Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Which Help Desk Should You Choose?

If you are on the hunt for the best help desk software, chances are you must have come across two software giants – Freshdesk and Help Scout. 

While both tools are popular in the industry, they are still unique in their own ways. 

So between the battle of Freshdesk vs. Help Scout, which one has the upper hand? Which tool can meet your customer service needs and help you save more in the long run? 

We understand you are all full of questions at the moment. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Thousands of people get confused while choosing the best help desk software for their teams. 

In this blog, we will compare Freshdesk and Help Scout from head to tail. We will evaluate these two tools based on their interface, features, pricing, and multiple other factors. In the end, you can see our final verdict and decide which tool to take home. 

Let’s start right away! 

Features Freshdesk Help Scout ProProfs Help Desk
Free Trial 21 days 15 days 15 days
Price Starts at $15 Starts at $20 Starts at $10
Ideal Users Medium-to-large businesses Small businesses Small-to-medium businesses
Live Chat Available Available Available
Customer Surveys Available Available Available
Knowledge Base Available Available Available
IT Help Desk Not Available Not Available Available
Chatbot Available Not Available Available
Real-Time Analytics Available Available Available

Let’s Start With a Brief Introduction

Before we start with the Freshdesk vs Help Scout comparison, let us take a step back and learn about the history and vision of these two software brands. 

Freshdesk is sophisticated help desk software offered by the parent company Freshworks. The company was founded in 2010, in Chennai, India, by Girish Mathrubutham. 

Over the years, the brand has built an array of customer service tools that helps teams work better to improve the customer experience. Freshworks adopts a “fresh” approach to building and delivering software-as-a-service (SaaS) that’s affordable, easy to implement, and designed to keep the end-user’s pain points in mind. 

Help Scout was founded almost a decade ago in 2011, and today, it serves customers from over 140 countries. 

As a popular help desk software company, Help Scout operates with the objective of developing powerful tools that empower businesses and help them support customers in the most human and helpful way possible. To create a flexible work culture, Help Scout has embraced a remote-first culture to allow employees to work from anywhere in the world and enjoy a greater work-life balance. 

Criteria of Comparison

Even when two software systems are designed to meet the same goal, they can differ greatly in the features and capabilities they bring to the table. While one might offer an intuitive interface, the other might help you generate better reports and analytics. 

To make the comparison easier, we will evaluate these tools against each other. Here is our list of criteria that will help you make a sound decision between Help Scout and Freshdesk: 

  • Type of Users
  • Interface
  • Features
  • Customer Support
  • Pricing 

Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Type of Users

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk is an omnichannel customer service tool that can help you communicate with customers on a variety of communication channels – email, live chat, phone, help center, social media, and more. 

After years of growth and expansion, the tool caters to more than 50,000 customers from different sectors and industries. The tool is used by popular brands such as Hamleys, 7-Eleven, Bridgestone, Dineout, Pearson, etc., to manage customer service operations. 

Freshdesk is an affordable tool best-suited for small and medium-sized businesses. However, if you are a large company, you may end up spending more. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout is majorly a shared inbox software that can be used by businesses to manage support email accounts such as support@company, info@company, inquiry@company, helpdesk@company, etc. The tool is used by popular brands such as RealityNinja, OnePageCRM, Zapier, and more. 

The tool is suitable for startups to small businesses that need a simple tool to connect with customers on primary communication channels like email and live chat. 

However, this tool might not be for you if you are an enterprise looking for advanced automation features. Help Scout lacks features such as chatbots, powerful reporting, advanced customization, etc., and, therefore, will not be a good option for large companies or enterprises. 

Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Interface 

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk Interface

Help Scout Freshdesk comparison makes it clear that both tools offer a simple and intuitive interface. However, one point of difference is that Freshdesk’s interface shows all tickets from chat, phone, and email on a single tab. 

You can easily organize support tickets. For example, you can filter tickets using different metrics based on what’s most important to your task ( tags, priority, date, source, and so on).

Moreover, agents can also export and search help desk tickets from the top-right corner of their screens. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout: Interface

Help Scout offers a simple, Gmail-like interface that your team will be familiar with. Similar to Gmail, you can access all your draft responses or spam emails from the left-hand-side menu. 

Agents can easily view all tickets in one place, including the customer name, ticket ID number, and the time elapsed. You can even switch from email conversations to chat messages instantly. 

From the top menu, you can select a specific mailbox, access help desk reports to track performance, search for past tickets, and check your notifications. 

Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Features 

1. Ticket Management 

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk allows you to convert customer issues from any channel into support tickets. This way, your team can track every issue, and no conversation can slip through the cracks. 

Now, your team can receive issues that demand collaborative effort from multiple departments. You can use the parent-child ticketing feature to split a ticket into multiple child tickets and assign them to different teams. 

Freshdesk ticket management

You can automatically assign tickets to agents to ensure there isn’t any confusion and agents know what they need to work on. Moreover, agents can receive automated notifications to stay updated about ticket progress. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout offers a simple inbox to manage tickets from email and live chat. There are multiple team collaboration features on offer that can help your customer service team work like a well-oiled machine. 

For example, you can send teammates private notes to collaborate on complex issues. Another great feature is that agents can access the complete customer information in the sidebar. They can easily view the customer’s name, contact information, past conversations, and other details. 

HelpScout ticket management

Furthermore, the tool makes it quite easier for agents to toggle between different channels. They can easily switch from email to chat messages with a single click. 

2. Live Chat

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk allows you to offer chat support on multiple platforms, such as websites and social media sites. For example, you can interact with customers in real-time on your website, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Apple Business Chat. 

Freshdesk Live chat

Freshdesk comparison with Help Scout shows that the former offers powerful chatbots designed for customer engagement. Powered by Freddy AI, the bots can understand customer intent to deliver precise answers to visitors. 

The best part is that bots can be designed and set up in no time to offer a great customer experience. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout offers a simple live chat interface to assist customers and visitors. Based on the page a visitor is viewing, you can recommend articles using the live chat window. 

If customers are still not able to find answers, they can start a live chat session with your human operators. One of the major areas of disappointment is that the tool does not offer a chatbot feature, so there is no way to automate your live chat process. 

Helpscout Live chat

Furthermore, the tool does not show the live chat icon unless any operator is available to take chats. This can make it difficult for your customer service team to record visitor queries or details when your team is offline. 

3. Knowledge Base

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk Knowledge base

Freshdesk helps your team collaborate to create rich knowledge base content such as FAQ pages, help articles, technical guides, and more. 

You can categorize your content into a three-level hierarchy – Categories that include a group of related content, Folders under each category for further division, and the specific Solution Articles inside each folder.

Freshdesk helps you create a multilingual knowledge base that supports more than 40 languages. This will make it easier for your customer service team to support a global customer base. 

Help Scout: 

In the knowledge base battle of Help Scout vs. Freshdesk, the former allows you to create a simple online knowledge base in no time. Your support reps can easily multiple files to articles such as text, images, videos, hyperlinks, and tables to enhance the self-service experience. 

Helpscout Knowledge base

Another crucial aspect of this tool is that you can embed your help center articles easily on any web page. For example, you can choose to display it as a sidebar notification, popup, or share it with visitors via the live chat window. 

Your team can even optimize your knowledge base content for multiple devices such as mobile, tablet, or desktop. Publishing SEO-optimized content can also be done with this tool. 

4. Reports & Analytics

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk helps you monitor your customer service performance with the help of insightful data. With the help of reports, you can monitor help desk productivity, track agent workload, and measure customer satisfaction. 

Freshdesk Analytics helps you customize your reports using bar charts, pie charts, and summary tables. You can easily build your reports the way you want them, with absolutely no coding skills required. 

Freshdesk Reports

Furthermore, with the help of intuitive mobile and tablet layouts, you can analyze your support performance on the go. 

Help Scout: 

Helpscout Reports

Unlike Freshdesk, Help Scout helps you view your customer service team’s performance on multiple channels. Right from the reporting dashboard, you can view relevant metrics for different communication channels such as live chat, email, and phone. 

With the help of advanced filters and customization options, team members can view the reporting data that is relevant to their research goals. 

Another unique aspect of Help Scout is that it allows you to monitor the Saved Replies (also known as canned responses) usage. For instance, you can track the number of times support reps use a particular Saved Reply and point out the ones that demand an update. 

5. Integrations 

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk Integrations

The Freshdesk marketplace offers more than a thousand apps to extend the tool’s capabilities. Freshdesk’s ticketing system can be integrated with multiple popular business tools such as WhatsApp, Slack, Salesforce, and Shopify. 

You can integrate Freshdesk with Salesforce to bridge the gap between your sales and customer service teams. Moreover, you can also integrate with MailChimp to send targeted email campaigns to your audience. 

Help Scout: 

Helpscout Integrations

Help Scout offers a limited number of integrations compared to Freshdesk. From the Help Scout App Directory, you can search for tools across multiple categories such as e-commerce, CRM, analytics, marketing, etc. 

You can integrate Help Scout with popular apps such as Olark, Pipedrive, WooCommerce, Aircall, Magento, SurveyMonkey, and more. You can even integrate it with HubSpot CRM to access all the customer information you need to offer personalized service. 

Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Customer Support 

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk offers 24×7 email support for the users of its Basic plan. However, 24×5 chat and phone support are only available in the Enterprise plan. 

Freshdesk offers a vast video library to help users make the most of the features and functionalities of the tool. For example, you can watch small video tutorials on topics such as Setting Up Your Support Email in Gmail, Navigation and Dashboard, Customizing Ticket Forms, etc. 

Freshdesk Customer Support

You can even access a vast FAQ repository that covers a wide range of topics. The FAQs are organized into different categories, such as self-service portal, helpdesk rebranding, SSL & security, agents, email notifications, etc. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout comparison with Freshdesk reveals that the latter offers more reliable support. However, you can get a dedicated account manager with the Pro plan who can help you get started with the tool and resolve your concerns. 

Help Scout offers a rich knowledge base where you can find articles around categories such as getting started, productivity, account management, integrations, mobile apps, live chat, and more. 

Help Scout Customer Support

Each of these categories contains around 10-30 articles that will help your team understand the nitty-gritty details of the tool and offer better customer service. 

Freshdesk vs. Help Scout: Pricing

Freshdesk: 

Freshdesk  Pricing

Free: Forever free plan

Growth: $15/user/month

Pro: $49/user/month

Enterprise: $79/user/month

Freshdesk comes with a 21-day free trial to help your team get hands-on experience without paying anything upfront. The tool even offers a forever-free plan that comes with limited features. 

When you compare the pricing of Freshdesk vs. Help Scout, you will realize that Freshdesk ‘s basic plans start at a low price point. Its basic plan costs $15/agent/month and comes packed with features such as SLA management, collision detection, custom ticket views, reports, marketplace apps, and more. 

Freshdesk’s enterprise-level plan ($79/user/month) offers advanced features and capabilities for large companies. For example, you can enjoy features such as AI-powered assistance bots, audit logs, skilled-based ticket routing, knowledge base workflow, and more to assist your customers across the globe. 

Help Scout: 

Help Scout Pricing

Standard: $20/user/month

Plus: $40/user/month

Pro: $65/user/month

Unlike Freshdesk, Help Scout does not offer a forever-free plan. Its starting plan is expensive compared to Freshdesk ($20/user/month). However, if you are new to this tool, you can get a 15-day free trial to explore different features and functionalities. 

With the Standard plan, you can get features such as 2 mailboxes, live chat, custom reports, automated workflows, in-app messaging, and more. 

If you are an enterprise, you can opt for Help Scout’s Pro plan starting at $65/user/month. The plan offers features such as 25 mailboxes, 10 doc sites, enterprise-level security, HIPPAA compliance, a dedicated account manager, and more. 

Final Verdict: Which One’s the Best? 

Help Scout is simple and easy to get started with, but Freshdesk offers more features. Let’s see when you can use these tools. 

When to choose Freshdesk? 

You can choose Freshdesk when you wish to connect with customers on every possible channel out there – phone, email, chat, and social media. The tool can be easily scaled to meet your growing needs. If your customer base is expanding rapidly, this tool can help you automate mundane tasks and cater to a larger audience. For example, you can build chatbots to offer 24×7 assistance to customers and prospects. 

When to choose Help Scout? 

Help Scout can be a great option if email and live chat are your primary customer service channels. You can easily manage all your shared email accounts in one place and leverage multiple collaboration features. The software will surely help you save big on training costs as it is one of the easiest tools to use. However, the tool misses out on several important features, such as chatbots, powerful reporting, and more. 

ProProfs Help Desk as an Alternative to Freshdesk & Help Scout

ProProfs Help Desk as an Alternative to Freshdesk & Help Scout

If you find Freshdesk too complicated and Help Scout inadequate, there is still hope for you. ProProfs Help Desk can be your ideal alternative that offers all the features you need to offer personalized service. Ready to learn more? 

  • Get Started in No Time: ProProfs Help Desk is super easy to use and comes with a user-friendly interface. With a Gmail-like inbox, your team can get started immediately. In addition, this cloud-based tool can be accessed anytime, anywhere via phone, PC, laptop, or tablet. 
  • Leverage Powerful Automation: From automated ticket assignments to notifications and alerts, ProProfs Help Desk comes packed with powerful automation tools. Deflect a majority of support tickets with the help of an online knowledge base. Agents can even use canned responses to share speedy email and chat replies. 
  • Build Conversational Chatbots: A website without a chatbot is like a shoe without its sole. You can develop conversational chatbots for your website, mobile app, or help center to stay available for customers 24×7. You can design bots to generate leads, grow sales, book appointments, or assist customers with their routine questions. 
  • Generate Data-Rich Reports: Powerful reports and analytics can give you a bird’s eye view of your customer service performance. With ProProfs Help Desk, you can track metrics such as the average first response time, ticket resolution time, agent ratings, customer satisfaction, and other insightful metrics. 
  • 24×7 Human Support: Whether you need assistance with help desk software deployment or wish to upgrade your plan, our team will be happy to help you always. You can contact our team anytime via phone, email, chat, or raise a request on our website. 

We hope with the help of this Freshdesk vs. Help Scout comparison blog, you can finally select the right tool that perfectly meets your unique requirements. If you are still unimpressed with these two tools, ProProfs Help Desk can be your ideal alternative. Sit with your support reps, explore your budget, jot down the features you need, and select the one that ticks all boxes.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, CoSchedule, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn