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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk offers 5 princing plans:

Sprout:

$0/agent/month, up to 3 agents
or
$15/agent/month thereafter

Main features include:

Email Support Channel
Standard Phone Channel
Knowledge Base

Blossom:

$16/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$19/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Sprout features
Social Support Channels
Community Forums
Game Mechanics

Garden:

$25/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$29/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Blossom features
Live Chat Channel
Multiple Products
Multilingual Support

Estate:

$40/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$49/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Garden Features
Enterprise Reports
Portal Customization
Custom Agent Roles

Forrest:

$70/agent/mo when billed annually
or
$79/agent/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Estate Features
IP Whitelisting
Custom Email Servers
Advanced Phone Channel

24 x 7 email support and 24 x 5 phone support included with all plans.

When you sign up, you get access to all the features in the Freshdesk Estate Plan for a 30-day free trial. No credit card is necessary and there are no cancellation fees. If you cancel, you’ll be billed for the current month. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.

Zendesk

Zendesk offers 4 princing plans:

Essential:

$5/mo per agent when billed annually
or
$9/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

Unlimited email addresses
Twitter and Facebook channels
Basic knowledge base
Agent Macros

Team:

$19/mo per agent when billed annually
or
$25/mo when billed month-to-month

Main features include:

All Essential features
Branded Help Center
Customer portal
Public Apps Marketplace

Professional:

$49/mo per agent when billed annually
or
$59/mo when billed month-to-month

All Team features
Multilingual content
Insights analytics
Custom private apps

Enterprise:

$99/mo per agent when billed annually
or
$125/mo when billed month-to-month

All Professional features
Custom agent roles
Multibrand support
Multiple schedules
Hourly Insights analytics

The 30-day free trial starts with the Professional plan. No credit card required, and there are no cancellation fees. If no payment method is added at the end of the trial period, the account is deleted 90 days after the trial expiration date.

Zendesk is a bit more pricey but for annual billing you'll get a 15% discount.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk's design looks a bit dated but the interface is quite simple.

Your portal can be customized to reflect your brand. You can put up your logo and favicon and paint your self service portal in your brand colors.

Zendesk

Since August 2016 a new version of the agent/admin interface of Zendesk is available, with a more clean and modern design. You may choose from a selection of templates that will match your brand, or start creating your design from scratch.

Zendesk will allow for more customization than Freshdesk.

Features icon

Features (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk lets you create a knowledgebase section for your users, this is one of the most important features of a help desk software.

Some of the most important features are: Help desk Ticketing, Multi-Channel Customer Support, Time Tracking, Built in Knowledge Base, Help desk Automation, Integrated Forums, Multi-product Customer, Support, Reports & Insights, Integrated Game Mechanics, Mobile Friendly App, but for the full list of features available you should check out the Freshdesk homepage.

 

 

Zendesk

The Help Center is designed to give you a complete self-service support option (knowledge base). Users can use the information you are providing or turn to a community forum for answers.  Your Agents can also use the Help Center to help solve tickets. You can deliver all the content in multiple languages.

Top features include: Unlimited email addresses, Twitter and Facebook channels, Knowledge base, Branded Help Center, Public Apps Marketplace, Multilingual content, Business hours & SLAs, Insights analytics, Multibrand support, Auditing & admin controls.

 

 

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Once you login as an agent and setup your account you'll find the following tabs:

Dashboard: by default you will be shown the standings for the current month and for all agents.

Tickets: once you have configured your mailbox, all your email are converted to tickets and you can view them under the tickets tab. Here you'll also find tickets from other channels like Facebook, Twitter, or phone.

Social: here you can reply to your brand mentions from your social media accounts.

Solutions: here you can create and edit your articles for your knowledge base.

Forums: here you can setup community forums for you customers to talk about your product/brand.

Whenever a ticket is created, the requester is automatically added as a contact in your helpdesk. You can see these contacts in the Customers tab.

Reports: here you'll find an overview of all the important metrics.

Admin: under the admin tab you can add or remove agents, configure support channels and configure automation tasks.

Zendesk

Zendesk will give you the option to transform your interface to match your brand. With familiar customization tools, you can easily tailor the look and the feel.

There are five menu items on the left side of the screen:

First, a Home button gives you access to your dashboard, where you'll find a snapshot of your current configuration. On the Views section you'll find your unsolved tickets.

Next is the Reporting section, where you will get detailed snapshots of ticketing, agents, customers, self-service, and more. Last button on the bottom left corner will take you to your settings where you'll find all the fine-grained controls for your account.

The last button in the bottom left of the screen is a link to the Admin home page, here you'll find the tools you need to configure Zendesk.

Two more menu items can be found on the top right corner:

First (next to the search box) is a menu item that lets you select between the Support section and the Help Center. Next, if you click on your avatar you can access all your Profile Settings.

Team size icon

Team size (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Because of its flexible pricing Freshdesk is suitable for both small and large businesses. For up to 3 agents it’s completely free if you’re only interested in email support and creating a knowledgebase. On the higher end there are more advanced features available for larger business and teams. Without a doubt it is the most affordable help desk software from our list, especially on the lower end.

Zendesk

Without a doubt Zendesk is the most popular help desk sofware out there, this doesn’t mean that there is no competition. Using Zendesk if you have a small team would work fine, even tough . Zendesk will best suit you if you are planning to expand or you already own a large company that will require advanced features like advanced analytics and reporting, segmentation or retargeting.

Reports icon

Reports (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk has a strong reports section which gives you an overview of all the important metrics. You can export your data to a CSV whenever you want to create custom reports, free of cost. You also have access to a range of filters that make it easier for you to decide which parameters to export.

Zendesk

Zendesk Reports are available for all plans and provide metrics such as daily ticket activity, service level agreement compliance, average resolution time, customer satisfaction, agent performance, ticket resolution time, and efficiency.

Insights provides advanced reporting and metrics but is available only for the Professional and Enterprise plans.

Flexibility icon

Flexibility (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

Freshdesk also offers a builtin chat option (paid separately) and a mobile app (iOS and Android) that allows you to reply to tickets, add notes and perform bulk actions on tickets while on the go. A mobile-ready web-based version is also available that can be used to access your help desk from any device.

You can even add a support app to your Facebook page from where your customers can raise support tickets.

Zendesk

Zendesk offers a built-in chat option and phone support software (both paid separately), a mobile app (both for iOS and Android), integrated apps so that you can offer fully scalable customer support. The Help center gives you a lot of flexibility.

If you're planning on expanding your support team, Zendesk will give you more flexibility.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

There are around 100 integrations available for Freshdesk, including apps like Zappier, Twitter, Shopify, Salesforce and Gmail. If your favorite service doesn't have an app yet you can create your own using the new Freshdesk SDK.

Zendesk

Zendesk offers more than 350 integrations available, called apps.  The apps are found in the Apps Marketplace. Some of the most popular being: SalesForce, ZenCart, Magento, JIRA, TeamViewer, Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, PlanBox, MailChimp and 8X8. If you wish to create your own custom app, you can take advantage of Zendesk's API.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

Freshdesk

A discussion forum and a huge knowledge base are available where you can explore ho-to's and help you getting started with Freshdesk.

In case you need to contact their support team you can open a support ticket via email or a web form. Telephone numbers are available from Monday to Friday for 4 different time zones.

They also offer a cool support glossary where you'll find the definitions of every term you need to know in a help desk.

Zendesk

Zendesk has a dedicated support section where you can access the knwoledge base, getting started tutorials and the community forum.
If you can't find here the answers you need, or you just need to get in touch with them about pricing or billing, then you have all the options available: contact form, phone support (with separate phone numbers for different countries and time zones) and social media (if you're looking for a quick answer).