Times change, and there’s a list of things its customers having problems or just missing:
Probably that is the reason you are on this page too, isn’t it?
To solve these problems, customers look for another solution. Trying to help, we’ve tested the best live chat software. So, here are the top 15 alternatives to Intercom in terms of capabilities and pricing.
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The first and best Intercom alternative, this conversational marketing platform aims to increase sales from the website via proactive communication with clients on each step of the funnel. It provides tools for marketing, support, and sales to engage website visitors into a conversation, qualify, and nurture them to purchase.
This conversational marketing platform suits businesses in SaaS, EdTech, and eCommerce industries.
Unlike Intercom, there are no limits on agent seats in a user account, you can provide the best customer communication, sharing workspace with all your teammates.
The best solution if you’re looking for a versatile full-fledged platform.
Dashly has numerous Live Chat features to drive more sales from a website and deliver superb customer support, beating your competitors:
In addition to a live chat, there is a list of powerful tools for rising conversion across every user journey and serving as an effective Intercom alternative:
All plans can be upgraded with add-ons. Check out the full list of add-ons and calculate how much you’ll pay for the platform on the pricing page.
✌️ Every paid plan includes unlimited seats. Invite the whole team!
The first thing that distinguishes Dashly is a clear pricing model. You may know that Intercom’s price depends on active users during the last 3 months. Thus, you’ll never guess the final cost of your plan. In Dashly you pay for a month’s unique users.
Offering a wide range of features, it includes a list of unique ones:
Intercom’s advantage over its competitor is a wide range of chatbots, but AI ones are hard to teach. It may take 2-3 months. Its other strong suit is integrations. You’ll find your fav service to connect with.
In Dashly there are more than 30 ready-to-use integrations, among others, it offers Zendesk, Viber, and Instagram integrations that Intercom’s essential plan lacks. You can also integrate Dashly with any platform with the help of Zapier.
Both platforms are great for support, sales, and marketing, but Dashly is simpler and more affordable.
|Supported platforms||Web, Android, iOS|
|Pros||Social media and messengers integrations, |
unlimited agents seats, auto messaging,
great customization, no-code implementation.
|Cons||Missing ready-to-use integrations with CRMs. |
But you can integrate Dashly with any platform with the help of Zapier.
Another Intercom alternative is Freshdesk. This cloud-based help desk software offers multiple channels of customer service and a great ticketing system for businesses and companies of all sizes in SaaS, eCom, etc.
With 1000 integrations, there is no problem converting website visitors into paying customers. So much room for integration really makes Freshdesk stand out among other alternatives. Freshdesk’s user has 1 agent seat per a plan to assist customers via email, phone, website, and social.
Easy to customize system provides total control of your workspaces.
Thanks to various integrations, it’s one of the best solutions fit it in your tech stack seamlessly.
To help you make the best of your customer service solution, Freshdesk offers standard and out of the box instruments:
There is one account to manage several products. Freshdesk has a wide range of customization options, you can design the live chat, apps, URS according to your brand style.
Freshdesk offers potential customers a free plan with basic tool set. You can also enjoy a 21-day free trial that doesn’t require any credit card details. The best offer in terms of a free trial on this list.
There are 4 pricing packages starting from $15 up to $95 per month:
There is a list of the add-ons to improve the standard plan with AI/ML tools, bots, superior API connections, extra seats. These add-ons with help you create a full-fledged functioning solution.
When Freshdesk is designed for assisting customers, Intercom also has a suite of integrated products for marketing, sales, and product. However, it lacks Call Center Management and focuses on engagement marketing.
Comparing these two solutions, we noticed that each of them includes unique combinations of tools:
The major Freshdesk advantage here is pricing, just like with a lot of other alternatives. With excellent value for money, the last one is more affordable.
Probably the oldest Intercom alternative from this list, Zendesk is well known for its speed. The customer service platform takes only a couple of minutes to set up, and then it’s ready to go, no matter what business you’re in.
The low price and light-speed workflow secured Zendesk a spot near the top of our list of Intercom alternatives. Tumblr, Airbnb, and Sony use this platform to assist customers, which adds even more points for Zendesk.
Probably the best Intercom alternative if you want to enhance your customer support.
This customer support platform has a full toolset for all tastes, sometimes even more than its major competitor. The plans are grouped in tools for customer support and sales. Among the key Zendesk features are:
Besides standard one, Zendesk has 100+ out-of-the-box integrations. But the devil is in the details. Since there are too many of them, the UX/UI is not the best in class. The software is difficult to understand, despite powerful onboarding.
The plans start at $19 per month (much lower than Intercom alternative starting plan). Zendesk offers 14 days of trial. No free plan available. When you sign up for your trial of Zendesk Suite, you’ll have access to all features on the Zendesk Suite Professional plan.
The user has a choice among 3 options:
All the plans’ prices start with one seat, but customers can add more for extra money. Zendesk’s pricing policy is flexible, so you can buy and combine the tools you really need. This way, you can collect an effective toolset.
The first difference is in positioning: the first one focuses your attention on the support mailbox set up, the second — on the live chat widget. When Intercom is an all-in-one solution, Zendesk offers everything a support representative can dream about, totally beating any other Intercom alternative. It’s a full-fledged customer service software.
In terms of customization, Zendesk design options succumb to Intercom. The dashboard doesn’t contain all the Zendesk tools, which is inconvenient.
Both solutions have equally rich and powerful features. However, the last one provides more flexible pricing options and tools of choice. Thus, if you need an easy-to-use CRM + helpdesk solution, between two solutions, Zendesk wins.
HubSpot is another significant figure in the industry. This versatile software helps set up marketing automation processes on your website and have more productive communication with your customers, current and potential ones. It also offers separate solutions for sales and marketing sales.
HubSpot features are quite similar to other competitors on the list:
And for those, who have just started their business and haven’t created a website yet, HubSpot offers a free website and landing page builder.
As mentioned above, HubSpot offers separate solutions for sales, marketing, and support teams. But if you’re looking for a solution that covers similar needs to Intercom, pay attention to HubSpot Service Hub. The price for customer service suite will start at $500/mo and more. The price depends on the number of agents you have.
HubSpot also has a special offer for small businesses with a limited toolset that starts from $50/mo. And there is always an opportunity to test HubSpot’s limited functionality on a free plan.
Both solutions are very popular and well-known solutions on the market. Both of them are quite pricey, but HubSpot offers more pricing options for its customers, including a much cheaper plan for small businesses and a free version of the product.
What also differs HubSpot is its own CRM system that won’t require any third-party integrations.
Tidio is another affordable solution if you hope to switch from Intercom. Mainly, it’s used to enhance the work of support teams. Besides, Tidio tools can be used to introduce self-service opportunities on your website. Tidio best suits online stores.
Among the main instruments Tidio offers are:
Tidio offers three paid plans, starting from $15/mo/agent. However, you can also test Tidio on a free plan. It gives you access to its main features like live chat and chatbot, but your chatbot will be shown to only 100 visitors per month.
You get access to all the features for 7 days for free during the trial period.
These two solutions are quite similar. Both platforms will help you provide customer service, but Intercom also will help you with user engagement and website conversion.
Hence, the toolset of Intercom is wider than Tidio’s.
Yet, if you’re looking for an affordable solution to cover your customer service needs, Tidio is your pick.
Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk for customer assistance and management for SaaS and eCommerce. Powerful AI assistant, advanced process management, pack of self-service solutions provide your team with a flexible toolset for clients’ success.
This Intercom alternative stands out among the others because it offers an almost fully automated context-aware product. We’ve tested it, and unlike other services with context-aware features, it works fine. Zoho also allows you to get rid of the most boring and repetitive tasks by automating them.
The software comes with a robust set of features and proves to be a decent Intercom alternative. With Zoho’s toolset, you can boost the effectiveness of your customer service and marketing:
The best and most popular feature is multichannel ticket management. That means Zoho Desk collects client requests from socials, forums, help center, email, phone, and web forms. If a manager forgets about a ticket, the system will remind or even re-assign it to another one. A great solution to manage conversations manually.
The tool provides automating activities, notifications, integration with Zoho CRM customer data. To ease managers’ work, Zoho built apps for Android and iOS.
No more routine tasks, your focus is only on boosting revenue and beating competitors.
During 14 days trial, 3 your agents can use basic Zoho tools for free. This solution requires credit card details.
After that, you can switch to one of three plans: min. $12 per agent/month, max. $35 per agent/month. There is also a Light agent add-on available for $5/month except for the trial period. But there’s also a free plan available for one user only.
Zoho Desk is a mature brand. Founded in 1996 this cloud-based help desk platform targets small and mid-sized businesses when Intercom provides software for big companies too.
Both solutions have the same rating on G2 — 4,3 out of 5 stars. That means they are similar, except for some features and pricing. Starting with a $12 plan, Zoho Desk is rather affordable than its competitor — Intercom’s pricing is rather tricky. However, the last one is famous for its integration number.
Comparing the tool set we noticed Intercom is missing calls, and data management tools Zoho has. Regardless of the feature naming, using both platforms you can:
So, choosing between these two solutions, remember about your business needs.
Taking the 5th spot on our list is a competitor that features both free and paid plans. Userlike offers a simple set of features for free, such as a sophisticated website messenger and powerful features for professional support. However, the price extension is what makes Userlike a more brand-oriented solution.
All plans offer unlimited chats and a huge number of customization options to match your website’s design. Other advanced features include audio and video calls including screen sharing, live translations, file sharing, media support, and more. The best brand-oriented solution with wide customization opportunities.
With a focus on nurturing customers, Userlike provides customers with multichannel communication via website chat, and popular messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, and SMS. Since it’s a German company, it’s mindful of all the EU privacy laws (GDPR, etc.).
Userlike, as well as its competitor, offers a wide range of features:
The major strength of Userlike in pricing is best suited for startups: it is a forever free plan with 1 seat and widget, Userlike Website Messenger, unlimited conversations and contacts and all the core features you need to provide support with a small team. So this competitor turns out way more affordable. If you are new to the tool, you can use it for free on the 14-day trial. No credit card is required.
Trying to define which competitor is better we compared their features, usability, and pricing. Both these solutions have a rich tool set for customer assistance, sales, and marketing. Common features:
The ability to route users to agents with special skills is the first feature Intercom lacks in the comparison to its competitor. Userlike is useful for its messaging integrations, automation features, usability, and team management. In terms of localization battle, the winner is the first one, translated in over 30 languages. Userlike also offers more features for automating your customer service with artificial intelligence.
Both brands offer customizable pricing plans, but Userlike’s trump card has a cheaper start price and a forever free plan.
Seems like it’s half of the top. Take a break. Have you already found the best solution for your business? If not, let’s move on!
HelpCrunch is aimed at unifying sales, marketing, and customer support teams and focusing all their work on customer communication. The platforms has all the necessary tools to become your Intercom alternative.
This software toolset is quite rich:
Initially, HelpCrunch was created as a cheaper Intercom alternative. The pricing here starts at $15/mo. However, it doesn’t include email marketing at all. If you enable the minimum amount of emails, the price starts at $29/mo. And it will increase depending on your number of agents.
Before you make up your mind, test HelpCrunch for 14 days for free.
Since HelpCrunch was developed as an alternative to Intercom, both these platforms have very similar features and cover similar needs of their customers. But HelpCrunch is significantly cheaper and has a transparent pricing system, so you’ll know for sure how much you will pay.
Intercom is known for having slow or unresponsive customer service. Meanwhile, HelCrunch was marked as a tool with excellent customer support.
LiveChat has taken a spot on our list of alternative solutions thanks to its powerful feature set and customization options. It allows you to handle conversations from various channels like the web, social media, and even a mobile app. The software suits any businesses in SaaS, eCom, etc.
This makes it a versatile and strong competitor because you can provide user assistance from almost any device or operating system. The simple look of LiveChat hides enormous functionality coupled with a fully customizable chat widget.
Another thing that sets LiveChat apart is the number of integrations: it offers over 100 SaaS options to work with.
One of the best option if you’re looking for a solution as popular and credible.
Among the key help desk tools are:
You can also enable a chatbot feature. Chatbot is a separate product created by the same team that developed LiveChat. So these two platforms are easily integrated, so you could empower website chat with a chatbot.
The perfect platform for customer service and engagement, it combines questions and conversations from anywhere into a single inbox. LiveChat is famous for the number of integrations 170+ including Hubspot, Shopify, BigCommerce, WordPress, socials, etc.
Live chat with AI automation, product cards, analytics, and custom forms for collecting user data makes sales easy like never before. You can learn the system on how to route inquiries among team members, generate leads, and segment them according to selected rules.
You can use the tool for free on the 14-day trial. After that, customers can continue working with live chat and help desk software on the next plans:
Each of the plans offers a live chat, automated messages, 24/7 customer assistance, daily reports, ticketing.
Intercom provides a fully-fledged toolset for customer engagement and life-cycle marketing, while its competitor LiveChat is more about client support chat. However, LiveChat has a wide range of features precisely to engage in a conversation with a website visitor and convert them.
LiveChat is perfect for small businesses, online shops in particular. But if you need more, there is a price question. Intercom is a powerful multitasking tool. But its price is quite high, sometimes too high for small businesses. LiveChat is more affordable for potential customers.
What best features will you pay for using Intercom?
Compared to the competitor, LiveChat strength in:
Nevertheless, both solutions work with famous brands: Intercom chat is on the Heroku, StackShare, Product Hunt websites, while LiveChat helps to convert Visuality, Watchman Monitoring, and Tailor Brands clients.
Thus, between these two solutions, the choice will depend on your budget and business needs.
If the only tool you really need is a live chat, then consider Olark. The central feature of this platform is a live chat, so you get a direct channel of communication with your website visitors. It’s robust and reliable.
Since live chat is Olark’s core feature, let’s take a closer look at its features:
Also, Olark develops its own chatbot software called CoPilot. It can help you with lead generation and automation of certain tasks to free up your support team.
Olark doesn’t offer plans to choose from. You pay $29/mo/agent and get its live chat software with full functionality.
You have 14 days to test Olark’s full functionality for free.
The core difference between these two solutions is obvious. While Intercom offers a wide range of tools serving different business purposes, Olark is live chat software. It will definitely help you connect to your website visitors, collect their contacts, and support them. So, if you feel it’s sufficient for your company. Olark’s your choice.
LiveAgent truly shines with the number of instruments it offers. It covers most of the popular channels and websites, which raises your effectiveness and widens your influence over social media.
With all its features and channels, LiveAgent brings your customer support to the next level. The software feels like it took the best options from similar solutions all over the market and collected them in one place — beware Intercom!
Think it might be your choice of the alternative? Let’s take a closer look!
There is a long list of instruments worth mentioning, but the key are:
You can also set up rules to engage website visitors into conversations automatically. All the client’s data and activity are in a special profile on the dashboard.
When a user clicks the widget, LiveAgent sends your customer service agent notification about the potential client. But it can be quite irritating. Robust management options make this software one of the best in ticketing.
The standard monthly subscription model of this alternative offers any user 4 options:
You can start any with a 14-day trial.
LiveAgent widgets lack customization. You won’t find here chatbot or auto messages via email. The service looks a bit outdated but still has a good UX.
Intercom loses to its competitor in terms of cloud call center and forum for client self-service. Cheap price for the perfect balance between tools is one more thing that distinguishes LiveAgent. There is no need to compare pricing, LiveAgent is cheaper (that’s one of the reasons it got to our top of alternative solutions).
Call website visitors, talk with them, reply to tickets from anywhere, analyze reports from one place — LiveAgent dashboard.
Help Scout is a great option if you’re looking for a customer service Intercom alternative. All its main features are aimed at enhancing your support team efficiency and helping you grow.
Let’s take a look at the tools that can power up your customer support:
Help Scout offers three paid plans for its software, starting at $25/mo. The price will change depending on the number of agents you have.
You have 15 days of free trial to test all the main features of the platform.
If we’re talking about features, Intercom definitely wins. Their toolset is wider, and includes chatbots. If you want to develop both your support and marketing teams, Interco is more suitable. However, if you’re looking for software to help out your support team, Help Scout will be a more affordable solution.
Besides, Help Scout outpaces its competitor in terms of pricing transparency and quick work of their support team.
The most affordable alternative to on our list, I swear. Maybe not as functional, but on the bright side, it offers a decent number of integration options and preset shortcuts. Tawk.to also lets you track your team’s progress by setting goals and analyzing the conversation history.
The best choice for startups that look for a much cheaper Intercom alternative.
The best part of Tawk.to is that all of its tools are free. It’s the biggest advantage among other Intercom alternatives. There is a full-fledged toolset for chatting between clients and businesses:
This is not the complete list, but the most popular tools. Among extra options, Tawk.to offers white-label, live agents, assistants, screen sharing — everything to provide the highest level of assistance for your clients.
Starting with a free trial that comes with such instruments as live user tracking, customization and localization assistance, Tawk.to is a decent Intercom alternative for those with a tight budget. However, to make tawking bird fit your website’s design and remove its branding, you need to pay $12/month.
The first difference between these two solutions is in positioning. When Tawk.to is about customer engagement and support, Intercom covers the entire funnel offering tools for each step of the customer journey.
That is the reason for a huge price gap. Tawk.to starting $1/month up to $29 is nothing like Intercom’s $87+/month. And, of course, it’s affected by the number of instruments. But as a free software, Tawk.to has all the must-have tools Intercom and its alternatives offer for customer success:
This is very cool for a 100% free tool. Yes, it doesn’t have a variety of integrations. But, in terms of price and usability, the tawking bird wins the battle.
Freshchat is an interesting option, not only for customer support but for raising your credibility and brand recognition. The software allows you to cooperate with your customers and turn them into a permanent customer base for businesses of all sizes in SaaS, eCom, etc.
As well as the previous solutions it focuses on a continuous and context-driven messaging experience. Freshchat collects your user requests all over the web, mobile, social, messengers into one inbox.
One of the best options for those customers who have a lot of different tasks to solve.
All the tools here are grouped according to the business goals: leads generation, customer assistance, engagement. Among Freshchat key instruments are:
Comparing two solutions, keep in mind that the second one has an advantage in unlimited contacts, despite the chosen plan. Chatbot software offers plenty of integrations with socials, apps, CRMs. Flexible customization makes a widget fit the design and language of your brand.
21 days — the biggest trial on our list. After that you can choose one of the paid plans:
If you wanna more, there are three add-ons with the starting price $19 up to $100+. But there’s also a free plan with limited functionality, suitable for startups and small teams.
Following the same goals, these two solutions have a lot in common. They have a list of common features. But their difference is far more interesting. Thus, comparing Intercom & Freshchat you may notice that the first one lacks:
In terms of cost, Freshchat has a powerful advantage: forever free plan and lower prices. It differs it from other Intercom alternatives.
The last competitor on our list has a nice set of tools and great customization. Since UseResponse is open-source software, you can use the incredible customization options to fit any website’s style.
UseResponse’s toolset is split between live chat, feedback system, help desk, and knowledge base. It comes with major integration options to cover most messaging channels. UseResponse offers the interesting option to use it on your server or from the cloud.
The price of the service may seem somewhat high, but it’s worth trying. Plus, it comes with a free trial so you can test it before buying.
One of the best tools you can use to provide support across different channels.
There are 4 key tools offered to fit any customers support needs:
On Enterprise Cloud and self-hosted plans, you can change settings, widgets design, icons according to your brand style. The list of its integrations is the smallest on this top.
UseResponce pricing model is based on the number of agent seats, daily API requests, and tools included, just like other solutions. Thus, there are 4 basic plans with two pricing options starting with $49 up to $199 per month.
There is also a year subscription option, for example, a complete suite will cost you $4800/year.
You can test the service during the standard 14 days trial. Also you can calculate price for Cloud Plan on the pricing page.
The narrow focus of UseResponse differs from the Intercom variability. If you are primarily looking for a tool for customer assistance, UseResponse has your back. Covering the top communication channels, it provides you with a perfect set of instruments for nurturing website visitors into paying clients.
Intercom also offers an impressive set of customer service features, but its cost is much higher. Comparing UseResponse & Intercom tools, you’ll see that the first one lacks email marketing toolset. But, you know, due to the tool specialization, that’s to be expected. The only email messages UseRespond sends are agent notifications. It’s a big disadvantage.
Nevertheless, Intercom can’t boast with the variety of user feedback options UseRespond has.
To price, Intercom is the most expensive solution again. If you need only a support tool, choose UseResponse. Wanna more — look through the list again, you’ll definitely find something affordable.
So, what did we come to?
Intercom is still the best-known name in the industry of website chat software. With a powerful set of tools for customer messaging, it offers one of the best UI. But, many tools provide customers with tools Intercom doesn’t have.
For example, when it will release a fully automated tracking master like Dashly, there is an opportunity to claim the crown. Unfortunately, features aren’t the main Intercom problem. Pricing. Even with updates, it looks too complicated. The high cost of the tool makes its customers look for other solutions to move to.
Thus, if you’re searching for:
Define your goals and make your choice.
You can also test a few solutions on a free trial. You can start with Dashly 😉 This way, you get:
— a full-fledged website chat software with conversations analytics;
— variety of integrations to fit Dashly in your tech stack seamlessly;
— friendly, responsive support that will answer all your questions;
— 7 days of free trial to test all the main features of the platform.
This article was originally published on March 9, 2021, but it was updated on February 17, 2023.