Intercom for Onboarding Automation: Features, Pricing, and Review

Intercom for Onboarding Automation: Features, Pricing, and Review

Looking for an effective onboarding automation tool and wondering if Intercom is the best option for your SaaS company?

With numerous Intercom alternatives, it can be challenging to make a final decision.

In this article, we’ll delve into precisely that – helping you determine whether Intercom is the ideal choice for your onboarding automation needs. We’ll explore its features, pricing, and offer a comprehensive review to aid in your decision-making process.

Let’s get started!


  • Intercom is a good choice for onboarding automation and it comes with features such as user segmentation, onboarding checklist, self service support, and user journey mapping.
  • While Intercom is a flexible and popular solution when it comes to customer service, there are certain use cases where it will likely fall short compared to other options.
  • If you’re in any of these scenarios, you should look for an alternative platform for your needs:
    • Onboarding and Adoption: If onboarding new users and driving product adoption are your primary use cases then Intercom may not be the best choice. Its Product Tours add-on is quite limited compared to dedicated adoption platforms (and costs almost as much).
    • Budget Constraints: Early-stage SaaS companies with a limited budget should be wary of Intercom’s pricing model. Its entry-level plan starts at an affordable $74/month but getting the Product Tours add-on and extra team seats could lead to your subscription cost skyrocketing.
    • Mobile Apps: While Intercom’s core features like the live chat messenger work on mobile apps, its product tours add-on is only compatible with desktop platforms.
  • If you’re looking for a better option for onboarding automation, Userpilot exceeds both functionality and value for money compared to Intercom.
  • Ready to see Userpilot in action? Schedule a demo today to explore its powerful onboarding automation capabilities firsthand.

Looking for a Better Alternative for Onboarding Automation? Try Userpilot


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What is Intercom?

Intercom is a customer service platform. It offers customizable live chat widgets, omnichannel support capabilities, and integrations with over 300 apps. While Intercom is primarily a support solution, it does have add-ons that offer other functionalities such as product tours.

The Product Tours add-on contains features that aid onboarding, adoption, and feature discovery. Intercom’s product tours can include UI patterns like modals and tooltips as well as other media formats such as microvideos.

Must have features of onboarding automation tools

There are many onboarding automation tools available, so you may be confused about which one to choose.

Though the right tool will depend on your business goals and needs, here are the must-have features for any onboarding automation tool.

  • Make sure the tool you choose isn’t limited to just product tours. Pick a tool that provides various UI patterns (modals, slideouts, banners, checklists, hotspots) to create beautiful welcome screens, and interactive walkthroughs to guide new customers and delight them from the very beginning.
  • Look into getting decent segmentation capabilities based on in-app behavior and in-app experience engagement so you can trigger onboarding flows properly.
  • An in-app help center is another feature that you should be looking for in an onboarding automation tool. With this, you can collect all your documentation files, tutorials, and videos in one place and offer on-demand support.
  • Integration with 3rd party apps and tools so you can gain more insights and collect them in one place.

There you have it. These are the basic features that any solid onboarding automation tool should cover. Do your own research before buying a tool and make sure it’s aligned with your business goals.

Intercom features for onboarding automation

User onboarding educates new customers, teaches them how to use your product, and helps them get the most value in the least amount of time.

Intercom’s Product Tours add-on includes UI patterns and onboarding analytics that can prove helpful (if you’re willing to pay extra for them).

This will cost you an additional $199/month on top of what you’re currently paying for your base Intercom subscription. This puts its pricing on par with dedicated onboarding/adoption tools despite lacking feature parity.

Here’s an overview of Intercom’s Product Tours add-on:

  • UI Patterns: Intercom’s product tours for onboarding come with an expansive selection of UI patterns like tooltips, banners, surveys, in-app checklists, and multi-step flows. You can also use communication features in your tours such as SMS messages or live chat widgets.
  • Onboarding Analytics: Intercom shows you detailed analytics for each product tour such as the total number of views, overall completion rate, percentage of users who achieved a particular goal, and how many issues were encountered during the tour.

Intercom’s user segmentation

User segmentation lets you divide customers based on their needs and use cases then deliver a personalized experience to each one. Intercom has three pre-defined segments, AND/OR filtering, and detailed company profiles that lets you analyze your entire user base.

Here are the types of user segmentation you can use on Intercom:

  • Pre-Defined Segments: Intercom has three built-in segments. The “Active” segment is for any users who have been active in the last 30 days, “New” includes anyone who has signed up in the past 24 hours, and “Slipping away” is for those who haven’t been active in the past 30 days.
  • Segmentation Filters: Intercom lets you create custom segments using AND/OR rules to combine attributes. Do note that overly complex segments may take longer to display results (or in some cases fail altogether and ask you to simplify your filter settings).
  • Company Profiles: Intercom’s segmentation capabilities also let you view users on a company level. You’ll be able to view all the people from a certain company, see their email, monitor engagement metrics, and review all conversations that they’ve been a part of.

Intercom’s onboarding checklist

User onboarding checklists are the best way to guide new users towards the next step of their journey and encourage them to try core features. Intercom has a no-code checklist builder, multiple targeting rules, and two templates to get you started.

You’ll need to get the Product Tours add-on which costs $199/month on top of your existing Intercom subscription, to use checklists.

Here’s how you can use Intercom to create onboarding checklists:

  • Intercom’s no-code checklist builder lets you add tasks, add completion time estimates for users, and set the criteria for certain tasks to automatically be marked as completed. You can also add a seemingly unlimited number of tasks (our testing exceeded 100 tasks).
  • Intercom’s targeting rules let you adjust when your checklists will appear based on the page a user is on, which segment they’re in, and other attributes such as company, country, signup date, etc. You can also trigger checklists by embedding the code snippet in a webpage.
  • When building Intercom checklists, you have the option of starting from scratch or using one of the pre-built templates. There’s one template for onboarding new users and another template for feature discovery.

Intercom’s self service support

Self-service support helps users solve their own problems so they get faster resolution times without needing to take up the time of your support representatives. Intercom has self-service support features like a help center, chatbot, and third-party knowledge base integrations.

Here’s how you can use Intercom to create a self-service customer experience:

  • Help Center: The Intercom help center lets you publish resources in multiple languages, host them on a custom domain, and embed third-party apps if needed. Any help articles published here will also be used to feed information to your support chatbots down the line.

Note: Intercom’s multilingual help centers are only available on the Pro tier and higher which means users on the entry-level Starter plan ($74/month) won’t be able to use this feature. Help articles aren’t automatically translated so you’ll need to rewrite them manually as well.

  • Fin Chatbot: The Fin chatbot is built on GPT-4 which allows it to respond naturally while drawing data from multiple sources. It can reference articles in your help center, look at conversation data, search through public URLs, or pull information from integrations.

  • Third-Party Integrations: Intercom has integrations for external knowledge base solutions. There are over 20 knowledge base tools that Intercom can integrate with to import articles, videos, and other support data. This includes Zendesk, Freshdesk, HelpDocs, and more if you are on the Pro plan (the Starter plan drastically restricts available integrations).

Intercom’s user journey mapping

User journey maps help you analyze the user journey across every stage. Unfortunately, Intercom doesn’t have any journey mapping capabilities. It does have third-party integrations with CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive but its customer journey analytics are still limited.

What are the pros and cons of Intercom?

Intercom’s pros

  • Robust Live Chat: Intercom’s live chat widget is the most popular feature on the platform. You’ll be able to style the widget in accordance with your brand colors, choose which support options customers will see, and insert apps to create a self-serve experience.
  • Product Tours Add-On: In addition to Intercom’s customer service capabilities, its Product Tours add-on offers support to new users during the onboarding and adoption phases. Features include a no-code builder, audience targeting, analytics reporting, and more.
  • Extensive Integration Gallery: If Intercom’s built-in support/onboarding features aren’t enough, you can expand its native functionality using third-party integrations. Intercom’s App Store has over 300 tools to choose from with new solutions being added regularly.

Intercom’s cons

  • Buggy Search Function: Searching through support tickets is a core task for Intercom users but this process is often laggy or refuses to work altogether by freezing the page. Intercom’s searchability shortcomings have been present for years with no fixes released.
  • Confusing Navigation Interface: While Intercom does have a wide array of features, its user interface isn’t intuitive and it’ll take a lot of memorization (or trial-and-error) to figure out where everything is. There are many features that can (and should) be combined into one page.
  • Support Response Times: Intercom is a customer service platform which is why it’s ironic that their support team isn’t able to reliably respond in a timely manner. Numerous customers have noted slow response times from support representatives when reviewing Intercom.

What do users say about Intercom?

Intercom users were impressed with the interaction features such as emojis, GIFs, and avatars:

“I really like the fact that you can send emojis, have an avatar, interact with the client and know what their tastes are as such, it is very interactive to the point that you can jump between chats recognizing each of the clients/agents.”

Of course, other customers were upset by the lack of transparent billing, inadequate support experience, constant upsells, and restrictive feature limitations:

“Purposely opaque and dishonest billing systems.

Incompetent staff.

Once you have it installed they exploit you for CONSTANT fee hikes.

Constant pitches to upgrade plans and required extra fees.

Unnecessary limitations on features”

Intercom’s pricing

Intercom’s plans start at $74/month on the entry-level plan and use custom pricing for the Pro tier or higher. There’s no free version available, but Intercom does offer a 14-day free trial that lets you test all features on the Starter tier before upgrading to a paid subscription.

Intercom has three paid plans to choose from and different add-ons priced separately:

  • Starter: Starts at $74/month and includes two team seats, and features like the messenger widget, automated chatbots, shared inbox, real-time tickets, help center, macros, and basic analytics reporting capabilities.
  • Pro: Custom pricing based on the number of team seats and MAUs. It includes features like multiple inboxes, assignment rules, ticketing systems, localized help centers, and advanced automation/analytics.
  • Premium: Custom pricing based on the number of team seats and MAUs. It includes features like a real-time dashboard, custom analytics, workload management, and a service level agreement.

In addition to the base subscription cost, you’ll need to pay an additional $199/month if you want to use the Product Tours add-on. This means that, even on the Starter plan, you’d still be paying almost $300/month in total if you get the Product Tours add-on to go with it.

3 Reasons why you might need a Intercom alternative

While Intercom is a flexible and popular solution when it comes to customer service, there are certain use cases where it will likely fall short compared to other options.

If you’re in any of these scenarios, you should look for an alternative platform for your needs:

  • Onboarding and Adoption: If onboarding new users and driving product adoption are your primary use cases then Intercom may not be the best choice. Its Product Tours add-on is quite limited compared to dedicated adoption platforms (and costs almost as much).
  • Budget Constraints: Early-stage SaaS companies with a limited budget should be wary of Intercom’s pricing model. Its entry-level plan starts at an affordable $74/month but getting the Product Tours add-on and extra team seats could lead to your subscription cost skyrocketing.
  • Mobile Apps: While Intercom’s core features like the live chat messenger work on mobile apps, its product tours add-on is only compatible with desktop platforms.

Userpilot – A better alternative for onboarding automation

User onboarding is a crucial part of the customer journey as it speeds up the adoption process and increases retention rates. Onboarding is one of Userpilot’s core use cases along with product growth analytics and user feedback, so it has plenty of features that you can utilize.

Here are some Userpilot features you can use when onboarding new users:

  • No-code builder: Creating flows with Userpilot is as simple as installing the Chrome extension, selecting the UI patterns you’d like to use, and then editing the content/settings to suit your use case. You can also use templates to create modals, slideouts, tooltips, and driven actions.

  • Native tooltips: Userpilot lets you create native tooltips that show up when users hover over an element or click on an information badge. Since these native tooltips attach to the element itself, they aren’t page-dependent and will show up on any screen where that element is visible.

  • Funnel analytics: Userpilot’s advanced analytics lets you create funnel reports that track the onboarding journey. You can also add filters (like name, user ID, signup date, operating system, country, etc.) and monitor the total conversion rate from the first step of the funnel to the last.

  • User segmentation: Userpilot lets you segment users based on the device they’re using, where they’re located, their engagement data, or which NPS rating they selected on the latest survey. You can then filter your analytics dashboards to see which segments struggle with onboarding.


Userpilot’s user segmentation

User segmentation is essential for creating a personalized and contextual onboarding experience. Userpilot can segment users based on demographics, product usage data, NPS scores, and more. You can then trigger flows or filter analytics based on segments.

Here’s an overview of Userpilot’s customer segmentation capabilities:

  • Segment conditions: Userpilot lets you form segments by adding different conditions like user data, company data, features and events, etc. You can then use these segments as analytics filters or flow triggers later on.

  • Analytics filters: Userpilot’s product analytics and user insights dashboards can be filtered to only display data from specific segments (or companies). This will help you extract insights from certain cohorts and compare how adoption or activation varies from one segment to the next.
  • Flow triggers: Userpilot’s audience settings let you trigger flows for specific segments or target users that meet certain conditions. You can combine this with page-specific or event-occurrence triggers to show relevant flows to the right users at the most contextual moments.

  • External data: Userpilot integrates with tools like Amplitude, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Segment using a one-way integration. This means you can use the data inside Userpilot to build advanced segmentation and trigger contextual experiences. For more advanced use cases, the two-way integration with Hubspot lets you send and receive data, unlocking a full set of use cases.

Userpilot’s onboarding checklist

Onboarding checklists help new users learn about a product and reduce their time-to-value (TTV). Userpilot checklists can be created using the no-code builder, used to trigger specific actions, and tracked using the analytics dashboard to gauge overall engagement.

Here’s how you can use Userpilot to create an advanced onboarding checklist:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot’s checklist creator lets you edit the content of checklists, add tasks, style icons, and configure the triggers for when your checklist should appear. You’ll also be able to choose from five widget icons (or upload your own) and recolor the widget to match your UI.

editing checklist no code userpilot

  • Smart tasks: Checklist tasks can be set to trigger specific actions upon being completed, such as redirecting a user to a different page, launching an in-app flow, or running a custom JavaScript function. You can also set the conditions for when a task and action will be marked as complete.

  • Checklist analytics: The Checklists dashboard shows you all relevant metrics. These include the number of live checklists you have, how many views they’ve gotten, and how many have been completed. You can also sort these analytics by segment or time period to identify trends.

Userpilot’s self service support

Self-service support helps users solve problems themselves instead of having to reach out to a representative. Userpilot’s no-code resource center makes onboarding guides and product documentation easily accessible to users from within your product.

Here’s how you can use Userpilot to create a self-service customer experience:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot’s no-code resource center lets you add modules without writing a single line of code. Module options include links, videos, flows, custom JavaScript functions, and checklists. You can also group modules into sections to help users navigate the resource center.

  • Module segmentation: Userpilot’s segmentation settings let you hide or show specific modules within your resource center based on audience settings. This makes it possible to create modules for different user segments and hide resources that aren’t relevant to other users.

  • Analytics dashboard: The dedicated analytics dashboard helps you see how many unique visitors your resource center gets, how many modules have been clicked, and the overall click rate across your user base. This will make it easier to gauge resource center performance.

Userpilot’s user journey mapping

User journey mapping helps you visualize all the interactions between users and your product as they try to achieve a particular goal. Userpilot’s detailed user analytics and funnel/trend reports help you track customers as they progress through different stages of their journey.

Here are the Userpilot features you can use for user journey mapping:

  • User analytics: The Users dashboard provides detailed analytics of your entire customer base. You’ll be able to sort by segment, company, or time period and add multiple filters to help you narrow results. You can also perform bulk actions and export user data in a CSV format.

  • Funnel reports: These reports help you visualize the user journey map by showing which stage, page, or action most users get stuck on. You’ll also be able to view breakdowns so you can see how the user journey changes depending on which OS, browser, or device type a user is on.

  • Trend reports: Userpilot’s trend reports offer behavioral insights such as how often users perform a specific action, the number of unique users who take that action, and where in the user journey these actions occur. You can also create custom metrics and build your own charts.

What are the pros and cons of Userpilot?

Userpilot pros

As a full-suite digital adoption platform, Userpilot has all the features you need to onboard users, track analytics, and gather feedback from customers without writing a single line of code. Here are a few pros of using Userpilot as your product growth solution:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot’s Chrome extension lets you build flows, add UI elements, and tag features without writing a single line of code.
  • UI patterns: There are plenty of UI patterns to choose from when using Userpilot, such as hotspots, tooltips, banners, slideouts, modals, and more!
  • Startup-friendly: Userpilot’s entry-level plan gives you access to all available UI patterns so you can hit the ground running.
  • Walkthroughs and flows: Build engaging interactive walkthroughs and personalized onboarding flows that target specific segments of your user base.
  • Self-service support: Build an in-app resource center to help users solve problems, customize its appearance to align it with your brand, and insert various types of content (videos, flows, or chatbots) to keep your customers satisfied.
  • A/B testing: Userpilot’s built-in A/B testing capabilities will help you split-test flows, iterate on the best-performing variants, and continually optimize based on user behavior.
  • Feedback collection: Userpilot has built-in NPS surveys with its own unified analytics dashboard and response tagging to help you retarget users. There are other survey types to choose from and you can even create your own custom survey.
  • Survey templates: There are 14 survey templates to choose from so you can gather feedback on specific features or run customer satisfaction benchmarking surveys like CSAT and CES.
  • Advanced analytics: Userpilot lets you analyze product usage data, monitor engagement on all in-app flows, and use the data to create user segments that are based on behaviors instead of demographics.
  • Event tracking: Userpilot’s no-code event tracking lets you tag UI interactions (hovers, clicks, or form fills) and group them into a custom event that reflects feature usage.
  • Third-party integrations: Userpilot has built-in integrations with tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Segment, Heap, HubSpot, Intercom, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager so you can share data between all the solutions in your tech stack.

Userpilot’s cons

Of course, no tool is perfect and there are a few cons to consider before choosing Userpilot as your user onboarding or product growth solution:

  • Employee onboarding: Currently, Userpilot only supports in-app customer onboarding.
  • Mobile apps: Userpilot doesn’t have any mobile compatibility which could make it difficult for developers with cross-platform applications to create a consistent user experience for both versions of their product.
  • Freemium plan: There’s no freemium Userpilot plan so those bootstrapping their startup and need sub-$100 solutions should consider more affordable onboarding platforms like UserGuiding or Product Fruits.

What do users say about Userpilot?

Most users laud Userpilot for its versatile feature set, ease of use, and responsive support team:

I recently had the pleasure of using Userpilot, and I must say it exceeded all my expectations. As a product manager, I’m always on the lookout for tools that can enhance user onboarding and improve overall user experience. Userpilot not only delivered on these fronts but also went above and beyond with its impressive new features, unparalleled ease of use, and truly exceptional customer support.

What truly sets Userpilot apart is its outstanding customer support. Throughout my journey with Userpilot, the support team has been responsive, knowledgeable, and genuinely dedicated to helping me succeed. Whenever I had a question or encountered an issue, their support team was always there to assist promptly, going above and beyond to ensure my concerns were addressed effectively.

Source: G2.

Of course, other users are also kind enough to share constructive criticism regarding specific features like event tracking filters:

“The filtration while analyzing specific events is a little confusing. Understanding of custom properties and data management configuration could have been more organised.”

Source: G2.

Userpilot’s pricing

Userpilot’s transparent pricing ranges from $249/month on the entry-level end to an Enterprise tier for larger companies.

Furthermore, Userpilot’s entry-level plan includes access to all UI patterns and should include everything that most mid-market SaaS businesses need to get started.

Userpilot has three paid plans to choose from:

  • Starter: The entry-level Starter plan starts at $249/month and includes features like segmentation, product analytics, reporting, user engagement, user feedback, and customization.
  • Growth: The Growth plan starts at $499/month and includes features like resource centers, advanced event-based triggers, unlimited feature tagging, AI-powered content localization, EU hosting options, and a dedicated customer success manager.
  • Enterprise: The Enterprise plan uses custom pricing and includes all the features from Starter + Growth plus custom roles/permissions, access to premium integrations, priority support, custom contract, SLA, SAML SSO, activity logs, security audit and compliance (SOC 2/GDPR).


There you have it.

It should be easier now to make an informed decision whether Intercom is your go-to option for onboarding automation. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your product and current needs.

If you’re looking for a better alternative to Intercom for onboarding automation, book a Userpilot demo today to experience firsthand how it can enhance your user experience and drive product growth!

Looking for a Better Alternative for Onboarding Automation? Try Userpilot


  • 14 Day Trial
  • No Credit Card Required
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