Softwares like Intercom are excellent tools for improving customer service and providing better customer support. We live in an age of easy and quick communication. Text messaging, email, and different online messaging platforms are all significant parts of our everyday lives. Still, working with so many communication methods can be confusing and overwhelming. This is especially true for business owners and managers who may remember a conversation but not know where to find it or have to track an interaction over several platforms. Intercom, a Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform, is here to help.
Used by over 25 thousand brands worldwide, such as Atlassian, Amazon, Lyft, Meta, and Microsoft, Intercom.com is the premiere CCM platform. Features include live chat, email marketing, marketing automation, and other vital tools to enhance customer management and support. Customer Service has been and is still the most crucial part of any business, and the customer experience determines how positive or negative those experiences will be. The knowledge base held by CCM companies, in addition to their chat software and other features, means that any businesses not using them are missing out. They know how to optimize the customer journey and help businesses keep customers happy.
Intercom offers a relatively inexpensive base software package but many different options and upgrades for other platforms and services. Being one of the top brands in the business, it can get expensive, but if a company can afford the cost, it is worth it. Also, the wide range of individually priced Intercom features means that companies can create a plan that works for them and phase out features they are not using.
Why Is a CCM Platform Necessary for Modern-Day Businesses
The internet has allowed companies to increase their customer base significantly. Still, this means the sheer number of customers may be overwhelming, even for some of the world's biggest and most well-known brands. Maintaining strong customer service is challenging in the digital world as customers expect to engage with a business anytime.
The Many Features and Tools of CCMs
CCMs have features ranging from basic customer messaging and shared inboxes for direct communication to email marketing and automation services. AI algorithms for live chat are available 24/7 and can handle requests without needing a human agent. Chatbots range from simple sorting tools to advanced AI tools that improve their responses based on customer interactions. Many brands use these tools for their websites.
Another critical feature of CCMs is cross-platform support. Depending on the business and the location, companies often use many ways to communicate with customers. Email is one of the most common, but customers also want to engage with the business directly, either in a chat on the company website, through social media like Facebook and Instagram, or even through different text messaging platforms, especially SMS and WhatsApp. CCMs can combine one or more of these platforms into one place, which makes communication much more manageable and allows for several team members to monitor, respond and learn from customer interactions.
CCM Pricing: Add-ons, Monthly Rates, and Packages
Pricing for CCMs depends on several factors, and some offer different packages or upgrades. Smaller, less expensive CCMs will have a smaller customer support team and provide fewer communications and email management services. However, all CCMs offer invaluable tools to manage communication with customers in one location, helping to keep information organized and streamlining customer service and the customer experience. Without a CCM, communication with customers will suffer, and businesses will have to spend more time and resources on maintaining this communication. Why not find a service that can help streamline the process?
10 Budget-Friendly Intercom Alternatives Worth Reviewing
Intercom is a top-tier service for large enterprises, offering good customer support and live chat software. Small businesses need the same functions to improve customer satisfaction, and Intercom pricing can get relatively high, especially when adding additional services. There are several Intercom alternatives for SEMs. How does it look when comparing Intercom to some of these other services?
HubSpot Service Hub, Zendesk Chat, and Drift alternatives are three trendy Intercom competitors; however, their pricing is very similar and more suited for medium to larger companies. Zendesk pricing has different tiers and a 14-day free trial, allowing for product tours and understanding how it will work. However, some alternatives offer competitive pricing for smaller enterprises and startups, and most offer free trials. They may not provide everything in one place, but depending on the size and demands of the business, many of these features are not even needed. Here are 10 of the best right now, organized by their specialization.
FreshChat uses chatbots to interact with customers through a messaging platform. These bots can be beneficial because they are cost-effective and can automate resolutions of common customer issues, complaints, and requests for businesses that do not have the time or resources to have a dedicated live chat. Their AI also has an extensive knowledge base and continuously improves how it handles problems and talks to customers.
- Pay-per-session and monthly plans are available.
- Higher packages include customizable bot responses.
HelpCrunch has a high satisfaction rate, making it a good Intercom alternative. HelpCrunch pricing is based on the number of team members assigned and the level of service provided. Having one dedicated team member to handle customer interactions can be very cost-effective for smaller companies or start-ups. They also claim to have the best customer support of all CCMs, with a 95% satisfaction rate.
- Customizable fee based on the number of agents and features.
- Free transfer from Intercom accounts, so no information is lost.
LiveAgent is another service that offers a similar pricing plan and format. A ticketing system integrates well with 214 platforms, including Shopify, WordPress, Mailchimp, and Slack. Social media integrations, ticket browsing history, and call recordings are just a few features.
- Features unlimited ticketing software and a pay-per-agent pricing plan.
Chat and call center support are offered in higher packages.
Tidio's pricing is very reasonable and compares well with the others posted above. The Tidio alternative may not scale as well as their competitors, but they use a combination of chatbots and a live chat feature, depending on the package selected. One big selling point is an increase in sales: they promise that sales increases will happen almost immediately upon using their service, benefiting from their considerable knowledge base of techniques.
- The price Per Agent on Tidio is best, with up to 5 agents for $15.83/month.
- The higher plan includes a combination of live agents and chatbots.
Shared inboxes and connecting many different platforms put Front high among Intercom Alternatives
Don't need a live chat but want a way to keep up with client messaging and communication? Front's cloud-based software keeps customer information and communication platforms in one place. This service also uses a shared inbox so many employees can work together.
- Front uses one app and channels all communications through that app.
- Customer profiles put all correspondence in one place.
Interakt is another communication platform with a no credit card required free option. Interakt offers a solid dashboard, clearly showing customer interactions and customer engagement statistics. Communication through email, live chats, and a help desk allows a business to get the information needed to build and retain customer relationships.
- All paid plans include Lead Generation, with higher plans offering more customers.
- Helpdesk and LiveChat options are available with all plans as well.
Helpwise offers multichannel inboxes with connections to different email services, social media messaging through Instagram and Facebook Messenger, text messaging with SMS and WhatsApp, and live chats directly on the client company's website. Helpwise also has tools to automate the organization of messages and offer set responses to common inquiries.
- Automation rules are available at all price points, reducing some of the load.
- Collaborative system and pricing match team size.
Wati is a service platform for communicating via WhatsApp. They offer chatbots and live agents. This is a good tool for smaller companies or companies in places where websites are not as important as WhatsApp. It can also be connected to Shopify and other services.
- Broadcast and schedule targeted messages for ad and info campaigns.
- Chatbots have basic and advanced options based on pricing.
Gallabox is another company that offers a CCM suite that works through WhatsApp and very competitive pricing. Gallabox features a chatbot for conversational marketing and to automate responses to customer inquiries. It also allows several team members to use the platform and tools to create WhatsApp marketing campaigns. Integration with other platforms is also offered and is suitable for companies operating in places where WhatsApp is the primary mode of communication.
- Chatbot and automation options for better efficiency and consistency.
- Chatbot and automation options for better efficiency.
Special mention: GoSquared and EcoSend
Plant trees by sending emails? We can all get on board with that!
EcoSend is an email platform offered by GoSquared, which promises to plant a tree for every 5000 emails sent. With email marketing automation and templates, a company cares about its environmental impact and is doing its part to mitigate CO2 emissions. Several plans are available. Worth checking out for businesses interested in managing email marketing campaigns.
- Email templates are easy to use and get more attention from customers.
- Powered by renewable energy and investments made in Carbon Capture tech.
CCMs: Making Life Easier for Businesses of All Sizes
Whatever your budget, CCMs have many benefits for any business and any size. However, not all features will be used or necessary depending on the business size. Finding a CCM that works can take time, but this investment will pay off eventually.
Handling so many customers can be draining. They have many customers with many needs and issues, but they deal directly with the company. Customers like to feel appreciated, and communication with a company has to reflect this. Having one person handle all this work is inefficient, but having a team can lead to inconsistency and mixed messaging.
Intercom and Intercom alternatives offer various tools and services that can make a difference for any online business. The best programs provide easy user onboarding and a set number of key features. However, it is essential to compare Intercom alternatives and Intercom to find the best combination of price and features and pick a CCM that is right for the company.
Reel Unlimited: content writing and graphic design services under one roof
Good content is as important as communicating with customers directly in real time. However, writing content is a complex and time-consuming process. There are many factors to consider, including competitor messaging, industry scope, and the ever-important search engine optimization (SEO), which is essential for companies to stand out on Google and other search engines. A CCM will help manage communication, but what should be communicated first?
Reel Unlimited offers subscription services at a flat monthly rate to help brands of all sizes deliver results. They offer 1 graphic design plan, 1 content writing plan, and 1 combo plan, all with add-on features customized to your business needs.
Plan features include 1 active project per day, Real-time Slack collaboration, unlimited brands and users, unlimited content requests, same-day turnaround*, in-house expert writers & editors, daytime designers, and unlimited revisions. Now that's value!