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Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: A comparison for 2024

A Nucleus study found that users favor Zendesk vs. Freshdesk for its ease of use, scalability, advanced analytics, and attentive support. Compare Zendesk and Freshdesk across these capabilities and more.

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: How to choose

Last updated May 16, 2024

In today's competitive business landscape, companies are under tremendous pressure to offer more value to their customers faster while keeping costs low. Unlike Freshdesk, Zendesk empowers support teams with an intuitive interface, resulting in quick, real-time responses to meet customer and business needs. Our advanced AI tools are pre-trained and purpose-built for the customer experience (CX), so you don't need to do the heavy lifting, enabling you to accomplish more at a lower operational cost.

While Freshworks offers multiple products across various areas, Zendesk exclusively focuses on the customer experience. CX best practices are embedded in our solutions to guide effective strategies and maximize your overall value. Our commitment to your success and product scalability means a seamless transition as your operations and customer base expand, lowering your total cost of ownership.

According to a Nucleus study, users making the transition from Freshworks to Zendesk experienced benefits including a:

  • 42% decrease in time to first response
  • 27% decrease in average handle time
  • 15% increase in admin productivity
  • 5% increase in CSAT scores

Whether you’re choosing a customer service solution for the first time or ready to progress beyond Freshdesk's capabilities, Zendesk has the tools and industry-leading expertise to help you master the customer experience while keeping costs low.

A man shines his flashlight on five reasons why companies choose Zendesk over Freshdesk.

More in this guide:

At-a-glance comparison: Zendesk vs. Freshdesk

Use this overview of Zendesk and Freshdesk to get a quick peek at each customer service software’s functionality.

What you need to deliver the best CX
Ease of use
Disjointed experience
Real-time speed
Slow at scale
CX expertise
Broad focus
Lack of support
Low total cost of ownership
May entail higher costs as you scale
Team productivityIntelligent WFM and QA solutionsLacks native intelligent WFM and QA solutions
AI built for CX
May require manual training

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Features and capabilities comparison

Let’s dive into the features of Freshdesk vs. Zendesk to see how each provider approaches customer service.

Intuitive design

Optimize agent performance and unlock massive productivity by cutting out the clutter. Zendesk is thoughtfully designed for CX teams, providing an intuitive Agent Workspace that centralizes all support channels and integrates with your entire tech stack. This saves agents from needing to toggle between different interfaces and arms them with complete customer context to provide personalized experiences. Meanwhile, you can customize workflows to fit your unique needs perfectly.

On the other hand, Freshdesk offers different interfaces for each channel, such as chat, phone, and ticketing. As a result, the user experience may be unintuitive. It can be confusing when doing more complicated tasks, which is one of the reasons why Wyze, a smart home technology company, switched from Freshdesk to Zendesk. Agents needed multiple browser tabs open but couldn’t see the ticket numbers, and they had to refresh the page constantly to see updates.

A screenshot displays the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

Learn more about the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

Real-time speed

A screenshot displays Zendesk workforce management software.

Take action with real-time reporting insights.

Zendesk is the only CX software that offers everything businesses need to meet and stay ahead of increasing customer expectations. From AI-powered bots to performance data and workforce management metrics, Zendesk equips teams with the tools they need to move at the speed of their business and customers.

In contrast, Freshdesk offers basic analytics functionalities, which can limit your ability to satisfy customer needs and implement changes at the speed the business requires. For example, it doesn’t offer native intelligent WFM or QA solutions to address resource management or conversation quality. This leaves leaders with manual, time-consuming tasks and customers with inconsistent experiences.

CX expertise

With customer expectations constantly evolving, businesses need a provider with specialized CX expertise to ensure they’re adopting best practices so they can increase customer satisfaction, retention, and, ultimately, profitability. Zendesk exclusively focuses on customer service, empowering more than 160,000 businesses to deliver great CX at scale and earning the number one spot for best customer service product from G2. We treat our customers as partners and give them the tools and support they need to succeed, providing ongoing training and a team of experts to help you realize the full ROI of your investment.

Freshworks has a broad product portfolio, so you may not get the same specialized expertise as you do with Zendesk. Users who switched from Freshworks to Zendesk, as reported by Nucleus, consistently praise Zendesk’s detailed and attentive support.

A ribbon displays the #1 customer service product award Zendesk received from G2 in 2023.

Discover how Zendesk CX experts support businesses.


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Choose from over 1,500 pre-built apps and integrations in the Zendesk Marketplace.

With support teams needing to do more with less, their software should promote growth, not stifle it. Zendesk can support businesses of all industries and sizes, from startups to enterprises, and offers the flexibility to absorb new teams, divisions, and global bases. Our solution provides everything a service team needs—including tools to personalize conversations, omnichannel case management, AI-powered workflows, advanced reporting, and robust integrations—all housed under one roof.

Freshdesk may be suitable for basic ticketing use cases. However, companies might outgrow Freshdesk due to its disconnected agent interface, reporting limitations, and unreliable integrations. This may result in switching costs that drive up your total cost of ownership.

AI built for CX

As more businesses adopt AI to guide their decision-making, it will be critical for the data model to align with business operations. CX is no exception, and AI models that are purpose-built for CX lead to better results at scale. Unlike other solutions,Zendesk AI is tailor-made for CX and pre-trained on the world’s largest CX-specific database. That means greater accuracy, faster and easier setup, and more cost savings. Businesses get robust AI capabilities—agent assistance, generative AI, intelligent workflows, and AI agents—ready to go from day one, with little to no technical expertise required.

Freshdesk offers AI features that are generally easy to implement. However, its AI features aren't uniform across its products and require manual training, which makes the solution less scalable.

Learn more about the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

Find out how Zendesk AI can save you time and money.

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: Which one gets you a better ROI?

A man rides a bicycle beside some key Zendesk customer stats, like a 286 percent average ROI, and a $20 million net present value over three years.

Keeping costs down is a priority for every business, so it's crucial to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) for any technology solution, not just the license price. Freshdesk has limited scalability, which adds costs for growing businesses and reduces their overall return on investment.

Conversely, Zendesk makes budgeting simple and predictable with transparent licensing and implementation fees. This frees you up to focus on what matters most—helping your customers. On average, customers receive payback in only two months, according to the Total Economic Impact study by Forrester Consulting. All of these factors contribute to an exceptional return on investment.

What customers are saying about using Zendesk vs. Freshdesk

Don’t just take our word for it: Hear from brands that made the switch.


A woman reads on her phone about how Thinkific agents resolved 2.5 more tickets per day after switching to Zendesk.

“The daily challenges related to using [Freshdesk’s] new UI made it very clear that we needed to prioritize exploring other platforms … [Freshdesk] apps didn’t really work as expected, and the product team couldn’t get the support it needed to troubleshoot them.”

—Katerina Graham, project manager at Thinkific


A woman wearing a headset sits cross-legged while hearing about how Zendesk helped Showpo reach 50 percent year-over-year growth.

“When we were on Freshdesk, an agent would have eight, nine, 10 different tabs open—DHL, Australia Post, Magento, all these different tabs.”

—Paul Waddy, head of operations at Showpo


A woman leaning against a large green ball.

“The way we could just create flows and automations was so much easier than it would have been through Freshdesk … I wanted to get the system up and running quickly, and Zendesk was the better tool for being able to make changes at speed. We completed the migration, including setting up automations, triggers, macros, multiple views, and adding content to the help center in about three weeks.”

—Fabrice Dowling, global head of customer care at HeliosX


A man runs beside a statistic about how moving to Zendesk helped Wyze agents answer 98 percent of their calls.

“For a company that really strives to have a high response rate within minutes, not being able to see customer replies quickly was always a struggle using Freshdesk.”

—Chuck Courtney, support manager at Wyze

Zendesk was voted the number one software product, customer service product, and mid-market product by G2 in 2023.

Frequently asked questions

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Join the leading brands that chose Zendesk over Freshdesk. Our scalability, intuitive design, and CX expertise can make your dollar go further so you can provide the best experiences to your customers. See for yourself and sign up for a free trial.

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