Freshdesk vs Zendesk

Help desks are a valuable service for keeping customers happy. A successful business does not just sell a product or service, but answers queries and requests to help their customers and improve relations with them. This can be achieved by providing IT and service departments with help desk software. Freshdesk vs Zendesk is a notable rivalry between two giants of this kind of CRM software  – think of them as the Beatles and Stones of help desks. They are two of the most popular, most comprehensive, and most similar help desk solutions available. Both are affordable systems for small to mid-size business that offer customer support software and cloud-based ticket management that’s easy to use. If you don’t know what to look for, your average person won’t be able to find much between them. This guide will show you the pros, cons and key features of Freshdesk and Zendesk, and which one would suit your business the best.


Pricing and Systems

Both vendors provide a five-tier, on-demand pricing structure. This means that a business pays a subscription fee each month based on the number of features it needs. As with many software-as-a-service products, there is a discount of around 9% if you pay for 12 months at a time.

Freshdesk offer five bucolically-titled editions:

  • Sprout
  • Blossom
  • Garden
  • Estate
  • Forest

Zendesk’s equivalent tiers are much less interestingly named:

  • Starter
  • Regular
  • Plus
  • Enterprise
  • Enterprise Elite

Freshdesk’s plans are all cheaper than Zendesk. Also, unlike Zendesk, Freshdesk offers a freemium version, “Sprout”, which is free for up to three agents and provides basic phone, email and knowledge base functionality. Zendesk offer the first 30 days of their service for free, and provide its entry-level “essential” edition for £5 per-agent-per-month. This offers unlimited email and social channels, a basic knowledge base, a Web widget, a mobile software development kit, and predefined responses or macros for up to five users. However, this version does not include a phone support channel.


Issue Tracking

Managing and maintaining tickets is at the core of help desk software, so it’s vital to find software that provides practical workflows and automation.

Freshdesk’s tickets are easy to make, and can be assigned either to individuals or in bulk. Its issue tracking system has a shared inbox at its core that can handle incoming requests and present ticket statuses. Users can add notes, receive notifications and tag requests. Each ticket displays a status, due date, customer details, ticket properties, notes, and a rich text editor to send replies. Your IT team can send pre-written responses to frequent questions, and merge tickets describing the same issue. Other features include unlimited email ticketing, a call centre and smart suggestions for IT solutions. Freshdesk also provides a help desk gamification system called Freshdesk Arcade, which can keep agents engaged and busy through its rewards system. You can gain badges and points from completing tickets, or you can set custom tasks or ‘quests’ for agents too.

Zendesk’s ticketing interface combines all email, phone call, live chat, help centre search and social media support questions in one view. Conversations that require attention are highlighted, which reveals which support agents are handling which issues, and lets them deal with multiple requests at once. The data of each issue is tracked to deliver productivity analytics on your IT or service team. Zendesk provides automated tools to streamline workflows, such as its unique feature of automated ticket sharing, which shares tickets by itself between multiple Zendesk accounts. Ticket views can also be edited with notes functionality. However, unlike Freshdesk, Zendesk does not offer a WYSIWYG editor.


Customer Support Channels and Knowledge Base

Freshdesk’s knowledge base contains FAQs, technical documentation, product tutorials and tips. Whenever a user creates a ticket, knowledge base suggestions are automatically displayed. The software can offer phone support, email, social media and live chat, depending on the plan. The built-in phone channel gives access to a cloud call-centre environment, including

Matthew Hayhow

Web Journalist for Software Advisory Service.

You may also like...