Article | 5 min read

Three hidden costs of Freshdesk: Why low licence fees can be deceptive

By Omead Kavishi, Product Marketing Manager

Last updated July 14, 2021

When choosing a customer service solution, there are many factors to consider, and let’s face it, cost is high among them. Freshdesk says that you’re saving money on their low licence costs, which is a part of the total cost of ownership, but there are big trade-offs to consider. Here are the top three things that you should think about.

1. Freshdesk’s spotty reliability can tarnish your brand

Your customers and your support teams depend on your software to work for them. So when it’s not reliable, it can cost you time and money. Dropped chats and calls lead to frustrated customers and agents – and the Freshdesk costs start to add up.According to the Zendesk customer experience trends report, roughly half of customers say that they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. That number snowballs to 80% after more than one. So, failing to meet your customer’s requirements can come at a high cost.

Zendesk is built to be reliable
Our customers, including Airbnb, Slack, Zoom and Shopify, have a wide variety of sophisticated support requirements. Having a reliable solution means that you don’t have to spend valuable time worrying about software issues and dropped calls. Instead of investing resources in solving reliability problems, you can focus on your customers and your business. And this gives you the ability to provide a better customer experience.

Monese had reliability challenges with Freshdesk, a major reason for their switch to Zendesk

The fintech company provides a banking app that makes it easier to settle in a new country. And banking from anywhere requires customer service everywhere. When the company was just starting up, it used Freshdesk to handle voice and email contacts. But it quickly became clear that the company needed to centralise contacts into a single solution. Freshdesk’s spotty voice service, combined with other integration issues, left Monese unsatisfied.

‘We were having some difficulties with the Freshdesk call side,’ explained Lauri Haav, Monese’s Head of Customer Loyalty. ‘We had massive problems with calls being dropped, mixed calls – calls would just mysteriously disappear, never actually reaching the agents. The Freshdesk voice product wasn’t good enough for us.’ – Lauri Haav, Monese’s Head of Customer Loyalty

After switching to Zendesk, Monese saw its CSAT increase by 10 percentage points and its overall response time decrease by 59%.

2. Freshdesk’s agent interface is inefficient and creates poor CX

In Freshdesk, agents have to toggle between multiple browser tabs and applications to access what they need to resolve problems, creating a ‘swivel-chair’ experience.

On top of that, in Freshdesk, agents have to learn three different interfaces for omni-channel service: Freshdesk for email and web submissions, Freshchat for chat and social messaging, and Freshcaller for telephony. All these systems take more time from your team – time that could instead be spent creating the perfect customer experience.

With different customer profiles across Freshdesk, Freshchat and Freshcaller, agents have to hunt for what they need to help customers, leading to confusion and frustration, as well as longer reply and resolution times for customers and agents alike. And when customers aren’t happy with your service, they aren’t likely to carry on doing business with you. That’s a hidden cost that can compound rapidly over time.

Zendesk gives your agents all the tools they need in one seamless interface
With Zendesk, everything is in one place. Instead of having to use multiple tabs and apps, the Zendesk ticketing system gives your agents a unified customer view with ticket fields, macros, sidebar apps and more.We bring it all together in one customer profile, with a history of communications between your company and the customer for the agent, whatever the channel. This gives agents the context they need to personalise each customer’s experience.

And Zendesk cuts down on training time too. Instead of learning multiple systems, Zendesk agents only need to train on one omni-channel interface that’s loaded with one set of customer data and tools. Having the same tools and customer profile, regardless of channel, allows your agents to focus on looking after the customer instead of scrambling for tools and data across various applications. As a result, agents are able to respond faster to customers and resolve problems more quickly, resulting in better CX.

Showpo switched to Zendesk because Freshdesk’s multiple interfaces were frustrating.

The fashion retailer found that achieving and maintaining fast resolution times was difficult with Freshdesk. Showpo struggled to offer timely and effective service with Freshdesk because of its heavily fragmented and disjointed agent experience. Agents often wasted time scrambling for tools and data across a multitude of browser tabs, resulting in longer reply and resolution times, and poor CX.

‘When we were on Freshdesk, an agent would have eight, nine, 10 different tabs open – DHL, Australia Post, Magento, all these different tabs,’ Waddy said. ‘Our goal is to integrate these into Zendesk.’ – Paul Waddy, Head of Operations

After switching to Zendesk, Showpo was able to integrate everything into one unified, omni-channel agent experience, resulting in massive gains in efficiency. For example, Showpo’s agents now answer chats within 26 seconds, four seconds faster than their original KPI.

3. Freshdesk’s one-size-fits-all reporting doesn’t give you the deep insights you need to optimise your business.

More and more, businesses are setting themselves apart with great customer experiences. In order to create a unique and outstanding customer experience, you need to be able to dig deeper into your data to make better decisions and to optimise. If you don’t have the necessary insight to differentiate with your customer experience, chances are that customers won’t see the benefit of doing business with you and are likely to leave for a competitor.

Zendesk’s advanced reporting capabilities help you harness your customer data

Our customers say that they love our superb out-of-the-box analytics capabilities, because better insights help them make better business decisions. With Zendesk reporting, you’ll have the data you need to identify trends quickly and make better decisions to optimise your operations:

  • Unified reporting on all channels across the platform in one consolidated analytics tool
  • Create custom metrics unique to your business for better decision making
  • Visualisation capabilities, such as easy-to-use reports and dashboards, help you quickly identify what’s working and what isn’t, so you can change course
  • Data discovery means that you don’t have to export to Excel spreadsheets and dig through data manually, saving you time and effort

A good example of this is Zendesk’s First Reply Time Heatmap. In a matter of minutes, you can build a report that combines two datasets (FRT by hour of the day and FRT by day of the week) in a compelling visualisation that’s easily digestible, allowing you to quickly identify when to staff fewer or more agents and/or optimise processes to improve reply times.

Try building the same, or a similar, report in Freshdesk. Spoiler alert – you can’t!

Thinkific had to track agents’ productivity manually in a spreadsheet with Freshdesk, which was counterproductive.

On top of that, the company discovered that Freshdesk had reporting, reliability and search-functionality limitations that were causing widespread frustration among agents. Agents had to use an interface with so many glitches that they often had to clear the browser cache, leading to lost time and lower productivity.

‘Not too long ago, agent-productivity tracking at Thinkific involved loading response times manually into a spreadsheet… [Zendesk] Explore has been amazing from a reporting standpoint. We have so much of what we need available for us to be able to build reports.’
– Katerina Graham, Project Manager

After switching to Zendesk, Thinkific calculated the return on investment (ROI) by determining that agents could resolve 2.5 more tickets per day, which translates to one fewer headcount.

Look at all the costs associated with Freshdesk

The trade-offs of choosing a customer service solution that promises ‘low licence costs’ can have a huge impact on your business. Although Freshdesk promises low costs, licence cost alone doesn’t encompass the total cost of ownership. As you incur costs with Freshdesk because of nascent infrastructure, fragmented interface and far too basic reporting, the ‘savings’ on licensing begin to evaporate. Make sure that you know all of the hidden costs – and learn what you might be missing out on, from the Zendesk knowledge base to insights reporting.

Find out more about Zendesk pricing plans today .

Five signs that it's time to switch from Freshdesk to Zendesk

Five signs that it's time to switch from Freshdesk to Zendesk

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