Freshdesk pricing explained (+ alternative for SMBs)
The cloud-based helpdesk software Freshdesk was founded in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham, as an alternative to Zendesk. Mathrubootham thought Zendesk was too convoluted and tried to right their wrongs (even going as far as searching Twitter for Zendesk complaints and pitching Freshdesk to these customers). To this day they operate by a simple mantra: “to make it easy for businesses to delight their employees and customers”.
But does this mantra of ease and delight apply to their pricing plans as well?
Let’s find out! We’ll look into Freshdesk’s pricing plans, and what’s included and what isn’t, to see if it fits your business. Or if your business would be better off with an alternative.
What features does Freshdesk offer?
Freshdesk can be used as a support desk, contact center, omnichannel suite and customer success platform. Sounds like a lot right? You can download an extensive list of all features, big and small. We won’t go into all subfeatures right now, but we’ll cover the basics instead.
The Freshdesk features:
Freshdesk focused on building first and foremost a ticketing system (like Zendesk). Where teams can use the ticketing tool to manage all customer queries via one central channel within the inbox.
Collaboration is a broad term. But what Freshdesk means is that they offer certain features that will improve teamwork. For instance, colleagues can loop teammates in on tickets by @tagging. It’s also possible to share ownership of tickets between teams, while everyone can track progress. And teams can prioritise conversations by creating parent and child tickets.
Freshdesk offers AI-powered automation to help clean up workflows. Their automation can scan through tickets and perform actions based on customers’ info. So tickets can be automatically prioritised or assigned to another team.
There is also automatic ticket assignment from the inbox view. Where tickets are pushed towards agents based on skill and workload balancing. And by the ticket monitor, all tickets are scanned hourly to see if your team needs to act on them.
- Help widget
Freshdesk offers a customisable widget that you can embed on your website. It enables customers to ask questions, while it can also proactively reach out and offer help.
- Reporting & analytics
It’s possible to monitor productivity, workload, service efficiency, and resolve times. While also measuring customer satisfaction. And all data is presented in one dashboard.
Freshdesk is a secure platform that offers an SSO login access system, default SSL certificates, your own support domain, and custom SSL. It’s also possible to whitelist certain network addresses and restrict all other access. They are also HIPAA and GDPR-compliant.
The platform supports various integrations including WhatsApp, Mailchimp, Shopify, Lightspeed and so on. They connect all integrations to their platform via their API called Freshdesk Neo.
The different Freshdesk pricing plans can be overwhelming
Between Freshworks (the parent company), Freshdesk and all the product labels Freshsales, Freshmarketer, Freshchat and Freshservice where do you start?
Unfortunately landing on the pricing page doesn’t clear up confusion straight away. Because Freshdesk offers per label various pricing options to choose from. From Freshdesk to Freshmarketer (there are 5 types of platforms), and for the Freshdesk platform itself different plans per product (4 extra). So yes, getting a comprehensive overview of the price can be a bit overwhelming.
But when we focus on the label Freshdesk then ultimately the pricing plan drills down to two options: the Support Desk pricing plan and the Omnichannel pricing plan. Let’s dive into the details of both.
Freshdesk Support Desk pricing plan
The Support Desk pricing plan starts for free and ends up at €95 per agent per month (annually €79).
Combing through the entire feature list, we immediately gather that the free account doesn’t offer a lot. Except for single-sign-on, help center, basic ticketing and collaboration features. The free plan is for teams of up to 10 users.
The Growth and Pro plan offers a lot more. But still, you won’t have use of advanced ticket scope, AI automation such as skill-based ticket assignment, agent shifts and none of the AI customer service features such as the email bot and assist bot. The Audit log and sandbox are also not included in these plans.
💡 So if the clever AI features is what made you check out Freshdesk, know that you’d have to pick the Enterprise package to make use of those.
The Freshdesk Omnichannel pricing plan
The prices for the Omnichannel plan are a bit higher. Ranging from €29 for Growth, €59 for Pro and €99 for Enterprise per agent and per month.
Again, the list of features is big (even bigger than the Support Desk feature list). And what we see is that both the Growth and Pro plans lack:
- Abandoned call metrics
- Service level monitoring
- Approval workflow (AI)
- Flexible hierarchy (categorisation of your knowledge base/help center) (AI)
- Skill-based ticketing and agent shifts (AI)
- More than half of all bots and AI features (AI)
- Audit log, sandbox and advanced ticket scope
- Security features such as IP range restriction, allowed domains, user authentication
The features that Freshdesk advertises, namely the AI features that are listed on the automation feature page or the collaboration features such as skill-based ticketing distribution, are only included in the Enterprise plan. This even goes for the widget (no bots), security (no IP restriction) and analytics (no abandoned call metrics) features too.
The WhatsApp pricing plan lacks useful features
When looking at the omnichannel plans, we see that WhatsApp is included in all plans. This is great as it’s the most popular messaging channel among customers right now. And it will bring big value to your multichannel approach.
However, although the Growth includes WhatsApp this plan lacks important features such as chatbots and CSAT surveys. Features you definitely want to use when just starting engagement or processing a high volume of WhatsApp conversations. Especially chatbots can be very useful. Because they open up the way to continue conversations via WhatsApp without requiring time and effort from your team.
So it’s not ideal that the Growth plan doesn’t include a great combination of features for businesses to make the most of their WhatsApp Business API connection.
Enterprise or SMB prices?
Freshdesk talks about making it easier for businesses to engage with customers. But what is the type of business that Freshdesk wants to help out with?
On Capterra and G2 reviewers are very satisfied with Freshdesk’s ease of use and support. But what we also see is that when it comes to Freshdesk pricing plans reviews show that the costs are not always suited for all types of business.
One reviewer notes that companies with large customer bases might not benefit from Freshdesk pricing:
While another customer flags Freshdesk pricing for SMBs:
So what does that mean for your business?
H2: Why you could choose Trengo over Freshdesk
Let’s have a look at an alternative, to see whether Freshdesk is the best option or if your business could benefit from implementing another platform.
Although Trengo doesn’t list quite as many features as Freshdesk does, they do offer an easy-to-use platform that includes core problem-solving features. The Trengo inbox allows for all engagement to come together in one overview. One inbox, including all channels and integrations from where teams collaborate supported by automation.
Want to get more info on what this platform can do? Why not demo the inbox here?
💡 Where Freshdesk mentions tickets, Trengo opts for the terms conversations instead. Because they believe tickets don’t help people find answers, conversations do.
They offer three pricing plans: Grow €20, Scale €33 and Enterprise €45 per user/per month.
With the focus on using WhatsApp Business (it’s definitely the channel you need right now) and the features you want with that (think of the chatbots), the Trengo Scale plan compares best to Freshdesk’s Pro plan. They do differ quite a lot in price as Trengo’s Scale plan is €33 a month and the Pro plan from Freshdesk €119 (when billed monthly).
Pros and cons of both platforms
In favour of Freshdesk:
- Big legacy: Freshdesk is a huge brand with a big industry legacy. Created as an alternative to Zendesk they have the right idea in wanting to focus on the customer. And not about offering every feature under the sun.
- A big number of features: the list of features that Freshdesk offers is extensive (there are even reviews on G2 saying a search bar is needed to find features because it’s so stacked). But all features are clearly developed with a purpose. Especially their clever AI features are impressive. But, in order to make use of these great features you do have to pick the Pro plan.
Freshdesk has a fit with Enterprise customers. Because choosing the most expensive Enterprise plan will give businesses all the features they need. While the Growth and Pro plan offers significantly less valuable combinations of features. SMBs seem to be less welcome here.
In favour of Trengo:
- Affordable and straightforward pricing plans: With fewer brand labels and fewer pricing variations you can quickly find out what you need. Freshdesk’s pricing plan can be overwhelming, while Trengo’s plans are transparent in costs even with a bigger number of users.
- Useful combinations of features: Although less features than Freshdesk the combination of features offered by Trengo are carefully thought out. Maximising WhatsApp Business does include the use of chatbots. Whether you’re an Enterprise or SMB. That’s why the Scale and Enterprise plans include both.
- WhatsApp experts: Trengo offers integrations and extensive features for WhatsApp because it’s the most popular messaging channel worldwide. Businesses can greatly benefit from using it to its full potential.
- Native integrations: Trengo offers native integrations with Instagram, Google’s Business Messages and Telegram.
Trengo is a customer engagement platform created to support SMBs in providing seamless omnichannel experiences. Because by offering value (useful feature packages) for money businesses have all they need without breaking the bank.
Choose an engagement platform where even the price doesn’t disappoint
Freshdesk CEO Girish Mathrubootham built Freshdesk as an alternative to Zendesk. With the mantra of making it easy for businesses to delight. Stating that:
“We were surprised to see that a lot of what customers wanted were their core problems solved and not some fancy features.”
Mathrubootham succeeded in creating a platform with great features (AI-powered automation we see you!). It’s just the Freshdesk pricing that didn’t get the memo. The plans are overwhelming, not easy and don’t offer useful packages of features unless you pay for the most expensive plan. And where’s the delight in that?