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Zendesk vs Intercom: the ultimate comparison by Ana Khlystova HelpCrunch

zendesk chat vs intercom

Intercom, while differing from Zendesk, offers specialized features aimed at enhancing customer relationships. Founded as a business messenger, it now extends to enabling support, engagement, and conversion. It delivers a multi-channel support system with customer service automation. You can set business rules, SLA, and ticket routing based on the agent’s skills, language, and expertise. Each message will have identifiers so that they will be easy to recognize at a glance. As a result, you’ll be able to see the sender, anyone who replied, and the dates of their interaction.

It offers a chat-first approach, making it ideal for companies looking to prioritize interactive and personalized customer interactions. The comparison of whether Intercom is better than Zendesk depends on your specific customer support and engagement needs and objectives. If you seek to enhance customer engagement through chat-based support, in-app messaging, and proactive outreach, Intercom may be the superior option. Zendesk and Intercom are tailored to enhance your customer support and engagement, providing robust tools for managing customer inquiries, automating responses, and facilitating communication. However, a fundamental difference between them is their scope and focus.

zendesk chat vs intercom

There are several notable alternatives to Intercom in the customer support and engagement space, including Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout, HubSpot, and Zoho Desk. There are several notable alternatives to Zendesk in the customer support and engagement space, including Intercom, Freshdesk, Help Scout, and Zoho Desk. Given that both of these platforms seem aimed at one sort of market or another, it shouldn’t surprise you that we might find a few gaps in the sorts of services they provide. But it’s also a given that many people will approach their reviews to Zendesk and Intercom with some specific missions in mind, and that’s bound to change how they feel about the platforms.

Zendesk has more all-in-one potential with additional CRM, but Intercom comes closer to being a standalone CRM out of the box

Both Zendesk and Intercom offer customer service software with AI capabilities—however, they are not created equal. With Zendesk, you get next-level AI-powered support software that’s intuitively designed, scalable, and cost-effective. Compare Zendesk vs. Intercom and future-proof your business with reliable, easy-to-use software.

Zendesk also offers a straightforward interface to operators that helps them identify the entire interaction pathway with the customers. Compared to being detailed, Zendesk gives a tough competition to Intercom. Operators can easily switch from one conversation to another, therefore helping operators manage more interactions simultaneously. Pricing for both services varies based on the specific needs and scale of your business.

Plus, Zendesk’s integration with various channels ensures customers can always find a convenient way to reach out. Intercom, on the other hand, offers more advanced automation features than Zendesk. It allows businesses to automate a wide range of business interactions. Its automation tools help companies see automated responses and triggers based on the customer journey and response time. Intercom’s automation features enable businesses to deliver a personalized experience to customers and scale their customer support function effectively. Zendesk offers simple chatbots and provides businesses with straightforward chatbot creation tools, allowing them to set up automated responses and assist customers with common queries.

But Intercom’s friendliness for growing companies is something you can’t afford to ignore. If your business is established and you need to cut down on those ticket resolution times, Zendesk may be worth it. Just like Intercom, Zendesk’s customer service is quite disappointing. The only relief is that they do reach out to customers, but it gets too late.

But if you’re not familiar with them, think of the software as online human resource departments. For instance, customers and staff alike can channel messages through it. The methods that help desks use, however, are meant to cater to possibly thousands to millions of messages. Because there could be a thousand customers complaining at any given hour to all your staff having problems with business protocols.

An example of the platforms’ different focus is that Intercom includes an email marketing feature, whereas Zendesk doesn’t. While both Intercom and Zendesk excel in customer support and engagement, the decision between the two depends on your specific requirements. It’s well-suited for organizations aiming to enhance customer engagement through real-time communication. Determining whether Zendesk zendesk chat vs intercom is better than Intercom hinges on your unique customer support and engagement requirements. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. Zendesk excels as a robust and versatile customer support platform, offering comprehensive tools for managing customer inquiries and support operations across various channels. If your business values a feature-rich and customizable solution for customer interactions, Zendesk may be the better choice.

You can either track your performance on a pre-built dashboard or customize and build one for yourself. This customized dashboard will help you see metrics that you’d like to focus on regularly. If that’s not detailed enough, then surely their visitor browsing details will leave you surprised. This enables your operators to understand visitor intent faster and provide them with a personalized experience. When comparing the user interfaces (UI) of Zendesk and Intercom, both platforms exhibit distinct characteristics and strengths catering to different user preferences and needs.

Zendesk’s pricing structure provides increasing levels of features and capabilities as businesses move up the tiers. This scalability allows organizations to adapt their support operations to their expanding customer base. Higher-tier plans in Zendesk come packed with advanced functionalities such as chatbots, customizable knowledge bases, and performance dashboards. These features can add significant value for businesses aiming to implement more sophisticated support capabilities as they scale. To begin with, communication with customers is important these days. Without proper channels to reach you, usually, customers will take their business elsewhere.

zendesk chat vs intercom

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​​​​​​. Zendesk and Intercom also both offer analytics and reporting capabilities that allow businesses to analyze and monitor customer agents’ productivity. As a result, companies can identify trends and areas for improvement, allowing them to continuously improve their support processes and provide better service to their customers. One of Zendesk’s standout features that we need to shine a spotlight on is its extensive marketplace of third-party integrations and extensions. Imagine having the power to connect your helpdesk solution with a wide range of tools and applications that your team already uses.

Intercom VS. Zendesk: User Review

Zendesk provides limited customer support for its basic plan users, along with costly premium assistance options. On the other hand, Intercom is generally praised for its support features, despite facing challenges with its AI chatbot and the complexity of its help articles. Intercom generally receives positive feedback for its customer support, with users appreciating the comprehensive features and team-oriented tools. However, there are occasional criticisms regarding the effectiveness of its AI chatbot and some interface navigation challenges. The overall sentiment from users indicates a satisfactory level of support, although opinions vary. The strength of Zendesk’s UI lies in its structured and comprehensive environment, adept at managing numerous customer interactions and integrating various channels seamlessly.

zendesk chat vs intercom

In contrast, Intercom follows a pricing structure that can be straightforward for businesses looking for specific functionalities. However, it’s important to note that Intercom’s pricing can vary depending on factors such as the number of users, conversations, and additional features you require. In some cases, Zendesk may be considered a more cost-effective option compared to Intercom, particularly for businesses with smaller budgets or those looking for more predictable pricing. The ProProfs Live Chat Editorial Team is a passionate group of customer service experts dedicated to empowering your live chat experiences with top-notch content. We stay ahead of the curve on trends, tackle technical hurdles, and provide practical tips to boost your business.

Reporting and Analytics

Let us look at the type and size of business for which Zednesk and Intercom are suitable. These weaknesses are not as significant as the features and functionalities Zendesk offers its users. The help center in Intercom is also user-friendly, enabling agents to access content creation easily.

Installing it might take some technical skill and even when installed, could malfunction a bit. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assist customers through self-help options or access to the relevant articles before connecting them to your team. And this, undoubtedly, leaves your customer support agents free to solve urgent matters.

Choose Zendesk for a scalable, team-size-based pricing model and Intercom for initial low-cost access with flexibility in adding advanced features. Both platforms have their unique strengths in multichannel support, with Zendesk offering a more comprehensive range of integrated channels and Intercom focusing on a dynamic, chat-centric experience. Key offerings include automated support with help center articles, a messenger-first ticketing system, and a powerful inbox to centralize customer queries. Zendesk and Intercom are robust tools with a wide range of customer service and CRM features.

When comparing Zendesk and Intercom, Zendesk stands out with its robust and versatile customer support solutions. It offers a comprehensive platform for managing customer inquiries and support tickets across multiple channels, providing businesses with a powerful toolset for customer service management. Zendesk’s extensive feature set and customizable workflows are particularly appealing to organizations looking to streamline and scale their customer support operations efficiently. Zendesk is distinguished by its robust and versatile customer support solutions. It provides a comprehensive platform for managing customer inquiries, support tickets, and interactions across multiple channels. On the other hand, Intercom shines in its focus on conversational engagement and real-time communication with customers.

It also lacks advanced features like collaboration reporting, custom metrics, metric correlation, and drill-in attribution. Intercom does not have a dedicated workforce management solution, either. So yeah, two essential things that Zendesk lacks in comparison to Intercom are in-app messages and email marketing tools. Intercom on the other hand lacks many ticketing functionality that can be essential for big companies with a huge customer support load. In a nutshell, both these companies provide great customer support.

Integrating AI in the help center helps agents find answers to customer inquiries, providing a seamless customer experience. Zendesk’s AI offers automated responses to customer inquiries, increasing the team’s productivity, as they can spend time on the most crucial things. In addition to all these features, Suite Growth Plan offers light agents, multilingual support, multiple ticket forms, and a self-service customer portal.

On the other hand, Intercom has all its (fewer) tools and features integrated with each other way better, which makes your experience with the tool as smooth as silk. Intercom calculates the price based on the number of seats (users) you request. Depending on the seat type (subscription plan), users get access to different features. For example, the Messaging feature is not available in the Support plan, while Articles aren’t available in the Engage and Conver plans. Unfortunately, you can’t calculate the price by yourself since Intercom hid its pricing table.

Advanced AI in Intercom

Zendesk is among the industry’s best ticketing and customer support software, and most of its additional functionality is icing on the proverbial cake. Intercom, on the other hand, is designed to be more of a complete solution for sales, marketing, and customer relationship nurturing. You can use it for customer support, but that’s not its core strength. Intercom offers reporting and analytics tools with limited capabilities for custom reporting, user behavior metrics, and advanced visualization.

zendesk chat vs intercom

You can also set up interactive product tours to highlight new features in-product and explain how they work. Zendesk started in 2007 as a web-based SaaS product for managing incoming customer support requests. Since then, it has evolved into a full-fledged CRM that offers a suite of software applications to its over 160,000 customers like Uber, Siemens, and Tesco.

Pricing Comparison: Zendesk vs. Intercom

Zendesk may be unable to give the agents more advanced features or customization options for chatbots. However, it’s essential to recognize that Zendesk has its own array of strengths, particularly in its comprehensive and versatile customer support platform. Intercom’s pricing structure offers different plans to cater to various customer support and engagement needs, accommodating users with different budgets. Zendesk is more robust in terms of its ticket management capabilities, it offers more customization options and advanced features like a virtual call center app. On the other hand, Intercom is more focused on conversational customer support, and has more help desk features suited for live chat and messaging.

Known for its scalability, Zendesk is suitable for various business sizes, from startups to large corporations. On the other hand, Intercom brings a dynamic approach to customer support. Its suite of tools goes beyond traditional ticketing and focuses on customer engagement and messaging automation. From in-app chat to personalized autoresponders, Intercom provides a unified experience across multiple channels, creating a support ecosystem that nurtures and converts leads.

Intercom does have a ticketing dashboard that has omnichannel functionality, much like Zendesk. Keeping this general theme in mind, I’ll dive deeper into how each software’s features compare, so you can decide which use case might best fit your needs. With over 160,000 customers across all industries and regions, Zendesk has the CX expertise to provide you with best practices and thought leadership to increase your overall value. But don’t just take our word for it—listen to what customers say about why they picked Zendesk.

zendesk chat vs intercom

If delivering an outstanding customer experience and employee experience is your top priority, Zendesk should be your top pick over Intercom. Zendesk has the CX expertise to help businesses of all sizes scale their service experience without compromise. Say what you will, but Intercom’s design and overall user experience are leaving all its competitors far behind. It’s beautifully crafted and thought through, and their custom-made illustrations are just next level stuff. You can see their attention to detail in everything — from their tools to their website.

Zendesk VS. Intercom for Customer Support: Pricing

This structured approach ensures that no customer query goes unnoticed or unattended, regardless of the channel through which it was initiated. While Zendesk is a widely used and versatile customer support and engagement platform, it’s important to consider whether there might be a better software solution tailored to your specific needs. Zendesk is another popular customer service, support, and sales platform that enables clients to connect and engage with their customers in seconds. Just like Intercom, Zendesk can also integrate with multiple messaging platforms and ensure that your business never misses out on a support opportunity. 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.

If you’d want to test Zendesk and Intercom before deciding on a tool for good, they both provide free trials. Intercom has a standard trial period for a SaaS product which is 14 days, while Zendesk offers a 30-day trial. As we delve into the features of Zendesk, we can identify the following weaknesses regarding user experience. Any business knows that the front desk is where everything happens. It’s where customers ask the questions that may result in the largest sales in your company’s history.

  • For example, the Messaging feature is not available in the Support plan, while Articles aren’t available in the Engage and Conver plans.
  • This exploration aims to provide a detailed comparison, aiding businesses in making an informed decision that aligns with their customer service goals.
  • Intercom’s CRM can work as a standalone CRM and requires no additional service to operate robustly.
  • The platform also lacks transparency in displaying reviews, install counts, and purpose-built customer service integrations.
  • In any case, if you choose Zendesk or Intercom, you get wide chatting possibilities.

While some of these functionalities related to AI are included in the Zendesk suite, others are part of advanced AI add-ons. If agents want to offer their customers a great experience, they can spend an additional $50 to have the AI add-on. The pricing structure of Intercom is complex, making it difficult for Intercom users to understand their final costs. Intercom charges the price based on representative seats and people reached, with additional expenses for add-ons. These pricing structures are flexible enough to cater to all business sizes and types. Moreover, the pricing model ensures customer transparency and reveals the costs that businesses will incur.

Nevertheless, the platform’s support consistency can be a concern, and the unpredictable pricing structure might lead to increased costs for larger organizations. Intercom is the go-to solution for businesses seeking to elevate customer support and sales processes. With its user-friendly interface and advanced functionalities, Intercom offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to effectively communicate and engage with customers. Unlike Intercom, Zendesk is scalable, intuitively designed for CX, and offers a low total cost of ownership.

This lack of transparency can create budgeting problems for businesses. Intercom also provides fast time to value for smaller and mid-sized businesses https://chat.openai.com/ with limitations for large-scale companies. It may have limited abilities regarding the scalability or support of an enterprise-level company.

Intercom has limited scalability compared to Zendesk, which is unsuitable for large-scale enterprises. If transparency in pricing is not an issue for you and you are a small business, contact Intercom. If, after the additional prices they charge, the plan works for you, Intercom is a great way to manage your customer relationships. Every CRM software comes with some limitations along with the features it offers. You can analyze if that weakness is something that concerns your business model. The final prices are revealed after engaging in sales demos and are not revealed upfront.

As a rule, Intercom reviews are positive as many users praise the interface, the ease of use, and the deployment of the software. However, some users remarked that a developer is needed to properly install the software or run the risks of problems in the future. The Intercom Messenger, in particular, performs well Chat PG compared to the Zendesk alternative. Analytics features Intercom has is done through add-ons such as Google Analytics, Statbot, Microsoft Teams, and more. For large-scale businesses, the budget for such investments is usually higher than for startups, but they need to analyze if the investment is worth it.

Apart from a live chat, it has a feature called ‘Business Messenger’ that comes with its own AI chatbot. Moreover, Intercom bots can converse naturally with customers by using conversation starters, respond with self-help, and knowledge base articles. However, if you compare Zendesk vs Intercom chat in ease of use, the letter wins.

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What’s really nice about this is that even within a ticket, you can switch between communication modes without changing views. 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.

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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. Powered by Explore, Zendesk’s reporting capabilities are pretty impressive. Right out of the gate, you’ve got dozens of pre-set report options on everything from satisfaction ratings and time in status to abandoned calls and Answer Bot resolutions. You can even save custom dashboards for a more tailored reporting experience. Broken down into custom, resolution, and task bots, these can go a long way in taking repetitive tasks off agents’ plates.

As more organizations adopt AI, it will be critical to choose a data model that aligns with how your business operates. Customer experience will be no exception, and AI models that are purpose-built for CX lead to better results at scale. Also, their in-app messenger is worth a separate mention as it’s one of their distinctive tools (especially since Zendesk doesn’t really have one). With Intercom you can send targeted email, push, and in-app messages which can be based on the most relevant time or behavior triggers. But I don’t want to sell their chat tool short as it still has most of necessary features like shortcuts (saved responses), automated triggers and live chat analytics.

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