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Intercom vs Help Scout: a Head-to-Head Comparison

Intercom and Help Scout are big players on the market and are genuinely good at what they do. However, choosing between these two to transition your customer support to is not an easy task.

In this article, we’re going to cover the key features of each platform and break down the difference between Intercom and Help Scout to help you decide which one is better for your business.

Help Scout vs. Intercom: what’s in it for you?

Help Scout is a help desk software that integrates with your email client and gives you a clutter-free space to manage all your inboxes. Backed up with a knowledge base, API, automation tools and integrations, and many other cool features, it can help turn your support team into a well-oiled machine.

Major benefits:
- great for managing multiple shared inboxes and brands;
- enhances teamwork and improves workflow;
- helps build rapport with customers.

Intercom, on the other hand, does not position itself as a help desk solution only. It’s a big platform which helps manage customer communication. It comes with a wide variety of features that can satisfy the needs of marketing, sales and support teams simultaneously.

Major benefits:

- a single tool for sales, support and marketing needs;
- a possibility of customer support in mobile apps;
- robust CRM and filtering capabilities.

Key features of Help Scout


Help Scout makes it easy to bring in other staff members to collaborate on the issue. Just mention the person in the ticket note without having to assign it to them.

Report Bundle

The help desk presents you four categories of reports: Conversations, Productivity, Team, and Happiness.

Using them, one can evaluate such vital metrics as busy times and days, average first response and resolution times, customer happiness, etc.

Workflows, Auto-Reply, and Saved Replies

Help Scout comes with an excellent set of features that helps improve the agility and efficiency the of customer service.

For instance, the app can automatically refer tickets to staff members based on keywords using IF/THEN statements. Or send auto-replies to let customers hear back from you immediately after they send a message.

Traffic Cop

Thanks, to visual indicators, Help Scout makes it easy to understand who’s working on what conversation. However, it has a built-in agent that is always on the lookout for duplicate replies.

When two people are working on the same ticket, Traffic Cop will check who responded first. Before sending the message, the other teammate will get an option to review the updates and then either send the message as is, change or discard it.

Key features of Intercom


Operator is a bot which makes smart suggestions to end-users and support staff. Just like all bots do, it’s supposed to take repeated tasks out of the way and handle common questions.

For instance, when a customer asks a question in Messenger, Operator automatically steps in to help find the answer. It also recommends relevant articles when agents are working in Inbox to help them reply faster.

Customer user profiles

When customers reach out to you, Intercom automatically turns them into leads and creates live profiles for each of them. By default, you will see their Name, Phone, Email, and Company info. However, Intercom allows building detailed customer profiles, so support, marketing and sales teams could provide better service and ask qualified questions.

Automated ticket assignment

Intercom can automatically assign tickets to teammates and whole teams based on the criterion you choose. For instance, the subject of the initial message or any information about the lead that you track in Intercom.

This helps quickly assign tickets to the right people and reduce hours of tedious work.

Which one should you choose?

It really depends on the specific needs of your support team and the tasks you want to tackle.

If you’re looking for a tool which not only allows providing customer support but can also help nurture leads and improve communication, then Intercom is the right choice.

However, if you need a simple yet efficient help desk that is proven to facilitate team collaboration, build great relationships with customers and streamline the workflow, Help Scout is your new best friend.

Migrate to Help Scout with ease

Switching help desks can be painless if you do it with Help Desk Migration. Using our data import tool you can transition from Intercom to Help Scout with the speed of light.

No need to get your IT department involved, just sign up and follow the steps in the Migration Wizard.

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