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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk offers 5 princing plans:

Sprout:

$0/agent/month, up to 3 agents
or
$15/agent/month thereafter

Main features include:

Email Support Channel
Standard Phone Channel
Knowledge Base

Blossom:

$16/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$19/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Sprout features
Social Support Channels
Community Forums
Game Mechanics

Garden:

$25/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$29/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Blossom features
Live Chat Channel
Multiple Products
Multilingual Support

Estate:

$40/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$49/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Garden Features
Enterprise Reports
Portal Customization
Custom Agent Roles

Forrest:

$70/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$79/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Estate Features
IP Whitelisting
Custom Email Servers
Advanced Phone Channel

24 x 7 email support and 24 x 5 phone support included with all plans.

When you sign up, you get access to all the features in the Freshdesk Estate Plan for a 30-day free trial. No credit card is necessary and there are no cancellation fees. If you cancel, you’ll be billed for the current month. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.

Intercom

With Intercom, pricing is based on the total number of people you track and communicate with, not the number of agent seats your support team has. Be careful, pricing will automatically adjust as your business grows and you track more people.

There are two base plans for the customer support plan called Resolve:

Lite:

Pricing ranging from:

$49/mo for 250 people
to
$503/mo for 50.000 people

Main features include:

Multiple channels
Shared team inbox
Live profiles
Mobile apps

Standard:

Pricing ranging from:

$79/mo for 250 people
to
$810/mo for 50.000 people

Main features include:

Assign messages using rules
Integrations
Team member permissions
Unbranded Intercom Messenger and emails

There's a 14-day free trial that starts directly with the plan and number of people that you need. A credit card is required to start your trial. You will have a chance to confirm your subscription before starting. After your free trial ends, Intercom's products start at $49/mo, but if you cancel in the first 14 days you won't be charged.

The Intercom Platform shows you who your customers are and what they do in your web or mobile app, for free.

There are two more products besides Customer Support: Acquire (Intercom product for Live Chat) and Engage (Intercom product for marketing Automation). You can get the complete set starting from $61/mo.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk's design looks a bit dated but the interface is quite simple and easy to use.

Your portal can be customized to reflect your brand. You can put up your logo and favicon and paint your self service portal in your brand colors.

Intercom

The design of the interface is fresh and clean and the user dashboard offers a lot of information. Once you login you'll notice that the interface is pretty intuitive and easy to use.

The communication features are also really good. One of the weakest points of intercom is that the design is not responsive, therefore accessing the service from mobile devices could be improved.

Overall Intercom looks a lot better than Fresh but customization is not possible.

Features icon

Features (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk lets you create a knowledge base section for your users, this is one of the most important features of a help desk software.

Some of the most important features are: Help desk Ticketing, Multi-Channel Customer Support, Time Tracking, Built in Knowledge Base, Help desk Automation, Integrated Forums, Multi-product Customer, Support, Reports & Insights, Integrated Game Mechanics, Mobile Friendly App, but for the full list of available features you should check out the Freshdesk homepage.

Intercom

Some of the key features include: Intercom Messenger, that will allow customers to contact you inside your web or mobile app; Customer profiles allows you to save customer location, activity, and more, all in real-time; Assignment Rules is a great feature that allows you to create rules to automatically assign conversations to the right team or teammate; with Saved replies you'll be able to respond to questions with canned, yet personalized replies; tagging allows you to group related people or conversations with tags—search for them later; Typing indicators, read receipts, stickers, and emojis make conversations simple and engaging.

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Once you login as an agent and setup your account you'll find the following tabs:

Dashboard: by default it will show the standings for the current month and for all agents.

Tickets: once you have configured your mailbox all your emails are converted into tickets and you can view them under the tickets tab. Here you'll also find tickets from other channels like Facebook, Twitter, or phone.

Social: here you can reply to your brand mentions from your social media accounts.

Solutions: here you can create and edit your articles for your knowledge base.

Forums: here you can setup community forums to give customers a platform to talk about your product/brand.

Whenever a ticket is created in, the requester is automatically added as a contact in your helpdesk. You can see these contacts in the Customers tab.

Reports: here you'll find an overview of all the important metrics.

Admin: under the admin tab you can add or remove agents, configure support channels and configure automation tasks.

Intercom

All you conversations and team members can be accessed from the top left of the screen.

You can access your Support Insights by selecting the Support icon from the left-hand navigation bar and clicking ‘Insights.’

Your account settings can be accessed from the top right of you screen.

Team size icon

Team size (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Because of its flexible pricing Freshdesk is suitable for both small and large businesses. For up to 3 agents it’s completely free if you’re only interested in email support and creating a knowledgebase. On the higher end there are more advanced features available for larger business and teams. Without a doubt it is the most affordable help desk software from our list, especially on the lower end.

Intercom

Intercom is packed with features but still has a clean and easy to use interface. Small business could definitely , The only thing making it less suitable for small teams is the high starting price which tends to scale if the volume of emails starts to grow.

Reports icon

Reports (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk has a strong reports section which gives you an overview of all the important metrics. You can export your data to a CSV whenever you want to create custom reports, free of cost. You also have access to a range of filters that make it easier for you to decide which parameters to export.

Intercom

Your support insights will show you data about your signed up users and visitors to your site.

You can see exactly if your support volume is increasing, if your team is responding fast enough to your users and leads, and who on your team is the busiest.

All your Support Insights get updated only once a day (midnight for your timezone).

Flexibility icon

Flexibility (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk also offers a builtin chat option (paid separately) and a mobile app (iOS and Android) that lets you reply to tickets, add notes and perform bulk actions on tickets while on the go. A mobile-ready web-based version is also available that can be used to access your helpdesk from any device.

You can even add a support app to your Facebook page from where your customers can raise support tickets.

Intercom

iOS and Android apps will help you view, manage, and respond to customer conversations from your mobile device.

Building your own knowledge base is not supported at the moment. This is a bit of a letdown as you'll have to use third-party apps to create a self help section.

Live chat is available as a separate product, making Freshdesk more convenient in case you need this feature.

Having an knowledge base can dramatically lift your site's customer experience so if you're planning on building one, go with Freshdesk.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

There are around 100 integrations available for Freshdesk, including apps like Zappier, Twitter, Shopify, Salesforce, and Gmail. If your favorite service doesn't have an app yet, you can create your own using the new Freshdesk SDK.

Intercom

There are only 41 integrations at the moment, but most of the popular online services are available: MailChimp, AWeber, Braintree, Shopify, facebook or Twitter.

If you're code savvy and you're really tied to a particular web service there is an API available for creating integrations.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

A discussion forum and a huge knowledge base are available, where you can explore how-to's and help you getting started with Freshdesk.

In case you need to contact their support team you may open a support ticket via email or a web form. Telephone numbers are available from Monday to Friday for 4 different time zones.

They also offer a cool support glossary where you'll find the definitions of every term you need to know in a help desk software.

Intercom

Their support section is based on the Docs forum, where you can ask questions or read about related topics. The Intercom team will usually answer to all questions on this forum.

Once you login into your account, a live chat popup is available if you have questions that need quick answers.

They will also offer support by email, but no telephone numbers are listed for reaching out to the team.