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Freshdesk review

Built so you won’t need help to use it

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(Image: © Freshdesk)

Our Verdict

A powerful but highly approachable solution that any business can have up and running very quickly. Like many helpdesk solutions, how well it works out for you will hinge on the time and resources you invest in it. As it requires a commitment to get the best out of it.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Fine-grained control

Against

  • Difficult to create new types of reports
  • Lacking in integrations

Freshdesk offers a ticketing system for businesses to help collect all of their customer conversations into a single place, automate repetitive tasks, and facilitate faster issue resolution by fostering greater collaboration between business units and teams.

In this Freshdesk review, we’ll discuss whether your business could benefit from using it, as we dive into its pricing, features, support, and ease of use.

Freshdesk review

Freshdesk is a helpdesk SAAS solution for improving customer service (Image credit: Freshdesk)

Plans and pricing

Freshdesk’s helpdesk offerings come in five different plans with cute names that range in price from free up to $99/month per agent if billed annually (if billed monthly, the price would be $125). At $15/agent/month, Freshdesk’s entry-level paid plan is similar to what many other providers offer, but its high-end plans are quite a bit more expensive.

Each step up in plan adds extra features to those already included in the previous version. The free version comes with a limited feature set, while the high-end plan boasts more than 30 features including an email bot for automatic replies, a sandbox for testing new features, and skill-based routing.

Freshdesk review

Freshdesk has plans for both home and business use (Image credit: Freshdesk)

There are also Omnichannel solutions that combine Freshdesk with Freshchat and Freshcaller, with prices starting at $79/agent/month and going up to $139/agent/month. All plans come with a 21-day free trial.

Features

The aim of Freshdesk is to help businesses exceed their customers’ expectations, and it comes packed with features for that purpose.

The main one is the ticketing system, which can collect support tickets from multiple channels into a single inbox. Communications that come in via email, phone, chat, social media, WhatsApp, and websites can all be turned into tickets.

These can then be categorized, prioritized, and assigned. This process can happen automatically with the ticket field suggester. You can create custom statuses so you know what stage a ticket is at, and agent collision detection ensures multiple people don’t end up working on the same ticket.

Freshdesk review

Freshdesk’s ticketing system is the core of the service (Image credit: Freshdesk )

Collaboration features mean you can share tickets with other teams and link tickets together. Complex issues can be broken up into smaller child tickets. Automation features increase productivity by automatically assigning tickets based on keywords, or by the current workload or skill level of available agents. Tickets can have actions taken on them that are triggered by certain events or the passing of a certain amount of time.

Freshdesk also includes a number of tools that enable your customers to help themselves, like a chatbot, help widgets, a community forum, and a knowledge base that support agents can add to by converting tickets.

And businesses will be able to improve helpdesk performance and identify problems with reports, dashboards, and customer satisfaction ratings.

Interface and in use

When you create a Freshdesk account, you’ll be given your own subdomain, e.g. your-business.freshdesk.com, and when you sign in you’ll be presented with a dashboard which gives you an overview of all your tickets, to-dos, customer satisfaction rating, and forum comments.

The main sections of the dashboard are reached from the menu icons in the left column and there are separate sections for tickets, contacts and companies, your own knowledge base (which will be empty when you first start), bots, reports, analytics, and settings.

Freshdesk review

The Freshdesk dashboard is your control center for all support requests (Image credit: Freshdesk)

We found the dashboard to be very user-friendly with lots of fine-grained control over all the different types of data on offer. When you first log in, a useful getting started wizard helps you with the most important initial set-up tasks, and then as you visit different sections of the dashboard for the first time and start interacting with it, there are more wizards offering tips and guides on how to use the app.

Support

Freshdesk is all about providing support to customers, so it’s unsurprising that some of the features available to its customers are in use on its own website. There is a knowledge base that includes a library of videos and a community forum and a help widget with suggested articles and a search form. There are also phone numbers to call in the U.S., U.K., India, and Australia, or you can email the support email address.

Freshdesk review

Freshdesk offers many of the same methods of support as its own products (Image credit: Freshdesk)

We had to make use of support immediately after verifying our email because our account URL wasn’t working, and we weren’t that impressed that the first question we were asked was for the account URL, which we’d already entered when creating the ticket. Having said that, the ticket was resolved quickly.

Freshdesk review

Freshdesk promises robust data security and privacy (Image credit: Freshdesk)

Security

Freshdesk promises enterprise-grade security and carries out regular audits of its systems and networks. All Freshdesk accounts come with custom SSL certificates, and businesses have the ability to whitelist IP ranges and restrict login access outside the workplace. If agents need to log in from elsewhere, whitelisted IPs can be linked to VPNs. Single sign-on (SSO) scripts can also be used to authenticate the credentials of users and agents.

The competition

Freshdesk is not only the player in the helpdesk SAAS space, and there are several viable alternatives.

Zoho Desk also has an extensive array of features and comes in four plans ranging in price from free for three agents up to $35/agent/month for unlimited agents. All paid plans come with a 15-day free trial.

LiveAgent also offers four plans and a 14-day free trial. LiveAgent’s free plan has no limit on agents, while paid plans go from $15/agent/month up to $39/agent/month. As with Zoho Desk and Freshdesk, each successive plan level includes all the features from previous levels plus ones specific to that level.

Final verdict

Freshdesk is a very easy-to-use online helpdesk software package with lots of fine-grained control over all aspects of the app. The free plan is great for small businesses to be able to get a good feel for how the app can help them without taking the plunge for a paid plan immediately. But some key features like chatbots and social signals are only available on high-end plans which are more expensive than what a lot of competitors offer.

Freshdesk is also aimed primarily at small- to medium-sized businesses that serve external customers and is not ideally suited to enterprise-level businesses with their own IT departments dealing with internal issues.