Intercom vs Salesforce: Which Is The Better Customer Support Solution?

Intercom and Salesforce are two popular software tools for customer service teams. But which one is superior? We take a look.
Published on: Nov 20, 2023
Last updated: Feb 26, 2024


  • When selecting a tool for your support team, comparing Salesforce vs Intercom can give you insight into exactly what you need to keep your customers engaged and satisfied.
  • Both platforms contribute to building long-lasting consumer relationships, but key differences exist.
  • Salesforce Service Cloud includes in-app messaging, automated case routing, custom dashboards, and views, providing a 360-degree view for informed decisions.
  • Salesforce offers better data visibility, personalized customer experiences, and self-service options for independent issue resolution.
  • The cons of Salesforce include implementation difficulty, requiring professional help, and a significant investment, making it less ideal for small projects
  • Salesforce is rated 4.3 stars on G2, and is praised for its versatile customer support tools but criticized for high cost and complexity.
  • Salesforce is ideal for large corporations and small to medium-sized businesses across various industries.
  • Intercom offers a shared inbox, internal app communication, and website interactions, with features like comprehensive analytics dashboard and chatbot capabilities.
  • Pros of Intercom include that it is an all-in-one platform with multiple integrations, has an easier implementation, and has a blend of AI and the human touch to optimize and personalize your CX.
  • The cons of Intercom include scalability issues for larger organizations and less automation compared to Salesforce.
  • Intercom is rated 4.5 stars on G2, and praised for user-friendliness and technological advancements. However, some users note issues with latency.
  • Intercom is a cost-effective solution suitable for small and medium-sized organizations, particularly in the SaaS industry.
  • Both Salesforce and Intercom can integrate with Fullview, enhancing their capabilities with cobrowsing, session replays and console logs.
  • Factors such as business size, budget, and customization needs should influence the choice between Salesforce and Intercom.

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When equipping your support team with a tool, comparing Salesforce vs Intercom is your best bet for a comprehensive solution.

In this article, we’ve listed everything about Salesforce Service Cloud and Intercom, helping you make an informed choice.

Salesforce vs Intercom: At a Glance

Like other customer support solutions, Intercom and Salesforce help build long-lasting consumer relationships. However, a few distinct differences between them are shown below:

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce Service Cloud offers a self-service client portal and knowledge base and connects customer service with social networks.

The customer portal, powered by Salesforce CRM, lets companies:

  • Track their support cases
  • Participate in conversations about their company on social media platforms
  • Access analytical tools
  • Use integrations — like Fullview and others — to create comprehensive customer support workflows.

Salesforce Features

Salesforce Service Cloud boosts various functionalities. Key features to note are:

  • In-app messaging: Their live agent feature allows instant 1:1 real-time connections from any device via chat, enabling real-time, multilingual client support through web connections with service agents.
  • Automated case routing: Service teams can swiftly respond to issues without manual case registration. Tasks are distributed among agents and assigned to staff with the required skills. This feature is usable across email, social media, website, and phone channels.
  • Custom dashboard and views: Agents can use Salesforce Service Cloud's real-time reporting to view a customer's complete case history, enabling informed decisions. They get a 360-degree view, simplifying client data and case monitoring and enabling quick resolutions.

Salesforce Pros

When considering Salesforce vs Intercom, factor in the benefits. Here's what Salesforce Service Cloud offers:

  • Allows for better data visibility: Salesforce Service Cloud provides departments with streamlined access to client data via features like knowledge bases, case and queue management, and integration with other systems, facilitating more effective problem-solving by referencing previous issues and solutions.
  • Offers personalized experience: Support representatives can instantly assist customers in real-time with any information using the platform. Customers can cobrowse with staff via integrations with Fullview, and agents can seamlessly transition customers between channels.
  • Enables self-service options: Self-help lets individuals independently find and implement solutions without contacting customer service. Plus, the platform includes communities where users can interact and share effective solutions.

Salesforce Cons

  • Difficulty in implementation: When configuring the platform and attending to user needs, you need professional help. It’s not for beginners and requires expert consulting support during implementation.
  • Requires significant investment: It may not be ideal for small projects with limited funding and resources. While Salesforce provides 10 GB of data storage per organization, it may not be enough for larger or growing businesses. Also, purchasing extra capacity increases dependency on Salesforce's scheduled downtime and upgrades.

Salesforce Pricing

You can test out any plan with a free trial before making an annual purchase.

  • Starter: Best suited for smaller teams, is billed at $25 per user / month
  • Professional: Known as the CRM for service is billed at $80 per user /  month
  • Enterprise: Similar to the Professional package but with built-in AI, billed at $165 per user / month
  • Unlimited: Comes with all features along with chat, chat, and 24/7 support and is billed at $330 per user / month
  • Unlimited+: A more robust version of Unlimited with greater AI capabilities billed at $500 per user / month

Salesforce User Reviews

On G2, Salesforce Service Cloud is rated 4.3 stars out of 5 with 3,515 reviews. Users appreciate Salesforce Service Cloud for “its versatile customer support tools, customization options, and seamless integration with other business applications.”

However, others aren’t happy with “its high cost, complexity of setup and customization, and a steeper learning curve for new users.”

Salesforce Use Cases

Salesforce is ideal for both large corporations and small to medium-sized businesses. It’s suitable for any industry, as Salesforce Service Cloud is useful across various business types.

What is Intercom?


Intercom is a customer communication platform offering various integrated tools for sales, marketing, product, and support teams. Its main features include a shared inbox for email correspondence, internal app communication with product tours, and website interactions with your clients through things like a chat widget.

Intercom Features

Intercom has some feature overlaps with Zendesk, and when considering Salesforce vs Intercom, here are some that stand out:

  • Comprehensive analytics dashboard: Intercom collects data and monitors support staff performance so you can easily judge how your team is performing. It also organizes client data systematically, which allows companies to provide personalized support.
  • Outbound messages: Businesses can send outbound communications, like push notifications and automated emails, to keep customers informed and maintain contact.
  • Chatbot capabilities: Intercom's chatbot feature offers automated customer responses for quick and effective inquiry handling.

Intercom Pros

Despite similarities, there are key areas where Intercom surpasses Salesforce:

  • All-in-one platform with multiple integrations: Intercom manages every stage of the customer lifecycle on a single platform, eliminating the need for additional tools. It also offers integrations with various third-party apps/programs such as Fullview.
  • Easier implementation with less cost: Intercom is user-friendly and easy to adopt, with minimal training, quick setup, and implementation. It's also more affordable.
  • Blends in AI and human touch: Intercom offers an all-in-one solution by combining AI-powered and human customer service for a more effective, authentic, and personal experience.

Intercom Cons

Despite its benefits, Intercom has its shortcomings:

  • Scalability issues: Larger organizations might find Intercom insufficient, but it's adequate for smaller enterprises as a standalone CRM or combined with a simpler, lower-cost CRM.
  • Not as automated: Intercom offers basic automation features, but it's less effective in streamlining processes and workflows.

Intercom Pricing

Comparing pricing Salesforce vs Intercom, we know Intercom is more cost-effective, but what plans do they offer?

  • Essential: This is designed for individuals, small enterprises, and startups and billed at $39 per seat/month.
  • Advanced: With robust AI features and automation tools for expanding support personnel, this plan is billed at $99 per seat/month.
  • Expert: This is more suitable for reporting, security, and collaboration for big support teams and is billed at $139 per seat/month.

Intercom provides a 14-day free trial, after which users can choose to upgrade to a subscription plan of their choosing.

Intercom User Reviews

Intercom, with 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2, is slightly more user-friendly than Salesforce. Positive reviews praise its AI evolution and technological advancements, but some users have noted issues with latency.

Intercom Use Cases

Intercom, offering customizable user experiences and messaging, is a cost-effective solution well-suited for small and medium-sized organizations, particularly in the SaaS industry.

Salesforce vs Intercom: The Main Differences

Although both Intercom and Salesforce are well-known customer relationship management (CRM) systems, their features and strategies differ significantly.

When comparing Salesforce vs Intercom, here’s what to consider:

  • Salesforce offers tools for customer relationship management, whereas Intercom is a customer communication platform focused on enhancing customer experience.
  • Intercom can integrate with multiple platforms and tools, such as Fullview and so does Salesforce. However, Intercom is ahead by miles with its diverse options, especially for small enterprises.
  • Salesforce is perfect for bigger businesses seeking cloud support and multichannel services. Intercom is great for direct client interaction via email, in-app messaging, and live chat.
  • Regarding price, although their price points are similar when it comes to the enterprise level, Intercom is overall the more affordable option. That being said, Salesforce does offer more customizations, which you’ll have to weigh against budget concerns when choosing between the two platforms.

Which Tool Should You Pick for Your Customer Support Team?

Consider various factors when choosing between Salesforce vs Intercom. Remember that both offer similar outcomes but with capabilities that suit your needs.

If you’re just starting out, use Intercom for customer support. Salesforce Service Cloud is suitable for larger enterprises despite its higher cost.


Emma Bakh

CX Manager


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