Freshdesk vs Zendesk: Which One to Choose? — An In-Depth Comparison (2024)

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For decades, customer service tasks like complaint management, client communication, and order processing were handled manually, with companies hiring entire teams of qualified employees to manage tasks. 

In today’s digital age, these problems are handled by Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) instead. Two of the top customer service CRMs are Freshdesk and Zendesk, with companies using either of the two to manage their needs. Both offer quality services at affordable prices and have revolutionized the support ticketing space in recent years.

Figuring out which platform is the most suitable for your business needs can be a daunting task. To help you make a decision that is beneficial for both your company and your customers, we have compiled a comprehensive guide putting both Freshdesk and Zendesk head to head. Read on to find side-by-side comparisons of features like ticket management, data and analytics, pricing, and more.

Why Do We Need Customer Service Software Like Freshdesk and Zendesk?

Although it may sound trivial, customer service is one of the best features any business can offer to its clients. Customers are the backbone of any organization, and their satisfaction is paramount to the future success of the company. Functions a customer service team will handle include response to inquiries, processing of orders, effective communication, and resolving complaints. 

Doing all these tasks by hand can be a strenuous ordeal, taking countless hours and manpower to ensure quality service. To combat these issues, companies can use customer service software instead. Software like Freshdesk and Zendesk is not only more affordable than hiring a complete team, but they are also less prone to errors and mistakes. 

At its core, customer service software is there to manage customer queries through a centralized system. Referred to as a ticketing system, this is a setup that allows the tracking, management, response, and resolution of customer or employee concerns. To facilitate this process, it includes features like in-app messaging, automated communication, analytics displays, and more. 

Customer Service Software

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: At a Glance

What is Freshdesk?

Launched by Indian company Freshworks in 2010, Freshdesk is an online customer support platform based on the cloud. It is an award-winning software that strives to provide businesses with everything they need to offer quality customer service in a streamlined manner. Unlike Zendesk and other competitors, Freshdesk offers a free-forever plan that will never expire. This is particularly useful for startups or companies that do not have high budgets. 

Key features offered by Freshdesk include social-media integrated ticket management, knowledge management, automated email marketing, 24/7 live representatives, reporting and analytics, multi-language support, and more.


What is Zendesk?

Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, Zendesk is a cloud-based desk management software that went public in 2014. Today, Zendesk is used by over 200,000 customers all around the world, and it has won many awards for its services. It is a top choice for companies looking for a way to centralize their customer queries and make communication and service delivery much more efficient. 

Key features of Zendesk include its integrated ticketing system, data and analytics, live chat, knowledge base, automated email marketing, customization options, and multi-language support.

Zendesk Icon

Pricing Plans

Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer a variety of plans, each providing different services at varying price points. From the get-go, the two differ in their pricing structures. Freshdesk uses bulk pricing, where the price is less if you opt for yearly billing instead of monthly. On the other hand, Zendesk offers flat fees per agent, with no incentives for bulk purchases. 

Freshdesk Pricing

Freshdesk offers four pricing plans, ranging from free to enterprise. It is important to note that the free plan is free forever for up to 10 agents, which means that there is no requirement that it be upgraded to a paid plan. Zendesk, on the other hand, offers no such free plan with the lowest option starting at $19. 

The following is a summary of the plans offered by Freshdesk and their pricing.

  • Free ($0):  Offers key features for up to 10 agents. This includes integrated ticketing across email and social media, a ticket dispatch and knowledge base system, ticket trend reporting, out-of-the-box analytics and reporting, the option to choose the location of your data center, team collaboration, and round-the-clock email support. 
  • Growth ($15/agent/month billed annually): Offers everything in the free option as well as other add-ons like automation, collision detection, 1000+ marketplace apps, more custom options, ticket time tracker, SLA management, and more.
  • Pro ($49/agent/month billed annually): Offers everything in growth along with a suite of other features such as the ability to include up to 5,000 collaborators, round-robin routing, customization of reports, roles, and dashboards, a multilingual knowledge base, and more.
  • Enterprise ($79/agent/month): Offers everything in pro along with more advanced features, including skill-based routing, audit logs, bot sessions, and IP-range restriction. 

Zendesk Pricing

Zendes offers two different tiers of plans: Zendesk Support and Zendesk Suite. Both offer multiple plans within them, and companies can choose the best plan for them according to requirements.

Zendesk Support is a more basic set of plans, featuring all core ticketing components and simple complaint conversion. There are two subscription terms for these plans, with more savings if you subscribe annually. Under these subscriptions, there are three pricing options, ranging from Support Team to Support Enterprise. The following is a summary of Zendesk Support and what they offer:

  • Support Team ($25/agent/month monthly or $19/agent/month annual):  Offers key features like a ticketing system, email, Twitter, and Facebook integration, data reporting and analytics, customer details and interaction history, and business rules.
  • Support Professional ($69/agent/month or $55/agent/month): Offers all features included in the Support Team as well as customer satisfaction surveys, business hours, and multilingual support. It is at this level that Advanced AI add-ons are eligible. 
  • Support Enterprise ($149/agent/month or $115/agent/month): Offers all features included in Support Professional as well as skills-based routing, custom agent roles, Sandbox, and contextual workspaces. Both Advanced AI and Advanced Data Protection and Privacy add-ons are eligible at this stage. 

Zendesk Suite offers more diversity than Zendesk Support, providing features like custom help center building, voice system connection, and website chatbots. There are four pricing options under Zendesk Suite, ranging from Suite Team to Suite Enterprise. Depending on the subscription term, the monthly price changes, with an annual plan allowing for greater savings. The following is a summary of these plans and what they offer:

  • Suite Team ($69/agent/month monthly or $55/agent/month annually):  Offers key features like a ticketing system, email, chat, voice, social messaging, help center, bots, 1000+ apps and integrations, macros, custom business rules, digital onboarding, and more.
  • Suite Growth ($115/agent/month monthly or $89/agent/month annually): Offers all features included in Suite Team as well as multiple ticket forms, light agents, customer satisfaction ratings, multilingual support, customer portal, and more. 
  • Suite Professional (($149/agent/month monthly or $115/agent/month annually): Offers all features included in Support Growth as well as custom and live analytics, skills-based routing, integrated community forums, data location options, and more. Advanced AI add-ons are eligible at this stage. 
  • Suite Enterprise (custom): Offers all features included in Support Enterprise as well as AI-powered content cues, content blocks, custom agent roles, and more. Both Advanced AI and Advanced Data Privacy and Protection Add-ons are eligible at this stage.

Zendesk does not offer any free plan, but it does have 14-day free trials for all of its plans except Suite Enterprise. 

Pricing Final Verdict

Freshdesk and Zendesk both offer many pricing options with a variety of features in each. Which one is better for you depends on factors like company the size and scale of your business. If you are a startup or low-budget company, then Freshdesk will be the better option, due to its affordable pricing, easy setup, and availability of a full ticketing system equipped with all basic customer service needs for free.

Zendesk, on the other hand, offers more advanced features in its plans as well as higher levels of integration and greater customization options. It is more expensive than Freshdsek, but if you are looking for a complete system that can handle work at an enterprise-level demand, then it might be worth the extra money.

User Interface and Setup Experience

User interface and setup experience are some of the most important aspects of any customer service software. Both Zendesk and Freshdesk have training resources in place to help first-time users understand how to navigate the site better, but it can still be a daunting experience. 

User setup includes many tasks, such as the configuring of email addresses, identification of user roles, creation of support forms, and customization of automated responses. Features that build the user experience, on the other hand, are the simplicity of the dashboard, live chat, and customization options.

Zendesk offers a much more comprehensive set of tools for ticketing, with many standout features like high-quality custom reporting and a knowledge base. However, when it comes to user interface and ease of setup, it lags behind Freshdesk. 

For example, the live chat feature. Both platforms offer a chat widget that handles live messaging between parties. Freshdesk’s widget has a much cleaner and attractive look with more customization options. The dashboard of Zendesk is also much more complicated than Freshdesk, with the latter providing easy-to-use components for even the most complex of tasks.

Final Verdict: Pricing and Plans

If you and your team are beginners in using customer service software for ticket management, then Zendesk might prove to be a difficult choice. Freshdesk is the easier-to-use option with setup taking less time allowing for an intuitive understanding of features. 

Zendesk, however, is easily scalable and provides a wide array of features, making it a top choice for businesses that are already familiar with ticketing software and are looking for an upgrade that has more advanced features and subscription tier options.

Ticket Response

Ticket Response is the primary function of any customer service platform, as resolving customer complaints is the number one priority. This is especially important if you have a larger company that faces an influx of support tickets every day and you want to know how you can resolve them faster.


To improve ticket response, Freshdesk has a canned responses feature that allows the creation of custom-templated responses that are accessed by keyboard shortcuts. By having canned responses set up, you can quickly reply to tickets by simply inserting pre-made responses or links to knowledge-based articles. 


Zendesk has a feature known as Macros which also allows the setup of custom templated responses. However, unlike Freshdesk these responses cannot be accessed through a keyboard shortcut and must be selected manually instead. They are also listed alphabetically with no sorting option, which can increase access time. 

Final Verdict: Ticket Response

For a speedier ticket response process, Freshdesk is the better option. Freshdesk’s canned responses are accessible through keyboard shortcuts, which can cut execution time significantly. However, if you have only a few templates set up, then Zendesk will function equally well. 


Integrations are an important feature of any CRM, not just those specializing in customer service. Simply put, it entails smoothly connecting software with third-party applications for an efficient and more automated system. By having relevant integrations in place, operations can be streamlined, by providing you with a diversity of tools to handle any additional function. 

When it comes to ticketing systems specifically, integrations can prove incredibly useful, as they allow multiple facets of information to be accessible all in one place. This includes customer details, support tickets, demographics, and sales data. In this way, your company will be able to gain a more cohesive understanding of your customer base, which can have a positive effect on overall performance. Examples of common integrations include Slack, Jira, Salesforce, Trello, and ClickUp. 


Freshdesk supports integrations with over 1,000 popular apps and tools, all of which are easily accessible through the platform’s marketplace. These include Google Sheets, Salesforce, MailChimp, Team Chat, and many more.

In addition to third-party applications, Freshdesk also allows integrations with many telephony providers through its Freshdesk Telephony Partner Extension. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the marketplace, Freshdesk also has the option to build custom integrations with its Freshworks Neo platforms. 


Zendesk also allows the integration of many applications and tools which can increase the productivity of agents and boost workflow efficiency. All these apps can be accessed through the Zendesk marketplace, which features over 1,200 integrations. This includes enterprise-level tools as well, such as Oracle, Salesforce, and Zapier, which can handle tasks of large scales. Many of these applications are free to install, and the ones that don’t often offer 14-day free trials. 

Zendesk also has a robust API and app development framework, which allows its users to create custom tools according to their business needs. Businesses subscribed to higher-priced plans also have access to Zendesk’s developer’s platform known as Zendesk Sunshine. This provides admins and developers with resources to create bespoke experiences. 

Final Verdict: integrations

Although both Zendesk and Freshdesk offer many integrations, the former has a lot more diversity in options. Zendsek also provides greater flexibility in terms of customization, which can help businesses tailor their solutions to the needs of their clients.

If your business does not require such a high level of personalization, then Freshdesk will do just fine, as it features all the third-party apps and tools needed for standard integration.

Data Analytics and Reporting

Data Analytics can provide great insights into the performance of a business, making it easier to see which strategies are doing well and what should be reviewed. These features are embedded in customer service software like Freshdesk and Zendesk, allowing real-time predictions to be made on customer data, which in turn helps improve customer relationships.


Freshdesk provides data analytics and reports out-of-the-box, with little to no time needed to be spent understanding its functionality. It offers a variety of reports that provide valuable insights on top performance indicators such as ticket volume trends, helpdesk performance, helpdesk ticket volume report, and average first response time.

Its reports are not only colorful and attractive but also simple in their design, allowing even the most technically challenged employees to understand company statistics. Moreover, the platform allows customization of reports and dashboards using easy drag and drop, rather than confusing coding. 


Zendesk also provides a great range of analysis methods, with lots of customization options for businesses that are seeking more personalized reporting. Top features offered include a dashboard overview, performance reports, ticket viewing, satisfaction ratings, and data exporting.

What sets Zendesk’s analytics apart from competitor platforms is the amount of customization it offers. Real-time historical data, omnichannel analytics, dashboard and report scheduling, and pre-build dashboards are just some of the many advanced features the platform offers.

Final Verdict: Data Analytics and Reporting

The data analytics and reporting tools offered by Freshdesk and Zendesk are some of the best out there, providing comprehensive and valuable customer insights. Their difference lies in ease of use. Freshdesk’s reporting options are more intuitive and easier to understand than Zendesk, which some users might find a bit too complex. However, Freshdesk’s more advanced features are not included in its free plan, and users will need to upgrade to gain access to them. 

Knowledge Base

Defined as a self-serve online library of information, having a detailed and informative knowledge base available to users is imperative for any software to offer. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk allow their users to create custom internal and external knowledge bases, with the former only to be used by company employees and the latter solely for customers. 

A knowledge base should contain all the necessary information that provides support to its customers and employees. This includes how-to articles, FAQs, tutorials, and guides. In addition to providing a repository to upload content, both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer extra functionalities like search, tags, and analytics to both improve customer experience and offer insights into their behaviors. 


The knowledge base offered by Freshdesk has a clean and simple user interface which makes the creation and management of content more efficient. It is also customizable, with users having the option to categorize and organize information by characteristics. In addition, Freshdesk’s knowledge base has a multi-lingual search bar that supports 42 languages. 


Zendesk’s knowledge base is similar to Freshdesk’s offering extensive content creation and organization support. With Zendesk, users can have access to features like search bar configuration, advanced formatting, template customizations, website integration, and more. Customers can browse articles by keywords or topic, with related and suggested articles also displayed for easy access. Having access to such a myriad of information can help reduce support tickets of customers, which in turn reduces team workload.

Final Verdict: Knowledge Base

Freshdesk and Zendesk both have similar knowledge bases, each allowing users to upload extensive amounts of information both internally and externally. However, Zendesk’s knowledge base is a bit more complex and may require technical expertise to understand fully. It is also only accessible in Suite and Enterprise plans, whereas Freshdesk allows knowledge base creation in its free plan, too. 

Final Verdict: Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: Which Should You Use?

Freshdesk and Zendesk are both quality customer service platforms that will get the job done. Which is better depends solely on your priorities, business size, and budget, Freshdesk is great for companies that have low budgets as it not only offers a free plan, but it is also cheaper. It also is more user-friendly and sports all the features necessary to start your customer service journey.

Zendesk is a good option for companies that have a large customer base with greater customer service requirements. It has more customizable options, a large knowledge base, and more integration applications than Freshdesk and is overall a great product.


What are some benefits of using a CRM?

The top benefits of using CRM (Customer Relationship Software) are improved communication, increased sales, streamlined processes, and enhanced customer relationships

Does Freshdesk have macros?

Yes, it has its version known as canned responses, which allows the creation of standardized replies for common scenarios or inquiries. This saves both time and effort.

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