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January 16, 2015 Business Technologies

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk – 10 Comparison Points

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By Sonja Fridell


Zendesk and Freshdesk both aim to be top-flight, enterprise help desk and support ticket solutions. When you compare the two versus each other, they aren’t all that different. It’s important to pay attention to the nuances of each product to find which one is best for you. Finding these nuances isn’t always easy, you just need to know where to look.

1. Where to start – Zendesk vs. Freshdesk. –

You’ve got to have a good feel of how you plan to use customer support software to accurately compare Freshdesk and Zendesk to your needs. Do you want a portal that your customers can go to? Are you planning to provide active support (when someone comes to your site, are you actively engaging them?). These are important things to keep in mind as we run through the rest of the comparison criteria.

2. Viewing support tickets

Using “Dispatch’r,” incoming tickets in Freshdesk are automatically distributed among the support team. This is a great feature of Freshdesk, but it is only as good as the parameters you use to set up Dispatch’r. Zendesk on the other hand allows multiple support tickets to be acted on at one time; which doesn’t force you to work on one support ticket or another, but also requires a bit more support discretion.

3. Chat and awareness –

Zendesk actually bought a popular chat software company called Zopim (which we also sell and implement) and uses Zopim as their internal chat tool. Zopim tracks visitors when they are on your site and sets up a chat for you. Zopim is a great tool, but Freshdesk took a different approach by creating their own tool they call “Freshchat”. Zopim and Freshchat are very similar, and you still have to pay for both as add-ons. Although they are similar, we feel Zopim provides a slight advantage in that it lives on every portion of your website, not just the help desk. For more information, download our full Zendesk vs. Freshdesk comparison from our premium content section.

4. Customer lists –

Zendesk does a great job of letting you segment and report on specific customer lists (such as sorting customers by product owned). Freshdesk has more places where you can easily import and export csv’s, but Zendesk wins the day for segmentation within the tool. Because of the advanced level segmentation of Zendesk, you can more-easily manipulate support data and re-purpose it for your CRM or marketing initiatives.

5. Customer support reporting –

Versus Freshdesk, Zendesk is an incredibly powerful tool that doesn’t rely as much on gimmicks. One of the big differences is that Freshdesk aims to implement “Gameification” into their modules, in an effort to make support people’s lives more exciting. We find that the Gameification module can be a bit demeaning to a support person, but is a pretty cool feature.

“Zendesk has very strong business intelligence capabilities.” – Forrester Research

6. Download our full guide – 


7. Dynamic capabiliites / Mobile interface –

We have heard that Freshdesk doesn’t look as good on an Android (G2 Crowd), but both platforms provide an optimized mobile experience. Both platforms look great on an iPad or iPhone, which is really great for having your support people move around the office and not get bored.

8. Support center setup –

Freshdesk and Zendesk both allow you to create dynamic support portals that act as another wing of your website. We give Freshdesk the edge in support center customization – it behaves much like WordPress, with PHP-based modules. That being said, the customization level of Freshdesk also makes it a bit less intuitive to setup. We saw this comment on G2 Crowd’s site:

“SSO seems difficult to setup – Have had to resort to my own PHP coded login page from a link on our Intranet for our own employees as didn’t want to have a custom address for external users to use for login.” – Jon McNamara of Xeretec Ltd

9. Zendesk has a right to pick a fight. –

They have already had a well-publicized Twitter fight. Freshdesk went so far as to make an entire website dedicating to comparing Zendesk’s claims of Freshdesk being a “rip-off”.  Zendesk was first brought to market in 2007, and really has been on the bleeding edge of help desk software ever since. Freshdesk emerged as a brand new competitor in 2010. Since then, Zendesk has retained help desk supremacy, but why?

10. Automation –

Although the list building and reporting may not be as robust in certain situations with Freshdesk, the focus on automating the reporting is higher than Zendesk. Freshdesk does a great job of auto-assigning support tickets and cases throughout your whole organization. Zendesk can too, but there is a bit more discretion needed.

Interested in learning more about the finer details of Zendesk and Freshdesk? There’s so much more to get into we can’t just cover it in one blog post. Be sure to click here for our definitive FREE guide to Zendesk vs. Freshdesk, as penned by our in-house CRM experts!

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Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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