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Intercom vs Drift

How do Intercom and Drift compare? And what does HubSpot Service Hub offer as an alternative?

What is the best customer service software for your business?

About Drift

Drift was founded after Intercom in 2015 and spearheaded the category “conversational marketing,” which then expanded into conversational sales, and now revenue acceleration. Drift is a mobile and web messaging app for sales, marketing, and support teams with a focus on live chat and in-app messaging along with an AI chatbot to streamline the customer experience and route questions to saved resources. Today, Drift helps to connect companies with buyers in real-time via chat, video, voice, or email to help build trust and accelerate revenue.

About Intercom

Intercom was founded 4 years before Drift as one of the first chatbot software providers. Since then, Intercom markets itself as a conversational relationship platform focused on enabling personalized, messenger-based experiences. Under the platform, Intercom offers conversational support, engagement, and marketing solutions for front office teams, and additional tools like product tours and options for mobile.

About HubSpot

  • HubSpot is a cloud-based customer platform that helps scaling businesses grow better with sales, service, marketing, and content management software.

  • Service Hub is a seamless component of HubSpot's AI-powered Smart CRM, providing businesses with a streamlined way to resolve customer issues, and a complete view of their customer interactions and data from every aspect of the flywheel. 

Intercom vs Drift Capabilities

Drift recently entered into the revenue acceleration space by combining conversational marketing and conversational sales to create a solution for go-to-market teams. The idea is that revenue-driving teams like sales and marketing should work together to deliver timely communication with their customers. Within the conversational suite, Drift offers chat, email, video, and voice tools that can then be synced with your CRM, sales enablement and ABM tools. Drift customers typically maintain a separate CRM to run their business. The integration with HubSpot is available for Drift Premium and higher customers. Although revenue acceleration is still in its infancy, the idea is different from Intercom’s product-focused approach. 

Intercom offers conversational marketing and sales, similar to Drift. But Intercom also provides conversational support packaged in its customer data platform (CDP). While Intercom doesn’t explicitly call itself a revenue acceleration platform, it offers the set of sales and marketing tools that Drift offers (named conversational engagement and conversational marketing, respectively), with the addition of conversational support. Intercom customers generally maintain and integrate a separate CRM to drive their business. The Integration with HubSpot is available at Intercom’s Grow tier.

Drift chat is the functionality that powers the Drift platform. While it connects to your inbox in Drift, it lets marketing and sales folks engage customers on their website. Drift intel lets businesses store customer information so that reps and marketers have the information they need to deliver the right response. Right from Drift Chat, businesses can initiate quick conversations through Zoom or set up meetings for a later date. Drift customers can take notes of conversations, bring in templated messages, and understand who they're speaking to by utilizing the intelligence collected from the user. Drift chat features automation capabilities with its AI Chatbot which will qualify prospects and customer questions. Although not as robust as Intercom, Drift offers self-service functionality through Drift Help. 


Intercom chat is bundled within its Business Messenger. It offers similar functionality as Drift Chat, like access to chat in real-time via your Inbox, automate work with chatbots via Ticketing Workflows, personalize chats with customer intelligence on hand, and target specific segments. Intercom extends its chat functionality beyond sales and marketing with the ability to help customers self-service and get serviced by a rep. For example, with Intercom, you can create resolution bots that will show users a self-service article that matches their desired inquiry. Intercom’s chat functionality extends beyond reactive support to provide proactive, in-app suggestions like Product Tours, Mobile Carousels, and Outbound Messages.

Drift offers a free tier with basic live chat functionality. From there, Drift offers Premium and Enterprise plans starting at $4,800/year (or $400/month). The Free, Premium, and Enterprise plans come with one included seat. Each additional seat for the Premium plans cost $80/month. 

Intercom offers two paid pricing tiers for small businesses: Start and Grow for basic chat and messaging. Start and Grow packages start at $39/month and $99/month, respectively. Intercom’s packages come with a fixed number of users and additional users can be added for an additional charge, based on the tier. Each plan includes the capacity to reach out to 2,000 people per month and then charges customers $50/mo for every additional 1,000 people reached. This pricing can add up quickly as an organization scales, and Intercom charges most businesses $499/mo for 10 seats. Note that product tours, account-based marketing, multi-channel campaigns, and resolution reporting are add-ons and are added costs.

Drift offers 39 integrations in its platform directory. Notable integrations include Slack, Google Analytics, Zapier, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zendesk. Drift integrations with bi-directional syncing include Salesforce, Pardot, Marketo, Outreach, and Eloqua.

Intercom offers more integrations than Drift, it’s most popular integrations being with Stripe, Salesforce, Slack, HubSpot, Jira, and Segment. For support teams, Intercom offers 20 integrations such as Jira, Zendesk Support, Statuspage, and Survicate Customer Surveys.

Drift includes it’s self-service articles called Drift Help within the Premium and Enterprise plans. Customers can use Drift Help to create support content and surface the content to users based on their input or route them to people who can provide an answer.

Intercom offers a help center product for self-service that is available starting with its Grow plan and offers a multi-lingual and private help center in its other plans.

Drift support starts in the Premium tier, where customers get access to help docs, basic chat support, Drift Insider, and a dedicated customer success manager. With Drift Enterprise, customers get optimizations services, technical integration setup, and 24/7 priority chat support. Drift does not offer phone support. The Free tier gets access to the help docs only. 

Intercom offers training webinars and 24/7 chat and email support to all paying customers, with the opportunity to gain prioritized technical support and a dedicated relationship manager at the Accelerate and Scale tiers. The Scale tier includes the most support with tailored product onboarding, access to a customer success team, personalized training, and ongoing product consultation.


What Sets HubSpot Apart

  • Service Hub allows you to help customers on your site instantly. Direct users to the appropriate personnel within your support team, and cultivate stronger connections through meaningful discussions.

  • Build a library of resources and guides for your customer service team to follow. Automatically surface recommended content to your team, right when they need it.

  • Service Hub removes unnecessary manual tasks to allow your team to concentrate on addressing customer issues. With automated workflows, you can enable agents to create genuine experiences that will grow in scale with your business.

ServiceHub_Service-workflows_with frame

55% of Service Hub Professional and 68% of Enterprise customers display high Service Hub feature usage. (HubSpot Annual ROI Report)

How HubSpot Measures Up

HubSpot Service Hub connects all your customer service data and channels on HubSpot's AI-powered Smart CRM, so you can easily support, retain, and grow your customer base.

Service Hub is easy and powerful customer service software that connects without complexity, powers productivity with easy-to-adopt tools, and supports growing service teams.

Feature Comparison

What are customers saying?

HubSpot Service Hub received G2's top 100 Best Software Products & Highest Satisfaction Products 2023

Since implementing Service Hub, customer service call volume has declined because issues are resolved more efficiently and customers are kept informed, which frees up the customer service team for other tasks.

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