By 05/07/2023

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

intercom and zendesk

For businesses looking for a comprehensive customer service and support tool, Zendesk reigns supreme. Its feature offering is second to none and for growing companies, Zendesk scales as well or better than any other customer support platform on the market. It tends to perform well on the marketing and sales side of things, which is key for a growing company. And considering that its tools (including live chat options) are so easy to use, it’s probably going to be easier for a small business to get integrated and set up. ThriveDesk empowers small businesses to manage real-time customer communications.

Both tools can be quite heavy on your budget since they mainly target big enterprises and don’t offer their full toolset at an affordable price. Is it as simple as knowing whether you want software strictly for customer support (like Zendesk) or for some blend of customer relationship management and sales support (like Intercom)? 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.

Customer service has evolved.Zendesk hasn’t.

Get ahead of issues before they happen with in-context, automated messages. Resolve complex issues more efficiently with tickets designed to keep the conversation going. Intercom is human-powered and AI-enhanced, helping you deliver personalized, conversational support that scales with your business.

intercom and zendesk

Intercom has more customization features for features like bots, themes, triggers, and funnels. Yes, you can install the Messenger on your iOS or Android app so customers can get in touch from your mobile app. Zendesk’s platform is outdated, leaving customers to face modern challenges with obsolete tools. View your users’ Zendesk tickets in Intercom and create new ones directly from conversations. Zendesk has over 160,000 customers, including some well-known brands like Siemens, Uber and Instacart. Zendesk identifies itself as a growth-enabling, all-in-one solution.

Connect Intercom to Zendesk

Both options are well designed, easy to use, and share some pretty key functionality like behavioral triggers and omnichannel-ality (omnichannel-centricity?). But with perks like more advanced chatbots, automation, and lead management capabilities, Intercom could have an edge for many users. 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 does just enough that smaller businesses could use it as a standalone CRM or supplement it with a simpler CRM at a lower pricing tier, but bigger companies may not be satisfied with Intercom alone.

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As mentioned before, the bot builder is a visual drag-and-drop system that requires no coding knowledge; this is also how other basic workflows are designed. The more expensive Intercom plans offer AI-powered content cues, triage, and conversation insights. There are pre-built workflows to help with things like ticket sharing, as well as conversation routing based on metrics like agent skill set or availability.

This tier provides everything a small or medium-sized business will need, including better ticket management and advanced workflow automation tools. It’s an opportunity for Zendesk to differentiate itself, but unfortunately it didn’t get very high marks from users, either. Reviewers were frustrated by how long it took for their tickets to get resolved, as well as the complexity with which they were tossed around from department to department. Given that these are two services predicated on making you better at customer support, you’d think they’d be able to handle it better themselves. However, reading the reviews, it’s probably more accurate to say that Zendesk is “mixed” on customer support, whereas Intercom doesn’t have a stellar record. Create a help center combining knowledge base articles and a customer contact request form, embeddable into any webpage or mobile app.

intercom and zendesk

With Zendesk Sell, you can also customize how deals move through your pipeline by setting pipeline stages that reflect your sales cycle. Intercom allows visitors to search for and view articles from the messenger widget. Customers won’t need to leave your app or website to find the help they need.Zendesk, on the other hand, will redirect the customer to a new web page. Intercom does not offer a native call center tool, so it cannot handle calls through a cloud-based phone system or calling app on its own. However, you can connect Intercom with over 40 compatible phone and video integrations.

Zendesk’s extensive feature set and customizable workflows are particularly appealing to organizations looking to streamline and scale their customer support operations efficiently. With its robust ticketing system, versatile automation capabilities, and extensive reporting tools, Zendesk empowers businesses to handle customer inquiries effectively and improve support efficiency. It’s best used when you need a centralized platform to manage customer support operations, whether through email, chat, social media, or phone. Zendesk is ideal for businesses seeking to enhance their customer service processes and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction across all communication channels.

intercom and zendesk

Luckily, a range of customer service solutions is available that enables you to communicate directly with your customers in real-time. These tools are ideal for personalizing the customer experience and building better customer relationships. Intercom stands out here due to its ability  to tailor sales workflows.

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. For Zendesk, it’s as easy as setting a trigger, and adding a web hook. We’ll use the Zendesk API to make changes to the existing ticket (all changes made are internal and won’t directly be seen by the customer). While Intercom offers a “Starter Plan” for very small businesses, the price for larger companies is scaled upward, too. If you only need the services Intercom offers, then you’ll only spend around $75 a month for two seats.

This packs all resolution information into a single ticket, so there’s no extra searching or backtracking needed to bring a ticket through to resolution, even if it involves multiple agents. 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. If you’re not ready to make the full switch to Intercom just yet, you can integrate Intercom with your Zendesk account. This will provide live data on who your users are and what they do in your app.

Intercom’s Messenger lets users schedule timely, targeted, and personal messages sent based on triggers and customer actions, and is automatically translatable into over 30 languages. Zendesk wins the self-service tools category because it provides extensive help center customization options. Community forums enable customers to assist each other by asking questions and sharing tips, experiences, and best practices–creating a unique, user-based, searchable information hub.

  • By integrating both APIs, you empower sales and support teams with real-time customer insights, fostering improved communication and a superior customer experience.
  • Intercom also has a community forum where users can help one another with questions and solutions.
  • For those of you who have been waiting for the big showdown between these two customer support heavyweights, we are glad to present the ultimate Zendesk vs Intercom comparison article.
  • These are just some of the factors that can affect the migration process from Zendesk to Intercom.

Help desk SaaS is how you manage general customer communication and for handling customer questions. When it comes to self-service portals for things like knowledgebases, Intercom has a useful set of resources. Intercom also has a community forum where users can help one another with questions and solutions. 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. There are several notable alternatives to Intercom in the customer support and engagement space, including Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout, HubSpot, and Zoho Desk.

Unlike Zendesk, the prices for Intercom are based on the number of seats and contacts, with each plan tailored to each customer, meaning that the pricing can be quite flexible. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses that may not need a lot of features. One of the things that sets Zendesk apart from other customer service software providers is its focus on design. The company’s products are built with an emphasis on simplicity and usability. This has helped to make Zendesk one of the most popular customer service software platforms on the market.

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Zendesk also has an Answer Bot, which instantly takes your knowledge base game to the next level. It can automatically suggest relevant articles for agents during business hours to share with clients, reducing your support agents’ workload. Basically, if you have a complicated support process, go with Zendesk, an excellent Intercom alternative, for its help desk functionality. If you’re a sales-oriented corporation, use Intercom for its automation options.

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