Top 5 Free Alternatives to Intercom You Need Now [Updated 2020]

Nafisa

If you’re looking for an alternative to Intercom for live chat services that is also free of cost, go no further. We have done all your research for you to present our top 5 free alternatives to Intercom in 2020.

Trust me when I say that I have been in your shoes. I know the struggles you're facing - which is why I decided to extensively research the best Intercom alternatives.

While Intercom is a wonderful tool and does a very good job of connecting to its customers through incredibly strong marketing tools, it also costs a pretty penny. It becomes relatively expensive for entrepreneurs who are merely at the beginning of their start-ups to afford such a service.

So, I went on to find the top free alternatives to Intercom in 2020. Throughout the course of this article, you will discover that there are some beautiful alternatives that not only offer better features than Intercom but also provide services free of charge.

Top 5 Free Alternatives to Intercom in 2020

1. Tawk.to

tawk.to free alternatives to intercom
Tawk.to Dashboard

To those who are looking for the cheapest alternative to Intercom, our very first recommendation would be an absolutely free live messaging platform called Tawk.to.

With over 2,200,000+ users, Tawk.to enables you to monitor and chat with visitors in real-time. This software is devoid of catches, spam, or even ads. It’s completely free and always will be. No matter how many agents you need to add to your account, Tawk.to will remain totally free of cost.

Top Features

  • Monitors website visitors in real-time.
  • Enables you to answer chats from whenever, wherever, be it from your PC or mobile device.
  • Lets you proactively engage visitors with Triggers.
  • It allows you to customize your Visitor Widget to suit your site.
  • Facilitates localizing greetings and messages in your language.
  • Enables you to respond quickly with Predefined Shortcuts.
  • It helps you integrate with WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc.

Pros:

  • Efficient and user-friendly
  • Great customer service
  • Customizable Branding
  • Geo-Targeting
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Website Visitor Tracking
  • Screen Sharing

Cons:

  • Occasional mishap of notifications
  • The dashboard needs to be refreshed every now and then

Visit their website now!

2. Crisp.chat

Crisp.chat free messaging service
Crisp dashboard

While Intercom might have been the face of customer satisfaction for quite a while, it was Crisp’s stunning features that have added an enhanced sense of value for all its customers. Crisp.chat has the simplest user interface with all features you need under a single roof. It becomes a potential Intercom alternative by offering its users a free tier that provides access to most of the necessary features of live chat.

Moreover, Crisp’s LiveChat platform is greatly appreciated by SMB's and startups because of what it has to offer. With more than 100,000 customers around the world, Crisp chat comes with a shared inbox that enables internal collaboration within the organization. It also provides a better chat experience with leads and customers through multiple channels. It also offers a variety of rich media including but not limited to emojis, GIFs, link snippets as well as audio & video messages.

Top Features

  • Chatbot that lets you build automated conversations
  • Enables you to improve your leads and customers’ knowledge through CRM
  • Lets you get an accurate number of users active on your website with the help of MagicMap.
  • Allows you to re-target customers by sending target emails and in-app messages
  • Facilitates more traction by automating your sales pipeline using bots
  • Lets you integrate and connect Crisp to your favorite apps
  • Allows you to cross-channel customer support experiences using modern messaging

Pros:

  • Beautiful user interface
  • Powerful and customizable
  • Simple yet meticulous
  • Fast and helpful support
  • Easy to use
  • Integrating platforms
  • Built-in help desk
  • Auto-translate feature

Cons:

  • No possible way to keep old chats separate from new ones
  • Chatbot can be a little buggy for relatively complex things
  • Notifications may sometimes come in late

Go to Crisp.chat

3. Freshchat

freshchat intercom alternative

The new face of Freshworks, Freshchat is potentially a major Intercom competitor. To begin with, they are offering a multitude of basic functionalities practically for free, including 30-day chat history, 10 agents, and unlimited contacts.

Their basic plan “Sprout” is available completely free of cost. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Intercom, you’d know nothing can be cheaper than free, right?

Freshchat also offers a paid plan known as “Garden”, which comes at $29/month.

Some of the fundamental differences between Intercom’s and Freshchat’s pricing are:

  • Freshchat will only charge you for active agents. This implies that you do not have to pay for accounts that are inactive for the time being or unused.
  • Freshchat does not charge a single extra penny for new contacts. You can create up to 200,000 contacts without paying anything additional. On the other hand, Intercom’s pricing will depend on the number of contacts you create.

Lead capture, user engagement, and customer support - Freshchat is developed to meticulously cater to all three aspects of your user’s journey. This tool has a clean and simple UI and is both user and agent-friendly.

Another remarkable factor that Freshchat has achieved is its value for your agent’s satisfaction along with your customer’s satisfaction. The software is designed with an objective to facilitate easy adoption and usage. As a matter of fact, Freshchat has a plethora of features that can be listed in an entirely separate blog post.

Top Features:

  • Engagement on a number of channels such as web, mobile, and other social messengers
  • Enables proactive campaigns to users based on user behavior, actions and other conditions
  • Assists with precise answers and conversations using AI

Pros:

  • Simple yet brilliant UI
  • Convenient setup
  • Friendly, easy and efficient
  • Amazing customer support
  • Sends targeted outbound messages to users
  • Lets the bot deal with FAQs
  • Enables transfers/Routing

Cons:

  • Requires fast internet network to avoid any delay in bot responses

Visit Freshchat

4. HelpCrunch

helpchat free intercom alternative

HelpCrunch is a perfect fit for SaaS, e-commerce, and other online businesses that are seeking an affordable Intercom alternative. It enables companies to close a large number of deals in real-time, reduce support costs, and grow efficiently. HelpCrunch is almost similar to Intercom. As a matter of fact, it's the simplified Intercom alternative for SMBs - and definitely a lot cheaper. You can also start a free trial for 14 days before you decide whether or not you want to use it.

Top Features:

Live chat: Amidst its wide range of offerings is HelpCrunch’s live chat functionality. This platform offers an entire set of tools and features in this regard. Its widget is super customizable, and you can shape it however you want it to.

Knowledge Base: Moreover, HelpCrunch provides all the primary features for developing an external knowledge base for your customers. These include detailed reports, modern text editor, and categories for structuring information.

Even this knowledge portal is customizable. You can add, remove, or change logos, colours, header, and footer to make it look like a wholesome part of your website. The knowledge portal also comes with a built-in search option with autosuggestions.

Ticketing: Another functionality that HelpCrunch has to offer is ticketing. This comes in handy for customer support teams. Ticketing will land all the chat and email requests into one dashboard. Additionally, you’ll be able to perform all kinds of help desk services with them there. You can assign statuses, leave private notes, tag your chats, etc.

HelpCrunch also collects a dozen of behavioral and personal data about your users as well as your website visitors. Thereby, you can see things like their location, recent activities, and time zone in your agent chat. This can drastically increase your live chat agents’ performance.

Other strengths:

Auto & Customizable Chat Messages: With HelpCrunch, you can build up proactive chat messages for random and anonymous website visitors and target them based on their behavior. That way, you’ll be able to attract hesitant visitors to start a conversation with you.

That’s not all. HelpCrunch enables you to send personalized in-app messages to already existing customers - such as new feature announcements, promotional offers, company news, etc. Whatever criteria it is, you choose it with comfort and send messages to any group of users.

Email Marketing: HelpCrunch also offers a varied set of email marketing tools. This lets you send one time campaign information to your customers. At the same time, you’re able to set up an automated email sequence.

HelpCrunch vs. Intercom

Although HelpCrunch has fewer features than Intercom, it positioned itself as the great Intercom chat alternative with its competitive pricing and amazing service. HelpCrunch also has a handful of advantages over Intercom:

  • An unlimited number of conversations per month - In HelpCrunch you don't have a limit to conversations on a monthly basis. This is something that Intercom not only lacks but also bills significantly for every couple of hundred more visitors.
  • Deep integration with your product - HelpCrunch offers in-depth information and data about your customers. You can see the customer's data while chatting with them and assess their behavioral characteristics to attract them to your product.
  • Easier to use - HelpCrunch has a simpler user interface than Intercom. In short, HelpCrunch is simplistically beautiful.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy setup and configuration
  • Top-notch functionality
  • Amazing customer support
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Self-service portal
  • Email and appointment management
  • Virtual assistant
  • Surveys and feedback

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a full integration for Slack
  • Sub-domains cannot be customized

Take a quick look at HelpCrunch!

5. Drift

drift free intercom alternative

Drift consists of a user interface which is ridiculously similar to that of Intercom itself. If you're out there looking for an Intercom alternative that is more sales-oriented than Intercom whilst having proper customer support functions than perhaps Drift can be your perfect choice.

Drift mostly uses chatbots to generate real-time quality leads. This live chat tool is perhaps the closest alternative to Intercom with a variety of functionalities and aesthetics that hold an uncanny resemblance to those of Intercom.

Top Features:

  • Connects businesses with visitors in real-time using bots and artificial intelligence
  • Inclusion of an AI virtual assistant to the real-time conversation that helps collect the best leads in real-time.
  • Lets you personalize messages website visitors based on their information to pro-actively target potential customers.

Drift vs. Intercom

  • More automation possibilities: Since Drift is sales-oriented, it not only uses the chatbots to generate leads for your company but also offers a live chat solution. Hence, it has a variety of automation possibilities to offer and that, too, more than any other Intercom alternative.
  • In-depth and strong reporting: Drift’s extensive reporting will help its users in making great decisions for their organization and monitor the sales funnel in real-time.

Pros:

  • Data export capability
  • Campaign Personalization
  • Lead Qualification
  • Lead Distribution
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Website Visitor Tracking
  • Target Account Identification
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Online Booking
  • Analytics/ROI Tracking
  • Appointment Reminders

Cons:

  • Not particularly built for customer support and customer engagement
  • Paid features are relatively quite expensive

Visit Drift now!

6. Erxes

Founded in 2016, Erxes is one of the latest open source growth marketing platform. This software lets you merge all your sales, marketing and customer service tools into a single platform for higher output.

The paid version of Erxes comes at a considerable cheap rate - $20/month. Also, when you pay for a year upfront, you’ll get two months for free. Erxes also offers you a free trial for 14 days. Additionally, for a team of 10 members, Erxes will come completely free of cost.

Top Features:

  • Free for a team of 10 people
  • Customizable CTAs
  • Enables you to stay in sync with Shared Team Inbox
  • Facilitates website visitor tracking
  • Lets you track up to 25 different events free of cost
  • Lets you power your team’s success with Task Management and see what anyone is working on

Pros:

  • Premium support from senior support team and guaranteed response SLAs
  • Enables custom onboarding
  • Dedicated implementation services
  • Migration services will facilitate your transition to Erxes by providing a clean dataset

Cons:

  • Lack of CRM integration
  • Reports of occasional crashes

Use the Intercom alternative that suits you best

Most entrepreneurs will definitely recommend Intercom for a live chat messenger - and undoubtedly so they might be right. Intercom comes with so many different offerings that users often have to struggle to find a suitable Intercom competitor. Courtesy to its powerful set of features, this platform has gathered 100,000 monthly active users along with 17,000+ paying customers.

But as I’ve already mentioned, this tool is quite heavy on the pocket and many developing businesses may not be that comfortable with spending an extravagant amount on live customer support.

Hence, you can manage your customer interaction by choosing any one of the alternatives we have mentioned and perhaps shift to Intercom when your business is all set and going. Our personal recommendation would be HelpCrunch because of its vast number of features and amazing UI. Let us know which one of these you find best!

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