Freshdesk vs Zendesk: an objective comparison

Freshdesk and Zendesk are two of the most popular help desk tools on the market. Both offer affordable solutions so are ideal for the SMB market. They offer reporting, custom forms, and various integrations, but there are some differences which it will be helpful to understand when comparing the two CRMs before choosing one. Let’s take a look.

  Freshdesk Zendesk
Plans and pricing
Four different tiers. These are prices on a per agent basis. At $16, the Blossom tier offers social support channels, forums, and a gaming mechanic. The $25 Garden tier adds chat, more products, and locations. Estate tier at $40 offers custom agent roles, portal customization, and reports.
$5 per agent per month (if billed annually), or $9 if billed monthly. For $19 per month, you also get a help center (which you can brand), customer portal and dashboard. The professional plan is $49 and includes multilingual content and additional analytics. You pay extra for voice calling and live chat with more than one agent.
Ticket Management Ticketing is simple to manage and can be assigned to a particular agent or in bulk. Email ticketing is unlimited and there is a call center, note functionality on tickets and a way for overlaps to be detected early. Responses can be automated and tickets merged over multiple channels. Zendesk combines all support questions into a single view and allows users to show which agent is dealing with a request. Tickets can also have notes assigned and provide analytics on how productive agents are.
ITIL Supports ITIL which is relevant for large businesses which may need to demonstrate compliance. Social media is subsequently a bolt-on (as this isn’t covered by ITIL). Doesn’t use ITIL which means that all of their channels have the same interface.
Interface and knowledge base Includes technical documents, tutorials, and advice. Suggestions are offered when a user raises a ticket. UI can be branded and the ticket resolution dashboard is gamified to boost productivity.



More customizable: a user can create a community (including a knowledge base, forums, and portal). The customization can include designs to match your branding. Users can see added, unresolved and time to ticket expiration.



Strong focus on security and SSL-encrypted server protection. Reporting, analytics, and satisfaction surveys. Top agent and team performance comparisons.

Data synchronization and insight reports. Zendesk Benchmark measures customer satisfaction for business and competitors.

Because of its UI and customization options, Zendesk is generally very popular. However, for some small businesses looking for a low price point and wide feature set, it is the more expensive option. Freshdesk’s ITIL compliance may make it a much more attractive option for larger businesses but will be irrelevant for most. Both systems offer great functionality and will be solid choices to build your help desk around.

author image
Doug Haines

About the author…

Doug Haines has worked on a variety of CRM implementation projects and now writes on a wide range of topics. He is a regular contributor to Discover CRM

author image
Doug Haines

Featured white papers

Related articles