Three real questions customers ask when comparing Groove to Zendesk and Freshdesk for customer support software.
Erika on our Customer Success team spends most of her day answering questions like:
How much does this software really cost?
How long will it take to set up my team on the platform?
Will this product scale as my business grows?
We preach proactivity for supporting current customers. But the same holds true for prospective customers. So we put together this resource for any prospective customers comparing the top support players—Zendesk vs Freshdesk vs Groove.
Here’s a quick overview chart comparing Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Groove. Get more details on the exact questions our customers ask below.
|Cost of mid-level plan||$19 per user per month, billed annually||$89 per agent per month, billed annually*||$35 per agent per month, billed annually|
|Free trial||120 days||Yes, duration unclear||21 days|
|Set-up time||5 minutes||Not clear||10 minutes|
*Honestly, I was so confused and overwhelmed wading through all of Zendesk’s pricing plans and packages. I pulled my info from this page, using the middle option, for reference.
Everyone’s first question centers around cost, so let’s follow the money.
Each platform offers pricing per user per month, with savings for annual subscriptions. Interestingly, the pricing options seem to reflect the company’s overall philosophy and product experience.
Zendesk presents at least eight different plans and products within it’s “Support” section, with a handful of other options under “Sales” and “Platform” offerings.
Freshdesk boasts five options under their “helpdesk” solution with at least three “add-on” products. In addition to two “omnichannel” packages.
Groove offers three plans, each one tailored by size—for small, growing, or large teams.
Let’s dive deeper.
Groove’s pricing starts at $9 per user per month and ranges up to $29 per user per month, charged annually. For monthly subscriptions, the prices are 20% higher at $12-$34 per user per month.
For companies outside the three-tiered range, there’s an enterprise option and an early-stage startup plan where pricing is tailored to fit your unique business needs.
Zendesk’s pricing is much more complex since they offer different tools with different pricing in addition to different plans and various product types.
Their lowest priced option is a sub-section of their “Support” plan called “Essential” at $5 per agent per month, billed annually (monthly price is $9). The higher range of this “Support” plan is named “Elite” and costs $199 per agent per month annually (there seems to be no monthly option for this plan).
There’s a bunch of “other products”’—like a knowledge base, live chat, or reports—you can add on that range from $9 to $60 per agent per month.
Zendesk’s pricing can vary wildly depending on which features and products your team needs at any given time.
With names like “Blossom” and “Garden,” Freshdesk’s pricing options conjure more zen than the namesake above.
Their free “Sprout” plan offers very basic ticketing, self-service, and reporting. At $15 per agent per month billed annually (or $19 monthly), the “Blossom” plan includes more automation and collaboration tools, along with more metric-based reporting.
At the other end of its spectrum is the “Forest” plan. It offers more automatic routing and workflows at $99 per agent per month billed annually ($125 monthly), in addition to its AI technology named “Freddy.”
“Freddy” can also be added to any plan with pricing ranging from $29 to $500 depending on the type of help you need.
Free trials and set-up time
All three customer support platforms offer free trial periods, with no credit card required. Each one has a different trial duration and set-up flow, which we’ll explore below.
To sign up for a free trial, click here.
Then, enter your work email, basic information, and create a password.
Forward your actual customer emails into the inbox in 4 clicks.
Start responding to customers, organize the inbox, set up automations, check reports, and create a knowledge base immediately from your new dashboard.
If your team has used any email client before (and I mean any…Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo—nothing too complicated), they’ll feel comfortable using Groove.
Zendesk’s free trial duration is not immediately clear—you need to actually sign up to get more information. Once you decide which plan or products to try though, click “free trial” to enter Zendesk’s onboarding flow.
I selected the mid-level “Support Suite” plan. Upon sign up, I see the trial expires in 14 days.
As I explore the dashboard, I keep hitting pages that require me to open another page or product. Before I even take action on a ticket, I’ve got five tabs open.
At this point, you can start sending and receiving emails from your Zendesk trial account using your new Zendesk email.
But beware, after sending a test email, I received this automatic response.
Zendesk sets up new accounts with these default “triggers.” The intention is good—presumably they want to reduce the amount of work on your end.
But yikes, it looks like an actual robot wrote these impersonal replies.
You’ll want to take time to adjust all these default options to more accurately reflect your brand.
I signed up for the mid-level “Garden” 21-day free trial. As soon as I complete a quick form, my dashboard appears.
The left sidebar offers easy and intuitive navigation throughout the helpdesk. I’m able to send and receive emails from my test account right away.
The Admin panel is comprehensive—if a bit overwhelming—but the clean UX helps to clarify each section.
You’ll want to make sure your team and your customers actually need and will use all these features.
Otherwise, the majority of the platform may go to waste.
Tools and features
Zendesk is well known for its advanced reporting features. Its metrics are built with customizability and control in mind—assuming you have a dedicated development team to take advantage of all these capabilities.
Freshdesk really focuses on their comprehensive support offerings. Its “Freddy” AI add-on highlights the company’s desire to innovate within the support space.
Groove purposely builds features based on scalability, keeping the user’s growth stage top of mind.
As one customer described it:
“What Groove really was for us was a scalable solution. Easy entry for the customer service team to grasp onto. We could start with just the one pain of managing the inbox and grow from there into the Knowledge Base and using reports and analytics tools. That’s really what we love.”
Since the features vary greatly from one plan to the next with Zendesk and Freshdesk, I selected one similarly-priced plan across all platforms to compare the included tools:
|Groove Plus Plan||Zendesk Support Team Plan||Freshdesk Blossom Plan|
|Email Ticketing System||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Reporting||Yes||Yes (basic1)||Yes (limited3)|
|CSAT Surveys||Yes, via free integration||No||No|
|Social Ticketing||Yes, via free integration||Limited2||Yes|
|Live Chat||Free native tool coming late 2020||No||Yes, via paid integration|
|Phone Support||Via integration||No||Yes, via paid integration|
1This Zendesk plan only includes built-in reports, which covers the basics. But to access Zendesk “Explore,” the latest generation of reporting, you’ll need to upgrade.
2This Zendesk plan only includes public Facebook and Twitter posts, you’ll need to purchase an add-on for private messaging.
3This Freshdesk plan does not include “performance” reporting for agents.
Frankly, any competitor in the current support environment offers similar tools and features. The question to ask yourself is: Does your team need all of them? And to what degree?
Both Zendesk and Freshdesk offer enhanced versions of their tools at higher price points.
Groove’s tools are not restricted by price. Rather pricing plans reflect the need for more quantity not better quality.
Which customer support platform should you choose?
So, Zendesk vs Freshdesk vs Groove—which one is right for your business?
The easy answer is Groove works best for small businesses, Freshdesk for mid-level, and Zendesk for enterprise.
But that’s not the right answer.
And that line of thinking implies you’ll need to continually switch platforms as your company grows.
In comparing them, we see that each platform can grow with you. They all provide a similar set of tools to support customers. Your task is to figure out which one will help your team foster growth at every stage, including your current one.
At Groove, our goal is to provide immediate value to our customers. We work really hard to strip away the jargon, keep our plans simple, and build products that are easy to use.
Here’s a final list of some reasons customers choose Groove:
- 120-day free trial, no credit card required
- 5-minute set-up
- Easy-to-understand plans and pricing
- Entirely self-guided onboarding (with hands-on support if you need it!)