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Zendesk vs Freshdesk

What is the best customer service software for your business?



Choosing the right customer service management software is critical for your customers and your agents. This page compares two widely used systems head-to-head, Zendesk and Freshdesk, to help aid in your assessment of possible customer service management solutions. Each of these platforms offer a variety of features and benefits -- some of which are shared and some unique -- to help your team most effectively serve your customers.

What is Zendesk?

Founded in 2007, Zendesk is one of the oldest customer service management software on the market. Zendesk is a great solution for phone-centric support teams that need robust calling capabilities and a highly configurable solution. Zendesk offers a range of solutions including robust ticketing automation, self-service solutions, and custom configurations.

What is Freshdesk?

Freshdesk offers an affordable and scalable customer service management solution focused on optimizing for cost. In fact, Freshdesk was founded in 2010 partly in response to rising Zendesk prices, making it a lower cost Zendesk alternative. Freshdesk is also good for collaboration on tickets between departments.

  • Zendesk has only just started to expand into Sales and CRM features. Zendesk Sunshine - the Zendesk CRM platform - is a new offering first announced in late 2018. Their offerings outside of customer service and support are improving, but some buyers may lack confidence in this relatively unproven technology. Most buyers are expected to maintain a 3rd party CRM alongside Zendesk. 

    Freshdesk is part of the Freshworks family of solutions and can easily integrate with Freshcaller, Freshchat, Freshsales, Freshmarketer, and Freshdesk CRM. When using multiple of this family of products, you will benefit from a unified dashboard. However, customization options are limited across all solutions and the robustness of each solution varies relative to leaders in their space.

  • Zendesk allows for robust customization to fit your business’s data needs. Zendesk Explore, their analytics product, provides access to omnichannel analytics to measure customer engagement across channels. Additional Zendesk dashboards allow service leaders to easily view, analyze, and optimize team performance and throughput.  Zendesk also offers additional alignment functionality through their Collaboration add-on which provides the ability to share with team members across departments. If advanced functionality is needed, Zendesk is a strong Freshdesk alternative.

    Freshdesk is known as a relatively easy and intuitive to use tool. However as more robust use cases emerge certain features are less intuitive. Likewise, bugs and other usability issues have been mentioned in customer reviews. Customization is expected to be less common and therefore more difficult for Freshdesk users.

  • Zendesk offers four paid pricing tiers to help prospects find the solution best fit for their business (Essential, Team, Professional, Enterprise). One important note across all Zendesk plans is that customers will need to pay for every user - regardless of their level of access. However, Zendesk does not rely on paid add-ons to fill out their product with one notable exception: Zendesk Collaboration. This add-on requires a paid subscription to provide Zendesk access to limited-access users. 

    Freshdesk offers an economical solution with four paid pricing tiers for businesses with varying sizes and needs (Blossom, Garden, Estate, Forest). Freshdesk is focused on leaner and more compact solutions that may or may not be optimized for scaling - but do present favorably to a smaller and leaner customer base. However, given that a change in Zendesk pricing gave rise to this competitor, it is expected that the Freshdesk pricing plans tend to be more cost effective and value-driven than that of Zendesk.

  • The Zendesk Marketplace offers a somewhat robust directory of compatible apps,  with 1000+ Zendesk integrations spanning 15+ categories. Users can easily sort, filter, and search to find and connect their most utilized apps. 

    Freshdesk has a more modest integrations directory that offers 500+ apps spanning 15+ categories. Similarly to Zendesk, Freshdesk’s app marketplace allows users to sort, filter, and search to discover integrations important to their business.

  • Self-service functionality is a key component of Zendesk offerings. Zendesk provides these options, called Guide Lite, within its support plans which can be enhanced with a sliding scale of add-on Guide purchases. These Guide add-ons include powerful features and how-to’s on customization of service, permissioning for customer service management teams, reporting and analytics, customer portal setup and maintenance, and multilingual content. 

    Freshdesk helps you create a seamless self-service experience as a standard part of their product offering. The two primary mechanisms for this are their Knowledge Base and Forums, both of which allow customers to easily self-service.

  • Both products are popular across a wide range of businesses, but Zendesk is favored by larger enterprises. Freshdesk is touted as the simpler, less expensive choice but Zendesk challenges prospective buyers to consider the total cost of ownership - and not just licensing costs (Freshdesk is generally much cheaper than Zendesk in this area). Freshdesk may be used on its own or alongside Freshworks’ other products, while Zendesk is just getting started with tools for sales teams and lacks a marketing product. Zendesk customers enjoy customization, extensibility, and a large community of users. Customers choose Freshdesk for usability (for both agents and admins), low price, and team collaboration. 

  • Zendesk does not offer a free plan. Freshdesk offers the Sprout plan for free, with unlimited agents. 

  • It depends on who you ask. According to G2, Zendesk is the top ranked Help Desk solution while Freshdesk is a close 3rd place. Gartner lists Zendesk as a leader (among several others) in its Magic Quadrant, while Freshdesk was the lone visionary. SoftwareReviews recognized HubSpot as a gold star medalist in their 2021 report. 

    Ultimately, it depends on which product is the best fit for your team.

  • The monthly cost per user for Zendesk’s Support Suite ranges from $49 - $215 (source), while Freshdesk’s paid plans start at $15 and reach as high as $99 per user per month (source). Freshdesk also offers a free plan. While both products include a similar set of standard features, each company claims higher value and ROI that offsets any additional costs.  

Service Hub Overview

A suite of customer service tools to help you facilitate more personal relationships with your customers.

Knowledge Base

Give your customers the opportunity to self-service with our knowledge base. A well developed knowledge base allows your team to prioritize the most difficult customer challenges while giving your customers the basics to resolve their smaller issues.

Ticketing System and Help Desk

When making help desk software comparisons, the all-on-one benefits of HubSpot stand out. Our help desk and ticketing system keeps your team organized and makes prioritizing work a seamless process so you can resolve your customer’s issues faster while maintaining a personal connection to them.

Live Chat Software

Live chat with Service Hub lets you to directly connect with the real people that visit your website - so you can make a human connection in real time, convert those conversations into leads, and make more customers, while also providing superior service to your existing ones.

Feedback Software

Run customer feedback tools like NPS, CSAT, CES, and custom surveys to gather feedback that can be used to build deeper connections with your customers.

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    An All-On-One CRM Platform for a Better Customer Experience

    Service Hub is built upon our CRM platform and provides a 360-degree view of your customers across Marketing, Sales, and Service - plus any favorite third party apps in our app marketplace, which boasts 500+ integrations. This allows you to have a unified view of your customers across all engagement channels, allowing agents to quickly understand a customers’ experience with your brand, providing critical context for every service request.

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    A Uniquely Human Approach

    Service Hub is focused on enabling personal touch, not eliminating it. Whether that be to allow customers to self-service through your knowledge base or by engaging directly with an agent via help desk, Service Hub is focused on bringing the customer experience to the forefront of every service interaction. With tools like NPS, CSAT, and customer feedback surveys, Service Hub customers can ensure two-way feedback with their customers, constantly evolving offerings as they grow.

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    Grow Your Business Without Growing Pains

    Service Hub provides all the power of a large enterprise organization when you’re small plus all the personal touch of a small organization when you’re big. Our CRM platform is designed to help customers grow better, and as part of that, Service Hub is designed by default for growing companies. Service Hub enables you to drive efficiencies with ticket automation to deliver a personal touch faster - and in the right context. You can also coach and grow your team with tools to enable consistent service across channels and agents.

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    Customer Outreach and Engagement That Doesn't Come at a Premium

    Service Hub offers a more complete outreach and engagement package than Zendesk with full chat, calling, and email functionality built in - versus paid functionality with Zendesk Support. Zendesk has advanced customization and scalability of outreach as long as customers are willing to pay for it. For companies looking to purchase an all-on-one solution, Service Hub provides a well-packaged solution with robust customer outreach and engagement options that come standard in every package.

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    A Unified View of Customer Data That Enables Growth

    HubSpot unifies your customer data across applications for marketing, sales, and service. Zendesk has only just started to expand into Sales and foundational CRM features - meaning most Zendesk users will prefer to maintain a 3rd party CRM, fracturing their view of customers. Customers desiring strong stability, predictability, and robustness in their platform may prefer HubSpot. Service Hub includes more features in the core package, requiring fewer add-ons to implement for similar use cases.

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    Better Support for Service-led Organizations

    Service Hub offers better training resources on all aspects of the product relative to Zendesk, as well as higher-level concepts and techniques. All customers receive outstanding support, not just Enterprise customers or strategic accounts. Service Hub is also easier to learn and more intuitive to optimize, which could reduce reliance on support. Both HubSpot and Zendesk have solid customer success programs, with G2 reviewers rating Service Hub 8.7/10 in Quality of Support and Zendesk at 8.3/10.

Service Hub is the Leader in Customer Service

SoftwareReviews recognized Service Hub as a leader and gold medalist in their 2022 Customer Service Management Report, based on the input from HubSpot users.

CSM 2022 Data Quadrant Image

"The customer experience is everything"

Don't just take our word for it. See how Unific used Service Hub to improve support NPS by 50% and reduce ticket volume by 66%.

Read the full case study

What are customers saying?

Service Hub is consistently praised by HubSpot users on review sites like G2.com and SoftwareReviews.com

HubSpot has made great improvements to their new service hub recently that makes my job easier like their knowledge base and NPS/CSAT surveys. Hubspot has allowed our CSM team to mostly use one platform for our different processes. I love that in the service hub we can administer surveys. We had previously outlined in our customer journey map that we wanted to have transactional surveys for our customers, but didn't have a way to launch them. I love that HubSpot now has the ability to send NPS, CES, and CSAT surveys. We used a different platform previously for our NPS. So it is nice to be able to have all of our customer surveys in one place.

Jessica Imbler

Customer Success Manager

Home Care Pulse

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