Selecting an ideal helpdesk software that suits your business needs is critical for the success of your customer support. In this article, we will directly compare two customer service providers—Zendesk and Intercom, to help you evaluate what would work best for your business.

Let us start with the basics.

What is Zendesk?

Since its inception in 2007, Zendesk is known for its robust help desk software designed to improve customer relationships. Zendesk empowers brands to connect with customers on multiple channels.

It brings all your customer interactions to a single dashboard so that you can track all your support requests, answer questions quickly, and monitor performance from one place.

What is Intercom?

Initially started as a simple live chat platform in 2011, Intercom now positions itself as a conversational support platform focused on enabling personalised, messenger-based experiences.

It also provides conversational engagement, support, and multiple self-service options.

Zendesk Vs Intercom: Brief Overview

The Zendesk Vs Intercom dilemma is probably one of the most talked about in the customer support industry.

They are both, however, crafted for different use cases.

Intercom focuses more on streamlining customer communication to help brands serve proactive support. Zendesk, on the other hand, focuses on multiple aspects like automating ticketing, analytics, self-service, etc.

Intercom is more communication-oriented, whereas Zendesk has everything a customer support representative wants.

Here are some more differences:

Zendesk Intercom
Free Trial 14 days 14 days
Free Plan
All-in-one subscription costs from $59/agent/ month $499
Basic subscription costs from $25/agent/month $79 per month
Pricing based on seats seats, people reached
Customers
  • mid-sized businesses
  • enterprises
  • mid-sized businesses
  • enterprises

Zendesk Vs Intercom: Top Features

Zendesk will meet all your needs, whether you are a budding startup or an enterprise player. It is a ticketing system before anything else. It simplifies the ticketing flow through features like automation, a shared inbox, private notes, a consolidated dashboard, analytics, etc.

Intercom’s helpdesk is more of a complementary tool to their chat tools. It is convenient but not as advanced as Zendesk.

Both brands offer omnichannel functionalities that consolidate all your communication channels (on the support end) on a single interface. Here’s more on the helpdesk features:

Feature Zendesk Intercom
In-app messenger ✔️
Live chat ✔️ ✔️
Email marketing tools ✔️
Knowledge base ✔️ ✔️
Call centre tools ✔️
Real-time analytics ✔️
Omnichannel functionalities ✔️ ✔️
Chatbots ✔️ ✔️

Zendesk vs Intercom: Live Chat

The Zendesk chat tool has the most necessary features like shortcuts to saved responses, chatbots, and live chat analytics. Brands can send out forms to collect customer data with one click.

Intercom live chat is modern, streamlined, and highly customisable compared to Zendesk.

Here’s a comparison of their live chat parameters:

Zendesk Intercom
Customization ✔️ ✔️
Automated Triggers ✔️ ✔️
Canned responses to common questions ✔️ ✔️
Video Chat
Forms ✔️ ✔️
Chatbots ✔️ ✔️
Chat ratings ✔️ ✔️

Zendesk Vs Intercom: Sales Oriented Features

Intercom provides a perfect platform for sales and support teams to collaborate. Agents can assign sales inquiries and support requests to the respective team or team members.

Zendesk offers an integrated CRM alongside its suite to offer a consolidated view of customer data. Intercom users will need to integrate a CRM externally, which can be inconvenient.

Here’s more comparison from the sales perspective:

Zendesk Intercom 
CRM synchronisation ✔️ ✔️
Real-time notifications ✔️
Key account timeline ✔️
Automated outreach sequences ✔️ ✔️
Lead scoring ✔️
Email integration ✔️ ✔️
Task player ✔️
Sales engagement tools ✔️
Sales triggers ✔️

Zendesk Vs Intercom: UI/UX

Zendesk interface may appear outdated and cluttered to many. However, it simplifies sorting and filtering options based on multiple parameters—date, priority, ticket, tags, sources, etc. It also enables dashboard customisation and integration with 500+ apps.

Intercom’s design and overall UI feel modern and intuitive. Agents can easily track customer conversations, view unassigned tickets, and track their overall performance. It also makes the inter-team collaboration a bit more engaging and effortless.

Zendesk vs Intercom: Support

Intercom customer support highlights:

  • round-the-clock chat,
  • product tours (for everyone)
  • training webinars,
  • prioritised technical support,
  • a dedicated relationship manager,
  • and 24/7 chat and email support.

Zendesk customer support highlights:

  • It offers 24/7 email, phone, and chat support only for its customer in the Enterprise tier.
  • Access to their customer success team costs additional charges for everyone.

Zendesk Vs Intercom: Pricing

Let’s address the most crucial question now, i.e., pricing.

Zendesk Pricing

Zendesk’s pricing is divided into three tiers:

  • Zendesk Support Suite (from $49 to $199/agent/month)
  • Zendesk Support Foundation (from $25 to $125/agent/month)
  • Zendesk Sales (from $59 to $249/agent/month)

Check Zendesk pricing page

Intercom Pricing

Intercom offers four different subscription packages. The pricing may differ based on the features you opt for. The cheapest plan costs about $74/month (when billed annually) and consists of one seat and 1,000 people reached/month.

Check the Intercom Pricing page

Final Verdict: Which One is Superior?

We discussed every aspect of both the customer support software. However, the best way to find the perfect match is to take a demo or a free trial.

A free trial will give you a better look and feel of both the product.

Both these options can be a bit expensive for startup or SMB brands. If this scenario applies to you, you must check out our feature-rich and cost-effective tool—Helplama.

Helplama For All Your Customer Support Needs

Helplama positions itself as a cloud-based helpdesk solution that helps brands turn customer service into a marketing pipeline. It offers automated agent training, automated orders and returns centre, agents marketplace, UGC collection, review identification, and other helpdesk functionalities.

It provides AI-drafted emails and chat responses and integrates with Facebook, emails, Instagram, Shopify, Slack, and others.

Helplama is also known for its customer support services, where brands can outsource their customer support. We focus on providing local support agents—from the US, UK, and Australia— who understand the local dialect better for a more personalised experience. Give it a try!