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Top Slack and Intercom Alternatives That Help Your Small Business Save Money

March 12, 2019

Many businesses rely on Slack for team communication and Intercom for communicating with customers, but Chanty and HelpCrunch are good alternatives for small businesses looking to save money.

Do you want to save money on business communication but still need solid and easy-to-use tools?

You no longer have to rely on Slack and Intercom for team and external communication.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to alternatives to Slack and Intercom – Chanty and HelpCrunch – that can change how your business communicates.

The Rise of Slack and Team Chat Apps

Team chat apps emerged in the 2000s. Before Slack launched in 2013, online collaboration had already become a crowded space with JIVE, Yammer, Chatter, Campfire, and HipChat.

These business communication tools did enormous good for businesses. They simplified and expedited team communication by squeezing out email chains and also fostered the rise of remote work.

Slack managed to steal a corner on the team chat market and has ballooned to more than 8 million active daily users as of May 2018.

But with all due respect to Slack, it is not a fit for every company.

Reasons Why Companies Dislike Slack

There are several reasons why many companies dislike Slack:

1. Slack Is Too Expensive

Slack’s price is one of its biggest setbacks. It’s not the most expensive tool on the market, but it’s far from being cost-effective.

Slack does provide a freemium pricing model, but it has some major flaws, such as… 

2. Slack Has a Limited Message Search

Slack has a 10,000-message restriction on searching and browsing the most recent messages in its free plan. This is an obvious flaw.

Let’s do simple math: Let’s say a team consisting of a dozen members produces about 6,000 messages a week. This means the team will run out of its 10,000-message limit in less than two weeks. This doesn’t seem like a reasonable option for businesses. 

3. Slack Is Complex

There are much more cumbersome tools on the market, but using Slack isn’t fairly straightforward.

Besides, Slack is often blamed for gobbling CPU and can make you overwhelmed with notifications.

Because of its setbacks, Slack might not be the best solution on the market.

Among numerous Slack alternatives, Chanty can definitely challenge the platform. 

Chanty: A Powerful and Easy-to-Use Slack Alternative

Chanty started making its way to businesses in 2016. Its creators ventured to design a brand-new tool that would incorporate the most crucial team chat features.

Now, Chanty has grown to become a smart Slack alternative for small and middle-sized teams.

What makes Chanty special? Here are some of its benefits.  

1. Chanty Features a Clean Interface and Minimalistic Design

Chanty presents two main panels for your contacts and conversations.

The key features are neatly wrapped up – they won’t distract you and can be launched with a click.

Chanty interface

Chanty interface

Chanty’s exquisite design highlights only the essentials – nothing excessive.   

2. Chanty Offers an Intuitive User Experience

Forget about lengthy team chat guides. You can use Chanty almost by feel.

Chanty’s team communication is organized by featuring a unique concept called “Teambook” – a single hub for links, files, tasks, and conversations.

Chanty Teambook

Teambook feature in Chanty 

Chanty’s Teambook makes finding what you need a no-brainer.

3. Chanty Has Built-in Audio and Video Meetings

Tired of chatting with your keyboard? Call your colleagues on Chanty with the click of a button.

Chanty video meetings

Video calls in Chanty

Chanty’s video call feature is totally built-in.

4. Chanty Offers Integrations

You can connect Chanty directly to your favorite apps, including Giphy, Google Drive, MailChimp, GitHub, Trello, Jira, and many others.

For example, if you use Trello, you can get updates in a Chanty channel whenever a new card is created or its status is changed.

Chanty integrations

Bring your third-party tool updates to Chanty

You can also use the integration with Zapier, which connects you to 1,000+ tools.

Chanty makes it easy to integrate third-party tool updates.

5. Chanty Features a Built-in Task Manager

Create new tasks from scratch or turn any message into a task in Chanty.

Chanty task manager

Creating a task in Chanty

You can also manage your own to-do lists and create a team discussion around any task with only relevant people involved.

The feature is automated, so if you are fed up with talking to bots when creating a task (like in Slack), Chanty is your way to go. 

Here are some more arguments for choosing Chanty over Slack: 

  • Chanty is more cost-efficient: Having a generous freemium tier, Chanty’s business plan is more than two times cheaper than the Slack standard plan.
  • Chanty features unlimited message search (in the freemium version): Unlike with Slack, you won’t worry about losing the messages you sent only a month ago. 
  • Chanty is easy to use: People can pick it up and start using it right away.

If we compare Slack and Chanty as two construction toys, Slack would be more like a complex building set with higher piece counts and moving parts – not so easy to put together.

Chanty, however, is like a simple playset with bricks of recognizable shapes and the easy modular building style. You’ll intuitively know how to put all the parts together. 

Slack versus Chanty

Chanty proves that a team chat tool can be powerful and easy to use at the same time. 

In addition, new features appear every week on Chanty, as the app aims to become the best business messenger for small teams, start-ups, and SMBs.

Join Chanty today for your team to become even more productive.

Background of Intercom and Other Customer Service Tools

From letters, emails, and call centers to live chats and AI-powered bots, it’s difficult to even say when customer service tools all started.

The first wannabe support tools emerged somewhere in the mid-’90s, but it was only in the early 2000s when they became what they are today – powerful, fully equipped customer service tools that can cover all communication channels at once.

The last 5 to 10 years were the true Renaissance of customer service with the advent of tools such as Zendesk in 2007 and Intercom in 2011.

Intercom is quite a young tool. It’s a messaging platform built on a simple idea to unite disjointed communication channels with customers – such as websites, apps, social media, and email – under one roof.

Speaking with customers should be natural and effortless. Messengers should integrate well with your product. Everything should work together like a first-rate orchestra.

However, Intercom isn’t perfect.

The Problems With Intercom

Intercom is indeed a nicely designed customer service tool, but its noticeable downsides are hard to ignore.

1. Intercom Is Unpredictably Expensive

Intercom charges both per contacts and per additional seat. So basically, you’re going to pay for every single person who received or sent a message or even logged into your product in the past 90 days.

The prices start from $49/month for just Intercom basic with 200 contacts included. Add the recent increase in its prices to that – and you’ll get the picture.

2. Intercom Feels Overwhelming at Times

Maybe it’s a curse that all big companies have, but Intercom can be very complicated to get to know and isn’t intuitive to pick up.

3. Intercom’s Customer Support Is Unreliable

Some users report struggles talking to Intercom’s support agents, while many others say it’s totally useless and unhelpful. So, are you willing to take a chance?

All in all, Intercom is not for small businesses. It tries to be a high-end luxury tool, while its users want something simple and effective.

HelpCrunch: A Comprehensive and Affordable Intercom Alternative

There are numerous Intercom alternatives on the market, so what makes HelpCrunch so special?

HelpCrunch is everything you may need for effective communication in customer service software. It includes live chat, a help desk, and auto-messages tools (e.g., targeted messages via chat and email).

1. HelpCrunch Is More Affordable

HelpCrunch’s most basic live chat plan starts from only $12/agent/month (compare that to Intercom’s $49). For this price, you get a fully functional live chat widget that you can install on as many domains as you need.

You can be sure that you’ll pay exactly what’s specified on the pricing page.

HelpCrunch price plans

HelpCrunch’s pricing depends on the number of agents you need and has no contact limits whatsoever.

2. HelpCrunch Offers a Free Subscription Plan

Unlike Intercom, HelpCrunch also offers a free plan in addition to its basic and premium one that will cost you $0.

On a free plan, you get 1 agent, 500 contacts, and unlimited domains.

3. HelpCrunch Offers a Wide Range of Live Chat Widget Customization Options

HelpCrunch allows you to customize your live chat widget in many different ways – from color schemes to logos and buttons.

HelpCrunch widget customization

You can also unbrand your widget by HelpCrunch if you have a premium subscription (which costs $21/agent/month).

4. HelpCrunch Offers a Personal Onboarding Assistant

When you sign up for HelpCrunch, you can be sure you won’t get lost or confused.

HelpCrunch is very clear and easy as it is, but your personal onboarding assistant will also guide you through every step of your journey.

HelpCrunch personal onboarding assistant

The personal onboarding assistant will ensure you use HelpCrunch to its full potential.

5. HelpCrunch Offers More Features on Its Basic Subscription Plan

Intercom offers features such as widget localizations and pre-chat forms on its pro plan, while HelpCrunch gives you all these things on its basic subscription.

6. HelpCrunch Features Robust Help Desk Features

Although it’s true that Intercom does have some minor help desk features, HelpCrunch has way more to offer in this department.

With HelpCrunch, you can assign and re-assign chats from agent to agent, tag them, and add statuses. You’ll also have access to the chat history, user path, and all the data that HelpCrunch collects by default in addition to all your custom data at all times.

Also, you can set HelpCrunch to automatically send email follow-ups if your chat messages remain unseen. Just choose the period of time, and the tool will do the rest.

HelpCrunch help desk

So, in a nutshell, HelpCrunch is a nice and easy customer service tool that has most of the same features as Intercom (and even some extra ones), but it’s more SMB-friendly.

HelpCrunch knows its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s willing to work on improving.

Sign up for HelpCrunch today, and you’ll see that customer communications can be effective and hassle-free.

Find the Right Alternative to Slack and Intercom

The team chat and customer service tool markets are huge. Slack and Intercom appear to be ahead of the game in their niches. However, both tools are rather expensive and might seem overwhelming for small businesses.

Chanty and HelpCrunch are more cost-effective and offer some convincing advantages.

Unlike Slack, Chanty provides unlimited message search. The tool is fast, intuitive, and easy-to-use and provides multiple integrations with third-party tools.

HelpCrunch offers a free subscription plan, unlike Intercom. The tool also has a personal onboarding assistant, a wide range of live chat widget customization options, and some robust helpdesk features.

Be sure to subscribe to either tool. Try out Chanty to foster your collaboration and get more things done. Go with HelpCrunch to turn your prospects into customers and drive more sales.

About the Author

Headshot of Olga MykhoparkinaOlga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty, a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. Having 9 years of experience in the digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.