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Freshdesk vs Zendesk: Which Customer Support Platform Is Right for Your Business?

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: Which Customer Support Platform Is Right for Your Business?

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A robust customer support platform can be the foundation of your strategy, helping you manage inquiries, streamline workflows, and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Two of the leading contenders in this space are Freshdesk and Zendesk, each offering a suite of powerful features designed to enhance your support operations.

Whether you’re a small startup looking for a cost-effective solution or a large enterprise needing advanced capabilities, choosing the right platform is key. Freshdesk and Zendesk both come with their own unique strengths and can cater to different business needs.

Join us as we delve into the specifics of Freshdesk vs Zendesk, examining what sets them apart and which one might be the perfect fit for your customer service strategy.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk

Comparison of Freshdesk and Zendesk

Below is a comparative table between Freshdesk and Zendesk focusing on several key aspects of each platform:

FeatureFreshdeskZendesk
Core functionalityHelpdesk software with ticketing system, knowledge base, social media, and chat.Helpdesk software with ticketing system, live chat, call center software, and knowledge base.
User interfaceUser-friendly with a modern, intuitive design.Clean, streamlined interface that can be more complex due to extensive features.
CustomizationHigh level of customization options for ticketing.Extensive customization options available for ticketing and workflows.
AutomationRobust automation for ticket routing, scenario automation, and time-triggered actions.Powerful automation with triggers, automation, and macros for ticket handling.
Reporting and analyticsAdvanced reporting suite with customizable reports and dashboards.Comprehensive analytics and reporting features with custom report creation.
IntegrationsOffers a marketplace with a variety of integrations including CRM, e-commerce, and productivity tools.Extensive integration options through the Zendesk Marketplace, including CRM, e-commerce, and more.
Customer support channelsEmail, phone, chat, social media, and a knowledge base.Email, phone, chat, social media, a knowledge base, and community forums.
PriceOffers several tiers, including a free plan for basic needs and advanced paid plans.Multiple tiered pricing plans, generally considered to be at a higher cost than Freshdesk, no free plan for businesses (only a trial).
ScalabilitySuitable for businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises.Highly scalable, designed to accommodate small businesses to large enterprises.
SecurityOffers standard security features such as SSL, data encryption, and compliance with industry standards.Advanced security features and compliance with multiple industry standards, plus additional security packages.
Trial periodFree trial available for paid plans.Free trial available for all plans.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk Overview

Here’s an overview of Freshdesk and Zendesk:

Freshdesk, created by Freshworks Inc., is cloud-based customer support software offering a range of tools to enhance the efficiency of customer service operations.

It features a unified ticketing system for various channels like email, chat, social media, and phone. The software streamlines support tasks with automated workflows for ticket routing and SLA management, and it includes a knowledge base for article creation and sharing.

Customizable and capable of integrating with other apps, Freshdesk’s intuitive and scalable platform serves businesses of all sizes.

Zendesk is a global customer service software company. Its main product is a cloud-hosted support platform that empowers companies to enhance customer service.

The platform includes Zendesk Support, a ticketing system for managing and addressing customer inquiries through various communication channels such as email, chat, social media, and phone.

Additional offerings from Zendesk include live messaging with Zendesk Chat, self-service resources through Zendesk Guide, call center features via Zendesk Talk, and data analysis with Zendesk Explore.

Designed for flexibility and scalability, Zendesk’s products serve a diverse array of businesses, from small startups to large corporations.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk pricing

When comparing Freshdesk and Zendesk, pricing is a crucial factor to consider. Both platforms offer tiered pricing models to cater to different business sizes and requirements.

Here’s a detailed look at Freshdesk vs Zendesk pricing structures:

Freshdesk pricing

Freshdesk offers several pricing tiers, including a free plan and paid plans that increase with features and capabilities.

Free:

  • Ideal for small teams or startups.
  • Basic ticketing, email support, and a knowledge base.
  • Limited to a small number of agents.

Growth:

  • Starts at $15 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Adds automation, collision detection, and more sophisticated reporting.
  • Includes social media integration and time tracking.

Pro:

  • Starts at $49 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Introduces advanced features such as custom roles, satisfaction surveys, and multilingual support.
  • Integration with CRM and other third-party applications.

Enterprise:

  • Starts at $79 per agent, per month (billed annually).
  • Offers advanced functionalities like custom bots, IP allowlisting, and HIPAA compliance.
  • Includes advanced analytics, a sandbox environment, and a dedicated account manager.

Zendesk pricing

Zendesk also provides several pricing tiers with a focus on more advanced features at higher levels.

Zendesk support pricing plan

For smaller businesses:

Support Team:

  • Starts at $19 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Basic ticketing system, email, and social media support.
  • Essential reporting and customer interaction history.

Support Professional:

  • Starts at $55 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Includes advanced features like CSAT surveys and performance dashboards.
  • Multilingual support and more extensive integrations.

Support Enterprise:

  • Starts at $115 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Offers enterprise-grade features like custom roles.
  • Advanced security features, including advanced data privacy and protection add-on.

Zendesk suite pricing plans

For larger businesses:

Suite Team:

  • Starts at $55 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Prebuilt analytics dashboards.
  • Workforce management add-on

Suite Growth:

  • Starts at $89 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • Quality assurance add-on.
  • Self-service customer portal.

Suite Professional:

  • Starts at $115 per agent per month (billed annually).
  • HIPAA enabled.
  • Eligible for Advanced AI add-on.

Suite Enterprise

  • Contact Zendesk for pricing.
  • Customizable workspaces for agents.
  • Advanced sandboxing and testing capabilities.

Additional costs and considerations

  • Add-ons and integrations: Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer a variety of add-ons and integrations that can incur additional costs. These can include advanced analytics, AI-powered tools, and additional storage.
  • Customization: Extensive customization may require additional development resources or professional services, which can impact overall costs.
  • Annual vs monthly billing: Both platforms offer discounts for annual billing, which can provide significant savings compared to month-to-month plans.

Summary

Here’s a table summarizing the key pricing points.

FeatureFreshdeskZendesk
Free planAvailable (limited features)Not available
Pricing modelPer agent, per monthPer agent, per month
Starting price$15 per agent (billed annually)$19 per agent (billed annually)
Value focusAffordability for smaller teamsComprehensive features for larger teams

Freshdesk is generally more affordable, especially for small to medium-sized businesses or those just starting out. Its free plan and lower entry-level pricing make it accessible, while higher tiers offer advanced features for growing businesses.

Zendesk tends to be more expensive but justifies the cost with extensive features and capabilities particularly suited for larger enterprises with complex support needs. Its advanced tiers provide robust tools for managing large-scale support operations.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: What do they offer?

Choosing the right customer service software is about finding the perfect blend of features to meet your needs. Here’s a head-to-head comparison of Freshdesk and Zendesk’s core offerings:

Ticketing system (core functionality)

  • Both: Freshdesk and Zendesk offer robust ticketing systems for managing customer inquiries. These include features like ticket creation, assignment, prioritization, internal notes, and communication history.
  • Freshdesk is known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive ticketing experience.
  • Zendesk offers advanced ticketing functionality, like ticket macros, custom fields, and advanced reporting (in higher tiers).

Self-service portal

  • Both: Empower your customers with self-service options. Both platforms allow you to create a knowledge base with articles, FAQs, and downloadable resources.
  • Freshdesk provides a basic knowledge-base builder.
  • Zendesk offers a more robust knowledge base solution with features like article categorization, search functionality, and analytics (in higher tiers).

Multi-channel support

  • Freshdesk offers multichannel support (email, social media) in paid plans.
  • Zendesk includes multichannel support (email, social media, live chat) in most paid plans. Higher tiers offer additional channels like telephony and community forums.

Automation

  • Both automate repetitive tasks to streamline workflow. Both offer features like automated ticket routing, canned responses, and basic workflow automation.
  • Zendesk provides more advanced automation functionalities through triggers and custom workflows (in higher tiers).

Reporting and analytics

  • Both track performance and gain insights with reporting tools.
  • Freshdesk offers basic reporting on key metrics like agent performance and ticket resolution times.
  • Zendesk provides more comprehensive reporting and analytics dashboards with deeper insights (in higher tiers).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Freshdesk offers basic AI functionalities and automation capabilities.
  • Zendesk provides advanced AI features, including chatbots, sentiment analysis, and smart ticketing for improved customer experience (in higher tiers).

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: review

Both Freshdesk and Zendesk are popular customer service platforms with a strong presence on review sites like Capterra and G2.

Here’s a breakdown of how they fare based on user reviews:

Freshdesk

  • Capterra: Freshdesk receives a user rating of 5 stars out of 5 on Capterra. Users praise its ease of use, affordability, and intuitive interface. However, some reviewers mention limitations in advanced features and automation capabilities compared to Zendesk.
  • G2: Freshdesk scores 4 stars out of 5 on G2. Similar to Capterra, reviewers highlight Freshdesk’s user-friendliness and value. Some G2 reviews mention occasional limitations in reporting and customization options.

Zendesk

  • Capterra: Zendesk has a user rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Capterra. Users commend its comprehensive feature set, powerful integrations, and scalability. However, some reviewers mention Zendesk’s pricing can be expensive for smaller teams, and the interface can be complex for beginners.
  • G2: Zendesk scores 3 stars out of 5 on G2. Users value Zendesk’s robust functionalities, customization options, and AI capabilities. Some G2 reviews mention a steeper learning curve compared to Freshdesk and occasional concerns about customer support quality.

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: What about customer support?

When comparing Freshdesk and Zendesk, the quality and availability of customer support are critical factors to consider.

Both platforms are known for providing comprehensive support to their users, but there are some differences in their offerings. Here’s a look at the customer support provided by Freshdesk and Zendesk:

Freshdesk customer support

Support channels

  • Email support: Available 24/7 across all plans.
  • Phone support: Available in higher-tier plans.
  • Live chat: Available in higher-tier plans.
  • Community forums: Access to peer support and community discussions.

Self-service resources

  • Knowledge base: Extensive library of articles, guides, and FAQs.
  • Video tutorials: Step-by-step video guides to help users navigate the platform.
  • Webinars: Regular webinars on various topics related to customer support and product usage.

Onboarding and training

  • Detailed onboarding process with setup guides and tutorials.
  • Training sessions available for teams to get up to speed with the platform.

Zendesk customer support

Support channels

  • Email support: Available 24/7 for all plans.
  • Phone support: Available 24/7 depending on the plan.
  • Live chat support: Available for higher-tier plans.
  • Social media support: Support via X and other social media platforms.

Self-service resources:

  • Knowledge base: Comprehensive collection of help articles, guides, and FAQs.
  • Zendesk help center: Centralized portal for self-service support resources.
  • Community forums: Engage with other users and share best practices.
  • Developer portal: Resources for developers, including API documentation and SDKs.

Onboarding and training

  • Extensive onboarding resources including setup guides and product walk-throughs.
  • Training programs and certification courses available for users and administrators.
  • Access to Zendesk’s training portal for self-paced learning.

Summary

Freshdesk offers solid customer support with 24/7 email support for all plans and additional channels like phone and chat for higher tiers. It provides extensive self-service resources, onboarding, and training, making it accessible for small to medium-sized businesses. The presence of a dedicated account manager for enterprise plans adds a layer of personalized support.

Zendesk provides robust customer support with 24/7 availability across multiple channels, including email, phone, and social media. Its comprehensive self-service resources, extensive training programs, and developer portal make it suitable for larger enterprises. The inclusion of a dedicated account manager and proactive customer success programs for higher-tier plans ensure tailored support for complex needs.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: Strengths

When compared, Freshdesk and Zendesk stand out in the customer support software market for their robust feature sets and capabilities.

However, each has its own strengths and may be better suited to different types of businesses and needs. Here’s a detailed comparison of Freshdesk and Zendesk, highlighting their strengths.

Freshdesk

  • User-friendly interface: Freshdesk is known for its intuitive and clean user interface, making it easy for new users to get up to speed quickly.
  • Affordability: Freshdesk is generally more cost-effective, with competitive pricing plans and a free tier, making it accessible for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Comprehensive features: Robust ticketing system with automation, collision detection, and multi-channel support (email, phone, chat, social media). Collaboration tools like Team Huddle and Shared Ownership facilitate internal communication and teamwork.
  • Scalability: Offers a range of plans that can scale with your business as it grows, from small teams to larger enterprises.
  • Customer support: 24/7 email support across all plans, with additional phone and chat support in higher-tier plans. Dedicated account managers and priority support for enterprise plans.

Zendesk

  • Comprehensive and advanced features: Advanced ticketing system with macros, triggers, and extensive automation rules. Multichannel support includes messaging apps and social media, with a unified agent workspace.
  • Customization and scalability: Highly customizable workflows, roles, and permissions, making it suitable for large enterprises with complex needs.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting: Deep analytics capabilities with Zendesk Explore, offering real-time dashboards and customizable reports.
  • Customer support: 24/7 support through multiple channels (email, phone, chat) depending on the plan. Dedicated account managers and extensive training resources for higher-tier plans.
  • Enterprise-grade security: Advanced security features including single sign-on (SSO), data encryption, and compliance with regulations like HIPAA and GDPR.

Why is BoldDesk more suitable than Freshdesk and Zendesk?

BoldDesk is a relatively new player in the customer service software market, and it positions itself as a competitive alternative to established platforms like Freshdesk and Zendesk.

BoldDesk: an alternative to Freshdesk vs Zendesk

There are several reasons why some organizations might consider BoldDesk to be a preferable solution:

Comprehensive and advanced features

BoldDesk offers a range of features designed to streamline customer support operations and enhance overall user experience. Here’s a detailed look at the key features of BoldDesk:

  • Ticket management: BoldDesk allows you to create, assign, track, and manage tickets throughout their lifecycle. It provides tools to categorize, prioritize, and filter tickets, ensuring that support requests are handled promptly and effectively.
  • Multichannel support: The system can centralize tickets from various communication channels such as email, chat, phone calls, and social media, providing a unified platform for managing all customer interactions.
  • Automation and workflows: BoldDesk enables you to set up automated workflows to perform routine tasks, such as assigning tickets to the appropriate team or individual based on predefined rules, sending automated responses, and escalating tickets when necessary.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): BoldDesk enables companies to utilize artificial intelligence for customer service tasks, including translating, rephrasing, and shortening text within tickets and knowledge base articles. This capability enables your teams to provide better responses and information.
  • Knowledge base: A self-service knowledge base allows customers to find answers to common questions without needing to contact support. This reduces the volume of support tickets and empowers customers to resolve issues independently.
  • Reporting and analytics: The software comes with built-in reporting and analytics tools that offer insights into support operations, customer satisfaction, agent performance, and ticket trends. This data can identify areas for improvement and allow you to make informed decisions.
  • Collaboration tools: Features like internal notes, ticket sharing, and group assignments allow support teams to collaborate effectively and resolve issues efficiently.
  • Extensive customization options: BoldDesk offers customizable ticket forms, templates, and branding options to tailor the support experience to the organization’s needs and maintain brand consistency.
  • Smooth integrations: The system can integrate with other business tools and platforms, such as CRM systems, live chat software, and third-party applications to streamline operations and provide a comprehensive view of customer interactions.
  • Mobile app: A mobile application allows agents to access and manage tickets on the go, ensuring that customer support is not limited to the desktop environment.
  • SLA management: Service level agreements (SLAs) can be defined and monitored to ensure timely responses and resolutions, helping to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • Customer feedback and surveys: BoldDesk includes features to collect customer feedback and conduct surveys, which can be used to gauge customer satisfaction and improve service quality.
  • User-friendly interface: BoldDesk offers a clean, modern, and easy-to-navigate interface, reducing the learning curve for new users and ensuring a smoother onboarding process.
  • Security and compliance: The platform typically offers robust security measures to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

Competitive pricing

BoldDesk offers a variety of pricing plans to cater to different business needs and budgets. Here’s an overview of BoldDesk’s pricing structure:

Agent-based plans

  • Ideal for teams with a specific number of agents.
  • Pay per agent, with a base price for a minimum number of agents (typically three).

Plans include:

  • Scale ($25/month, billed annually): Ideal for small and medium businesses, it includes three agents, email ticketing, knowledge base, workflow automation, canned responses, and various customization options. Additional agents cost $15/month each.
  • Growth ($50/month, billed annually): Includes all features from Scale plan, plus live chat, WhatsApp support, CSAT surveys, agent signature, ticket auto-assignment, and more advanced features. Additional agents cost $32/month each.
  • Enterprise ($75/month, billed annually): All features from Growth plan, plus multibrand capabilities for help desk and knowledge base, ticket approvals, activity/task management, agent shifts, and access to the AI Copilot (beta) add-on. Additional agents cost $48/month each.

Unlimited agents plans

  • Perfect for businesses with a fluctuating number of agents or expecting significant growth.
  • Pay a flat monthly fee regardless of the number of agents.

Plans include:

  • Essential ($799/month, $9,588 billed annually): Ideal for small and medium businesses. Includes core features like email ticketing, knowledge base, workflow automation, and 12,000 tickets per year.
  • Pro ($1,499/month, $17,988 billed annually): Suitable for businesses needing more advanced features and higher ticket volume. All Essential features, plus CSAT surveys, multilingual support, AI add-on (beta), and 30,000 tickets per year.
  • Business (custom pricing, contact BoldDesk for details): Designed for larger enterprises with complex needs. All Pro features, plus multibrand capabilities, activity/task management, and 120,000 tickets per year.

Summary

  • BoldDesk offers a free 15-day trial with no credit card required and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • BoldDesk also offers a free AI Copilot add-on (currently in beta) that provides features like autogenerating ticket responses, SEO title recommendations, and summarizing tickets and articles.
  • BoldDesk also has a free program for qualifying startups, providing 10 Growth plan agents at no charge for the first year.

BoldDesk’s pricing is designed to be competitive and flexible, making it an attractive option for small to medium-sized businesses as well as larger enterprises. The tiered plans ensure that you can choose the level of functionality and support that best fits your business needs and budget.

Whether you need basic ticket management and automation or advanced customizations and integrations, BoldDesk has a plan to suit your requirements. Contact our support team or arrange a live demo to witness the outstanding customer service software that BoldDesk offers.

Freshdesk and Zendesk FAQ

  • What are the main differences between Freshdesk and Zendesk?

Freshdesk is known for its user-friendly interface, affordability, and robust feature set suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses. It offers comprehensive multi-channel support, automation, and collaboration tools.

Zendesk, on the other hand, excels in scalability, advanced features, and extensive customization options, making it ideal for larger enterprises. Zendesk provides more complex analytics and a broader range of integrations.

  • Which platform offers better pricing options?

Freshdesk generally offers more affordable pricing plans, starting with a free tier for basic features and scaling up to $79 per agent per month for enterprise-level capabilities.

Zendesk’s pricing starts at $19 per agent per month and can go up to $199 per agent per month for elite features. The higher cost of Zendesk reflects its advanced features and scalability.

  • How do the ticketing systems of Freshdesk and Zendesk compare?

Both Freshdesk and Zendesk provide robust ticketing systems. Freshdesk offers features like automation, collision detection, and multi-channel support.

Zendesk offers advanced ticketing with macros, triggers, intelligent routing, and detailed ticket forms, making it more suitable for complex workflows.

  • Can both platforms handle multichannel support?

Yes, both Freshdesk and Zendesk handle multichannel support. Freshdesk supports email, phone, chat, social media, and website inquiries in a unified platform.

Zendesk also supports these channels and adds messaging apps like WhatsApp, providing a more integrated agent workspace.

  • Which platform should small businesses choose?

Small- to medium-sized businesses might find Freshdesk more suitable due to its affordability, ease of use, and comprehensive feature set that covers all essential customer support needs.

  • Which platform is better for large enterprises?

Large enterprises with complex support needing advanced features, extensive customization, and deep analytics might prefer Zendesk despite its higher cost and steeper learning curve.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: Choosing the right customer service tool

Ultimately, the choice between Freshdesk and Zendesk will depend on your specific business requirements, budget, and the complexity of your support operations. Both platforms offer powerful tools to enhance customer service, but they cater to different organizational needs and scales.

BoldDesk stands out as a compelling alternative to Freshdesk and Zendesk, especially for businesses looking for an affordable, user-friendly, and reliable customer support solution.

Explore BoldDesk’s website to see its offerings and its dedication to customer satisfaction.

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