We use Intercom as a chat service and support inbox. Most of our customers communicate through in app chat. What works best for us is the option to email a reply to the user if we’re not available to reply immediately to the chat.
We use MailChimp for release announcements for our enterprise version. It is simple to use and easy to manage.
Intercom is great for reaching out to a user at the right time. When users do specific actions on the app, we can send messages targeted to that action.
We’ve used other chat tools, but our customers and partners all use Slack and we can communicate with them on those channels. You have to learn how to use it: you have to be very diligent in setting the notifications so that it doesn’t get too distracting, and you have to agree with your team on the way to communicate through it. In terms of feature requests, I think threading messages is the main missing thing.
Waffle is all written in Node.js and it is much easier for us to use a document oriented DB like MongoDB and store our data in JSON format. Developing against it is very easy.
If you type a URL, Appear jumps in a video chat for you. It used to be just OK, but it’s getting better. It’s much easier to use than Hangouts.