Around 60% of customer care leaders report a growth in total calls received by interested consumers – and that trend is expected to continue well into the future. While the overall boost to how your customers interact with your brand is always a beneficial problem, it can result in less than desirable service if you do not have the strategies to handle such demand.
Custom communication management software through chatbots, live chat, calls, and more increases your ability to address your target audience's needs appropriately. Two practical tools you should consider include Crisp and Intercom.
In this article, we’ll explore how these customer support services help reduce churn, improve onboarding, and offer conversational support by exploring their features. We’ll also take a look at any alternatives to ensure you’re providing the best possible service to your clients.
Crisp vs. Intercom: at a glance
To wet your digital whistle, let’s look at a quick breakdown of the primary differences between Intercom vs. Crisp. This is a broad overview but gives you a decent starting point for where we will dive deeper.
What is Crisp?
Crisp is a full-service customer interaction application that is used for everything from chatbots to shared messaging for teams. Created in 2015, it is a self-funded company based in France. It provides a centralized location for managing all your customer interactions and adds a knowledge base to your website as a client-facing resource.
The customer-facing aspects of Crisp are what makes it a popular choice. Simply put, this is a highly streamlined application that cuts the time it takes to “train” any new team members on using something like the Crisp chatbot, or other features listed below.
- Real-Time Dashboard: Manage all various customer activities in a unified location that is easy to understand.
- Live Chat: The Crisp live chat feature is one of its biggest selling points. It gives customers an intuitive and easy way to get in touch with your company through chat messages.
- Shared Inbox: When onboarding new team members or customers, you can use the shared inbox to ensure smooth communication about progress.
- Co-Browsing: While not as safe and smooth as Fullview’s cobrowsing options, this feature allows various customers to browse and share information.
- Drip Campaigns: Building a slow and steady social media presence is helpful when trying to improve customer support because it gives you more channels that you can use to build and strengthen customer relationships.
Crisp and Intercom share similar ratings and features, but with Crisp, you have a slightly more competitive price point and more streamlined products for smaller providers. You may want to consider Crisp for these reasons.
- User Friendly: The user interface is simplified across the entire application, making it easy for anyone to use.
- Customizable: Along with ease of use, the entire application is customizable and intuitive to your unique customer support needs.
- Multi-Platform: Crisp works with cloud services, SaaS, web-based providers, Mac, and Windows.
- Support: You gain access to 24/7 customer support for any questions you may have.
Even though you have a reasonable price point, there are some drawbacks to using Crisp compared to Intercom.
- Scalability: The entire system is best meant for small to mid-size enterprises.
- Load Time: While the chat widget is customizable and easy to train, it can load slowly when needed during high demand, like the holidays.
- Lacking filter options: The filter for chatbots is not as broad as you may want.
- Free Plan: This is a basic option for personal websites, but does include the chatbot and shared inbox.
- Pro Plan: At $25 per month, you get up to 5,000 contacts included and unlimited history for messenger and email integration.
- Unlimited Plan: You’ll be spending $95 per month on a plan designed for bigger companies. That includes up to 50,000 contacts with third-party integrations like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Zapier.
Crisp user reviews
On G2, Crisp enjoys a 4.6 out of 5-star rating with 116 reviews. Users love the “free plan that introduces team members to benefits like the chatbots and knowledge base.” Others report wanting “more advanced features for SDK functions.”
Crisp use cases
Crisp is all about offering a “human touch” to smaller businesses. They strive to be the all-in-one resource and emphasize getting to know the product through the free plan first before expanding in relation to your customer load to the higher-level plans. While customer support, sales, and marketing are emphasized, it is easy to see that cross-channel support and chatbots are what bring in clients like AirFrance, Rakuten, and Mailjet.
What is Intercom?
Intercom is a popular communication platform that is integrated into thousands of global companies like Facebook and Amazon. The company positions itself as a solution for resolving customer issues as quickly as possible while reducing the challenges your team faces in workload. The basic idea is to support, engage, and convert visitors into loyal brand ambassadors through chatbots and communication enhancements.
When looking at Crisp vs Intercom, you may think at first that Intercom offers less. In reality, they focus on specific features with higher customization. So, fewer services with a higher ability to tailor the overall customer experience.
- Chatbots: This is one of the most advanced chatbots you’ll come across and has active “learning capabilities”.
- Data Reporting: Intercom works with major international businesses that rely on analytics and reporting for proper customer management.
- Integrations: You get the basic Intercom integrations like Zendesk and Zapier, as well as various customer-facing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Meet.
- Fullview: Unlike Crisp, Intercom integrates with Fullview, allowing support agents to initiate cobrowsing calls the same as in Zendesk, Dixa, and Salesforce Service Desk.
Intercom gets a bit more press because of the high-end clients it services. There are a lot of benefits to consider with this platform:
- Versatility: Great for reducing customer churn across a wide range of industries and business models.
- Strong Knowledge Base: Similar to Crisp, Intercom has a massive knowledge base you can utilize for customer support.
- Customization: Everything from integrations to chatbots is fully customizable through a robust API.
- Fullview Integration: An obvious pro for our users as Intercom allows the many benefits of cobrowsing using Fullview where agents can initiate a one-click screen control session with a user live in their product, giving all users hands-on, live support without the risk of security breaches or full system access.
You will be paying a premium for Intercom vs Crisp. When you’re choosing which customer communication software to use, you may want to look closely at the value based on the pricing model to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
- User Interface: Crisp is a bit more easy to use while Intercom gets a little lost in the technical side of things.
- Restricted Deployments: Intercom is only deployable on cloud, SaaS, and web-based applications.
- Paid Plans: There is no free plan for Intercom currently available.
- Starter Plan: How much does Intercom cost? The entry-level plan is set at $74/month and gives you a shared inbox, tickets, a help center, and an AI assistant, among other features.
- Pro Plan & Premium Plans: You will have to call to get a custom price. Both of these plans include everything from the Starter Plan, but they scale the workload, tickets, and inboxes you get. The Premium plan also has custom analytics and reporting through a real-time dashboard.
Intercom user reviews
On G2, Intercom has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 2,800 reviews. That is a much larger number of reviews compared to Crisp and includes accolades like “how Intercom’s macros organize conversations and workloads to streamline operations.” Other users report that they would love some “interface changes” but otherwise enjoy the product.
Intercom use cases
Intercom definitely targets larger organizations instead of the boutique services you would get through Crisp. It emphasizes using AI in its chatbot, help desk, and proactive knowledge base features that leave customers feeling correctly cared for at every interaction.
Crisp vs Intercom: The main differences
While both Crisp and Intercom do have their advantages, Intercom fully integrates with the power of cobrowsing through Fullview. It has a more advanced chatbot and allows you to maximize customer support on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
- Intercom does have a higher starting price compared to Crisp, but that is because the company is well aware of the benefits of its many integrations.
- Crisp’s offerings are more limited to smaller businesses that do not handle the quick, scalable customer base you would get through Intercom.
- Crisp provides a free plan, but only up to 2 live chat agents with limited functionality. If you want more robust services, you would do well to spend the money on one of Intercom’s paid plans.
- The user interface on Crisp is more user-friendly, whereas Intercom has technicalities that take a little more time to understand and onboard for your team.
- While both offer knowledge bases, user reviews on G2 point to Intercom for customization, searchable articles, personalization, and mobile optimization.
- Intercom has been around much longer than Crisp, giving it more time to be “road tested” and receive in-depth user reviews.
- Crisp has a native, limited-use cobrowsing feature while Intercom is fully integrated with Fullview cobrowsing features.
Best alternatives to Crisp and Intercom
The goal of any of these providers is to reduce customer churn and increase customer support. You want your product teams and customer success experts to focus on the personalized needs of users through conversational support, help desks, knowledge bases, and in-app product tours. Some alternatives to Crisp and Intercom you may also want to consider include the following.
Zendesk is one of the most well-known help desk-styled customer support systems. It provides software solutions and features for everything from customer relationship management to improving employee communication and is used in a variety of industries with businesses of all sizes. Most reviews showcase the massive number of tools like live chat, CRM, and sales features that make this tool so valuable. You’ll also find an integration with Fullview similar to Intercom. You may want to check out our article on Zendesk vs Intercom for more details.
Dixa is another conversational customer service platform that focuses on multi-channel support. The goal here is to help your business cultivate stronger customer relationships across all communication points like phone, email, live chat, and social media. It has good integrations and works well with SMEs and enterprise organizations.
With ThriveDesk, you get reliable chat software easily usable through WordPress. As that is an adaptable website framework, you can expect substantial customization for community building – all through a highly efficient customer support platform. There are some limitations to documentation, but the knowledge base and WooCommerce integration make up for these if you prefer a WordPress environment.
Freshdesk is designed with scalability in mind. The custom widgets provide an automated self-service and knowledge base that answers most of the questions your customers will have, reducing the overall workload of your team. You can track and manage various tickets from a wide range of channels in a single location, allowing you to better empower customers and strengthen relationships.
Salesforce Service Desk
Like Zendesk and Intercom, Salesforce Service Desk offers a Fullview integration that only takes a few moments to install. That gives you an advantage in handling complex technical issues without constant back and forth through messaging. Designed for smaller businesses, it allows you to answer all kinds of needs faster by tracing tickets and looking at customer histories on a case-by-case basis.
With so much demand for personalization in the customer support world, it only makes sense to leverage a communication platform like Crisp or Intercom. While both provide plenty of features, Intercom may be more suited for mid to large-size businesses and Crisp for individuals or smaller organizations. Be sure to look closely at the cobrowsing features of the native Crisp feature and Fullview integration on Intercom. That is a big selling point to ensuring all your customer support needs are properly met so you can deliver premium, personalized and hands-on service at every interaction.
- McKinsey & Company – Customer Care Leaders
- Crisp Homepage
- G2 – Crisp Review
- Intercom Homepage
- G2 – Intercom Review
- Zendesk Homepage
- Dixa Homepage
- ThriveDesk Homepage
- Salesforce Service Desk Homepage
Sources last checked on date: 8-Nov-2023