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Detailed Review of Freshservice: An Award-winning Service Desk Software

Category: B2B News

freshlogoFreshservice is a cloud service desk software that is fully ITIL-ready and features built-in CMDB functions. Companies whose systems are not ITSM-compliant will find Freshservice a convenient way to adopt ITSM. Companies that are  ITSM compliant, meanwhile, will find the cloud software offered by Freshservice to be a more efficient way to implement their service desk. Freshservice main features include: ticketing, problem, change and release management, asset management, and service catalog.

In this Freshservice reviews, we’ll discuss the main benefits of the app and share what actual customers think of the software. We also share an interview with a Freshservice spokesperson who will talk about the vendor’s value propositions and future plans for the service. You can also easily try out Freshservice on your own with their great free trial plan. To test the app you can sign up for Freshservice free trial here.

What are the highlights of Freshservice?

  • ITIL-ready with built-in CMDB service desk allows you to adopt ITSM in days
  • Isolate problems by associating users and assets with tickets
  • Mitigate risks by evaluating assets and their associate incidents
  • Deep configuration lets you establish over 23 relationship types, plus create your own
  • Automate administrative tasks across the incident-resolution cycle to offload repetitive tasks from tech support
  • Self-service portal gives you flexibility to build your knowledge base by adding, editing, organizing, or removing content
  • Service catalog features end-to-end request processing that can be automated with rules-based customization

What we like most about Freshservice

1. An intuitive, ITIL-ready with CMDB service desk

Freshservice makes your company ITSM compliant in an instant. If you’re just starting to implement ITSM in your systems, the software’s intuitive processes make it easy to make your business compliant. If you’re implementing ITSM already, Freshservice adapts to your workflows. You have over 20 relationship types to match your processes or even create your own to link users and assets in myriad ways. Plus, the rules-based smart automations make it fast to manage incidents and implement changes with automatic notifications and completion actions.

It’s a cloud service desk so installation is simple. Upon signup you create your helpdesk email address, which will convert all emails received to this address into tickets. Then, add users and assets or configuration items (CI) and you’re set to go.

The dashboard shows all tickets and problems at once so you can prioritize urgent issues, or you can drill down to details on the Tickets page. Tickets are easily translated to Problems, then you can create a solution in Changes, then move on to Releases to complete the incident-to-resolution cycle. Likewise, requesting a service is easily accessible via the Service Catalog, complete with an online shopping cart interface that makes selecting a service category as simple as a single click.

The self-service portal, meantime, gives you lots of room to add, edit, organize, and remove knowledgebase content. You can set the content as private or public, keep it organized using a 3-level hierarchy (category, folder, article), or categorize it either as “workaround” or “permanent” solution. Freshservice also shows end users possible solutions on the self-service portal, even as they type to raise a ticket. This saves both users and support a lot of time. Moreover, you have tutorial videos to help you learn the ropes of each function.

Dashboard lets you view all ticket statuses, recent activities, and, in case you need help, a Freshservice rep contact (upper right).

Dashboard lets you view all ticket statuses, recent activities, and, in case you need help, a Freshservice rep contact (upper right).

2. Automate your service desk to offload repetitive tasks

You can put the end-to-end service request processing on autopilot and offload administrative tasks from your IT team.  On the other hand, employees who need IT support cut to the chase by accessing the catalog for a range of services from basic to complex, all with detailed information. Instant notifications and proper approvals also happen inside the service desk; thereby, you skip the waiting game in email exchanges, which can last for days.

When a user submits a request, you can lead it through the proper workflows and multiple approval channels, then to the service provider for fulfillment and back to the user with notifications. All this without both end users having to bug each other eating up their productivity. Of course, the seamless process looks great on paper, but much of its success depends on you having a defined workflow.

Putting your IT service fulfillment process in Freshservice also means you can trace incidents or troubleshoot issues across the process for faster resolution. The service catalog uses smart root cause analysis to track and link all issues related to a configuration item.

You can easily spot all incidents  related to this CI (Andrea’s laptop).

You can easily spot all incidents  related to this CI (Andrea’s laptop).

On another end, the service catalog allows HR to bring a new employee up to speed on day one by accessing the service desk to request for assets, for example, service laptop, network access, or software installation.

The end-to-end setup also makes it easy for Finance to allocate funds where it’s most needed and estimate request completion on short-term notices. Likewise, you can set up a 24/7 service request, so your IT support can take a breather even if you operate for the whole day. Externally, your service catalog ensures that you’re meeting SLA policies.

3. Deep configuration of  the admin page

One of Freshservice’ strengths are its in-depth relationship types, where you can configure the admin page to adapt to specific processes. A relationship type defines how users are linked to assets, for example, user A is assigned laptop B, or, the opposite: how assets are connected to users. There are 23 built-in relationships, but you can also create your own types. Configuring user-asset relationships in almost any angle lets you automate processes with various dependencies. For instance, create CIs and workflows for different teams.


On the helpdesk front, you can save canned replies for FAQs so tech support can focus on bigger issues. The software can also configure cases for the agent, who is presented with a chronological listing of incidents, so he can quickly focus on the tickets and resolve them fast. Likewise, you can set up the “arcade settings” to gamify helpdesk and motivate agents with leaderboard points for rewards.

4. Handle problems, mitigate risks, or implement change

Problems can appear from nowhere and escalate fast. The database is hacked. The server spikes up. Network connection is down. All these while the day’s regular tickets and requests keep coming your way.

A great service desk software should let you see the big picture, see a pattern, and trace the cause of the problem. This is where Freshservice’ Problem Management and Change Management help you isolate issues and resolve the most urgent priorities.

The service desk software lets you pinpoint the issue by checking for patterns in logged incidents to identify the problematic CI. For example, sales can’t send emails. Your IT support checks the incident and its associated CIs and notices that one CI has similar incidents from other users. Support now sees a pattern: a router on that floor is possibly acting up.

On the other hand, you can mitigate risks by checking a CI and identify its associated incidents. If  you suspect a router is under performing, you can check the CI in the CMDB, which shows all its past incidents. For instance, the router has three down incidents in just a week, so you give it a close inspection before it causes more trouble.

Meanwhile, the software’s Change Management allows you to link the relevant CI, affected users, and associated problems, so you can assess the overall impact of the transition. This also helps you develop the least disruptive rollout plan–or a backout plan in case things don’t work out–and communicate these without having to repeat the instructions to each affected department. And if a solution isn’t feasible at once, you can devise a workaround plan. In short, your tech support is left to concentrate on actually solving the problem, not explaining the situation to everyone.

Approving bodies (IT and Finance) can review the change request and its details, including possible conflicts with other changes and releases. Once approved, the change request is marked as completed.

Freshservice uses rules-based smart automation that lets you skip recurring mundane tasks like flagging related incidents only once or closing related incidents once the problem is resolved or a change is completed.


5. Track your assets easily

Freshservice’s CMDB makes it easy to see the relationships between users and assets and spot associated issues on either of these. An effective asset management requires that you know the health of each asset, but that’s almost impossible without a CMDB. You get to see the details of each CI, including its type, customer details, IP addresses, associated costs, warranty, and vendor details. This is useful if you need to check the details on a moment’s notice.

However, the service desk’s CMDB isn’t only for record-keeping; it’s most powerful when linked to Tickets, Problems, Changes, and Releases pages. You can check each CI’s associated incidents and assess and resolve its health even before potential threats happen.

Another great feature of the Asset Management is the Freshservice Discovery Probe, which detects new additions to your system, for example, printer, laptop, or software. You can add the assets to the CMDB with only a few clicks, instead of filling up lengthy forms and manually entering each item into the database. Meanwhile, the Product Catalogue gives you a quick glance at if the asset is in use, in production, or has been retired. The software also lets you calculate asset depreciation and view the relationship between assets and users.

6. Other features we like

Mobile app – Lets tech support resolve issues on the go so they can attend to other important matters, such as, conferences and meetings. Conversely, users can raise tickets or request service in the field, for instance, during a client meeting.

Reports – There are 15 template reports, among others, covering agent, group and departmental performance, help desk analysis, and comparison analysis. It would have been better if you could customize the reports other than just the filter and time period elements.

Contract management – Lets you track contracts between tech support and vendors, including SLAs, expiries, and related documents.

What customers say about Freshservice

One of the most frequenlty posted user comments about Freshservice is about its fully functional ITIL-based service desk. For example, Justine, a CIO at a learning institution in Detroit, said they were able to implement ITSM in days, not months, because all they had to do was to set up Freshservice. She said they learned by watching the tutorials and, occasionally, asking questions from the rep. “We’re ready. We had been practicing ITSM before, but Freshservice made it even more efficient.”

Ken, an IT rep from Minneapolis, likes the huge variety of features in Freshservice. He said they can manage internal and external incidents with ease. “We can also track incidents in a detailed way. A sales rep once raised a laptop problem. I didn’t have to ask him what OS he’s using, device type, etc. which would have delayed the resolution because he’d probably run to our office with the laptop.”

Christine, a help desk team leader from Kansas, likes how Freshservice lets her manage tickets remotely, either through the mobile app or home computer. “We have a telecommute program in the company, where I can work at home with my three kids twice a week.” She said the remote access even allows her to do the groceries during non-peak hours, while keeping tabs of her team’s performance.

Freshservice Pricing Plans

Freshservice offers a 21-day free trial and four paid plans. The company gives 15% discount for NGOs and voluntary service organizations. You can easily sign up for the free trial here.

Sprout Plan: free up to 3 agents and 100 free assets

This is the most basic plan. It accommodates 100 end users and offers access to incident management, knowledge base, self-service portal, and SLA management.

Blossom Plan: $29/agent/month, additional assets at 20 cents/asset/month

Includes everything from the Sprout plan plus features such as: CMDB, satisfaction surveys, time tracking, unlimited end users, and multiple helpdesk emails.

Garden Plan: $49/agent/month, additional assets at 20 cents/asset/month

Includes everything from the Blossom plan plus features such as: problem management, change management, release management, custom roles, and portal customization.

Estate Plan: $79/agent/month, additional assets at 20 cents/asset/month

Includes everything from the Garden plan plus freatures such as: integrated game mechanics, round robin assignment, custom SSL and trusted IP, service catalog, and contract management.


Awards and Quality Certificates won by Freshservice

Verified Quality Seal

sealFreshservice was granted the Verified Quality Seal for offering users a fully ITIL-ready service desk with an integrated CMDB. The seal is a unique trust badge exclusively awarded by FinancesOnline, and it highlights the quality of the Freshservice features and tools, as well as the reliability of the vendor to provide excellent customer support. The seal indicates that after closely scrutinizing the functionalities of Freshservice, the software passed our quality tests and is guaranteed to meet customer expectations and satisfy their needs.

Great User Experience Award

userexperienceThis certificate is granted to products that offer especially good user experience. We analyzed how simple it is to start using the Freshservice, from signup to learning the basics. We also evaluated how user-friendly its interface and features are, despite implementing ITIL-ready functions. Likewise, Freshservice features intuitive processes from incident to resolution, deeply enriching the service desk of companies.

Great Customer Support Award

supportThis certificate was granted to Freshservice to highlight the quality level of its customer support. We evaluated both the versatility of ways to contact the vendor, such as email and phone, and their response time and ability to solve any problems a user may have. We also cited the vendor’s rich knowledge base and robust self-service portal to grant the certificate.

Useful Free Trial Award

freetrialThis certificate was granted to Freshservice for offering a versatile and useful free trial to their customers. We evaluated the quality of options included in a free trial, its limitations and the ability to judge the software itself based on the free trial features. The software also has a freemium with useful features for up to 3 agents and 100 assets. If you want to try out Freshservice on your own you can easily start the free trial here.

An Interview with Freshservice Marketing Analyst

Sathyanarain Muralidharan, marketing analyst at Freshservice

Sathyanarain Muralidharan, marketing analyst at Freshservice

We talked with Sathyanarain Muralidharan, a marketing analyst at Freshservice, to get more details about Freshservice, what makes it unique among its competitors and the vendor’s future plans for the software. He also gave us examples of two common trouble scenarios where Freshservice can be a big help.

Unique features of Freshservice

Muralidharan said that the software’s self service portal is very useful for end users, whether they’re raising tickets or requesting for service. In many cases, tech support is not needed for recurring issues, and problems can be solved through the knowledge base. “A handy feature suggests accurate articles contextually from the knowledge base even as the end user is trying to raise a ticket; thus, letting the user solve his or her issues on their own,” he said. In case the incident requires tech support, end users can easily raise tickets, check the status, and receive notifications inside the service desk.

He also mentioned that another key feature of Freshservice is the Service Catalog, mimicking the ease-of-use and usability of e-commerce portals. “This makes it easier for end users to request new services.”, he said. The Service Catalog is backed by a robust and flexible backend, allowing tech support to add, remove, or edit service items easily.

Likewise, Muralidharan said that the Freshservice mobile app gives both tech support and end users mobility. Support can work even on the go, while end users can raise tickets and requests through their mobile device. “This has enabled teams to resolve IT issues with great speed and focus on customer happiness by communicating with them effectively.”

Muralidharan also told us to expect more improvements to the mobile app. Moreover, he said Freshservice will have more integrations, an IT project management support, and advanced asset management in the future.

Specific problems addressed by Freshservice

According to Freshservice spokesperson their service recognizes the problem of end user adoption of ITSM. Employees will rather talk directly to tech support even about minor fixes that can be solved through a knowledge base article. This eats up the productivity of both tech support and the employees. “Freshservice has helped companies solve this adoption issue by making an intuitive and user friendly interface that end users and even IT teams love to use,” he said.

Managing an enterprise cloud can be difficult for companies with small IT department. Muralidharan said the software’s built-in CMDB allows tech support to stay on top of their assets in the cloud. Likewise, he cited the software’s credentials that make it easier for tech support–“Freshservice is a product from Freshdesk, which is a preferred partner to Amazon Web Services, the preferred cloud infrastructure company for most cloud companies.”

Freshservice SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction

Our B2B experts conducted thorough Freshservice reviews testing its functionalities, user experience, customer support and other key elements of the service. Final results as summarized by the SmartScore system gave Freshservice a very good score of 9.0/10, while the results provided by the Customer Satisfaction Algorithm place the overall user satisfaction rating at 92%. If you want to try out the app on your own you can easily get Freshservice free trial here.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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