Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Which Is Better?

zendesk vs freshdesk

Service desk platforms – also called agent desks – help companies enhance the customer experience, scale conversations across multiple channels and reduce customer service costs. Two of the most established ticket management software platforms – and often compared platforms, too – in this space are Zendesk vs Freshdesk. Both are used by hundreds of thousands of companies around the world. Both offer a suite of sophisticated features, some are the same and some different, that help agents resolve issues faster and also make support easier and more convenient for customers. The platforms are highly reviewed and rated on G2: Freshdesk rates 4.4/5 stars with 2,482 reviews and Zendesk Support Suite rates 4.3/5 stars with 3,267 reviews (at the time of publishing). So, what’s right for you: Zendesk or Freshdesk? 

In this post we’re diving into everything you need to know about Zendesk vs Freshdesk including features, pricing, customers, customization and more. After reading this post, you’ll be able to figure out if Zendesk or Freshdesk would work better for your company. 

Zendesk: Everything you need to know 

zendesk vs freshdesk - zendesk ticket view

Zendesk is one of the most well-known and established help desk platform. It has over 160,000 customers, including some of the largest enterprise brands in the world such as Siemens, Uber, Instacart and Polaris. It’s targeted at high-growth and enterprise companies that need sophisticated features, and because of this, is the more expensive option.  More than just a help desk, Zendesk can help companies manage the entire customer experience – bringing marketing and support together into one platform. 

Zendesk enables customers to deliver a consistent experience across multiple channels and provide agents with a unified workspace to manage and even collaborate on conversations. The platform gives agents a 360-degree view of the customer so context can be carried forward (similar capabilities are available on Freshdesk). This has a major impact on the customer service KPIs: on average, Zendesk increases customer satisfaction by 25% and agent productivity by 30%1.

Key Features of Zendesk

 

Zendesk Ticket Management

The ticketing system on Zendesk consolidates all of your tickets into a single platform – including from social media, email, chat, in-app support, phone, and the web. It boasts features including ticket routing and assigning tickets to the right agent. According to one review, this feature makes an impact: “the built-in intelligent routing ensures appropriate customer-to-agent fit and automates ticketing queues to reduce resolution time2..” Leveraging the Zendesk platform, you will never lose a request as each ticket, regardless of channel, is entered into a queue for agents to pick up. 

Zendesk Knowledge Base

The Zendesk platform offers self-service via customizable Knowledge Bases. This lets your customers find the answers to their questions via an online help center without needing to interact with an agent, and essentially deflecting tickets. These intuitive help centers can be deployed on mobile or Web via a simple SDK. 

Apps and Integrations 

The Zendesk marketplace has over 1,250 apps and out-of-the-box integrations including Zendesk chatbots to automate conversations,  productivity tools, time tracking, collaboration and customer surveys. These Zendesk apps amplify the power of the platform and many can be implemented with a single click. 

Zendesk Pricing

Zendesk offers a variety of pricing plans based on the number of agent seats you need, channels, and access to features like the self-service Zendesk Knowledge Base. At the time of this post, the most basic plan starts at $49 / month / agent and this increases to $215 / month / agent for the most robust enterprise plans. 

Zendesk Customization

Zendesk allows you to customize all reports and graphs, as well as chat colors, text, logos, and branding. Views within the Zendesk dashboard can be “extensively customized to your preferences as well—an area in which Freshdesk tried to do something similar, but we preferred the way Zendesk Support shows the information, including ticket expiration times.” 

Zendesk Reports and Data Analysis

Zendesk offers a suite of beautifully-designed reports to help you measure the success of your customer support operations. You can quickly identify areas that require improvement, and areas of development for your agents. The best part?  You can track your performance against best practice metrics so you can see how you’re performing.

Zendesk Security

Security is core to the Zendesk platform. The company is SOC 2 Type II, ISO and FedRAMP LI-SaaS compliant.


Hear how AI can improve the customer experience in this webinar featuring Greg Dreyfus from Zendesk.


A complete guide to Freshdesk

zendesk vs freshdesk - freshdesk ticket management

Freshdesk is a top competitor with Zendesk and might be the better option if you’re looking for a simple, more affordable option. Over half of the reviews on G2 come from small companies, but that’s not to say that larger companies don’t also use Freshdesk. The platform is used by over 50,000 brands, including Bridgestone, HP, Harvard University and DHL to improve customer service. While Zendesk has a broader lens of the entire customer experience, Freshdesk is more narrowly focused on customer support (although it can be integrated with other Freshworks products). 

The platform is touted for its usability and you can get set up in just a few minutes. According to one review, “Freshdesk is easy to set up and get started. It has the quickest go-to-market deployment, even when considering novice users3.”

Key Features of Freshdesk

 

Freshdesk Ticket Management

The Freshdesk ticketing system lets you close tickets faster with a centralized inbox that brings in tickets from multiple channels (email, phone, web, chat and social) Tickets are assigned to agents in a few ways – skill-based, load balancing and round robin – and agents can collaborate on tickets in real-time. It is the only platform to provide in-app notifications to agents if a ticket status changes or a customer responds, and canned responses help to provide consistent responses to common questions. The platform has unique tools like a “Thank you detector” which prevents reopening of tickets when customers respond with a thank you. 

Freshdesk Knowledge Base and Self Service 

Sometimes customers want to help themselves and Freshdesk boasts a suite of self-help tools. One such tool is a fully-customizable Knowledge Base (or help center) which can be accessed on your website, mobile app or even chat. Another form of self-service is community forums, which allows your customers to ask each other. 

Freshdesk Integrations

While not as robust as the Zendesk marketplace, Freshdesk has an app store with over 800 pre-built integrations including productivity, remote work, file sharing and collaboration tools. 

Freshdesk Reports and Data Analysis

Freshdesk users can make data-based decisions by accessing a variety of reports, including ticket volume trends, agent performance, group performance, satisfaction surveys, customer sentiment, etc. 

Freshdesk Pricing

Freshdesk offers a variety of pricing plans from FREE (Yes, free!) to high-growth companies ($15 month / agent) all the way up to enterprise plans starting at $79 / month / agent (pricing at the time of publication). Plans vary based on features, channels and integrations available, but they have done a good job of providing tremendous value in every tier based specifically on the stage of your business. According to one review, “Even on the [basic and free] plan, there aren’t many restrictions [when it comes to features4.”

Freshdesk Customization

Freshdesk offers a large number of ways you can customize your experience. You can brand your entire help desk to align with your company’s branding, choosing the style or color of elements of your portal, or selecting from a library of plug-and-play “FreshThemes.” You can also have your portal built in over 40 languages and even map your Freshdesk domain to your own support URL. 

Freshdesk Security

Like Zendesk, Freshdesk has rigorous security controls and is GDPR, HIPPA, SOC and ISO compliant. 


Get 5 strategies for successful customer service automation
in this webinar featuring Rajiv Ramanan from Freshworks.


Zendesk vs Freshdesk Feature Comparison

Feature 

Zendesk 

Freshdesk 

Pricing 

Five Tiers: 

  • Suite Team ($49/agent/month)
  • Suite Growth ($79/agent/month) 
  • Suite Professional ($99/agent/month)
  • Suite Enterprise  ($150/agent/month)
  • Suite Enterprise Customization ($215/agent/month)

Four Tiers: 

  • Free 
  • Growth ($15/agent/month)
  • Pro ($49/agent/month)
  • Enterprise ($79/agent/month)

Free option 

N/A

Free plan with unlimited agents which includes: 

  • Email & Social Ticketing 
  • Ticket Dispatch 
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Ticket Trend Report 
  • Datacenter Location 
  • Team Collaboration

Self-help

  • Knowledge Base 
  • Community
  • Answer Bot
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Community Forums 
  • Chatbot

App Store 

  • 1,250 apps
  • 800+ apps 

Channels 

  • Email 
  • Chat 
  • Help Center
    Messaging 
  • Social Messaging 
  • Voice 
  • Text
  • Web Widget 
  • Mobile SDK 
  • Email 
  • Phone 
  • Chat 
  • Website 
  • Social Media 
  • WhatsApp
  • Mobile SDK

Ticket Management 

  • Centralized Inbox
  • Customer context – Agents get access to order history, web activity and loyalty status
  • SLA Management
  • Alerts/Escalation 
  • Macros
  • Conditional and Custom Ticket Fields
  • Agent Collision Detection
  • Help desk automation
  • Triggers that initiate a workflow based on changes in a ticket
  • Team Inbox 
  • Agent Collision Detection
  • SLA Management
  • Ticket Field Suggester
  • Custom Ticket Status
  • Thank You Detector
  • Scenario Automation
  • Canned Responses
  • Help desk automation

Agent Collaboration

  • Light agents: Give limited permissions to certain agents who can provide subject matter expertise and advice via private comments.
  • Side conversations: Enable agents to bring in other people from internal and external teams to collaborate. 
  • CCs and followers: Include both Carbon Copy (CCs) and Followers fields.
  • Team Huddle: Discuss specific parts of tickets with experts from across your company.
  • Shared Ownership: Share ownership of tickets with other teams. 
  • Linked Tickets: Link related tickets together to keep track of widespread issues.
  • Parent-child Ticketing: Resolve complex issues by splitting them into smaller child tickets.

How to leverage AI to get even more value from Zendesk and Freshdesk 

zendesk vs freshdesk - zendesk review mode scaled

Companies are turning to sophisticated AI-powered chatbots to further enhance their customer service experience. While ticket management platforms like Zendesk and Freshdesk streamline the agent experience tremendously and decrease resolution time, AI chatbots like Netomi are now acting as the first line of defense when tickets come in. Netomi’s virtual agents sit alongside human agents.

Once you get clarity on this decision comparing Zendesk vs Freshdesk, the Netomi AI takes the best course of action with every incoming ticket:

  • For highly repeatable tickets, the AI can automatically resolve it without having to loop in a human agent 
  • For more complex tickets, the AI can gather information from the customer or back-end systems, and even draft a response for review, before handing off to a human agent 
  • For the most complex tickets, the AI can summarize and route tickets to the right agent 

By leveraging the out-of-the-box Netomi virtual agent integration, companies enhance both the agent and customer experience while also reducing costs. Most other chatbots don’t sit natively within the agent desk, but with Netomi, virtual and human agents work alongside each other, creating the most efficient customer service team that we’ve ever seen. 

Interested in learning more about how Netomi integrates with two of the leading helpdesk AI platforms? Get in touch for a customized demo or to discuss how we evaluate Zendesk vs Freshdesk when consulting with businesses on their support needs. 

References we used for this Zendesk vs Freshdesk comparison

  1. https://www.capterra.com/p/164283/Zendesk/
  2. https://www.trustradius.com/products/zendesk-support-suite/reviews
  3. https://www.g2.com/products/freshdesk/reviews/freshdesk-review-5036680 
  4. https://www.g2.com/survey_responses/freshdesk-review-5036680

Emily Cummins

PR and Content Writer

Emily has worked in the AI industry for many years. She loves researching and writing about evolving trends in AI in customer service. She graduated from the College of Charleston.

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