Zendesk Pros and Cons: What’s The Best Help Desk Software

Freshdesk No. 1 Alternative


zenprosIf you’re looking for a good help desk software for your company you’ve probably heard about Zendesk. To help you decide whether this solution is the best fit for your company, our B2B experts created a detailed review of Zendesk pros and cons. Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision before you spend your money. To provide you with a more meaningful perspective on the quality of Zendesk we also compared it with Freshdesk, one of the best the help desk software on the market. If you’d like to test Freshdesk on your own you can easily do that with a great Freshdesk free trial. For a better overview of all help desk options available on the market you may also want to read our comparison of top help desk software in 2019.

Overview of Zendesk

Here's how Zendesk looks in action

Here’s how Zendesk looks in action

Zendesk’s distinguishing features are its multi-channel support and a reliable ticketing system. It also stands out with an excellent reporting and analytics module. Zendesk also provides a self-service portal to help you set up a knowledge base and FAQs for more effective customer self-help. If you need a more detailed look at what the software has to offer you can also read our detailed review of Zendesk.

Zendesk Features:

  • Customer-facing web interface that you can easily brand
  • Export ticket views to CSV
  • Flexible ticket management with automated workflow
  • Group rules and macros
  • Knowledge base portal and community forums included
  • Multi-channel support: email, web, phone, chat, social media
  • Open API enabling seamless integration into your business
  • Over 100 out-of-the-box integrations with 3rd party apps
  • Pre-built: Salesforce, SugarCRM
  • Public and private forums
  • Robust reporting and advanced analytics

Overview of Freshdesk

Here's how part of Freshdesk UI looks like

Here’s how part of Freshdesk UI looks like

Our panel of B2B experts carried out a thorough review of all major help desk solutions on the market and in our research Freshdesk turned out to be the definite leader on our list of best help desk solutions in 2019. The vendor provides a wide range of flexible pricing plans to meet the needs of all types and sizes of businesses. They even offer a free plan for small teams of up to 3 agents that lets small companies to use Freshdesk at no cost whatsoever. You can easily try out Freshdesk on your own with their great free trial and see for yourself how it works for your company. Users can sign up for Freshdesk free trial here.

Freshdesk Features:

  • Automations – Ticket routing, scenario automations
  • Community Portal with Idea Management & Voting
  • Email to Ticket Conversion
  • Integrations: Freshbooks, Google Apps, Harvest, CapsuleCRM
  • Knowledge Base
  • Leaderboard & gamification
  • Multi-channel support, including Facebook & Twitter
  • Multi-language & multi-time zone support
  • Multiple Service Level Agreement policies
  • Multi-product/multi-brand Support
  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Self Service Portal

If you need some more information about Freshdesk and its features, integrations and customer support you can read our detailed review of Freshdesk or read on for a thorough comparison of Freshdesk and Zendesk pros and cons in various aspects of both tools.

Comparison of Zendesk and Freshdesk Pros & Cons

Both Zendesk and Freshdesk are top quality products, that can give customers value for their investment. While Freshdesk turned out the be a better software in our research it is still a good idea to see how both apps fare head to head in terms of specific features and aspects related to help desks.

Viewing Support Tickets

Freshdesk’s “Dispatch’r” feature automatically distributes incoming tickets among support agents. You can set up your parameters on this feature, making it a useful functionality. Zendesk allows agents to act on multiple support tickets at the same time. This needs more discretion on their part. In that category Freshdesk is definitely better than Zendesk.

Chat Tool

Zendesk acquired a chat software firm named Zopim and uses it as its internal chat tool. Zopim engages visitors on your website and enables agents to provide live support. Freshdesk uses its own chat tool named Freshchat. Both tools can be used as add-ons, but you have to pay for them. Freshchat can be used on any page of your website and its stays minimized until it is clicked on. It also seems to offer more features and functionality than Zendesk’s Zopim.

Customer Lists

Zendesk allows you to segment based on report and customer lists. An example of a customer list is sorting customers by product owned. This feature allows Zendesk users to manipulate support data easily and use it for marketing or CRM initiatives. Freshdesk offers plenty of places where you can easily import and export CSVs. Both products are equally good in this aspect.

Ticketing Features

Ticketing is a vital aspect of any help desk software. Both Zendesk and Freshdesk offer robust ticketing systems with common features such as agent collision detection, file attachments, triggers and business rules, views based on ticket conditions, macros for standard replies, and ticket queuing, status, and properties.

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However, Freshdesk scores over Zendesk because of its individual ticketing dashboard which provides customer information including phone numbers right inside the ticket. This can help agents reply suitably to the query and place a call to the customer if required. Also, Freshdesk provides smart solutions next to the ticket based on its keywords. This enables agents to provide faster standard replies.

Customer Support Reporting

Zendesk offers solid, no-nonsense features for customer support reporting. On the other hand, Freshdesk uses the exciting gamification feature in its modules to motivate agents and keep track of their performances. Freshdesk definitely scores in this category as gamification can provide excitement to the dreary office routines of support agents, and at the same time help to gauge their performance and work quality.

Mobile Interface

Both products provide great mobile support as they can be used on Android, iPhone/iPad, and Blackberry devices. This means your agents can use them in the field or around the office. Zendesk and Freshdesk are equally good in this category as both provide optimum mobile support.

Support Center

Both Zendesk and Freshdesk allow customers to build dynamic support portals for self-help resources. Such portals can help your agents provide the right answers with the knowledge base and intuitively suggests answers from the knowledge base depending on customer questions. Freshdesk has the edge in this category as it uses PHP-based modules for support center customization. Its support portal is also more intuitive to create.


Freshdesk offers a high focus on automation compared to Zendesk. For example, Freshdesk is great at auto-assigning cases and support tickets throughout the organization. Zendesk lags behind as it demands more discretion for this task. Freshdesk also offers robust reporting and list building tools.

Communication Channels

Both Zendesk and Freshdesk use multiple channels to communicate with customers. They include social media sites, integrated phone, live chat, and email support, and self-help center. Customers can integrate their Facebook and Twitter pages with both Freshdesk and Zendesk and offer customer support inside these social networks.

Both products offer a support widget that can be embedded on your website. This means visitors don’t have to leave the site page to access your help center or submit tickets. Freshdesk is a bit better in this regard as its widget can be placed a subtle tab anywhere on the page and it expands when clicked on. The widget also offers smart suggestions to customers based on their query keywords.

An overview of Freshdesk pricing plans.

Reporting and Analytics Tools

Both Zendesk and Freshdesk offer robust reporting and analytics tools to help you track customer support performance. Top features of both solutions include customer satisfaction ratings that help to gauge agents’ performance, average response time, tracking important ticketing data from number of resolved tickets, time tracking for individual tickets, customer satisfaction surveys, dashboard that helps to track agents’ performance and identify star performers and weak links in your team, and visual metrics and reports that provide hard data for presentations.

Freshdesk stands out in this aspect as it simplifies customer satisfaction analytics with emoticons. These emoticons can help to gauge your team’s performance with a quick glance. Plus, Freshdesk gamification module includes leaderboard scoring and awards. This enables you to award your best performers for first call resolution, fast resolution, and customer satisfaction.


Both solutions offer strong integration capabilities. Freshdesk integrates with a range of widely-used business applications from e-commerce and CRM products to productivity and invoicing apps. Top brands like JIRA, Nimble, Dropbox, Zapier, Shopify, MailChimp, and Google work great with Freshdesk. The software also integrates with the business apps offered by Salesforce.

Zendesk’s app store allows you to add more features such as project management, marketing automation, e-commerce, and live chat. Most of the add-ons are free, but you have to pay a fee for some. You can use Zendesk’s API to create your own third-party apps. Thus, both systems are even when it comes to their integration capabilities.

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Drawbacks of Zendesk and Freshdesk

Users have pointed out a few drawbacks of Zendesk. The app does not suggest answers from the knowledge base or forum when users are submitting a ticket. Zendesk can also be hard to learn as its user interface needs improvement. Its ticketing workflow also doesn’t seem natural.

Freshdesk has a few minor drawbacks too: it does not offer a suitable mobile screen for submitting tickets and emails can’t process first names easily.

Bottom Line

A thorough analysis of Zendesk pros and cons and Freshdesk shows that although Zendesk is a good and trustworthy help desk software, Freshdesk simply provides much better features and has more benefits at more flexible prices. This software is obviously an ideal choice for people looking for a reliable and effective solution that will meet all needs of their business. It is also possible to easily try out Freshdesk with a great free trial plan that will let you test all the crucial features before you decide if you want to invest in a paid plan. You can get Freshdesk free trial here.

Category: B2B News

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