Having more customers means that the business is growing. As an owner, you are the sole responsible for everything in your business. Managing an influx of customers may be hard, which may require you to get an additional employee or any kind of help you may need.
Providing exceptional customer service would usually mean additional cost, except when using Freshdesk – but can it really prove that ‘the best things in life are free’?
What is Freshdesk?
Freshdesk is cloud-based helpdesk software that makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to provide great support for their customers. This is just one of the products under the company Freshworks – founded by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy in October 2010.
Freshdesk is the first product launched by the company, followed by other customer service, sales, and marketing software that it is offering today.
This software is popular with small business owners as its base plan is free, with no additional charges involved. If you are expecting a catch on why it does not involve additional cost, there is none. You can use it absolutely free but additional features that you might find helpful later on will require you to upgrade or buy an add-on.
The free plan of Freshdesk promises to organize and manage all of your customer interactions in one software, save time by automating a repetitive task, and make collaboration with other teams or agents easier. Speaking of which, it currently offers unlimited addition of agents compared to the limit imposed in the past. Focusing on the free plan, we will be discussing the features that are included below.
Users can link the support’s email access in order to direct the messages to the platform instead of to the email client (such as Gmail). It is very easy to connect through its simple interface where users can identify resolved emails with a gray color, compared to unopened ones in bold black font.
However, the free plan does not have an automated refresh and will require clicking the ‘tickets’ button to see the latest messages. Accessing the emails will give the users an option to respond, add tags, or assign to other users and finalize the task by clicking the ‘Update’ button.
It also features a ‘Canned responses’ section, where users can set up answers to frequently asked questions instead of copying it somewhere else. Merging is also an important function that can put multiple tickets from the same recipient together.
Empowering customers is possible as it also supports the use of Knowledge Base in the free plan. The solutions database has customizable settings to make it look like it’s a part of your website, instead of making it feel like it is from another server or page.
A ‘Contact Us’ button can be added on the page so customers can ask for their inquiries right away. The system also suggests related FAQs while customers are typing on the search bar, to help lessen support volume. A Fresh Chat solution can be used to make the page more interactive, but it comes with an additional charge or an add-on with paid plans.
A few reports including ticket trends can be generated on the free plan. Monitor the productivity of your team is possible, as well as the metrics that could be important to you as the business owner but only on the paid plan. Ticket reporting is the only one included in the free access, where other advanced reports like team dashboards, knowledgebase analytics, and field reports are only available on the paid access.
Is Freshdesk easy to use?
In comparison with its competitors, the ease of use when talking about the interface is most of the time self-explanatory. If you’ll log in for the first time, you might be overwhelmed with the options you can see on the left side of the screen.
You will also be greeted with the dashboard with a summary of the reports available in your plan. The said dashboard can be filtered through product groups or departments, to make analyzing reports efficiently. Since this help desk software is under Freshworks, upgrading to their other services like sales and marketing can be hassle-free when there is a need to.
If you’re an agent, responding to emails and managing a knowledge base is not complicated too. Other features mentioned earlier such as the ‘Canned response’ make the task easier and focus on those support inquiries that need attention. Merging messages is a breeze as well – which avoids answering the same person that could confuse other agents or the customer.
Plans and Pricing
Freshdesk has two approaches when it comes to plan – as a Helpdesk and as an omnichannel customer service support. Plans under the Helpdesk packages are like stages of a growing garden, where the free plan is named ‘Sprout’.
As mentioned, the free plan can register an unlimited number of agents, email and social media ticketing, ticket dispatch, knowledge base, ticket trend report, and choosing a data center location where you want the data to be securely hosted.
In terms of the paid ones, the cheapest is the ‘Blossom’ plan includes all the functionality of the ‘Sprout’ plan but with automation, app integration, advanced reports, and others. It is priced at US$15 per agent monthly and billed annually.
There is an option to be billed monthly will start at US$19. Freshdesk states that their most popular plan is for US$99 called ‘Forest’, which is complete will all the features that you need, preferably if you have an enterprise. Detailed pricing can be seen on freshdesk.com/pricing.
Freshdesk offers a 21-day free trial that does not require a credit card, with no obligations after the free period has ended. Besides, the base plan is free so users can keep using Freshdesk with the ‘Sprout’ plan.
Small business owners would find Freshdesk something that is free yet useful. Once the business has increased its needs in terms of customer service requirements, upgrading to their paid plans with advanced options will be easier.
In addition, other products offered by Freshworks can easily be availed by business owners that liked Freshdesk. After all, this could be the catch why the Sprout plan is offered for free by the company.