Developed by Freshworks, Freshdesk is always considered Zendesk’s top direct competitor. In every article about Zendesk alternatives, Freshdesk always appears in the list. In every review site, you always see many users switch from Zendesk to Freshdesk.
For some, Freshdesk is a perfect Zendesk alternative.
But let me tell this painful truth:
Like Zendesk, Freshdesk isn’t for everyone.
And if you’re looking for a help desk solution for your ecommerce store, Freshdesk is definitely not “the one.”
I get it!
In this post, I’ll cover what Freshdesk is, its key features, pricing, pros and cons, and who should choose it.
Let’s jump in.
What is Freshdesk?
Freshdesk is an online cloud-based customer support software providing help desk support with all smart automations to get things done faster. It has remained a popular choice for businesses that want to increase customer engagement and manage customers as they scale.
Freshdesk supports pretty useful features for customer engagement, like:
- Omnichannel help desk
- Team collaboration
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbot capabilities
- Multi-channel communication management
- Self-service support portal for support agents and customers
But what actually makes it a perfect alternative to Zendesk?
There are two key reasons:
- Freshdesk provides almost all the same features as Zendesk does.
- Freshdesk pricing plans are much more affordable than Zendesk, not to mention it has a free plan!
Sounds nice, right? I mean, who wants to keep using an expensive product while there is quite the exact same one out there at a less expensive price?
More excitingly, Freshdesk does offer some functionalities that Zendesk doesn’t.
Let’s move on to find out what they are.
Freshdesk provides you with a wide range of features, categorized into 6 sections as below:
1. Support channels
- Chat support: Enable chat in customer portal by integrating Freshdesk with Freshchat. You can then convert conversations into tickets.
- Email support: Convert support emails into tickets.
- Phone support: Enable phone calls by integrating Freshdesk with Freshcaller. Get notified whenever a customer calls. Miss calls get listed as tickets.
- Twitter support: Add your company’s Twitter handle to Freshdesk. Tweets, direct messages, and brand mentions get displayed as tickets.
- Facebook support: Add your company’s Facebook page to Freshdesk so you can respond to your visitor’s posts and comments. Direct messages, posts, or comments can get listed as tickets.
- Website support: Place ticket forms either as a pop-up widget or by embedding it to your website.
2. Productivity hacks
- Tags: Use tags to classify tickets so that agents can find the issue type quickly.
- Dispatch: Create rules on incoming tickets and automate support workflows.
- Automatic email notification: Notify customers and agents automatically when changes happen in a ticket.
- Canned responses: Create reply templates for specific situations and categorize them into folders.
- Customizable help desk: Automate ticket assignments based on agents’ current workload, skills, or channels.
3. Helpdesk management
- Public and private notes in tickets: Add private notes for your support team or inform customers with public notes.
- Ticket activities: View the history of a ticket from the day it was created.
- Team inbox: Collaborate with team members using a shared inbox.
- Merge tickets: Merge all the tickets from different channels in chronological order. Also, add/remove tickets from the merge.
- To-dos: Add a to-do task within the ticket or add it to your dashboard. Prioritize work and mark the checkbox when a task is done.
- Freshconnect collaboration: Collaborate with other team members right inside Freshdesk using Freshconnect.
- Knowledge base: Create a self-service portal (knowledge page and FAQs) to share with customers. Categorize knowledge base articles, control their visibility, and customize meta information.
- Email to knowledge base: Update knowledge base as and when you’re replying to customers. Also, forward older replies to the knowledge base.
- Default dashboard: View ticket trends, recent activities, arcade, gamification, community forums, customer satisfaction, and other metrics.
- Freshdesk analytics (beta): View performance distribution, group performance, agent performance, ticket volume trends, ticket lifecycle.
6. Other Freshdesk features
- Support Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Create scenario automation to solve tickets faster.
- Provide SSL certificates and DKIM configuration.
- Integrate Freshdesk with Freshsale to enable customer service CRM.
- Integrate Freshdesk with Freshrelease to enable project management functionalities.
- Integrate Freshdesk with PagerDuty to handle escalations and incidents better.
Currently, Freshdesk offers 5 pricing plans:
- Sprout: Free. Unlimited agents and basic features.
- Blossom: $15/month, billed annually. All features in the Sprout plan, plus automation, agent collision detection, SLA management, business hours, and more.
- Garden: $35/month, billed annually. All features in the Blossom plan, plus time tracking, CSAT survey, performance reports, custom apps, multilingual knowledge base.
- Estate: $49/month, billed annually. All features in the Garden plan, plus round-robin routing, dynamic ticket forums, portal customization, and more.
- Forest: $99/month, billed annually. All features in the Estate plan, plus sandbox, audit log, agent shifts, IP whitelisting, and more.
You can also purchase additional add-ons, including Freddy Ultimate, Freddy Self-service, and Field Service Management.
Freshdesk pros and cons
- Modern and user-friendly design.
- Ease of use.
- A feature-rich customer service platform.
- Advanced workflow automation.
- Easy to integrate with other Freshworks products.
- Freshdesk marketplace with many integrations (Salesforce, Slack, etc.).
- The free plan available.
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.
- No SMS and Instagram integration.
- Limited automation and rules (plus, hard to configure).
- Poor dashboard (Note: Freshdesk Analytics is in the beta version. The current dashboard offers fundamental features only).
- All must-have features supported but not innovative, compared with other alternatives.
- Dashboards and analytics only available at the Estate and Forest plans.
So, Freshdesk isn’t as awesome as you might think, huh?
Let’s move on to find out who should use Freshdesk.
When to choose Freshdesk?
I’ve said this a lot, but let me remind you again:
None of all the customer service platforms are perfect. The best doesn’t exist.
Even though Freshdesk has some drawbacks, that’s because you’re not its target users.
Use the following checklist to determine if Freshdesk is right for you:
- You’re a non-ecommerce small business owner or a SaaS startup.
- You need a tool similar to Zendesk but less expensive.
- You need an all-in-one customer service platform for multiple departments, i.e., customer support, sales, marketing, call center.
- You need basic ticket management features.
- You don’t care much about analytics.
- You don’t need SMS and Instagram support.
- If your answers are Yes to all questions, go for Freshdesk.
What if your answers are NO, meaning you’re an ecommerce merchant who needs the dedicated help desk software for your support team?
Don’t worry. I have a better solution for you.
Meet Gorgias: Best helpdesk ticketing system for ecommerce
Gorgias is a ticketing system exclusively built for ecommerce. Every feature aims to help you deal with support tickets quickly and create a better service experience for your customers.
Here are what separates us from Freshdesk:
- Feature-rich ticket management: Search, assign, reply, and resolve tickets. Add tags to manage your tickets with ease.
- Multi-channel support: Phone, SMS, live chat, email, social media (Facebook Messenger, Instagram, etc.).
- Powerful automation: Use macros, automation rules, customer sentiments, and tags to reduce repetitive tasks. You don’t need to waste a lot of time doing repetitive tasks anymore. Also, with macro variables, you can add custom variables from your ecommerce platform into any message.
- Real-time dashboard and reporting: Response time, resolution time, tickets created, tickets closed, and more. Also, revenue statistics available.
- Affordable pricing plans: Our plans are consistent with the size of your store.
- Mobile app: Besides a web app, Gorgias is available on Google Play and Apple App Store. Your team can answer tickets on the go.
- Ecommerce-focused integrations: Shopify, Magento, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, Yotpo, Smile.io, to name a few.
Freshdesk or Gorgias: Which one fits your needs?
If Freshdesk is the right choice for you, congrats! We hope it’ll make you smile.
But if you’re looking for an ecommerce-focused ticketing system, choose Gorgias.
Join our buyout program to get full access to Gorgias at no cost and prepare for your most profitable BFCM ever.
We can’t wait to serve you!