Looking for a Zendesk Alternative? Check Out Intercom + LTVplus

Intercom vs Zendesk

There is a lot of live chat software out there. As experts in customer service, we have worked and tested many live chat and helpdesk platforms. That’s why we wanted to make a comparison of these tools with the goal of helping you decide which one would be a good choice for your business. Below, we present the main features, pros, and cons of a popular Zendesk alternative – Intercom.

Why Your Business Needs Live Chat

In a recent study, 97% of global consumers said customer service is an important factor in their choice of brand. There are several ways you can improve your customer service capabilities, but customers are increasingly looking for and expecting live chat.

In fact, according to one study, live chat is now the preferred method for interacting with brands online.

Why Do Customers Prefer Live Chat

What makes live chat so great? There are a few unique benefits that customers seem to love. They are:

  • Quick Response Time: live chat allows you to communicate with customers in real-time. With live chat, they don’t have to wait for an available phone agent or an email response. In one study, 73% of customers said the best thing a company can do to provide quality customer service is value their time. Over 50% of customers said they want brands to be available for questions 24/7.
  • Easy to Use: live chat is also simple to use. A message box appears at the bottom of a website, and customers can simply type in their questions or concern. There’s no navigating around your website trying to find contact email.
  • Personal Connection: Finally, live chat offers a more personal experience. Your live chat agents chat with customers in real-time and offer assistance and help right then and there. Using the latest technology these live chat solutions have the ability to show you customer’s information right in the chat. You will have all the necessary details that will help you personalize communication with your customer.

Comparing Zendesk alternative: Intercom vs Zendesk

Depending on your business needs you will need appropriate live chat software. Intercom and Zendesk are two popular options that we wanted to compare and help you decide which one works for you.


Intercom Screenshot

Overview of Intercom products

Intercom has 3 different products, with each designed for a different part of customer service:

  • Acquiring customers
  • Engaging customers
  • Supporting customers

If you’re interested in just live chat, you’ll want to look into the Acquiring package.


When you use Intercom to acquire customers, you’ll get a few helpful tools. It comes with a Business Messenger, Outbound Messaging, comprehensive reports, and chatbots that you can use for sales and marketing.

Another great feature is the ability to better route and qualify leads. With this tool, you can automate your lead routing so that it ends up with the right sales rep.

Finally, Intercom’s messenger comes with some great customization options. For example, you can easily change the default language, change the appearance of the chat widget, or make it available only for some customers.


Intercom allows you to connect with some of the most popular tools available. There’s a long list to choose from, but some of the most popular are:

  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Google Analytics
  • Hubspot
  • Facebook

For a full list of the available apps and integrations, you can check out their app store here.


There are 3 pricing options for the Acquire package. There’s the most basic package, called the Essential, which is $87/month. If you upgrade to the Pro package for $153/month, you get everything in the Essential Package, plus other features like more integrations, automating meetings, and custom lead routing.

Finally, if you want even more advanced features, you can upgrade to their Premium package. However, do take note that this comes with custom pricing, so you will need to contact them to learn more.


Zendesk screenshot

Overview of Zendesk products

Zendesk offers a wide range of products, collectively known as the Zendesk Suite. It contains:

  • Zendesk Support: A system for tracking and solving customer support tickets.
  • Zendesk Guide: Knowledge base software
  • Zendesk Chat: Live chat and messaging software
  • Zendesk Talk: Customer support over the phone

For this review, we’ll be focusing on Zendesk Chat.


Zendesk Chat allows you to reach out to your customers in real-time. Rather than waiting for a customer to start a conversation with you, you can initiate it if you think the customer needs some help. For example, you can have Zendesk Chat analyze how long someone is on your checkout page, and once it hits a certain limit, start a conversation with them to see if they need assistance.

Beyond this, Zendesk Chat also offers analytics so you can study your efforts and make better decisions going forward. You can learn about customer satisfaction, some common issues, questions customers ask, or how well your agents are doing.

Finally, with Zendesk Chat you can interact with your customers through multiple channels. Previous conversations and progress will all follow them around, making it easier for you to help your customers no matter where they are.


Much like Intercom, Zendesk Chat can integrate with a host of other tools. However, many of them require that you also subscribe to the Zendesk Support plan. Some of the available apps are MaestroQA, TeamViewer, and Shopify. To see their full list of 45 available Zendesk Chat apps, you can view their app store here.


There are 4 available pricing options. Lite package is free. It allows for 1 concurrent chat and a 30 day chat history. Team package starts at $14 per agent per month and includes unlimited chats, a few triggers, and some additional customization options. Professional plan starts at $29 per agent per month and includes unlimited triggers, the ability to add operating hours, and chat reports. The enterprise plan starts at $59 per agent per month and includes every feature – from real-time monitoring to 24/7 live chat support to skills-based routing.

To get started with Zendesk, you should start with their Enterprise free trial. During the free trial period, you can upgrade at any point. This is done to ensure you’re comfortable using Zendesk, but also in part to try to get you to stay with their Enterprise package.

What Live Chat Software To Choose

For Startups

For a startup, we’d recommend Zendesk Chat. This is because it comes with a free option, which is ideal for startups on a limited budget. Plus, it’s easy to upgrade to a larger package when your business grows.

For Small Businesses

If you’re a small business, you may want to consider Intercom as it offers a nice set of features in its most basic package—without breaking the bank. Intercom also has great integration options.

For Enterprises

Zendesk is a better choice for Enterprise. This is due to not only the price but the features included, such as Help Desk and the ability to manage incoming tickets.

For eCommerce

For eCommerce, you can really go either way. Zendesk might be the more affordable option, but Intercom allows you to integrate with platforms like Shopify without having to add on an additional product. Your best bet may be to try out both products and see which one works out better for your needs.

How Can eCommerce Businesses Get More Sales And Deliver Better Customer Service With Live Chat?

If you want to deliver better customer service, live chat is the key. However, live chat can also take up a lot of time and resources, which you may not have. This is where LTVplus can help.

Our team can not only help you choose and set up your live chat software, but our agents can monitor all your channels for you, lessening the load on your team. To learn more about how LTVplus can help you drive engagement and increase conversions through live chat schedule a free consultation with us.

Need a dedicated customer experience team ready to support your brand?

Book a consultation with us and we’ll get you set up.

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