top of page

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: The Ultimate Showdown for Best Customer Support Platform

Choosing the right customer support platform is crucial to the success of any business. With a myriad of options available, it can be challenging to pinpoint the one that best caters to your organization’s specific needs. Enter Freshdesk and Zendesk - two leading contenders in the customer support software arena. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll dissect their core features, pricing, customization capabilities, security measures, and more to help you make an informed decision on Freshdesk vs Zendesk.

Key Takeaways

  • This article compares Freshdesk and Zendesk, assessing their core features, pricing plans, customization capabilities and user reviews.

  • Both platforms offer comprehensive ticket management systems with multi-channel support options as well as automation tools to improve customer satisfaction.

  • Real world users praise both for their practicality and intuitive interfaces but report drawbacks such as difficulties with ticket assignment or email deliverability.

Freshdesk vs Zendesk: The Core Features Comparison

The core customer service features significantly shape the overall user experience of any customer support software. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer a suite of features designed to streamline customer support processes, making them formidable competitors in the market. We will examine the key functionalities offered by each platform in the subsequent parts:

  1. Ticket management

  2. Multi-channel support

  3. Automation

  4. Self-service options

Freshdesk, developed by Freshworks, is a customer service software that caters to organizations of all sizes, aiming to provide exceptional support through multiple channels. Zendesk, on the other hand, is a cloud-based customer support software that focuses on enhancing customer relationships with service-oriented solutions. While both platforms boast impressive feature sets, there are distinctions in their offerings, which we will dissect in the subsequent subsections.

Ticket Management

Ticket management is the linchpin of any customer support software. Efficient and user-friendly ticket management systems enable support teams to manage support tickets and customer interactions seamlessly, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction. Freshdesk’s ticketing system is lauded for its efficiency and user-friendliness, making it easier for customer support teams to manage customer interactions. Zendesk’s ticketing features, on the other hand, are some of the most comprehensive in the market, allowing customer support teams to manage, resolve, and collaborate on customer issues effectively.

Both Freshdesk and Zendesk’s ticket management systems support various communication channels, including email, phone, chat, social networks, and phone. Freshdesk, in particular, offers a comprehensive feature set for small to medium-sized businesses in terms of ticket management. Zendesk ups the ante with additional features such as side discussions, custom reports, and automated ticket sharing. These functionalities enable agents to communicate within a ticket with a designated group or discuss a specific topic, as well as provide comprehensive data on ticket resolution times and progression.

Multi-Channel Support

In the current digital era, multi-channel support is indispensable. Customers expect to receive assistance through their preferred communication channels, making it imperative for customer support software to offer a comprehensive customer service solution across all channels. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk excel in providing multi-channel support, covering traditional and digital channels such as:

  • email

  • messaging apps

  • chat

  • bots

  • phone

  • social media

Notably, Freshdesk and Zendesk offer Multibrand Support - a feature designed for larger companies managing distinct brands with varying customer profiles. This functionality provides separate analytics, reports, sales figures, and live chat capabilities for each brand, ensuring a tailored approach to customer support.

In terms of live chat options, Freshdesk boasts Freshchat - a sophisticated application that can be embedded on a website and facilitates the transfer of tickets into chats and vice versa. Zendesk, on the other hand, enables customer service teams to provide comprehensive conversational customer experiences on web, app, and social platforms.


Automation significantly transforms the customer support software landscape. By streamlining routine tasks, automation features enable support agents to focus on providing top-notch support to customers. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer automated capabilities, such as automations, triggers, and intelligent bots, to help support teams work more efficiently.

Freshdesk, in particular, provides support automation capabilities that are both simple and powerful. Some of its features include:

  • Intelligent ticket routing

  • Smart escalation management

  • Prompt notifications

  • Canned responses These features help support agents optimize their operations and offer exceptional support with ease. Moreover, Freshdesk boasts Freddy AI - an enterprise-grade native AI engine that provides efficient response recommendations to facilitate faster resolutions.

Self-Service Options

With the surge in customer inquiries, self-service options have become an important component of every customer support platform. Freshdesk and Zendesk offer comparable self-service options, including knowledge bases and community forums, to empower customers to find answers to their questions independently.

Both platforms enable users to create internal and external knowledge bases.

  • Internal knowledge bases are exclusive to employees

  • External or self-serve knowledge bases are accessible to customers. Freshdesk’s knowledge base features:

  • a simple and intuitive interface

  • easy creation and organization of knowledge articles Zendesk’s Answer Bot:

  • automatically suggests relevant knowledge base articles to users

  • reduces the workload for customer support agents.

Pricing and Plans Face-off

Price frequently determines the choice of the right customer support software. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer a variety of pricing plans to cater to businesses of different sizes and budgets. We will examine the pricing plans of both platforms in this section and assess their affordability and value for businesses of various sizes.

Freshdesk Pricing

Freshdesk provides a range of pricing plans, including (check pricing with vendor directly):

  • $15 per user per month

  • $29 per user per month

  • $49 per user per month

  • $99 per user per month

They also offer a free plan for businesses with limited financial resources. Freshdesk’s paid plans include the Blossom Plan, Garden Plan, and Estate Plan, each offering a unique set of features tailored to different business needs.

For example, the Blossom Plan includes automation, agent collision detection, SLA management, business hours, and social ticketing. The Garden Plan adds time tracking, CSAT surveys, performance reports, and multilingual support. The Estate Plan offers custom roles, portal customization, enterprise reporting, and IP whitelisting. With these plans, Freshdesk ensures that businesses of all sizes can find a plan that fits their specific requirements.

Zendesk Pricing

Zendesk offers three main products: Zendesk Foundational Support Only, Zendesk Sell, and Zendesk Suite. Each of these suites is designed to serve a specific customer support requirement. Zendesk Suite’s pricing starts at $69 per agent per month for the Team subscription and can reach up to $169+ per agent per month. Check pricing with vendor.

The Growth, Professional, and Enterprise plans of the Zendesk Suite offer varying levels of features and customization options. For instance, the Growth plan includes multiple knowledge bases and the ability to set operating hours, while the Professional and Enterprise plans provide personalized customer experiences at scale, skills-based routing, ticket forms, premium support, intelligent triage, advanced bots, and more. These plans cater to a wide range of business sizes and requirements, ensuring that Zendesk remains a competitive option in the market.

Customization and Integration Capabilities

The ability to customize and integrate is a key feature of any customer support software, allowing businesses to adapt the platform to their unique needs and link with other tools for efficient workflows. In this section, we’ll compare the customization and integration capabilities of Freshdesk and Zendesk, including branding, UI customization, and API tools.

Branding and UI Customization

Branding and UI customization play a significant role in creating a cohesive and professional look for your customer support platform. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer a range of customization options, such as logo implementation and altering the interface’s color, while also providing HTML and CSS support.

Freshdesk allows its users to customize many aspects of their account. These include: custom fields, roles, apps, ticket status, workflows, automation ticket assignments, and custom build reports. In contrast, Zendesk offers a wider range of customization features, although they are restricted to certain tier plans. These features are a powerful tool for marketers. They include user & organization fields, grouped views, agent statuses, triggers and automations, roles & permissions, views plus live-agent status drill-in, custom objects, apps & integrations, and custom training & certifications.

API and Integration Tools

API and integration tools are essential for connecting customer support platforms with other tools and software, enhancing overall functionality and efficiency. Some examples of APIs and integration tools provided by Freshdesk and Zendesk are:

  • Freshdesk API

  • Freshdesk App API

  • Freshdesk Marketplace API

  • Zendesk REST APIs

These tools allow for seamless integration with other platforms and tools.

In addition to their API offerings, both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer integrations with popular apps and tools. Freshdesk integrates with over 1000 marketplace apps, while Zendesk Marketplace boasts more than 1,200 apps and pre-built integrations. With these robust integration options, businesses can seamlessly connect their customer support software with their existing tools and workflows.

Security and Compliance Standards

Guaranteeing the security and compliance of your customer support platform is important in safeguarding sensitive customer data and conforming to industry regulations. In this section, we’ll compare the security and compliance standards of Freshdesk and Zendesk, focusing on data security and industry compliance, including GDPR and HIPAA.

Data Security

Data security holds utmost significance in the field of customer support software. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk have implemented data security measures such as SSL encryption, access controls, and monitoring to ensure the security of customer data. Freshdesk employs AES 256-bit encryption for data backups and AWS Key Management Services (KMS) to manage encryption keys, while Zendesk utilizes FIPS-140 certified encryption solutions to safeguard customer data.

In terms of access controls, Freshdesk has implemented a range of measures to manage access controls for data security, including:

  • An in-built authentication module

  • Compliance with ISO 27001 standards and audit as per SOC 2 Type

  • Role-based access control

  • Data encryption with the option to add encrypted fields in forms.

Compliance Standards

Compliance standards are important for customer support software as they ensure conformation to industry regulations and the protection of sensitive customer data. Freshdesk adheres to PCI Compliance, ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type, and HIPAA Compliance, while Zendesk complies with several standards, including SOC2, ISO 27001, ISO 27018, ISO 27701, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and European Data Protection BCR approval.

Freshdesk ensures compliance with GDPR by taking appropriate measures to ensure that personal data is processed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Likewise, Zendesk adheres to GDPR by acting as a data processor for the personal data in their customers’ accounts, handling the data in accordance with GDPR regulations.

In terms of HIPAA, Freshdesk can be configured to be HIPAA compliant, while Zendesk fulfills the HIPAA requirements for a business associate.

Customer Support and Resources

Customer support and resources are key aspects of any customer support software, ensuring that users can fully utilize their product and receive help when required. In this section, we’ll compare the customer support and resources provided by Freshdesk and Zendesk, including customer support services and training resources.

Customer Support Services

Customer support services are the backbone of any customer support platform, ensuring users receive timely assistance and guidance. Both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer support through phone, email, and live chat, and provide an extensive knowledge base to help customers maximize their product usage. Furthermore, customers can integrate existing tools or discover new applications to increase their help desk software’s capabilities. Their customer support team plays a vital role in delivering these services effectively.

Users of Freshdesk and Zendesk have reported varying levels of satisfaction with their respective customer support services. Freshdesk’s customer support is recognized for its responsiveness, with an average response time for tickets and timely replies to customer inquiries.

On the other hand, Zendesk’s customer support is renowned for its responsiveness and timely responses to customer inquiries, ensuring that poor customer service is avoided by prioritizing swift response times to provide assistance in a timely fashion.

Resources and Training

Resources and training materials are important for users to maximize the benefits from their customer support software. Freshdesk provides comprehensive training resources for new users, including access to materials to help them get started and learn how to use the platform effectively. Zendesk offers a range of free training resources for admins and agents, including training videos and access to its online training platform. Additionally, they have on-demand courses that can be accessed at no cost.

By providing comprehensive resources and training materials, both Freshdesk and Zendesk ensure that users can continually improve their customer support skills and make the most of the platform’s features. Investing in the right customer support software is essential for businesses to provide exceptional support and foster long-lasting customer relationships with the help of a dedicated support team.

Real-world User Reviews and Feedback

User reviews and feedback can offer valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of Freshdesk and Zendesk, aiding potential users in making a decision when choosing the appropriate desk software for managing their customer support software, customer conversations, addressing customer queries, and handling customer requests.

In this section, we’ll compare user reviews and feedback for Freshdesk and Zendesk, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses as reported by actual users.

Freshdesk User Reviews

Freshdesk user reviews generally highlight the platform’s strengths and areas for improvement. Users have praised Freshdesk for its outstanding help desk platform for small organizations, remarkable tools and advanced features, and being a user-friendly customer support platform.

On the flip side, some users have reported difficulties with ticket assignment, an absence of response to unfavorable reviews, and sporadic service interruptions. Despite these drawbacks, Freshdesk has earned positive user satisfaction ratings on popular review sites, such as an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on 2,727 reviews on G2, and an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 based on 3,216 user reviews on Capterra.

Zendesk User Reviews

Zendesk user reviews highlight the following strengths of the platform:

  • Practicality

  • Intuitive interface

  • Efficient live chat features

  • “Service-first” approach

  • Comprehensive multi-channel support

Users have praised Zendesk for these features and its overall performance.

However, some users have reported issues with Zendesk, including:

  • Email deliverability problems

  • Common email channel problems

  • Talk (call) issues

  • Difficulty in starting a knowledge base

  • Concerns about cost and complexity

Despite these challenges, Zendesk remains a powerful CRM software provider, offering solutions suitable for businesses of all sizes.


In conclusion, both Freshdesk and Zendesk offer robust customer support platforms with a range of features and pricing plans to cater to businesses of all sizes. While Freshdesk excels in providing a user-friendly interface and powerful automation capabilities, Zendesk stands out with its comprehensive multi-channel support and practical approach to customer service. Ultimately, the choice between Freshdesk and Zendesk will depend on your specific business needs and priorities. By carefully weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, you can make an informed decision and choose the right customer support software to foster lasting customer relationships and drive success.


Bring in your own team of dedicated CX experts to enhance your customer experience and reduce your long-term costs. Schedule office hours here to see if we can lend a hand.


Commenting has been turned off.
Ty Givens 2023-8.jpg
I'm Ty

Hi, Ty Givens, the founder of CX Collective (The Workforce Pro). With over two decades of experience in my professional tool belt, I decided to use my knowledge and expertise to create a unique platform for CX innovation. Our blog is full of vibrant ideas, smart advice and real-life experiences  - all aimed at helping people create optimal customer experiences. If you have an interest in streamlining operations and increasing efficiency, you've come to the right place!

bottom of page