Zendesk vs Freshdesk: A Comparative Review of User Experiences

Luca MicheliJul 14, 2023
Zendesk vs Freshdesk: A Comparative Review of User Experiences

The customer service industry has evolved over the years, and research by Fortune Business Insights projects the global customer experience management market to grow from $11.34 billion in 2022 to $32.53 billion in 2029. Today, our focus is on Zendesk vs. Freshdesk, two popular customer service platforms offering a range of features to help businesses manage customer service operations.

Customers now expect a more personalized experience, and businesses try to give them the best service possible for their satisfaction. While Zendesk and Freshdesk are known in the customer service industry, it’s also good to know that other alternatives are worth considering. For example, Customerly, the product we build, is an advanced behavioral messaging platform and an exciting option to consider.

Customerly provides the proper volume of marketing automation and gives you tools to collect customer feedback to offer them the best service. It is affordable, with plans appropriate for businesses of all sizes. You can try it now to enjoy the free plan or 14-day free trial without inputting your credit card details.

Our comparative review of Freshdesk vs. Zendesk provides an in-depth analysis of user experiences. We will look at parameters such as ease of use, integrations, pricing, and customer support to determine the best platform.

Let’s start by giving a brief introduction to both platforms.

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk dashboard

Zendesk is a customer service and engagement platform designed to help businesses provide better customer support. It enables companies to quickly and easily create an online self-service portal, ticketing system and live chat. 

With Zendesk, companies can manage customer interactions across multiple channels, build lasting customer relationships and improve customer engagement. 

Zendesk also offers a range of advanced features, such as built-in analytics and reporting, customizable workflows, and integrations with third-party applications. 

What is Freshdesk?

Freshdesk dashboard

Freshdesk is a customer service software that helps businesses manage their customer service operations. It allows companies to streamline customer support processes, automate workflows, and provide better customer experience.

Freshdesk is a popular alternative to Zendesk and offers many of the same features, including ticketing, self-service, and a knowledge base. It also offers features like live chat and integrations with third-party apps. 

With Freshdesk, businesses can quickly respond to customer inquiries and manage customer service operations more efficiently. Freshdesk also offers scalability, allowing companies to add support agents and scale up their customer service operations as needed.

7 features typically included in a customer support software

customer support software features

Customers appreciate good customer support and respond positively when their issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. They expect to be taken seriously and provided with helpful solutions to their problems, and when they receive this type of service, they are usually delighted. 

To provide the right level of customer support, you need the right software, and there are plenty of features to consider. While the exact features can vary from product to product, a few are typically included.

Ticketing system

With this, customers can submit their questions and get a response from a support agent easily. It also allows the support team to

  • Manage support tickets easily
  • Track customers’ inquiries
  • Prioritize tickets
  • Assign them to the appropriate person, etc.

Live chat support

A help desk solution is incomplete without live chat support. It provides an easy way to communicate with customers in real time when they encounter any challenge.

Voice calling

This gives access to audio tools to convey messages in spoken communication when necessary.

Email integration

Allows you to seamlessly send emails through the software and get measurable insights on their performance.

Knowledge base or FAQ section

A self-service knowledge base contains articles, videos, guides or tutorials that help customers quickly find answers to their questions without contacting the support team.

Reporting and analytics

It gives support and sales-focused teams valuable insights into how customers use the system, providing them with helpful customer satisfaction metrics and identifying areas for improvement.

Integrations with third-party applications

Third-party integrations make it easier to manage customer data, segment customers, and send targeted marketing messages. They help you create an omnichannel help desk solution instead of paying for different tools. Examples include integrating your CRMs and marketing automation tools. 

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Comparison methodology

When creating this Freshdesk and Zendesk comparison, we considered the following factors.

  1. Ease of use – specific aspects of each tool that make create a smooth customer experience and cause the most customer satisfaction
  2. Features that make the tool a noteworthy help desk solution
  3. Integrations that further extend the possibilities of a given tool
  4. Pricing to compare the monthly cost of using each help desk software
  5. The kind of customer support that the platform offers

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Ease of use

Though most customers consider both Zendesk and Freshdesk to be easy to use, both platforms have some specific features that aid the job of customer service teams. Let’s take a look at some of them.


  • Collaborating on tickets—Zendesk provides a helpful way to work together on tickets. It is the ideal platform for effortless collaboration among the team.
    This system has a great tool known as “Side conversations” that lets you talk about a ticket with other teammates via email, Slack, or a separate ticket created from the side conversation within the same Zendesk interface. All these exchanges will be visible as comments inside the ticket but are invisible to the customer. 
    It is worth noting that you cannot create, see, or answer side conversations using the Zendesk Support mobile application.
  • Multiple communication channels—Freshdesk and Zendesk enable contact with consumers through the most popular communication methods (email, Twitter, live chat, and AI-powered chatbots). Zendesk further adds text, WhatsApp, and Line as additional channels.
  • Onboarding support—Unlike Freshdesk, which does not have an organized onboarding process, Zendesk provides a systematic onboarding experience. It is easy to navigate, with walkthroughs that accompany users every step of the way.


  • Finding tickets—If you have a significant number of customer conversations compared to the number of customer support representatives and need to expedite resolving tickets, Freshdesk is a helpful solution. Freshdesk can craft and organize set responses, which can be quickly accessed using a keyboard shortcut when replying to tickets. You can use shortcuts to direct customers to the Freshdesk suggested knowledge base articles about the query and insert canned responses.
  • Cross-department collaboration—It’s easy to collaborate with other departments when a specific issue needs their assistance. All you have to do is add private notes and assign them the tickets. They will get notifications.

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Features 

In the past, people considered Zendesk to have more robust features, but Freshdesk managed to make up through the years, so the differences between the two platforms are insignificant.

Zendesk features for customer support teams.

First, let’s discuss some key features of Zendesk in detail:

  • Zendesk ticketing system—This system collects all your customer service requests into one spot, including those coming from social media, emails, instant messaging, in-app support, phone calls, and the web. It can route tickets and has assignment capabilities. Using the Zendesk platform, there won’t be any lost inquiries since each ticket, regardless of the source, is put into a queue for agents to handle.
  • The Zendesk knowledge base is tailored to be self-service and user-friendly. With the help of this software, customers can easily find the answers to their inquiries in an online help center without the need for communication with a representative, thereby reducing the number of tickets. Moreover, these convenient help centers are accessible from mobile and the web via a specific SDK.
  • Zendesk customization—Zendesk can tailor all of your charts and reports, as well as conversation colors, text, logos, and branding. You can modify Zendesk dashboard outlooks to your exact needs and specifications.
  • Zendesk reports and analytics—Zendesk gives users a range of well-crafted reports to gauge the effectiveness of their customer service operations. With these, one can quickly pinpoint areas that need improvement and areas in which agents should get further training. The best thing about it is that users can evaluate their performance against industry-standard metrics, enabling them to understand how they are doing.

Other valuable features of Zendesk include the following:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Forms Management
  • Customer complaint tracking
  • Canned responses
  • Alerts/escalation
  • Self-service portal
  • issue tracking
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Prioritization
  • Feedback Management
  • Survey management

Freshdesk features for customer support teams

  • Freshdesk ticketing system—This system allows for speedy closure of tickets as it assembles all tickets from different sources (emails, phones, web, chat, and social media) into one location. Assigning tickets to agents can be done through skill-based, load balancing, or round-robin. Agents can communicate in real time about tickets. It has in-app notifications for agents if a customer responds or the ticket status changes.
    Freshdesk also offers pre-written (canned) responses, which ensure a consistent answer to common queries, and a “Thank you detector,” which prevents the reopening of tickets when customers respond with a “thank you.”
  • Freshdesk self-service options—Occasionally, clients may prefer to take matters into their own hands, and Freshdesk offers a wide range of self-service features. One of these is a totally configurable Knowledge Base (or help center) accessible from your website, mobile app, or even a chat. Another type of self-help available to customers is community forums, which allow them to pose questions to each other.
  • Freshdesk reports and data analysis—Freshdesk helps users make informed decisions based on data by giving them access to a full range of reports concerning agent performance, team performance, customer sentiment, satisfaction surveys, ticket volume trends, etc.

Other valuable features of Freshdesk include:

  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Feedback Management
  • Negative feedback management
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Customer segmentation
  • Knowledge management
  • Survey management
  • Predictive analytics

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Integrations 

Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer hundreds of integrations to add the flexibility and convenience businesses need to succeed.

Zendesk offers over 1000 prebuild integrations, including 

  1. Ultimate
  2. Dropbox
  3. Harvest
  4. Jira
  5. Shopify

Freshdesk integrates with over 1000 apps, including 

  1. Shopify
  2. Whatsapp
  3. Slack
  4. Microsoft teams
  5. Salesforce
  6. Mailchimp

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Pricing

When choosing the best help desk tool, it’s necessary to consider pricing. In fact, sometimes, it is a critical factor, especially for small business owners.

Let’s see how Zendesk vs Freshdesk compares in terms of pricing.

Zendesk pricing plans

  • Suite Team–$49 per agent/month
  • Suite Growth–$79 per agent/month
  • Suite Professional–l$99 per agent/month
  • Suite Enterprise–$150 per agent/month

Freshdesk pricing plans

  • Free $0 for up to 10 agents
  • Growth–$15 per agent/month
  • Pro–$49 per agent/month
  • Enterprise–$79 per agent/month.

Since the given prices are per agent, it can be expensive, especially when working with larger teams. 

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Customer support

Regarding customer support, both systems have a range of features, including a customer-facing knowledge base, a community forum, and live chat. Both platforms allow you to contact their support team via email or phone.

According to some reviews, Zendesk makes you wait long before their support team gets back to you. It is frustrating for customers who need immediate support; hence why they often seek other Zendesk competitors.

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: User ratings/reviews

Though a tool may contain impressive features, the most important question remains how users view the software in everyday usage. Let’s look at ratings of Zendesk vs. Freshdesk on popular review sites and see some positive and negative opinions.   


Zendesk ratings on popular review sites:

What users like:

Zendesk positive review

What users dislike:

Zendesk negative review


Freshdesk ratings on popular review sites:

What users like:

Freshdesk positive review

What users dislike:

Freshdesk negative review

In both cases, you can find customers who are delighted or disappointed with the two platforms.

Customerly vs. Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Which is the best tool for your customer support team?

When Zendesk emerged, it was seen as a strongly functional provider with many features, whereas Freshdesk was a more economical substitute created in response to rising Zendesk prices. Yet, since its inauguration in 2010, Freshdesk has made many strides in improving. Today, when comparing Zendesk vs. Freshdesk, the differences are not so visible. 

Both tools offer robust features and attractive solutions, but they are not free of weaknesses, and none of them could be called the leader of customer-centric communications.

Unlike other Zendesk and Freshdesk alternatives that rely on ticket numbers, Customerly focuses on having meaningful interactions instead of just keeping track of tickets. It is the first messaging platform based on customer behavior, enabling SaaS companies to communicate with their customers through chat and email.

Customerly dashboard

Key features include Live Chat, which allows for a superior chat experience by giving the ability to 

  • Assign conversations to teammates
  • Use an inline translation for the customer’s native language
  • Tag conversations
  • Add internal notes about customers and also 
  • Access user data, etc. 
Customerly NPS

It also contains a customer support self-service system, where users can easily find answers to their questions.

It also contains a customer support self-service system, where users can easily find answers to their questions.

Additionally, we offer social media integrations allowing you to connect Customerly with Facebook Messenger or your website. Another feature is the Shared Inbox, where all conversations and teammates can be found in one place, enabling easy referencing and team mentions.

If you need help desk software that can provide you with a first-class personalized service without costing an arm and a leg, Customerly is the answer. We offer a free plan and a 14-day free trial of our paid plans.

Customerly pricing

Comparison Table 

Here’s a chart comparing the parameters of Customerly, Zendesk and Freshdesk to help you make an informed decision.

Capterra rating4.64.44.5
Live chat YesYesYes
Customer SupportEmail FAQ Knowlege base ChatEmail FAQ Knowledge base Phone ChatEmail FAQ Knowledge base Phone Chat
Pricing per month starts at$ 24 for 5 agents$49 per agent$15 per agent
Free trialYesYesYes
Free versionYesNoYes
Customerly vs Zendesk vs Freshdesk comparison table

Though each platform is unique, basic features are similar, and the main difference is pricing and the seamless user experience Customerly offers. 

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Our verdict

When contrasting Freshdesk and Zendesk, there is no clear favorite. It all depends on the priorities, specific requirements and preferences of the user. Freshdesk is a straightforward, cost-effective option for smaller teams with limited financial resources. On the other hand, if you have the budget and need the most features for your money, then Zendesk is the better choice.

But other software options are worth considering. Customerly is the best Zendesk and Freshdesk alternative, offering the robust customer service tools and features like

  • Live chat
  • An intuitive inbox dashboard
  • Integration with your CRM 
  • All the features of the best customer support software. 

These come at affordable pricing, starting at $24 per month, with plans to satisfy small and enterprise customers. You can try our tool by signing up here for free; no credit cards are required.


  • Who are Zendesk competitors?

    Regarding customer service, Zendesk is one of the leading providers. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. There are a few to consider if you’re looking for a Zendesk competitor. 

    Customerly is one of the best Zendesk competitors, offering marketing automation and allowing you to improve customer service with chat and workflow integrations. 

    Help Scout is another popular pick, focusing on simplicity and customer service. Intercom is also a great choice, with various features designed to help businesses convert, onboard, and retain customers. 

    Then there’s Hubspot Service hub, designed to help companies manage customer relationships more effectively. 

    Finally, there’s Kayako, an all-in-one customer service software that combines a help desk, live chat, and customer feedback in one platform. 

    All of these alternatives offer something different than Zendesk, so do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs.

  • Is Zendesk better than Customerly?

    Regarding customer service platforms, Zendesk and Customerly offer tools for managing customer interactions. But which one is better? The answer is not straightforward – it all depends on your business’s needs.

    Zendesk offers a range of features, such as ticketing, chat, and customer feedback. It also provides analytics to help you better understand customer behavior.

    Customerly, on the other hand, is more focused on customer engagement. It provides features like customer surveys and personalized emails. It also features customer feedback, but it’s more focused on understanding customer requests and using that data to drive customer satisfaction.

    The best customer service software for your business depends on your needs. If you’re looking for something more focused on customer engagement, Customerly could be the better option.

  • What are the cons of Freshdesk?

    Freshdesk is a popular customer service platform, but it does have some drawbacks. One of the major cons is that it lacks some of the features offered by its competitors, such as Customerly and Zendesk.

    For instance, 

    – Freshdesk is missing some of the basic features of a standard inbox, like the possibility to send messages to multiple recipients, a search function, and saving drafts.

    – Freshdesk’s reporting capabilities are limited, so there may be better choices for companies that need detailed analytics.

    – Freshdesk’s customer service phone support is less comprehensive than some of its competitors, so those who need assistance may have to wait a while before getting help.

    While Freshdesk has some helpful features, it’s essential to consider these cons when deciding if it’s the right platform for your business.

  • What are the disadvantages of Zendesk?

    There are several disadvantages to using Zendesk. 

    – The first and most obvious is cost. Zendesk is not a free service; its subscription plans can be expensive.

    – Zendesk requires a lot of setup and customization to work correctly, which can be difficult for small businesses or those with no technical background.

    – There is no support for legacy systems, so if your business is already running an outdated system, Zendesk may not be the best fit.

    – The platform’s search feature is not as intuitive, making it difficult for customers to find the answers they need.

Luca Micheli

Luca Micheli

CEO @ Customerly

Luca Micheli is a serial tech entrepreneur with one exited company and a passion for bootstrap digital projects. He's passionate about helping companies to succeed with marketing and business development tips.

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