The customer experience journey begins from the moment a potential customer first encounters your brand. From that moment, you have the opportunity to change or establish their perception of your business in a favorable light.
The maxim: “the customer is king” is an old saying that remains evergreen. In this digital age where information can be passed in a nanosecond, customer experience can make or break your business. It’s not surprising that businesses all over the world compete with one another to provide the best experience to their customers.
Where platforms like Drift and Intercom come in is that they help businesses automate the customer support process through a variety of services. Some of these are live chat, chatbot, and other messaging functionalities to help businesses provide better support for their customers.
Drift is a cloud-based live chat, in-app messaging, and email management solution. It’s designed for sales and marketing teams to automate sales processes using live chat to improve customer experience and retention. Some key features of Drift include chatbots, geo-targeting, offline access, proactive chatting, and transfers/routing.
Drift facilitates communication with website visitors in real-time to help generate leads and improve sales opportunities. It also connects companies with buyers in real-time via chat, video/voice calls, and emails.
Intercom is a Conversational Relationship Platform. The platform is user-based as it allows users to see who’s using their product or interacting with their website. That way, users can learn how to communicate better with them. Intercom lets you engage customers, answer queries, give product tours, and generate self-service materials for your customers without overcomplicating things.
Drift Vs Intercom: Ease Of Set Up and Use
Intercom and Drift have a very similar setup process: setting up your preferences and personal information, installing and personalizing the widget on your website, and finally setting up your bot’s abilities.
Intercom’s set-up process is very easy and intuitive. It also has high-quality step-by-step guides that simplify the setup process.
On the other hand, getting started with Drift takes some time. The UI isn’t as user-friendly or responsive as Intercom’s.
As a fairly new tool, it’s still missing some features that would provide a more seamless experience. Its customization options are so limited that users have to adapt to it, instead of the tool adapting to them.
Users have also reported bugs with the conversations, chat widget, and other features. These flaws might be minute but it makes the software less thrilling to use.
Drift Vs Intercom: Integrations
Drift allows integration with various third-party platforms including Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, Outreach, Google Analytics, and so on. You can also use it on your mobile; allowing you to remotely manage business activities with ease.
On the flip side, the Intercom integration game is on a whole other level. Intercom integrations are extremely detailed, intuitive, and easy to navigate. It doesn’t only show you the apps you can use, it also categorizes the apps according to topics. This helps users to easily browse their vast number of integrations, which surpass Drift’s integrations by a large margin. You can also use the app store to discover new tools to meet your needs.
As a bonus, Intercom‘s flexible APIs and webhooks allow users to build their apps as needed.
Drift Vs Intercom: Target Users
Both platforms are specialized solutions targeted at certain users. Drift is designed for sales and marketing teams and the AI-enabled solution comes with a chatbot to automate marketing pipelines and increase customer engagement. Though it offers the basic messaging functionalities, every tool on the platform has a sales spin to it. Also, it allows marketers to generate reports to facilitate decision-making and improve business performance.
Intercom, on the other hand, is a platform more focused on customer relations. To achieve this, it provides users with many options beyond its online customer capabilities, like behavior-driven messages, automated targeted content, and predictive responses, to name a few.
Drift Vs Intercom: Pricing
Drift is available on monthly subscriptions, starting from a fairly generous free plan with basic chat capabilities, reporting, live chat software, unlimited contacts, and help docs. It has paid plans divided into three categories: Premium, Advanced, and Enterprise. The Premium package includes custom chatbots, lead routing, a custom success manager, revenue acceleration strategy, and onboarding.
The Advanced tier also comes with features like Workspaces, Segmented audiences, and role-based access controls. Finally, the Enterprise tier includes multilingual, multi-labeled support, as well as conversation analysis, and custom roles and permissions. Customer support for this plan is extended via documentation and an online helpdesk.
Although Drift doesn’t list its prices, some reports state that the pricing varies as much as from $0 to $1,500 per month. This pricing package places Drift above the industry average, especially for businesses that want to scale up. However, you’ll need to speak to a live agent to accurately find out the cost.
Figuring out Intercom’s pricing is a lot simpler. Like Drift, Intercom doesn’t offer a CRM so its pricing is divided into basic in-app messaging and messaging with automation.
For chat and messaging, Intercom charges a flat rate of $39 per month for its basic plan that allows for one user and $99 per month for its team plan that allows for up to 5 users. If you want automated options, Intercom starts at either $499 or $999 per month for up to ten users, depending on the level of automation you’re looking for.
You can upgrade any plan on Intercom’s with custom add-ons. These add-ons keep the plan prices scalable by only requiring you to pay for the features you’ll be using, such as Advanced lead generation that comes with advanced account-based marketing tools and sales integrations to grow your pipeline. This feature attracts a starting price of 499.00 per month.
Other add-ons include advanced targeting features, such as notifications, A/B testing, multi-channel campaigns, and Clearbit and Marketo integrations. It costs a minimum of $499.00 per month.
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Drift vs Intercom: Customer Support
Both Drift and Intercom have knowledge bases with self-service features to help answer common customer queries. However, Intercom’s knowledge base is a bit unwieldy. Its knowledge base is divided into about 20 topics with dozens of articles each, so navigating it can be complicated. Asides from the chat widget that seems to follow you everywhere, finding options for live support on Intercom can be a bit difficult.
To its credit, Drift offers a much better knowledge base. Although less visually appealing, navigating it is fairly easy through streamlined sections and previews of the articles under each section. You can also contact Drift’s customer support team by email, live chat, and even by tweeting at their profile.
You can access a customer support team that’s reportedly even willing to join your team for weekly meetings on the premium plan. Users also report customer support reps are very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable.
On the whole, Drift manages to provide conclusively better customer service than Intercom.
Drift doesn’t look like the usual customer support platform because it’s not one. As a dedicated sales and marketing tool, Drift helps businesses close sales deals first. This informs some of the platform’s unique features such as:
This is a built-in video feature that allows customers to record and share sales and online webinar documentation videos. With Drift Video, you can set up customer onboarding or record explanations of your product’s features all in the app.
Drift also offers a unique feature, called “Account-based marketing.” With this feature, users can pinpoint specific businesses and target them with account-based marketing campaigns. The Account-based marketing feature also helps you quickly set up conversations with potential clients as soon as they visit your website.
Virtual Selling Assistant
According to Drift’s website, Virtual Selling Assistants engage every potential website visitor through human-like conversation to pinpoint which visitors are ready and qualified to meet with sales representatives. What this means is that sales teams can focus less on repetitive tasks and more on relevant prospects, leading to higher closed-won opportunities. If the customer has an issue that requires a live agent, they can submit a ticket to the bot so it’s easy for support agents to quickly follow up.
Intercom’s Business Messenger
You use this feature to combine multiple apps in one place to help choose the best mode of communication with a customer. Also, with it, your team members can read your company news, look up something in the knowledge base, or decide to start a conversation, all in one window.
Unlike Drift, Intercom also offers product tours for customer onboarding. You can easily create interactive and video product tours for premium customers and even investors. It cost $199 monthly.
Although Drift Video can be used for similar purposes, Intercom makes it far easier to onboard new customers with its unique all-in-one features.
Customer Journey Tracking
Intercom also allows you to keep track of your users and how they interact with your website all in real-time. That way, you can chat with your website visitors and fix their issues, knowing what they’ve tried in the past and allowing you to quickly provide useful information as needed.
Intercom Or Drift?
Drift has developed all of its tools with sales and marketing in mind. You can generate and engage with new leads, ask qualifying questions, and book meetings. It also offers great sales-based automation and includes all the basic features expected from a messaging platform.
While Drift is a great tool for sales, Intercom is good with almost everything as its features help businesses provide better customer support and track their customers’ journey from start to finish. Smaller companies in need of a simple and flexible customer service platform will find it mostly sufficient for all their needs.
Intercom also features a user-based ticketing system, allowing all kinds of customer requests, managing outbound messages, and easily processing their tickets through a great UI. Also, unlike Drift, Intercom allows you to keep track of website visitors, letting you provide better customer service, and react immediately to potential customers through live chat.
When it comes to pricing, Intercom’s scalable pricing structure makes it a better fit for smaller and growing companies who may need more features like product tours, and more advanced lead generation options, as they expand. In general, if you’re looking for a messaging option that allows for a lot of pricing customization, Intercom is the best choice.
However, if you’re looking for a sales-first platform, or if you only require a free chat service, Drift is the better choice.