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Intercom Review - Summary

What is Intercom?

Intercom is a live chat support and automation platform for sales, marketing, product, and support teams.

You can use Intercom’s chat widget to help identify and qualify leads, provide real-time prospect and customer support, and engage visitors on your website.In this reviewer’s opinion, Intercom is overrated.

Intercom is a popular product, looks nice, and happens to be one of the first live chat platforms to exist, but Intercom is far too expensive in 2023.

When comparing Intercom to other live chat platforms that perform the same, often with additional value and functions, Intercom simply doesn’t match up when it comes to meeting your business goals or delivering as impactful an ROI as the competition.

Channels: Live chat

Pricing - Intercom:

Overall Rating - Intercom:

Table of Contents
Intercom Features
Integrations and API
Intercom Pricing
Pros and Cons
Intercom Review - Final Analysis
Intercom Competitors and Alternatives
Frequently Asked Questions

Intercom Features

  • Intercom Messenger (chat widget): Intercom's chat widget (the Intercom Messenger) offers users a first-rate live chat user experience on both mobile and desktop browsers. Intercom has introduced a number of live chat innovations. One of these is removing the need for unfriendly pre-chat forms by embedding a small email capture form in the chat itself.
Intercom Review
  • Custom Bots: Intercom Custom Bots start conversations by using targeting and enrichment tools that allow you to engage the leads you want. Intercom’s chatbot builder doesn’t require coding skills. Intercom's chatbot technology is known as ‘Operator.’ It powers bots that can be purchased separately for resolving common questions from customers, qualify leads and automate common tasks.
  • Team inbox: Use Intercom’s team inbox so teammates can work together to respond to customers on multiple channels.
  • Advanced support automation: Automate answers to FAQs, measure your bot’s performance with reports, and integrate ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Stripe to provide more detailed information.
Intercom Review
  • Lead routing: Automate lead routing based on rules you define and schedule sales demos with chatbots.
  • Lead generation add-on: Intercom’s “advanced lead generation” add-on allows you to connect target accounts to account owners with real-time account data, use apps within chatbots to automate sales workflows, and integrate third-party tools such as Clearbit and Marketo for data enrichment and lead nurturing.
  • Conversation performance and analytics: Intercom provides detailed reports on new conversations, including by tag; performance by volume, busiest period, number of replies sent, conversations closed, responsiveness metrics and conversation ratings and ratings from customers; as well as number of leads, new leads created, average first response time to leads; Salesforce leads created if you’ve built out the Intercom/Salesforce integration, and more.
Intercom Review
  • Knowledge base: Adding help docs to your website or application requires Intercom Articles, which starts at $49 per month. The integration between articles and live chat is solid, and you can configure Intercom’s chatbot to automatically suggest help articles when a user asks a question, hopefully eliminating their wait time for a human response.
  • User and visitor data repository: Intercom tracks a wide range of standard user attributes. Custom data attributes, defined by you, are supported as well. This data appears alongside your chat with a visitor or customer, but can also be used to answer questions, such as who signed up within, before, or after defined time periods. It’s also possible to use filters based on user data to send automated messages to qualified leads. Using defined attributes, qualification data can be manually entered as you chat with website visitors.
Intercom Review

Intercom Integrations

You can connect Intercom with tools like Salesforce, Marketo, and others to sync data and automate workflows. Intercom has a lot of integrations, as well as different types of integrations. These include integrations for: Analytics, Automation, Conversation management, CRM, Data & Enrichment, Issue tracking & ticketing, Lead capture, Marketing automation, Phone & video, Scheduling, Screen capture, Surveys & Feedback.

Intercom API

Developers use Intercom APIs, SDKs and client libraries to automate processes and integrate Intercom with other products and services. Intercom offers a well-documented REST API, webhooks and a framework for building apps to integrate into the Messenger.

Intercom Pros and Cons

Pros - Intercom

  • Well designed and user friendly: The appearance of Intercom, from their chat widget to their UI/UX is probably Intercom’s greatest achievement. The tools Intercom has built, have been built well, and always with the end-user experience in mind.
  • Supports bots, live chat, and product tours: Intercom has just about everything you could need from a live chat platform. Their new product tours feature ($200 per month add-on) is somewhat unique to live chat software providers, but not unique software in general.
  • Options to create custom chatbots: Intercom’s custom bots connect to your tech stack, automate workflows, ask questions based on user questions, and route conversations to a human agent when more support is needed.
  • Robust API and many integrations: Intercom has over 100 apps, as well as the ability to build your own. You can use them in conversations or on your Messenger home screen.

Cons - Intercom

  • Significantly flawed pricing model: Intercom is expensive, and its pricing model is unpredictable, as well as non-flexible. In addition to a high monthly price in comparison to competitors, you’ll also be charged for the number of leads and users are being tracked if you use any of the following products: Outbound Messages, Custom Bots, Answer Bots, and Product Tours.
  • Limited to your website only: Intercom is limited to your website. Other platforms, especially chatbots with many marketing tools, can be utilized on your website, social media, and other channels.
  • Integration with your CRM and user database is a long, complicated process: Do not expect to be able to have Intercom and your CRM talking to one another without a significant amount of time spent by a developer.
  • Add-on services are overpriced: In addition to being pricey, Intercom’s add-on services shouldn’t be considered add-ons in the first place. For example, to build custom chatbots on Intercom, you’ll need to spend an additional $500 per month, in addition to the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars you’re already spending on the platform.The best chatbot builders in 2023 also provide live chat, web chat, customer support, marketing automation, etc. However, what you’ll pay for Intercom’s custom chatbot builder alone is the same price you’ll pay for their competitors’ entire platform.
  • Notoriously poor customer support: For an expensive platform that’s built specifically to improve online customer support, Intercom is not known for its own customer support. If you’ve ever heard the “eat your own dogfood” metaphor in business, Intercom takes it a bit too far. The ability to get someone from Intercom’s support team on the phone or video conference is extremely difficult. In fact, Intercom’s support team is instructed to avoid it at all costs, and stick to chat.

Intercom Pricing

Pricing is somewhat complicated with Intercom.
Their ‘core products’ are Outbound Messaging and Team Inbox.
Although these are technically a-la-carte products, they are very complementary, and you’ll almost always need multiple Intercom products to achieve your business goals.

In addition to Intercom’s core products, there are a handful of optional add-ons. Each of which comes at its own price point. Intercom’s add-ons include:
  • Custom chatbots
  • Product tours
  • Answer bots
  • Help center articles


To get access to all of Intercom’s essential features, or to at least consider Intercom as one of the best live chat or best web chat apps, you’re going to spend at least $1,000 per month or more, just to get started.

Let’s use their pricing tables to get a better idea of what Intercom would cost for 12 user seats and 15K people reached on the Scale plan.

Intercom Review

Intercom’s Scale plan with 12 seats and 15K contacts, MIGHT look like this for 1 month: $999 + $198 (2 additional seats) + $650 (15K total contacts) + YES, there’s another plus sign, because now we need to consider add-on features.

In addition to the nearly two-thousand dollars per month, now you need to purchase the tools you probably wanted in the first place.

Of the four add-ons you can choose from, most companies are going to want three of them: Advanced lead generation, Advanced customer engagement, and Advanced support automation.

Intercom Review

And just like that, we’ve tacked on another $1,247 per month. But wait, there’s more.

If you hover your mouse over the “How we calculate price” text on Intercom’s pricing page, you’ll see that there are additional fees. And for the Advanced lead generation add-on, that price only covers 5 seats, so we have more expenses.

Intercom Review

Since we’re calculating for 12 seats, and each additional seat is $99. Add another $700.

Now, we still need to add Advanced customer engagement and Advanced support automation add-ons. Here’s how Intercom calculates pricing for the add-ons to these...add-ons.

Intercom Review

We had 15K contacts (if you can remember that far back). Add another $1,125 per month.

As for the final add-on service, Advanced support automation (which we may need just to calculate the total here…) was $249 per month, but that’s only for 5 user seats.

Intercom Review

Each additional seat is another $49 per month, and we need to cover 7 more seats (12 in total), so we just added yet another $343 per month.

Ready to add it all up? Here we go…
For 12 user seats and 5K contacts (which I remind you is a very small number of contacts), with the ability to generate leads, provide support, and engage customers the grand total is: $999 + $198 (2 additional seats) + $650 (15K total contacts) + $1,247 (three “add-ons”) + $700 + $1,125 + $343 = $5,262 per month, or $63,144 per year...I think.

As you can see, unless you really do your homework, you could end up paying tenfold what you originally had imagined paying for Intercom.

Intercom Review - Final Analysis

Ultimately, although Intercom is a polished and robust platform that was a pioneer in the live chat and web chat markets, it’s not worth the price point if you consider the competition.

This is partly a result of their early-mover advantage. Intercom had a unique solution for a short period of time, allowing them to charge high price points. However, without the differentiation they once had, Intercom’s products are now almost comically expensive when compared to other chat platforms that perform the same, as well as additional functions.

In fact, Intercom charges additional fees for features like custom chatbots and advanced lead generation tools, on top of their already pricey platform. There’s nothing unique about these add-on features that other top machine learning chatbots and enterprise-grade chatbots don’t have available, yet Intercom is charging additional fees for them. It’s actually infuriating when you think about it.

Additionally, for a company that’s product is built to improve customer support, Intercom somehow drops the ball on providing support of their own. Again, for a product that is as expensive as it is, the customer support they provide their clients is truly disappointing.

There are plenty of other customer support chat platforms out there that have a great product, and also realize that not every problem can be solved in a live chat window.

In conclusion, although Intercom made a number of our “Best Of” chatbot categories (see below), the platform is losing ground to the competition, and fast.

Additionally, the price tag should remove Intercom from the equation of chatbot solutions to consider implementing for your business in 2023.

Intercom Competitors and Alternatives

At, we’ve reviewed and ranked hundreds of chatbots and chat platforms. We also rank these chatbots by category.

Here’s how Intercom stacks up against the competition (#1 being the best) in the “Best Chatbot” categories they qualified for:


Sales Chatbot Tools

Intercom: #24 out of 25.


Enterprise Chatbot Solutions

Intercom: #15 out of 21.


Web Chat Apps

Intercom: #10 out of 11.


Customer Service Chatbot Tools

Intercom: #28 out of 29.


Live Chat Software

Intercom: #21 out of 23.


Intercom Frequently Asked Questions

No, Intercom is not a CRM. Intercom is an account management system that is meant to integrate with your CRM of choice.

You can use Intercom’s live chat system for support, sales, product, and marketing teams.

Intercom is a live chat system for support, sales and marketing teams. They have 3 main products including a live chat widget for communicating with users; an onboarding product for sending automated messages and emails to convert leads and customers; and an educational product for automating answers to frequently asked questions.
To the average user, Intercom is just a chat widget in the lower right-hand corner of a website. You see them often, and the user’s experience is very simple, similar to a chat on Facebook messenger.

Intercom is not compliant with HIPAA. As such, you should not use Intercom to store sensitive medical data.

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