Did you know that sales, marketing, and support teams at more than 25,000 businesses use Intercom’s platform daily? That’s a pretty significant number.
If you’re interested in the SaaS industry, you’ve probably heard about or experimented with Intercom. With its sophisticated solutions and features, it’s one of the most popular tools today. While it’s a very competitive and interesting tool for businesses from a technological standpoint, there may be better options for you. And today, you’ll be able to learn why.
So, what makes Intercom so popular? What can it do for your business? And what are some alternatives that may be better suited to you?
Today, we’ll cover:
- An overview of Intercom
- Five affordable alternatives to Intercom
- Comparing customer support tools
- Choose the best Intercom alternative
Ready? Let’s dive in!
An overview of Intercom
Intercom is a Customer Communications Platform. It shows you who is using your product or website and makes it easy to personally communicate with them with targeted content, behavior-driven messages, and conversational support.
It offers a free plan with multiple websites and apps and a paid plan with specific features. In addition, Intercom offers SMS marketing services and plugins for importing contacts, sending notifications, and managing campaigns. To provide a better user experience, Intercom uses a modern design and simple functionality for everyone.
Generally, the product helps you convert more users through their features and solutions and understand, communicate, and support your customers in one simple, integrated platform.
How Intercom started
To learn how Intercom got started, we must go back to 2011 in California. Four Irish designers and engineers named Ciaran Lee, Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, and David Barrett started the company after selling Rackspace. Shortly after, Intercom received funding from important investors, and in March of 2013, they announced a 6 million series round. Later on, in 2017, they reached 50 million series funding led by index ventures. All in just six years!
All these investments and growth helped the company become the giant it is now. According to Sacra, it’s estimated that the company hit $261M ARR in 2021 (31% growth) and will hit $338M ARR by the end of 2022. (29% growth).
Intercom has different features to help users solve different problems. Here they are explained:
- Messenger: The Intercom Messenger allows you to communicate with customers in context and drive actions across their journey
- Next-Gen Inbox: This inbox help users solve their issues faster through a tool they’re familiar with
- Tickets: Intercom tickets help you go through all customer requests and solve them independently, effectively, and quickly
- Outbound Messages: Outbound Messages enable you to onboard and proactively support your users on the web and in your mobile app
- News: Intercom allows you to share relevant news about your company through Messenger and from the News Center
- Surveys: Surveys allow you to capture customer feedback and use it to improve your product or service
- 2-Way SMS: The two-way SMS help you engage and encourage action with your customers at any time from anywhere
- Help Center Articles: These help articles allow customers to solve their issues independently with validated articles through a knowledge base
- Product Tours: These guided, adoption-driving tours onboard your customers through the new features and highlight everything more important to them
- Tooltips: Educate customers about your product in a non-disruptive and contextual way through tooltips
- Custom and Resolution Bots: Customized and conversational bots give you support for customers’ inquiries, doubts, and more
- Custom Actions and Objects: Take your customers’ self-service to the next level by integrating your external data with Intercom bots and reducing the volume of inbound conversations
- Switch: Move phone conversations to Messenger and reduce hold times
Intercom prices are confusing, complicated, and unpredictable. That’s why many users have complained about it.
In general terms, Intercom offers four different packages based on the size of your business and its corresponding needs. The cheapest Intercom option is the “Starter plan,” which is $74 a month when billed annually. The most expensive one is the “Scale plan,” which is $999 per month and includes ten seats, custom bots, Salesforce integrations, and complex workflows.
What’s confusing is that these prices aren’t the ones you’ll see on your invoices, as Intercom charges additional fees for active contacts.
Benefits of Intercom
Intercom has several benefits; the most important ones are as follows:
- Automate customer service and marketing workflows to offer 24/7 support
- Communicate with your customers in real-time to improve customer satisfaction
- Improve customer service by tracking customer interactions
- Collect customer feedback to improve your products and services
Points of improvement of Intercom
As said before, Intercom has accumulated complaints about different users regarding their pricing strategy, functionality, and services. The main points of improvement the tool has are:
- The pricing strategy is confusing, and it’s difficult to estimate the total cost of the subscription beforehand
- At first, choosing the features and plans is difficult because you are not sure what your company needs
- The intercom chatbot isn’t intuitive and lacks flexibility
- Setting the tool and discovering how it works is difficult to understand
- You get what you pay for
Intercom can be good for some companies, but we can assure you that there are other options. Now let us introduce some of the best Intercom alternatives and how each tool can help you manage your daily communications in an all-in-one platform.
5 Affordable alternatives to Intercom
Here are five affordable alternatives to Intercom that will help you increase your communication and engagement with your customers. Let’s go!
FROGED is one of the best alternatives to Intercom. It’s an all-in-one Product Success Platform built by a SaaS company for SaaS companies. The platform allows brands access to their entire customer lifecycle: Onboarding, Engagement, and Proactive Customer Support.
Connecting the dots within a customer’s journey will help brands personalize the customer experience at every touchpoint, increasing overall MRR.
FROGED will improve your product adoption, empower your team and, along the way, create brand advocates. It’s the best for companies that want to improve customer service and convert customers into paying users. Ready to try it? Book a demo with FROGED today!
2. Zendesk chat
The Zendesk platform includes a CRM, chatbot, and additional sales and customer service tools to help you achieve your customer success goals. It offers a freemium chat service. Through Zendesk, you can provide answers in real-time, analyze live chat analytics, access quality reports, and more.
You probably heard about Hubspot. It’s a CRM marketing software that connects everything scaling companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. Using it, you can chat with visitors in real time, manage, and respond to customer inquiries, create tickets, and create knowledge bases.
Freshdesk is a cloud-based software tool that provides helpdesk with smart automatizations. The software converts incoming requests received via email, web, phone, chat, and social media into tickets and unifies ticket resolution across channels. With Freshdesk, you can automate workflows, provide self-service, and measure metrics.
Drift is a B2B service provider that helps companies engage with their customers in real-time. It uses targeted messaging to engage with customers and omnichannel support. Also, it provides regular reports to see the status of different sales processes and automatically book meetings with sales representatives.
We know all this information can seem overwhelming at times. To choose the best tool for your company, you should determine your exact goals and what you want to improve within your customer communication processes.
Choose from the Best Intercom alternatives
Intercom is a good tool. However, it can be too expensive and difficult to understand for some businesses. Thanks to the evolution and growth of technology companies, there are many alternatives that can provide everything you need in one platform.
Companies such as FROGED, Drift, Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Hubspot can help companies achieve the success they need regarding customer support. To choose the best tool for your business, consider your size, needs, preferred features, and budget. After that, pick the one that better fits your needs and skyrocket your customer support!
Are you interested in learning more about customer support tools? Check out our customer support features or book a demo to learn more about how FROGED provides the best customer support chat tool and plenty of other features that help improve the customer journey of your SaaS.