Back to Reference
No items found.
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.
Watch a demoTake a product tour
June 6, 2024
XX min read

Helpscout vs Intercom

Introduction

Customer support ticketing tools are essential for streamlining and managing customer inquiries and issues efficiently. Two notable tools in this category are Help Scout and Intercom. Help Scout is a remote company offering an email-based customer support platform, a knowledge base tool, and an embedded search/contact widget. Intercom stands out as the only complete Customer Service solution that blends automation and human support seamlessly. This comparison will help you determine which tool might be the best fit for your needs.

Help Scout Overview

Help Scout is designed to make customer support more personal and organized, even for remote teams.

Key Features

  • Shared Inbox: A collaborative email-based inbox to manage customer inquiries.
  • Knowledge Base: Create, organize, and maintain a self-service portal for customers.
  • Customer Profiles: Store and access customer data and interaction history effortlessly.
  • Reports and Analytics: Detailed insights into team performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Embedded Help Widget: A search and contact widget that integrates directly into your website.
  • Workflows: Automate repetitive tasks to improve efficiency.
  • Multi-Channel Support: Email, chat, and phone support capabilities.

Intercom Overview

Intercom is geared toward delivering a holistic customer service experience by integrating automated and human support.

Key Features

  • Live Chat: Real-time customer support through chat.
  • Bots and Automation: Aid in handling routine inquiries to free up human agents.
  • Help Center: Maintain and update a comprehensive knowledge base.
  • Customer Data Platform: Aggregate customer data to provide personalized experiences.
  • Messaging: Multi-channel messaging including in-app, email, and notifications.
  • Ticketing System: Integrated ticket system for tracking and resolving customer issues.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Advanced insights into customer interactions and support efficiency.

Similarities

Help Scout and Intercom share several functionalities that cater to the common needs of customer support:

  • Knowledge Base: Both tools provide a way to create and manage a comprehensive knowledge base.
  • Customer Data Management: They offer features for storing and managing customer data for more personalized interactions.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Each tool includes robust reporting capabilities to measure performance and satisfaction.
  • Multi-Channel Support: Both platforms support communication through multiple channels like email, chat, and in-app messaging.
  • Integrations: They offer various integrations with other tools and platforms to enhance support capabilities.

Differences 

While Help Scout and Intercom share many similarities, they also have distinct differences:

  • Approach to Automation: Intercom places a heavy emphasis on automation with bots to handle routine inquiries, whereas Help Scout focuses more on human-centric support.
  • Main Interface: Help Scout has a primary email-based interface, while Intercom is heavily chat-focused.
  • Support Channels: Help Scout offers phone support in addition to email and chat, whereas Intercom excels with in-app messaging.
  • Onboarding: Intercom includes more extensive onboarding support to teach users how to leverage automation tools effectively.
  • Scalability: Intercom is often viewed as more scalable for larger organizations due to its wide array of features and heavy automation capabilities.

Pros and Cons

Help Scout

Pros:

  • Highly intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • Emphasis on personalized, human-centric support.
  • Robust shared inbox for collaborative support.
  • Comprehensive knowledge base capabilities.
  • Detailed customer profiles for better interaction history.

Cons:

  • Limited focus on automation compared to Intercom.
  • May require manual intervention for repetitive tasks.
  • Less scalable for large enterprises with complex needs.

Intercom

Pros:

  • Strong focus on automation and bots to streamline tasks.
  • Multi-channel messaging capabilities.
  • Advanced customer data platform for personalized experiences.
  • Extensive reporting and analytics tools.
  • Scalable for larger organizations.

Cons:

  • Can be complex and may require a steep learning curve.
  • Higher cost associated with advanced features.
  • May feel impersonal due to heavy reliance on automation.

Use Cases

Help Scout

  • Small to Mid-sized Teams: Ideal for small to mid-sized organizations that value personalized customer relationships.
  • Businesses with an Email-Centric Support Approach: Companies that mainly rely on email for customer support.
  • Human-Centric Customer Service: Teams that prefer hands-on, personal customer interactions over automated responses.

Intercom

  • Large Enterprises: Suited for larger organizations that require a scalable solution.
  • Automation-First Companies: Businesses that want to reduce workload through automation and bots.
  • Real-Time Engagement: Companies that need robust live chat and real-time customer engagement.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Organizations that heavily rely on data analytics to drive customer service strategies.

Conclusion

When comparing Help Scout and Intercom for customer support, it's clear that both have unique strengths. Help Scout excels in providing a personalized, human-centric support experience with its emphasis on email-based communication and customer profiles. It is ideal for small to mid-sized teams that value personal interactions over automation.

On the other hand, Intercom stands out with its comprehensive automation capabilities, real-time chat support, and multi-channel messaging, making it suitable for larger enterprises and companies looking to scale their operations efficiently.

Your choice between Help Scout and Intercom ultimately depends on your organization's size, preferred support channels, and the balance between automation and human touch you wish to maintain in your customer support strategy.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

Written by
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.

Learn more tools and terminology re: workplace knowledge