You need a first-class customer support tool that not only resolves customer issues but also shows that you value their satisfaction.
It’s hard to give premium customer support manually, that’s what customer support software like Zendesk or Intercom does for you. They also do way more than customer support, you can use them for team collaboration, project management, marketing, and sales.
Zendesk vs Intercom: UI/UX
Zendesk is very simple and functional; it wasn’t designed for aesthetics. Intercom, on the other hand, is very sleek.
It’s not as simple to get started with Intercom as it is with Zendesk. Although the Zendesk user interface is not as appealing as Intercom’s, it is much easier to navigate for both new and experienced users.
Intercom vs Zendesk Plans and Pricing
Pricing is a major deciding factor in product selection. You want to know what product fits into your budget because no matter how good a product is if you can’t afford it, you can’t buy it.
Intercom’s Pricing comes in three categories: Enterprise, Small businesses, and most businesses. It also has a startup program that gives a 95% discount to startups.
The Conversational Support plan helps you give quality support to your customers. It has a help center that notifies your team of new customer inquiries, requests, or issues. You can collaborate and resolve customer issues all in one place with this plan.
Most of the time, word of mouth is the most effective channel for acquiring new customers. With the Conversational Customer Engagement Plan, you can keep your current customers engaged by sending them feature updates, promotions, banner messages, and other exciting content.
When you do this, they can confidently refer you to friends and family because they love your product.
Similarly, Zendesk has the Zendesk for Service Plan.
It provides you with all of the tools you need to develop a trusting relationship with your customers and resolve their issues with personalized support.
It’s almost like a combination of Intercom’s Conversational Support and Customer engagement Plan.
Zendesk Sell vs Conversational Marketing
The Zendesk Sell plan has the features you need to turn your website visitors into paying customers. It has live chat with AI Chatbot Integrations to help you answer visitors’ questions and pitch your services to them.
It has a sales pipeline with analytics and forecasting that allows you to manage leads more efficiently and optimize sales processes for acquisition.
Your sales team can also collaborate with this plan, manage ongoing projects and assign tasks with the Smart List feature.
The Conversational Marketing Plan helps you monitor your customer journey through the sales funnel and convert them into paying customers by providing you with all of the tools you need.
For larger organizations, both Platforms offer Enterprise plans. They have all the features of the other plans and more. You can acquire new customers, retain existing customers, and provide quality customer support with Enterprise Plan with Zendesk or Intercom.
Zendesk vs Intercom Startup program
Both Zendesk and Intercom have solutions for startups. They both have this program to help companies in their early stage acquire customers and serve these customers effectively. Both programs come with huge discounts.
Zendesk Startup Program
Startups use this program for customer support, engagement, Client relationship management (CRM), and sales.
This program is free for the first six months, and you have access to an AI chatbot that allows you to respond to support issues even when you are not online.
You can also use the FAQ tool to provide self-service to your customers to help customers resolve their issues with minimal assistance. There is also integration with project management tools such as Jira, Slack, Mailchimp, etc.
However, you must apply to be a part of this program. To be eligible for this program, you must be a new Zendesk customer; this must be your company’s first time using Zendesk. Also, the total number of your employees must be less than 50.
Lastly, you must have significant funding from investors. If you meet all of these requirements, apply for the Zendesk Startup program; it’s worth it.
After completing the six-month program, you can continue with any of the three Zendesk Plans: Suite Team, Suite Growth, or Suite Professional. The cheapest plan is the Suite Team, it costs just $49/month.
Intercom Startup Program
It provides a 95% discount to startups for only $65 per month. You can live chat with your web visitors and send welcome messages, just like Zendesk.
You can also create a product tour guide to help new customers understand your product. It demystifies your product by showing them how to use all your product features.
You don’t even need to get a separate email marketing tool because Intercom can notify your customers about feature updates, promotions, etc via in-app notification and email.
You can also find out your users’ satisfaction with Intercom by collecting feedback. There are also integrations for other project management and collaboration tools just like Zendesk.
Here’s the catch, intercom’s startup program qualifications are a bit difficult.
There’s a specified amount of funding you must have gotten, unlike Zendesk. You have gotten at least $1m funding from investors and your company must be less than 2 years old. To be honest, this isn’t a walk-in-the-park requirement to meet.
You can’t have more than 5 employees, and your user base must be small; 1000 people reached per month. If you want to meet these requirements, you must have a niche and your product must solve a very critical problem for investors to believe in your product enough to invest more than $1 million. You’ll also need a really committed team to pull this off.
Intercom isn’t trying to complicate things by putting up these eligibility requirements; they simply want to know they’re dealing with serious people who won’t waste resources.
Which Does Your Small Business Need: Zendesk or Intercom?
Zendesk for small business
This plan is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses that want a collaboration, help desk service, and project management tool all in one.
It has a wide range of integrations that help your business run smoothly. For instance, you can integrate Asana for project management, and integrate with Certainly for automated response and customer self-service.
You can also integrate with PandaDoc to create, sign, and track documents. There are also several ticket apps that you can integrate into Zendesk to reduce the time it takes to resolve a ticket.
Most of these tools are free for small teams, so you can get a lot of work done in one place; Zendesk.
Intercom for small Business
Intercom’s starter plan is quite similar to Zendesk for small Businesses. There’s integration for everything, live chat, ticket systems, self-service, etc.
You don’t worry about being looked at as incompetent, you can help customers resolves issues even when you’re not in the office with AI chatbots. There are also saved responses that provide customers with answers that should resolve their issues.
If none of these options helps your customer, there is a ticketing system that notifies you of new issues. When you return to the office, you can use the live chat to respond to your customer’s issues. There is also a help center where customers’ requests can be seen by support staff.
There are integrated reports and analytics to track your customers’ journey so you know where you’re getting the best conversions and how to optimize it for the best results.
When billed annually, all of these features cost only $67. Other features, like product tours and WhatsApp support, can also be added.
Do you need Intercom or Zendesk?
If you’re a startup, Zendesk may be a better fit because it’s also free for the first six months while Intercom costs $65 per month. The eligibility requirement for this program is also way easier than Intercom’s.
If you own a small business, Zendesk and intercom do the same thing. But Zendesk UI is pretty straightforward, so if you need an uncomplicated system to help customers, collaborate and manage projects; choose Zendesk.
Although Intercom’s plans are more expensive than Zendsk’s, the platform is also simple to use and very responsive. Intercom is a better fit if you use a lot of third-party apps for collaboration, marketing, and project management.