No business can be successful without fast, efficient customer service. And, if you’re looking for customer service software, chances are you come across Intercom sooner or later.
There’s a reason for that. Intercom is a leading customer engagement platform, in part because of its basic and advanced features, many of which are now AI-powered. But it’s not all gravy, with users frequently griping about the steep learning curve and Intercom’s expensive—not to mention complicated—pricing tiers.
If you’re starting to look for Intercom alternatives, we’ve got good news: there are plenty of options to supercharge your customer support efforts, as long as you know where to look. We’ll get you started with this list of the best top-rated Intercom alternatives. Each one has its unique advantages, and all of them will help you build impactful customer experiences that drive business growth.
What Should You Look for in Customer Support Alternatives to Intercom?
Let’s start with one clarification: there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best Intercom alternative. Instead, there are multiple alternatives to Intercom, all of which bring their own unique advantages and customer management features.
Still, the best Intercom alternatives all tend to share a few common features:
- User-friendliness: All tools for excellent customer service have to be easy to use, enabling your support team members to focus all their attention on optimizing customer interactions
- Comprehensive customer tracking: The better you can track your customers, the more informed your customer support teams can be when working with each ticket and service request
- Internal communication options: Team communication is a core requirement of quality customer service; the more easily your customer support agents can collaborate, the better
- Ticketing options: Any customer service platform has to make it easy for your team to track customer support tickets for reliable, timely resolution of customer feedback
- Social media integrations: From social media monitoring tools to a ticketing system extending to social media messages, modern customer service software has to account for the channels
- AI capabilities: From live chat to ticket routing, any Intercom alternative should help support agents from small businesses to large teams streamline their work through AI
The 9 Best Intercom Alternatives to Use in 2024
Intercom may be too pricey, or too hard to learn, or you might just want to keep your options open. From live chat software to sales and marketing automation, use this list to start your search for the best Intercom alternative matching your specific situation and business needs.
1. Help Scout
Listed frequently as a top help desk software solution and an alternative to customer service software like Freshdesk, Help Scout prioritizes customer engagement. But its true place as the best Intercom alternative on this list is due to its AI capabilities, which can help with anything from condensing long emails to more dynamic replies and other automation features.
Help Scout best features
- A shared inbox makes it easy for support agents to collaborate on customer queries and requests
- The knowledge base integrates directly into the live chat feature, speeding up responses and lightening the load of live chat agents
- Integration with email marketing automation tools like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor can make follow-ups easier and more intuitive
- Beacon help widget provides features like in-app messaging and chat support
Help Scout limitations
- No chatbot functionality in its live chat widget
- Unlimited chat history and full social media support are only available in the highest-paid plan
Help Scout pricing
- Standard: $20/user per month
- Plus: $40/user per month
- Pro: $60/user per month
Help Scout ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (300+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (200+ reviews)
2. HubSpot Service Hub
A giant in the email marketing automation game, HubSpot has made a name for itself in customer support, as well. Especially for existing HubSpot users already familiar with features like its AI tools for CRM, the Service Hub can be a great Intercom alternative for live chat software, AI-enabled chatbots, a help desk ticketing system, and more.
HubSpot Service Hub best features
- Comprehensive knowledge base feature to build a library of answers for your live chat and support agents
- Built-in VoIP software to keep all sales and customer support—including your call center—in one place
- In-depth reporting dashboard to review performance from website visitors to chat conversations
- An omnichannel approach to customer service with support for all major channels
HubSpot Service Hub limitations
- Full functionality requires subscriptions to multiple other tools, including HubSpot CRM
- Customization options can be limited for its messaging platform and other communication channels
HubSpot Service Hub pricing
- Starter: $20 per month
- Professional: $500 per month
- Enterprise: $1,200 per month
HubSpot Service Hub ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.5/5 (2,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.1/5 (150+ reviews)
Offering free migration services for users of its competitors, HelpCrunch is another top alternative to Intercom. Its help desk ticketing system, combined with a multi-channel approach that can make it one of the broadest customer service platforms available, makes it an especially popular choice for maximizing customer satisfaction and engagement.
HelpCrunch best features
- Advanced, dynamically generated customer profiles that record and store user paths, purchase histories, previous touchpoints, and more
- An intuitive chat widget that can be customized to match your brand and support team
- Integrated email marketing automation that can be customized based on user behavior, location, and more
- A shared inbox, chat transcripts, and dashboards make it easy for teams to collaborate
- AI functionality is still in development, with some users reporting bugs in the support platform
- No analytics on website visitors or products, requiring online businesses to turn elsewhere for this valuable data
- Basic: $12/month per agent
- Pro: $20/month per agent
- Enterprise: $495/month for unlimited users
HelpCrunch ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (180+ reviews)
Its name might not give it away, but LiveChat is a comprehensive customer communication platform. Yes, you get an in-depth live chat feature that comes with plenty of integrations, from Squarespace to WhatsApp. But its advanced features also include the ability to send and receive targeted messages to all of your customers, from website visitors to text.
LiveChat best features
- Advanced AI capabilities that can automate customer support without sacrificing quality
- Industry-leading live chat widget with advanced customization options like agent profiles, customer data reports, and more
- Automated ticketing system that tracks customer inquiries and assigns tasks to customer support agents for appropriate responses
- A 14-day trial allows businesses to explore even advanced features for free
- Relatively expensive compared to other Intercom alternatives given its feature set
- The system can lag at times, delaying response times to live chat messages
Live Chat pricing
- Starter: $20/month per user
- Team: $41/month per user
- Business: $59/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
LiveChat ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.5/5 (700+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,600+ reviews)
Another live-chat-focused software, Olark, shines in its core competency. A beautiful chat widget comes with automated chat transcripts and unlimited chat history for later reference. Also included is the ability to turn that raw data into actionable analytics, which goes a long way toward helping to optimize your customer service.
Olark best features
- Message automation through AI capabilities, streamlining customer interactions
- AI-powered live chat translations can take your customer management international quickly and efficiently
- Advanced keyword search ability through old live chat transcripts for future reference
- User-friendly interface that makes onboarding easy through a minimal learning curve
- No dedicated ticketing system, limiting its abilities as a help desk software and true alternative to Intercom
- No mobile app or mobile messaging platform that would enable customer service management on the go
- Free 14-day trial
- Unlimited: $29/month per user
Olark ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (400+ reviews)
When considering AI, any list of the best Intercom alternatives has to include Tidio. It’s a tool designed for customer satisfaction, thanks to advanced automation features that combine with human support to optimize your multi-channel and in-app messaging.
Tidio best features
- Robust live chat widget, including social media integrations for multi-channel support
- Broad template database for anything from standard responses to automated emails and other communication channels
- User-friendly ticketing system that can turn Tidio into a help desk software usable by small businesses
- Automated customer satisfaction surveys help businesses evaluate their efforts
- Limited integrations with other customer support tools compared to other Intercom alternatives
- While the overall setup is straightforward, setting up the chatbot and building its answer library can be confusing
- Starter: $29/month
- Communicator: $25/month per user
- Chatbots: $29/month
- Tidio+: $394/month
Tidio ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (1,400+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (800+ reviews)
It may not be the most direct alternative to Intercom, but no list of help desk software can be complete without at least mentioning Zendesk.
It’s a ticketing system above all, with features like automated responses, advanced reporting, and workflow automation all adding to its appeal as a top Intercom alternative.
Zendesk best features
- Automated answer bot that streamlines its messaging platform and helps agents focus on more complex issues
- Advanced knowledge base feature to build a self-help system for small businesses to direct their users
- 1,000+ integrations to turn Zendesk into a comprehensive platform to improve customer service
- Machine learning-enabled chatbot that learns to improve its responses over time
- Chatbot is confusing to configure and can provide irrelevant answers at first
- AI functionality is a significant extra cost compared to other alternatives to Intercom
- Suite Team: $55/month per user
- Suite Growth: $89/month per user
- Suite Professional: $115/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
- Advanced AI integrations: $50/month per user
Zendesk ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.3/5 (5,700+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (3,700+ reviews)
With ClickDesk, live chat is just the beginning. This Intercom alternative allows your agents to video and voice chat with customers, enhancing their support abilities on mobile devices, desktop computers, and any other channels needed.
ClickDesk best features
- Browser-based video and voice chat features, including screen sharing for agents to explain complex solutions
- Social media toolbar integrations to reach customers where they spend their time
- Streamlined inbox panel that makes it easy to view, distribute, and manage open queries
- Native mobile app for agents to manage customer support requests and live chat queries on the go
- The help desk features and knowledge base features are limited compared to other free Intercom alternatives on this list
- High learning curve for small businesses just looking for a quick onboarding to their Intercom alternative of choice
- Free Plan for up to 10 users
- Lite: $14.99/month
- Pro: $24.99/month
- Enterprise: $39/month
ClickDesk ratings and reviews
- G2: 5/5 (1+ reviews)
- Capterra: 3/5 (3+ reviews)
If you’re looking for call center support, Freshdesk might just be your best Intercome alternative. It includes an integrated ticketing system along with messaging and AI-enabled chatbot support, along with the ability to turn customer data into advanced, actionable reports to improve your customer service over time.
Freshdesk best features
- Advanced call center features including the ability to streamline all inbound and outbound service calls
- AI automation features include dynamic ticket routing and escalation, chatbot support, and predictive reporting
- Shared ownership of tasks and tickets enables large teams to collaborate on service requests across channels
- True omnichannel support makes Freshdesk the most comprehensive Intercom Alternative on this list
- Highly complex tool that will require extensive setup and onboarding to be effective
- No centralized customer database or CRM would provide easy insights into interaction histories
- Growth: $15/month per user
- Pro: $49/month per user
- Enterprise: $79/month per user
Freshdesk ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (2,900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (3,000+ reviews)
Go Beyond Intercom: Other Customer Service Software and AI Tools
Even if you find the best Intercom alternative for your situation, you will still need other tools designed to help you optimize your customer service. Here, AI-powered support tools like ClickUp can create a definite advantage over trying to manage your entire support operation with a single platform.
ClickUp is a powerful all-in-one productivity platform that customer service professionals rely on for its rich set of features, ease of use, and built-in project management tools.
Where Intercom alternatives may help with customer relationship management, ClickUp allows you to create the overarching CRM strategy that ultimately drives your daily decisions. In fact, you can use ClickUp CRM features to build an actionable, comprehensive database of all your customers.
And that’s before we even start to talk about ClickUp AI, a virtual assistant software powered by artificial intelligence and specifically created to streamline your work. From document summaries to automated task creation and dynamic copy editing, ClickUp helps you build the backend you need to optimize the work of your support agents.
ClickUp best features
- A large template database, including options like communication plan templates and customer support templates
- Knowledge base creation through ClickUp Docs, which can directly connect to your tasks and workflows
- Extensive AI features to automate and improve your work and focus on more strategic tasks
- Unlimited free trial in the Free Forever plan to test out core function for as long as you need before you commit
- Not a dedicated Intercom alternative designed specifically for customer service
- The comprehensive feature set can lead to a longer learning curve for new users
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7/month per user
- Business: $12/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
- ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace
ClickUp ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (9,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (3,800+ reviews)
Take Your Customer Relationship Management to the Next Level With ClickUp
It might not be a direct Intercom alternative, but ClickUp can quickly become a crucial piece of your collection of customer service tools.
That starts with customer relationship management. With the right templates, you can build your own knowledge base, track customer data, and enhance your customer support.
But above all, ClickUp shines as a free project management software directly connected to your customer support. Instead of just starting with a free trial that moves quickly into a per-month subscription, this customer support software won’t ever impact your budget until you need it to.
And of course, thanks to its broad capabilities, you can manage your sales and marketing campaigns right alongside your customer service.
Ready to get started? Create your free ClickUp account today to take your customer support to the next level.