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Who Is the Winner in This Zendesk vs Intercom Showdown?

It’s Intercom VS Zendesk, the battle of two well-known software in the help desk category. As service desks, they seem to provide the same solutions to problems most businesses face. However, what’s inside their hoods are different. Both their approaches to solving your problems will vary and you may prefer one method over the other. We’ll look at several features that businesses need such as a ticketing system, team messaging, customer communication channels, and more. So, let’s compare Zendesk to Intercom and vice versa!

Intercom vs Zendesk – The Rundown

As you already know, help desks are used by businesses to help manage customer and technical support. But if you’re not familiar to them, think of the software as online human resource departments. For instance, customers and staff alike can channel messages through it. The methods that help desks use, however, is meant to cater to possibly thousands to millions of messages. Because there could be a thousand customers complaining at any given hour to all your staff having problems with business protocols. Generally, humans can’t handle this volume of exchange, that’s why help desks software were made.

Some of the features of Zendesk over Intercom may look the same but the methods used to solve your problems will be different.

Product Feature Comparison

Let’s compare Intercom and Zendesk using the features they have. In this case, we'll see what their similarities and differences are.


To begin with, communication with customers is important these days. Without proper channels to reach you, usually, customers will take their business elsewhere. And thanks to the internet, a few taps will lead them right to your competitor! As you will see further, Intercom and Zendesk offer almost the same features when it comes to chatting with a couple of differences.


Decide between Zendesk vs Intercom


Zendesk – Here you have the option of live chatting with customers via your website, mobile, and messaging. The plugin, however, is a bit hard to use as reviewed by customers. Installing it might take some technical skill and even when installed, could malfunction a bit. Still, the Chatbot of Zendesk Message is a powerful one. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assist customers through self-help options or access to the right knowledge base article before connecting them to your team. And this, undoubtedly, leaves your agents free to solve urgent matters.


Zendesk vs Intercom comparison

Source: intercom.com

Intercom – This software is no slouch either as it offers a feature called ‘Business Messenger’ that comes with its own AI chatbot. The AI chatbot can work 24/7, awaiting the query of a customer. Moreover, Intercom bots can converse naturally with customers by using conversation starters, respond with self-help and knowledge base articles. In a way, this is similar to what Zendesk offers. However, the difference would be the ease of use. Intercom Messenger is easy to customize and install. Create a chatbot with minimal coding and customize it to your heart’s content.
The in-app messaging of Intercom is also a big plus. If your business has an app, the in-app messaging can be used to send messages to customers. You can use this with the push notification of the app to keep your customers in the loop of possible promos, rewards, and more.


An inbox is a valuable tool for your team to communicate. It’s not just for emails to co-workers. The inbox is used to refer tickets to other agents who can solve them. Therefore, a helpdesk with a good inbox can make your team efficient in solving problems.

Deciding between Zendesk and Intercom

Zendesk – This software provides a unified inbox across its many features. Each message will have identifiers on so that they will be easy to recognize at a glance. As a result, you’ll be able to see the sender, anyone who replied and the dates of their interaction. It will make things easier to track if you can see at a bird’s eye view, the whole conversation.


Comparing Zendesk vs Intercom

Source: intercom.com

Intercom – The team inbox of this software also has the same features as most help desk inbox. However, Intercom takes things a step further by streamlining their inbox with chatbots and Articles integration. Access the Intercom knowledge base solutions right from the inbox.

Knowledge Base Solutions

These are articles or documents that provide technical help to customers and your employees. The knowledge base is like an online encyclopedia of support articles.


Zendesk vs Intercom comparison

Zendesk – The knowledge base called Guide is a powerful feature. What makes it different from other help desk is the Answer Bot. This is an AI assistant that will help anyone navigate Guide by providing results as you type your query. The bot also ensures that the customer or employee will find the right article before contacting an agent. Thus, it leaves your team to solve other important problems.


Zendesk vs intercom Knowledge Base


Intercom – This software has Articles as its knowledge base solution. It also comes with a bot called Operator. The bot feeds customers and employees the right articles upon making a query. The main difference is its connectivity with the Intercom Team Inbox. This makes things faster for your team to access information without bothering other agents. Also, a feedback form can be found at the end of each article. The answers are analyzed to help streamline the AI and can also be collated into a report for your perusal.

Email Marketing

An old-fashioned yet effective way of reaching out to customers. Auto-generated emails can be timed to remind customers about your company. It’s a wonderful way to provide information condensed in an email. Use with caution though as mass emails can quickly turn into spam if you’re not careful.

Zendesk – Not available for the basic subscriptions at the time of writing. However, the add-on Customer Lists available for Professional and Enterprise subscriptions does have mass email options.

Intercom – Available. Connect with your users via email. Later, you will be able to run basic email campaigns from newsletters, survey forms, product setup emails, and more.

Call Center Tools

One study found that 67% of customers prefer calling an agent to help solve their query. Some help desks software provides call center tools as one of the communication channels for your customers.

Zendesk – Offers Zendesk Talk as its call center solution to keep up with other help desks. This feature is browser-based, so you don’t need additional software or hardware.

Intercom – Intercom offers call center features for your business via add-ons. Services such as CallHippo, Ozonetel, Toky, Aircall Now are just a few of many more add-ons in lieu of call center tools built into the help desk software.


Feedback is important to a business. Therefore, to gauge if your chosen help desk is effective or not, you use analytics. In this case, each help desk has a unique way of generating reports such as scheduling, scope of the analysis, and more. Yes, analytics in Zendesk vs Intercom has surprising results.


Zendesk vs Intercom Analytics

Source: support.zendesk.com

Zendesk – Formerly known as Insights, Zendesk now uses Explore to provide analytics to help businesses tailor their services to satisfy customers.

Intercom – Analytics features Intercom has is done through add-ons such as Google Analytics, Statbot, Microsoft Teams, and more.

Pricing – Zendesk vs Intercom

Now, this is where the two diverge. The prices of the two software may be justified by the value-added services and minor features that they have for their all-in-one pricing. For example, for businesses that want just a couple of features, there are subscription packages. Each of such packages contains a set of features from basic packages to advance.

Free TrialAvailable for 14 daysAvailable for 30 days
Starting Prices$ 49$ 5
Basic Packages$49 flat rate per month for 1 year (all features for select customers: small teams, new startups, small user base, new customers)$5 per agent per month annual billing (Zendesk Support: Essential only)

Free: Zendesk Chat Lite (with conditions and pay per use billing of other usages)
Free: Zendesk Guide Lite (with conditions and pay per use billing of other usages)

Subscription Packages
  • Respond: $53 per month – conversation with clients
  • Engage: $53 per month – targeted message marketing
  • Educate: $49 per month – Knowledge base
  • Live chat for Sales: $106 / month (Respond + Engage)
  • Customer Engagement: $53 per month (Engage + customized targeting)
  • Customer Support: $102 per month (Respond + Educate)
Zendesk Support

  • Essential - $9 per agent/month or $5 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Team - $25 per agent/month or $19 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Professional - $59 per agent/month or $49 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Enterprise - $125 per agent/month or $99 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Elite - $199 per agent per month yearly billing

Zendesk Chat

  • Lite – Free
  • Team - $19 per agent/month or $14 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Professional - $35 per agent/month or $29 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Enterprise - $70 per agent/month or $59 per agent/month yearly billing (with conditions)

Zendesk Talk

  • Lite – Pay for Usage
  • Team - $19 per agent/month or $14 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Professional - $35 per agent/month or $29 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Enterprise - $70 per agent/month or $59 per agent/month yearly billing (with conditions)
  • Partner Edition - $14 per agent per month or $9 per agent per month yearly billing (partner cost not included)

Zendesk Guide

  • Lite – Free
  • Professional - $19 per agent/month or $15 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Enterprise - $34 per agent/month or $29 per agent/month yearly billing
  • Answer Bot – Optional $50 / month
All-in-one Subscription$136 per month for 2 Seats (Inquire for availability)


$49 flat rate per month for 1 year (all features for select customers: small teams, new startups, small user base, new customers)

$109 per month for 1 seat (Inquire for availability)


As you can see, people may go for Zendesk over Intercom due to their subscription packages. While the Intercom platform gives a flat rate of $49 to help struggling or new customers, Zendesk offers two free packages for Zendesk Chat Lite and Zendesk Guide Lite. These two are enough for starting businesses on a budget. However, businesses may also like the number of packages that offer specific features that they may only need with their work operations. As for the Zendesk vs Intercom all-in-one subscription plan, Intercom offers a cheaper one compared to Zendesk. At $136 for 2 seats per month or $68 per seat. It’s cheaper than Zendesk’s $109 per month per seat.

Reviews – Intercom vs Zendesk

REviews on Zendesk vs intercom on g2crowd

G2.com Intercom and Zendesk Review Score

Intercom and Zendesk are neck to neck in reviews from various sites such as G2, Capterra, Financesonline and more. Therefore, they’re equal in almost every category.

Intercom Reviews

Zendesk vs Intercom reviews on g2

As a rule, Intercom reviews are positive as many users praise the interface, the ease of use and deployment of the software. However, some users remarked that a developer is needed to properly install the software or run the risks of problems in the future. The Intercom Messenger, in particular, performs well compared to the Zendesk alternative.

Zendesk Reviews

Zendesk vs Intercom reviews on g2

Zendesk has strong positive reviews especially since the software has mobile apps for access. Though some complained that it’s not easy to check the tickets using the apps. Because, it’s something they believe the developers should fine-tune. However, the most common complaint is the pricing of some features.

What's the Verdict?

Overall, choose the best help desk for your business by looking at your needs and matching it to the software that answers most of them. In case of Intercom, you might like the features it has or you might like the ticketing system of Zendesk. In other words, considering a help desk for your business alone is already the right step to success. Anyway, both Intercom and Zendesk can help improve your business and streamline your workflow.

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