Zendesk vs. Freshdesk

If you’re a business that wants to grow, you need a solution that you can count on—both now and in the future. Learn more about Zendesk and how Freshdesk compares.

Why Zendesk is the best alternative to Freshdesk

Last updated September 21, 2023

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk

Delivering an exceptional customer experience and providing top-tier support are growing priorities for 81 percent of business leaders, according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report. Is the Freshworks product providing the level of CX experience your customers demand?

Here are three reasons why businesses choose Zendesk over Freshdesk:

  • CX-perts

    As a trusted advisor in the market, we empower our customers with the tools, expertise, and best practices they need to improve their CX. Zendesk treats each customer as a partner, offering dedicated account management, success management, and support resources to help achieve your business goals and create positive, memorable experiences with each interaction.

  • Built to be reliable

    Zendesk offers a CX solution you can count on—with the stability you need to provide a differentiated customer experience at scale. When time is money, our reliable platform keeps you up and running without worrying about system outages and downtime.

  • Best ROI

    Zendesk can handle whatever challenges your business faces and will ultimately deliver more efficiencies, lowering the cost of support. With capabilities beyond basic ticketing—like a unified, omnichannel agent experience, self-service options, and custom reports—you can start seeing your ROI fast.

More in this guide:

At-a-glance comparison: Zendesk vs. Freshdesk

What you need to deliver the best customer experience Critical capabilities Zendesk Freshdesk
Vendor performance Analyst rating Leader Visionary
Focus Best of breed – Customer service Broad focus – CS, sales, marketing, success, IT, HR, operational tools
High customer satisfaction at scale
Time to value and cost of ownership Easy setup
Easy adoption
Low implementation cost
Low short-term TCO
Long-term value
Low long-term TCO
Unified omnichannel experience Unified omnichannel status + workflows
Unified omnichannel customer experience
Unified omnichannel agent interface
Unified omnichannel analytics
Frictionless agent experience Real-time agent workspace
Customizable agent workspace
Single browser tab agent experience
Powerful workflow / automation tools Sophisticated automation + workflows (SLAs, OLAs)
Flexible assignment options (round robin vs. pull)
Intelligent triage
Intelligent self-service content gap identification
Sophisticated self-service content management + workflows
Actionable insights Custom metrics
Custom reports
Custom dashboards
Custom attribution
Custom correlation
Robust integrations Highly rated integrations
Customer proof points
Broad set of API endpoints
Only server side CTI app necessary
Success + support Leading customer community + events
Designated success
Local account resources
Reliable + secure platform Reliability + scalability
HIPAA enabled
Data locality
3-tiered GDPR protection

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Features comparison

Comparing two help desk software heavyweights takes more than serving up a blind taste test. Let’s dive into the features of Freshdesk vs. Zendesk and see who raises the trophy at the end.

Advanced reporting and actionable data insights

To gather and harness valuable customer data, you need more than one-size-fits-all reporting tools.

Zendesk features advanced reporting and analytics tools that provide in-depth metrics and visualization options that help you identify critical trends, analyze your customer experience, and evaluate your team’s performance. Create actionable insights and optimize your business decisions with powerful features like:

  • Point-and-click configurable reports and dashboards: Customize your view in minutes with our first reply time heatmap, even with sophisticated layered datasets.
  • Unified reporting: Consolidate data from across all channels.
  • Custom metrics: Choose the metrics you want to see and filter out what you don’t.
  • Data discovery: You’ll no longer need to export data to Excel spreadsheets.

Reporting with Freshdesk is limited, with around 80 out-of-the-box reports (compared to 250+ from Zendesk). You aren’t able to build custom metrics, so teams must manually add data when exporting reports. Also, Freshdesk’s reporting software updates every 30 minutes rather than providing real-time updates.

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: Reporting

Analytics Zendesk Freshdesk
Omnichannel Unified

Report on all channels across the platform in one consolidated analytics tool.


Every Freshdesk channel has a unique reporting tool, so you often need to export and combine data manually.

Custom metrics, reports, dashboards Yes

Define custom metrics unique to your business.


You can create custom metrics with Freshdesk.

Custom attribution + correlation Yes

Layer multiple datasets and visualize them in any way you want to identify actionable insights quickly.


Limited ways to layer datasets force users to waste time exporting to Excel or BI tools to analyze further.

One seamless omnichannel interface

Zendesk features Agent Workspace, an interface with a unified view that puts data from all channels in one place. This single view displays the customer journey, including conversation history, previous interactions, past orders, resolved support tickets, and more. Your agents will have the customer context and information they need to resolve issues faster and provide personalized support.

Freshdesk offers different interfaces for each channel, like chat, phone, and ticketing. This creates a disjointed experience for agents, causing them to toggle between apps, tabs, and systems to find the information or context they need to serve the customer.

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Omnichannel experience

Feature Zendesk Freshdesk
Agent experience One unified view

The Zendesk Agent Workspace provides one unified view of customer data, history, conversations, and interactions across all channels.

Disconnected workspaces

Users must toggle between three apps (Freshdesk, Freshchat, and Freshcaller) to view information from different channels.

Customer experience One unified experience

All channels (voice, chat, self service, form) are unified in one digital experience.

Disconnected experiences

Web forms and knowledge self service are in a separate widget compared to chat.

Contextual workspace Flexible

A customizable interface adapts to each situation, populating contextual information and workflows for the specific customer request.


There’s no contextual workspace, which forces agents to be overwhelmed with irrelevant data / tools and search for the right information manually.

Macros Relevant

There’s one-click access to accurate, channel-agnostic macros relevant to the customer’s inquiry.


Multiple features help emulate a macro, but they’re only usable on new tickets.

Side conversations Unified agent and customer experience

Agents can handle multiple conversations at once.

Cobbled experience

Customers must create a Freshconnect account for side conversations with agents.

Ticket tabs Available

Agents can manage multiple tickets in a single browser tab.


Agents must open a new browser tab for each ticket.

Integrations with all the tools your team depends on

To effectively provide the best customer experience, you need a flexible, agile system that integrates with various tools. Though Freshdesk offers a variety of out-of-the-box integrations and add-ons for agent productivity, time-tracking, and chatbots, Zendesk offers a robust library of customizable integration options that set up quickly, are easy to use, and provide more flexibility.

Our dedicated product management and engineering teams build and continuously optimize integrations with systems like Slack, Jira, Salesforce, HubSpot, and more. This allows you to focus your time and money on your customers instead of worrying about the technical stuff.

Robust self-service tools

Our CX Trends Report shows that 37 percent of customers become angry, frustrated, or stressed when they can’t complete simple tasks. A low-quality self-service experience also leads to a higher ticket volume and more outreach to customer support teams, making customer service less efficient.

Both Zendesk and Freshdesk offer an array of self-service tools like help center articles, community forums, and client portals where customers can conveniently find the answers they need on their own time. Each software brand also allows you to create knowledge bases for internal and external customers.

Features from Zendesk, like Content Cues, automatically identify areas where you can improve your help center and knowledge base, so your team of experts can keep information up-to-date. AI and chatbots can offer chat support with canned responses, proactively suggest answers to FAQs, or surface help center articles to deflect the customer from creating a ticket for a common issue. With Freshdesk, however, support agents must manually sift through the help center to find outdated information and make improvements.

Customization and branding

Customization options help keep your business in sync. Zendesk offers a flexible platform with various customization options so you can adapt to evolving customer or business needs. Our code and no-code functionality makes it easy to customize everything from reporting dashboards and your agent interface to adding your brand logo, colors, and themes to your client portal.


Unlike other solutions on the market, Zendesk AI is pre-trained and tailor made for CX, which means greater accuracy, easier setup and maintenance, and more cost-savings. Zendesk AI is also quick to implement with little to no technical support. Businesses get robust AI capabilities–agent assistance and productivity tools, intelligent workflows, machine learning predictions, and advanced bots–all from one platform, and ready to go from day one.

While Freshdesk offers AI features that are easy to implement, most don’t include pre-trained models tailored for CX. As a result, Freshdesk customers have to rely on manual setup to ensure the accuracy of their bots.

Pricing plans: Freshdesk vs. Zendesk

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Paid plans

Zendesk Freshdesk
  • Support Team: $19 per agent/month
  • Support Professional: $55 per agent/month
  • Support Enterprise: $115 per agent/month
  • Growth: $15 per agent/month
  • Pro: $49 per agent/month
  • Enterprise: $79 per agent/month

Zendesk pricing is higher, but don’t let that fool you. A lower sticker price isn’t always a better value, and you should consider several costs.

Costs to consider when picking a customer support solution

  • Total cost of ownership

    Zendesk offers a lower total cost of ownership in the short and long term. Our platform sets up fast and is easy to use, reducing implementation and training costs and boosting your time to value.

    Although Freshdesk has a free plan and cheaper monthly subscriptions, the total cost of ownership over the course of multiple years favors Zendesk. Zendesk provides hands-on onboarding and training for a seamless implementation process, protecting against the costs of a cobbled deployment. Freshdesk emphasizes fast-paced setup—but without a dedicated onboarding team like Zendesk provides, the risk runs higher for issues during the implementation process.

  • Scalability

    Zendesk can support businesses of all sizes and industries, from startups to enterprises, and has the flexibility and agility to grow with your company. Zendesk features tools that create a great employee experience—like AI and automation features that help deflect customer tickets and offer 24/7 support—allowing you to serve more customers at scale.

    Our highly rated, mature software features scaled support and operations, leading to customers who stick around. Freshdesk scales best with teams of up to 15 agents but has limited scalability beyond that. The company’s customers must re-evaluate every 12 months, resulting in additional implementations or switching to alternative software—creating additional costs.

  • Efficiency

    Zendesk delivers efficiencies that will save you money down the line. Customizable workflows and an intuitive user interface help boost agent productivity and efficiency. Investing in Zendesk provides a better lifetime value for businesses and customers, with the impact felt through higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) and loyalty.

    Freshdesk offers a collaboration app for ticket management, but agents must switch to the Freshconnect interface to collaborate on a ticket. The single ticket forms clutter the agent workspace, limiting productivity and efficiency.

Customer stories: What are customers saying about using Zendesk vs. Freshdesk?

Don’t just take our word for it: Hear from brands that made the switch.


“The daily challenges related to using [Freshdesk’s] new UI made it very clear that we needed to prioritize exploring other platforms… [Freshdesk] apps didn’t really work as expected, and the product team couldn’t get the support it needed to troubleshoot them.”

Katerina Graham
Support Operations
Read more


“When we were on Freshdesk, an agent would have eight, nine, 10 different tabs open—DHL, Australia Post, Magento, all these different tabs.”

Paul Waddy
Head of Operations
Read more


Ola used Freshdesk for customer support, but by 2015, the tool didn’t offer the advanced configuration, scalability, or reporting options the company needed. Ola chose Zendesk because it was quick to deploy and easy to configure. Four teams at Ola now use Zendesk.

Sankar Rao Amburkar
Director of Products
Read more

Other top Freshdesk alternatives

Freshdesk alternative Starting price Free trial Key features
Zendesk $19 per agent/month 14 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Completely native omnichannel solution
  • Customizable analytics
  • Extensive SLAs + OLAs
  • Collaboration and side conversations
  • Fast time to value + low TCO
  • Enterprise scalable
  • No-code chatbot builder
  • Knowledge base with smart Content Cues
  • 1,000+ apps and integrations
HubSpot Service Hub $450 per month (up to 5 users) 14 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Fast time to value + low TCO
  • No-code chatbot builder
  • Knowledge base
  • 1,000+ apps and integrations
Zoho Desk $14 per user/month 15 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Fast time to value + low TCO
  • No-code chatbot builder
  • Knowledge base
Salesforce Service Cloud $25 per user/month 30 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Customizable analytics
  • Enterprise scalable
  • Knowledge base
Jira Service Management $7.75 per user/month 7 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Customizable analytics
  • Enterprise scalable
  • Knowledge base
Help Scout $20 per user/month 15 days
  • Ticketing system
  • Fast time to value + low TCO
  • Knowledge base

Frequently asked questions

Freshdesk seems cheaper. Why should I choose Zendesk?

Although Zendesk has a higher price, your total cost of savings and faster return on investment make switching to Zendesk worth it. Zendesk reduces implementation and training costs with our fast setup and ease of use. This allows your teams to keep serving customers without any downtime. Our platform supports businesses of all sizes and provides tools that allow you to serve more customers at scale.

What makes Zendesk and Freshdesk different?

When comparing the customer support software features of Freshdesk vs. Zendesk, understand that while Freshdesk may appear to offer more, Zendesk prioritizes building best practice solutions over disconnected features and quality over quantity.

Freshdesk is great for the basics—but Zendesk boasts omnichannel support, so you can meet your customers where they are on the messaging platforms they prefer. Our Agent Workspace gives agents a single view of the customer journey with all the data and context needed to provide a top-tier customer experience. Custom dashboards, robust self-service options, and AI chatbots make the employee experience great, too.

Freshdesk says that they’re easier to use and that Zendesk is too complex. What should I know about this?

At Zendesk, we hang our hat on making things easier for the agent and the customer. Our dedicated account and success teams are eager to jump in and streamline the process—simplifying anything you may need help with.

Why is Zendesk popular?

Zendesk is a robust, reliable, and scalable solution backed by experts and built to last. It’s an open and flexible platform that sets up quickly, is user-friendly, and has customization and integration options that fit companies of all shapes and sizes—from small businesses to enterprises. It can grow with your business as it scales, and it enables you to create an amazing experience for all your customers. You’ll get the best return on your investment.

Does Zendesk offer a free trial?

Zendesk offers a free 14-day trial where you can try out the entire suite of features. The best part? Once you decide to switch platforms and sign up for a plan, your customer profile data is already there—so you can seamlessly pick up right where you left off at the end of the trial.

Ready to try Zendesk?

We like making everything easy for our customers—including making the switch. Our team members are ready to help guide you through the process so you can start creating the personalized experiences your customers deserve.