Intercom Review 2024: Features, Pros and Cons, Pricing

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By Joren Wouters Updated on

Intercom is a popular chat platform for customer support and heavily used by software business. But should you use it to handle all of your chat messages and create your chatbots?

With this in-depth Intercom review, you’ll discover all of Intercom’s features, pros and cons, its pricing plans. And you’ll know when you should use it.

Let’s dive in!

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

Intercom is a great all-in-one customer support solution tool to serve customers over multiple channels: websites, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and SMS.

By using its flow builder and built-in AI features, you can set up advanced chat automations without any coding. With its live chat, you can hand over any conversation to a support agent. And with over 100 direct integrations, you can connect it to any other application you are using.

Additionally, Intercom also provides many marketing possibilities, such as broadcasts, Product Tours, Banners and Series to engage with your customers.

Intercom starts at $39 per seat/month and gives a 14-day free trial on every plan.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use Flow Builder
  • Assign unlimited custom fields & tags
  • Built in AI: Knowledge Base and Intents
  • Advanced website widgets
  • Publish chatbot on Websites, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and SMS
  • Many marketing possibilities on websites
  • Advanced analytics

Cons

  • Can feel overwhelming at the beginning
  • Can be expensive for small businesses
Go to Intercom
4.5
Plans cost
$39 to $139 per seat
Introductory Offer
14 day Free Trial on every plan
Standout features
Flow Builder, Marketing Possibilites, Website Widget, Integrations, Live Chat, AI

What is Intercom?

Intercom is an all-in-one customer support solution that you can use to handle all your support conversations. Some of the key features of Intercom include:

  • Helpdesk: Shared inbox to handle your incoming live chat conversations and tickets
  • Fin AI Agent: train a chatbot on your own data and let it automatically reply to customer questions
  • Proactive support: Advanced website widget to reach out to your customers

Intercom homepage

Using the Intercom Interface

In Intercom, you can control your account from several tabs:

  1. Help Desk – this is where you can access your inbox and tickets
  2. Fin AI Agent – this allows you to the NLP and the knowledge base
  3. Proactive Support – used to send proactive messages from your website
  4. Automations – used for creating custom chatbot flows
  5. Articles – provide access to Help Desk articles
  6. Reports – this where you can access your analytics
  7. Contacts – an overview of all the people who talk with your chatbots
  8. Messenger and Omni-channels – allows you to install the automations on multiple channels
  9. App Store – allows you to access and install multiple integrations
  10. Get Started Guide – provides access to helpful resources

When you sign up at Intercom, it provides you with a “quick-start guide” to help you get started with their platform, which is really useful:

Intercom main dashboard

To create your chat automations in Intercom, you can use two features: Workflow Automations and the Fin AI Agent.

Workflow automations can be used to create custom chatbot flows, while you can use the Fin AI Agent to train a chatbot on your own data, such as your website and documents. In this section, we will focus on the Workflow Automations. The Fin AI Agent will be covered later in the AI section.

Each workflow automation in Intercom starts with a trigger. After that you can add multiple blocks to design your chatbot flow. Each block can consist of multiple steps. A step is one part of your chatbot flow, such as sending a message, converting the chat into a ticket or letting the Fin AI Agent answer the question:

Intercom flow builder

Additionally, you can also use this Intercom to collect data:

Intercom flow builder data collection option

Or use Branches to create conditions and personalize conversations:

Intercom flow builder branches option

With Intercom’s flow builder you can create these workflows in a matter of minutes. Once you have created an automation, you can click on the Preview button to test the workflows you’ve built:

Fin AI Agent response preview

So in general, the flow builder is really easy to use.

When creating my first automations, the only drawback was that the interface could be quite overwhelming. Especially, the difference between Automations and the Fin AI Agent is hard to understand at the beginning, because this is not explained clearly.

Visual Flow Builder
Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
Test chatbot
Is it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
Easy to use?
Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
Easy to setup a chatbot?
Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?

Chatbot elements

Intercom provides many chatbot elements to create your chatbots. There are 3 elements I would like to point out:

Collect data: With this step, you can ask a question and store the answer in a custom field.

Branches: By using branches, you can create personalized conversations based on the fields in Intercom.

Reusable workflows: With reusable workflows you can create one automation and reuse that across your chatbot, which is great for scalability.

Start flow
Can you refer from one chatbot flow to another and thereby reuse chatbot flows?
Conditions
Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
Delays
Use delays between messages in your chatbot
Images
Can you send images via your chatbot?
Video
Can you send video via your chatbot?
Audio
Can you send audio via your chatbot?
Attachments
Can you send attachments via your chatbot?
Gallery (Horizontal List)
Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
Vertical List
Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
Emoji's
Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
Persistent menu
Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
Quick replies
Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
Button
Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
User Input
Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
Location Sharing
Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
Email validation
When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
Phone number validation
When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
Date validation
When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

Contacts

In the Contacts tab in Intercom, you can see a complete overview of everyone that talked with your chatbot:

Intercom contacts page

When you click on of your users, you can see their custom fields, tags, recent pages on your website they viewed and more:

Intercom individual contact page

With Intercom, you can just ask a question to the user and store the answer in a custom field or assign a tag.

Additionally, you can create your own user segments by filtering on specific custom fields and tags.

Custom field
Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
Tags
Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
User Segments
Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

Messages

With Intercom, you can send a broadcast to your users on your website, by using large Posts or Banners.

Intercom message post option

You can also create a sequence of messages, by using Series, which we will cover later (in the Marketing section).

Intercom message series option

Luckily, you can have a chatbot in multiple languages, but it is not easy to translate your chatbot.

Broadcasts
Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
Sequences
Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
Conditions
Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
Multiple languages
Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
Easy to translate
Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

Intercom AI & NLP: Fin AI Agent

With Intercom’s Fin AI Agent, you can train a chatbot on your own data and then it can automatically reply to questions from customers. You can train the Fin AI Agent on Snippets, PDFs and website URLs:

Intercom knowledge base upload options

Once you have trained the Fin AI Agent on your data, you can see all the content in Content section:

Intercom content answers options

Additionally, you can also create your own custom answers. It could be that you don’t want every question answered by the Fin AI Agent, so then you can create your own custom chatbot flows for this:

Intercom custom answers

Keywords
Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
Intents
Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
Entities
Capture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
Knowledge Base
Can you train your chatbot on a knowledge base (like your website or articles) and then your chatbot automatically answer questions about it?
Dialogflow
Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

Channels

With Intercom, you can handle conversations on your website, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, SMS and within your apps.

This is great, because then you can serve your customers over multiple channels with one tool.

Website
Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
Facebook
Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
Instagram
Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
Whatsapp
Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
Telegram
Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
SMS
Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
Slack
Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
Skype
Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
Email
Can you publish your chatbot on email?
Merge contacts across channels
Can you merge contacts across channels, when the same person contacts you over multiple channels?

Integrations

Intercom has a built-in live chat that you can use to hand over the conversation to one of your agents:

Intercom inbox

This live chat is a shared inbox, where all of your live chat and conversations are handled in one overview.

Intercom also has an App Store with 100+ integrations, such as Google Analytics, Stripe, Salesforce and Jira:

intercom-app-store

What is so great about their App Store, is that every developer can contribute to it. For example, Intercom itself doesn’t provide a Telegram integration. But, by using an App in their App store, you can create this integration yourself.

If that’s not enough, you can use Zapier or Make (formerly Integromat) to integrate with almost any software application on earth.

Moreover, you can also get or send data from other systems by creating an API call and you can receive webhooks when an event is happening inside Intercom.

Livechat integration
Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
Zapier
Direct integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
Make
Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
Google sheets
Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
Make API Calls
Can you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?

Marketing

Intercom has Proactive Support that you can use to proactively send messages to your visitors, leads, and customers. When doing this you can send simple messages or you can create series and product tours. When you creating a new message you have a lot of options you can choose from like:

  1. Proactive Messages
  2. Posts
  3. Product Tours
  4. Banners
  5. Series

Let’s go by them one-by-one:

Intercom’s Website Widget

The website widget of Intercom is pretty advanced.

First of all, you can set up your widget so it matches the branding of your website. You can use it to add:

  • Messages
  • Tickets
  • Tasks
  • Help
  • News

Intercom website widget

Intercom Posts

Intercom Posts are pretty similar to Chats, but the difference is that the chat widget opens with a small post in it:

intercom-small-post

Also, you can create a large post that opens up as a pop-up:

intercom-large-post

 

Intercom Product Tours

This is one of the best marketing opportunities of Intercom, showing a tour of your product.

In my opinion, there is no better way of onboarding new customers than just showing them how to do it, step-by-step.

And it is also really simple to create a tour, you can just click on parts of your website and add instructions:

intercom-create-product-tour

Intercom Banners

Intercom also provides Banners that you can put on your website.

Banners are highlighted sections on the top or bottom of your website that you can use to promote something, such as a discount:

intercom-banner

Intercom Series

Series is a visual campaign builder that allows you to send emails, posts, chatbot flows and product tours if the user meets some conditions.

For example, you can use Series to create an onboarding campaign for new customers:

intercom-series

Overall, the marketing possibilities of Intercom are great for websites.

Unfortunately, Intercom doesn’t provide any marketing possibilities on other channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook website widget
Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
Native website widget
Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
Landing pages
Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
Facebook Ref URL
Can you create a URL that goes to a specific flow inside your Facebook chatbot?
One-Time Notification
Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
Facebook Ads
Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
Button creator
Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
Custom URLs
Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot

Intercom Pricing

Intercom’s pricing starts at $39/seat/month up to $139/seat/per month.

Intercom’s Essentials plan ($39/seat/month) gives you access to the shared inbox, Fin AI Agent, basic automations, the website channel and Banners and Tooltips.

If you want more powerful automations, multiple team inboxes, Social channels, and a multilingual help center, you need to go with the Advanced plan which costs $99/seat/month.

Lastly, Intercom has the Expert plan that starts at $139/seat/month and also gives you workload management, multiple help centers and  custom roles:

Pricing for Intercom Review

Also, for each resolution of the FIN AI Agent you have to pya $0.99. Besides that, there are also additional charges for SMS, WhatsApp and Email campaigns.

Lastly, you can add Proactive Supports option, such as Product Tours, Surveys and Series for $99/month.

Free trial
Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
Free plan
Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
Price per month
What is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
39
Monthly pricing available?
Is it possible to pay monthly?
Money back guarantee
Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

Intercom Reports

Intercom has a really extensive Reports section. The platform comes with many pre-built reports:

Intercom analytics reports

For example, you can see a report with the resolution flow of Fin AI Agent:

Intercom FIN analytics page

Analyze the effectiveness of your customer support team:

Intercom customer support analytics page

Or analyze your custom workflow automations:

Intercom workflows analytics page

And if that’s not enough, you can also create your own custom reports:

Intercom custom analytics page

So I think this is great. Using the Reports in Intercom, you can easily improve your chatbot flows and support team’s effectiveness.

Dashboard
Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
Flow analytics
Can you analyze how users are going through your chatbot flows?
User input
Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
Sent messages
The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
Open rate
The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
Click rate
The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
Conversion rate
The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
Fall back rate
The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
Custom dashboards/reports
Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

Intercom provides a Shopify integration that you can use to:

  • Let users automatically get the order status in the chat widget
  • Create orders from live chat
  • Search for customers and products in live chat

Moreover, Intercom has a WooCommerce integration (built by ektagon, $15 per month) that allows you to sync data between WooCommerce and Intercom.

Also, you can accept payments by using the Stripe integration of Intercom.

Payments
Collect payments inside your chatbot
Shopify
Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
WooCommerce
Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
Buy directly within chatbot
Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
Cart abandonment
Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

Templates & Cloning

Intercom provides 65 templates you can use to build your chatbot flows. Unfortunately, you cannot create these templates yourself and share them with others.

On the other hand, it is possible to duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements, so that you can easily reuse them.

Intercom templates option

Number of templates
How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
65
Make template
Can you make templates yourself?
Share template
Can you share self-created templates with others?
Duplicate chatbot flows
Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
Duplicate chatbot elements
Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

Unfortunately, you cannot use any optimization in your chatbot flows, such as A/B Testing.

A/B Testing
Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

Intercom provides lots of tutorials explaining their platform and they have a huge documentation.

Moreover, they also provide support through live chat and email.

Tutorials
Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
Documentation
Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
Customer support
Does the chatbot platform provide customer support?

Conclusion

So, should you buy Intercom to create your chatbots?

Yes, you should.

Intercom is a great all-in-one customer support solution tool to serve customers over multiple channels: websites, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and SMS.

By using its flow builder and built-in AI features, you can set up advanced chat automations without any coding. With its live chat, you can hand over any conversation to a support agent. And with over 100 direct integrations, you can connect it to any other application you are using.

Additionally, Intercom also provides many marketing possibilities, such as broadcasts, Product Tours, Banners and Series to engage with your customers. And it has a very extensive Reports section you can use to improve your chatbot flows over time.

Go to Intercom

There are only two drawbacks of Intercom:

In the beginning, Intercom can be overwhelming. Especially the difference between the Fin AI Agent and Automations wasn’t entirely clear. So it could takes some time before you fully understand Intercom.

Second, Intercom can be too expensive for small businesses. Intercomes provides many features and I think the price is totally worth it, but paying $99/seat/month isn’t for most small businesses.

 

Compare Intercom with others

Comments (4)

  1. gerry

    Intercom is a good platform but their support is terrible—non existent. For a chat company, they will not reply for days. Weeks! We eventually moved to LiveChat which was a third of the price, less features, but better support and in the end, what we needed.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Gerry! Thank you for sharing your experience. Could you tell me what kind of company you are and what you were looking in a chatbot platform?

  2. Arbica Mriea

    Grateful for this insightful Intercom Review – a treasure trove of knowledge! Thanks for sharing such an informative piece, truly an amazing read. Your thorough analysis is immensely helpful for anyone navigating the world of customer communication tools

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thanks Arbica!

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