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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

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.

Help Scout

Help Scout offers 3 pricing plans:

Free:

Main features include:

1 Mailbox
Beacon
Saved Replies
Help Scout for iPhone
Help Scout branding

Standard:

$20/mo/user

Main features include:

All Free features
5 Mailboxes
1 Docs knowledge base
Reports
Workflows
Satisfaction Ratings

Plus:

$40/mo/user

Main features include:

All Standard features
Unlimited Mailboxes
3 Docs knowledge bases
Teams
Custom Fields
Free inactive Users

Annual payment earns you one month free. You can start with a 15-day free trial, with no credit card required. For annual billing you'll get a 10% discount.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

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.

 

Help Scout

Help Scout integrates great with your email service, and the interface is quite simple and the UI has a clean look and feel.

Features icon

Features (weighted 11%)

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.

Help Scout

Helpscout's main features include: shared email inbox for managing tickets, Docs (for building a help center), saved replies, reports, office hours filtering, phone conversations, or voicemail integration.

Help Scout is packed with great features and some of them are only available with the Plus plan. Be sure to check the full features list before committing to a plan.

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

Intercom

All your 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.

Help Scout

The user interface is uncluttered and pretty intuitive.

There are five menu items on the top left side of the screen:

Home: This is where you go when you first login. Once you get started you can add several brands, products or email addresses into your account. These options will appear on the dashboard.

Mailbox: You can support several brands, products or email addresses from a single account. Each mailbox has unique permissions, settings, and folders.

Docs: Here you can create up to 5 knowledge base sites so customers can find answers from any device.

Reports: This section will help you keep track of all the important support metrics, employee performance and customer satisfaction.

Team size icon

Team size (weighted 11%)

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.

Help Scout

Although Help Scout is suitable for small teams because of its pricing and simplicity, the Plus plan offers a feature that will allow you to group users into teams. This way if your business and support team grows you can still keep things simple and organized.

Reports icon

Reports (weighted 11%)

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).

Help Scout

The reporting interface is really great.

The reports available (four or five depending if you have Docs installed or not) can be viewed at any time via the Reports dropdown menu.

The Conversations report shows you how much volume you're handling during a certain time period, the Productivity report measures efficiency across the help desk, the Team and User will give you insights about how members of your team are doing. The Happiness report will show you how your team is being rated by customers. If you have Docs installed, this report will help you understand what your customers are searching for in the knowledge base you have created, and how helpful the information is, as well as what percentage of customers are still sending an email after browsing the knowledge base.

Flexibility icon

Flexibility (weighted 11%)

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.

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

Help Scout

An iPhone app is available for replies on the go. You can check in on your mailboxes, manage conversations, and share tickets with your team members.

A well-documented APIs is available for developers to create their own integrations.

Right now a live chat option is not available out of the box, but you can easily integrate third party apps like Olark or ClickDesk, HipChat and many more. If you're looking for a live chat option built in house, go with Intercom.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

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.

Help Scout

Help Scout has  40 web app integrations available, so you can account with your favorite apps and services like: Talkdesk, FollowUpThen, Hively, Capsule, Nicereply, HipChat, Campfire, Slack, MailChimp, Shopify, Mixpanel, Bigcommerce, Campaign Monitor, KISSmetrics, Infusionsoft, Olark, WooCommerce, Constant Contact, Google Apps Integration.

The free plan doesn't give access to integrations.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

Intercom

Their support section is based on the Docs forum, where you can ask questions or read on 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 also offer support by email, but no telephone numbers are listed for reaching out to the team.

Help Scout

There are more ways in which you may contact their support:

Email: via a direct email address or a web form.
Phone: you may schedule a call with one of their experts.

A decent knowledge base is available (with walkthroughs and video tutorials available), as well as a blog.