Software Review

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Everything You Should Know Before Making a Choice

Which of the two most popular help desk tools is better for you? We've compared their features, prices and more to make the choice easier on you.

Written by Anastasiia Khlystova

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Everything You Should Know Before Making a Choice

Have you ever tried playing tennis with that devilish tennis ball machine that keeps shooting balls at you while you have to return them really fast? Now, imagine doing all that while balancing on a monocycle. On the edge of a mountain. With your eyes shut.

Working in customer support requires tremendous effort, concentration, and time management skills as customer requests are coming from everywhere. You log into your company’s Facebook page and see 2-3 new messages there. You go to Twitter, and someone has already complained about your service there. Not only that, but you open your inbox, and it’s stuffed with customer inquiries, and messages from business partners, parents, cats, and whatnot.

Got that suffocating little feeling already? That overwhelming feeling of not being able to keep up with the pace?

Well, you don’t have to feel that way if you choose the right help desk tool for your support team. These solutions take all these popular communication channels, unite them under one dashboard, and give you everything you need to handle incoming requests effectively. The two most famous help desk tools out there are Zendesk and Freshdesk.

Note! If you’re looking for a seamless all-in-one support tool, HelpCrunch can be a great alternative to both Zendesk and Freshdesk. Just sign up for a 14-day free trial and see its live chat, chatbot, shared inbox, knowledge base, and email automation features in action.

Companies that decided to switch to ticketing systems often face this ‘Zendesk vs Freshdesk’ conundrum. Both tools are extensive in their customer service features, have affordable pricing plans for different budgets, provide a pleasant onboarding experience, and, overall, are quite great in what they do.

So how does one make a choice in a situation like this? There are no two ways about it. In our comprehensive Freshdesk vs. Zendesk blog post, we’ll delve into the crucial aspects of customer context to help you make an informed decision on the best solution for your business.


Freshdesk feels simpler and easier to use while costing less if you choose to buy the full package. Zendesk, another comprehensive customer service solution, on the other hand, wins by custom integrations and in rare cases by features but feels a bit disconnected. Larger companies with huge customer support departments and big user databases would be better off with Zendesk.

If you need an all-in-one customer service solution, Freshdesk might feel simpler, easier, and more wholesome. Its live chat is also more advanced compared to Zendesk. Besides, Zendesk’s live chat widget looks a bit behind the time.

All in all, comparing Zendesk and Freshdesk at a glance, I’d say corporations with big support departments would probably feel better with Zendesk and its robust ticketing options, easily solving any customer interactions. Freshdesk is more suitable for smaller businesses.

At the same time, I’d like to note that both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer premium functionality in their customer support and help desk software. They provide various premium features and plans that cater to the needs of businesses with more advanced requirements. They typically include things like automation, advanced reporting and analytics, integrations with other tools, multi-channel support, and more, depending on the specific plan or package you choose. All these features help solve even the most complex tickets with ease. 

If you’re looking for something equally powerful yet more affordable, why don’t you try HelpCrunch? It offers the right set of features for support, marketing, and sales.

Freshdesk and Zendesk comparison on-the-spot

Choosing the right customer support software can make all the difference in providing a seamless and consistent experience for your valuable customer base, and that’s where the comparison table between Freshdesk and Zendesk comes into play. 

Read carefully and choose wisely 🙂

Free trial 14 days 14 days
Free plan available not available
All-in-one subscription costs from $59/month per agent $149/month per agent
Basic subscription costs from $18/month per agent  (email + social media channels + knowledge base) $25/month per agent (email + social media)
Pricing based on number of agents number of agents
Best suited for small and mid-size businesses, enterprise customers mid-size businesses, enterprises
Ticketing system shared inbox with features like an issue tracking system, macros, etc team inbox with features like canned responses, real-time status view, etc
Live chat clean, modern chat customizable interface, has all the necessary features outdated user interface, but has all the necessary features
Knowledge base clean, modern, has all the necessary features multilingual, has advanced features
Overall impression more intuitive to use can feel a bit complicated and disconnected
Reports extensive, includes gamification very extensive and insightful
Capterra reviews 4.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(based on ‎3,193 reviews) 4.4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐(based on 3,750 reviews)
G2 reviews 4.4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐(based on ‎2,973 reviews) 4.3 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐(based on 5,753 reviews)

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: how it all started?

To draw this picture in full, we should start the Freshdesk vs Zendesk comparison with a quick history lesson.

Hence, if customer service software were an Italian mafia, Zendesk would be its godfather. It’s one of the oldest and most comprehensive help desk tools on the market. Founded in 2007 in a small loft somewhere in Copenhagen, Zendesk is one of the oldest customer service tools out there. The very idea of it arose from the complicated old-school ticketing systems. They worked like a mess back then, and Zendesk’s mission was to fix all that was wrong with them, and instead offer businesses a convenient help desk platform.

Fast-forward 16 years and Zendesk is one of the most extensive help desk tools and is still going strong. It can definitely help you manage a big ticket volume effectively. 

And what about Freshdesk? According to the CEO of Freshdesk, their story was actually inspired by Zendesk itself. It was 2010 and it was a mafia-esque story:

I was reading this article on Hacker News. This article was about Zendesk raising their prices by 60 – 300% and how their users were unhappy about it. That comment was like a slap on my face. There was an opportunity sitting right in front of me.

Girish Mathrubootham, CEO @ Freshdesk

So basically, Zendesk gave rise to its nearest competitor. Isn’t it a nice little plot twist? And also, what a pretext to talk about pricing right away.

Zendesk vs Freshdesk: pricing

Freshdesk and Zendesk both apps for customer support used to offer forever-free plans, but as of now, only the former provides some of its tools for free. Sure, they are limited in many ways, but it’s free stuff. Good news for all money-saving fellows out there. Until 2021, Zendesk also had free versions of their products, but the company has discontinued them.

You can go and sign up for their free trials and test any of the paid subscriptions. Zendesk and Freshdesk both offer a 14-day trial.

But what if you’re willing to pay for the tools you use? Let’s go through the Zendesk vs. Freshdesk real price comparison 💸

Zendesk pricing

Zendesk pricing_Support and Suit_USD

If you choose the Zendesk Suite, it will cost you at least $69/agent per month for the Team subscription. More advanced packages can cost up to $149/agent. 

Every Zendesk Suite covers the following channels:

  • Ticketing (helpdesk tool for collection, prioritizing, and solving requests)
  • Voice support (aka call centers)
  • Live chat
  • Social media and other messaging platforms
  • Knowledge base

Even though these channels are covered by all Zendesk Suite subscriptions, they have quite a different set of other features. For instance, multiple knowledge bases and setting operating hours are available starting from the Growth plan, which costs $115/agent/mo. And if you want to remove the Zendesk branding, you better have $149/agent/mo.

Alternatively, you can go with one of Zendesk’s Support packages. It offers email and social channels ticketing and costs discernibly less. The basic support plan starts from $25/agent per month.

Freshdesk pricing


When bought as a ticketing service, Freshdesk can be a little more affordable than Zendesk. Their most basic functionality subscription plan costs only $19 per agent per month if billed monthly, while the most expensive plan is $59 per agent per month. Zendesk Support’s pricing plans start from $25/mo and don’t include knowledge base integration.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: what do they offer?

I’ll be honest with you. If I had to choose between Zendesk and Freshdesk right this moment, I wouldn’t know which one is better. It is widely thought that Zendesk is the most comprehensive help desk tool out there. They have everything a customer support team needs and more. But the thing about Freshdesk is that it’s every bit as good a tool. The Freshdesk vs Zendesk problem is real. What a clash!

Let’s go through some of the key features of both Zendesk and Freshdesk.

Zendesk features

Zendesk _ homepage
Zendesk homepage

Help desk

As I’ve already mentioned, Zendesk is the godfather of help desk tools as we know them. Their ticketing features are the richest on the market and work wonders. (Though I must say their dashboard may feel overwhelming at first glance.)

The tool converts all phone, chat, email, and social media messages into tickets that are easy to manage, resolve, and collaborate on. Zendesk helps support teams gather all customer issues from disconnected channels and centralize them into a prioritized and actionable list. It stores all real-time and historical customer data for efficient problem-solving.

There’s a plethora of notable features to help bigger teams collaborate more effectively. Support teams get all the necessary customer details and a real-time view of how each particular issue is being resolved with an easy issue-tracking system. 

For instance, they can see the activity log and the name of the agent handling it. Besides, managing customer support actions in ticket replies is another crucial aspect to consider when comparing these two solutions.

What also makes Zendesk stand out from the competition are its custom reports. They provide the most detailed reports on everything – like how quickly service representatives resolve tickets and the development of a ticket’s status from open to close. You can also leverage Box reports thanks to integration for better insights. These functionalities maximize agent productivity tremendously.

Live chat

For conversational customer experiences, use live chat. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Zendesk’s chat widget because of its limited customization options and outdated design. Still, in terms of functionality, it has most of the necessary features to take quick actions like shortcuts (saved responses), automated triggers, and live chat analytics.

Later, you can analyze customer conversations thanks to chat history to understand your target audience’s needs and preferences better.

Knowledge base

The Guide tool from Zendesk is very rich in features – from localizations to bot integration to feedback community forums. Basically, you can create new articles, and divide them by categories and sections – make it a high-end destination for clients when they have common questions or issues.

Zendesk also offers the Answer Bot, which can take your self-service functionality to the next level. The Answer Bot automatically suggests relevant knowledge base articles to users, reducing the workload for your customer support agents. And it’s multilingual, too.

Freshdesk features

Freshdesk homepage

Help desk

It is the very core of Freshdesk customer support software functionality, which has a great impact on agent performance. Its ticketing system works like a charm and is really pleasant to deal with. Basically, every email, chat, or call is converted into tickets, where they can be prioritized, assigned, or grouped. It’s also possible to integrate your Twitter and Facebook pages with Freshdesk and receive customers’ requests from there, too. 

And yeah, all this can be done automatically. You can leverage automated options to speed up the routine tasks in your help desk such as setting priorities, following up on tickets, and other operational tasks that help you run your support.

Freshdesk likes emphasizing its Team collaboration tools – like auto-assigning tickets to the right person or real-time insight into who’s already managing a given ticket, etc.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to work with Freshdesk’s ticketing tools.

Live chat

It goes like this. Freshdesk is actually just one tool (or rather a set of help desk productivity tools) from the Freshworks family. So if you want a live chat for your website, you should sign up for another tool called Freshchat (or choose an expensive all-in-one plan). Its pricing varies from $0 to $83 if paid monthly.

Freshchat allows triggered and in-app messages inside its chat widget as well as tracking user events (e.g. last visited pages) and properties (e.g. location, browser language). You can also connect your knowledge base with the chat widget and display an FAQ section there.


If we compare the looks of Freshdesk and Zendesk chat widgets, I like Freshdesk much better, as it looks simpler and more modern.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk live chat widget comparison

Knowledge base

As knowledge management software, Freshdesk provides a nice and clean knowledge base feature to solve every common issue. And it’s multilingual, too (meaning you can provide a translation of your solution articles in any language you need). Create a robust library with all the most important information about your company and the product. 

Probably, the nicest thing about their self-service tool is that it includes some search engine optimization features to help you prepare your content for indexing by Google.

Except for that, I didn’t find anything particularly outstanding about their self-service tool. It’s nice and clean, but not as well-developed as the Zendesk Guide. However, you can still use it as an inner knowledge base for agent training.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: review

Freshdesk scores 4.5 / 5 stars on Capterra and 4.4 / 5 stars on G2, which indicates pretty high customer satisfaction. Many people mention the ease of configuration and usage as major pros of the tool. However, some users complained that their support team can be almost unreachable at times and the tool is not always as reliable as they wish.

Zendesk is not far behind with its score of 4.4 / 5 stars on Capterra and 4.3 / 5 stars on G2. The tool has got many loyal customers sticking to it for many years. They often mention that Zendesk is easily scalable because of the number of features and subscription tiers it offers. However, its strongest side can sometimes be its most annoying feature, as users mention the complexity of the tool.

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: what about customer support?

Zendesk’s own customer support services are what I really liked about them. I asked them a question in their live chat and got an instant reply – nice and right to the point.

Speaking of the Freshdesk customer service performance, it’s not ideal. When you leave a message in Freshdesk’s live chat, you can always see an indication of how fast you can expect their answer. When I was leaving mine, it said ‘Currently replying in under 15 minutes.’ 3 hours later – and I’m still waiting for someone to get back to me, which is rather a sign of poor customer service.

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: my honest overall impression

Let’s put it straight. I liked Freshdesk better right after I signed up for their toolset, and they gave me access to the custom dashboards. It’s a great flexible platform that is easy to use. And here’s why.

You need time to understand Zendesk. While it’s true that Zendesk offers a great onboarding process and provides you with numerous helpful tips on every step of the customer journey, I’d still want to get started right away rather than struggling to understand how things work there. 

Also, while working with the Zendesk dashboard, you find that you need to open their tools in separate browser tabs. That is definitely not the best solution for smaller customer support teams.

On the other hand, Freshdesk is shouting from the housetops that their agent interface is more intuitive and easier to set up and dive right into. And in all honesty, that was my impression, too. I liked how Freshdesk is built and how they onboard newcomers. 

When you sign up for their tool for the first time, you’ll get to see a small welcome video from their CEO and then will be offered a 20-minute demo where their team explains the basics of Freshdesk. And this video is more than enough to get you started.

All in all, I’ve settled the Zendesk vs Freshdesk dispute in favor of the latter. Freshdesk is actually cheaper, more intuitive, and a more unified platform. However, my understanding is those bigger businesses like Zendesk exactly because of its complexity and lack of coordination.

What should you go with: Freshdesk or Zendesk?

Honestly, it’s your individual business needs that can help you make the right choice, whether it’s Zendesk or Freshdesk. If you ask me, I’d go with Freshdesk. It’s just that I liked their dashboard the minute I logged into it. And I can’t dismiss this feeling. It’s also cheaper making it a more obvious choice for smaller companies.

Zendesk can be an excellent choice for bigger (read: huge) companies with all its tools, departments, features, and stuff.

Zendesk’s pros: Freshdesk’s pros:
More third-party app integrations
(however, both tools offer Box integrations, and many more) 
User-friendly interface
More advanced bots Cheaper when bought in a package
More features to a help center tool Live chat is cleaner and more advanced
Cheaper when bought in a package
(for basic packages) 
Reporting functionality with a grain of gamification
Way better user support of their own

However, I’d recommend looking into more unified alternatives – like HelpCrunch. With HelpCrunch, you get a modern fully customizable live chat backed by help desk features like assigning tags and statutes, adding private notes for your colleagues, re-assigning customers’ requests from one agent to another, etc. 

Test any of HelpCrunch pricing plans for free for 14 days and see our tools in action right away. 

It’s important to remember that offering exceptional support isn’t solely about finding a comprehensive support platform; it also hinges on your team’s customer service skills. It’s crucial to ensure that your managers receive proper training to make the entire customer experience superb.

Anastasiia Khlystova
As a sporadic visitor of internet stores and a content marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, Anastasiia knows what good customer service is. Anastasiia is a former Head of Content at HelpCrunch, so she knows how to write about customer service so that everyone understands its true importance and key aspects. Her professional interests include AI chatbots and different aspects of customer support automation. When not writing for the HelpCrunch blog, she likes to read modern literature, watch independent cinema, and cuddle with her cat and dog.
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