Kayako vs Freshdesk 2019 Comparison

As time goes by, more and more companies improve their service desk solutions. Some of them add features, others provide stability, and there are those that do both. Two such companies are Kayako and Freshdesk. Their attention to details is phenomenal, to say the least, and it’s clear from the get-go that both offer basically everything you might ever need.

Yet, as good as they might sound, which one is actually the best? How Kayako stacks-up against Freshdesk? All this and more we will be covering today. We understand that most businesses don’t have time to read and follow each service desk every day, so we decided to compare them so that you have a clear idea which one is for you. Thus, without further ado, let’s get started!


To start off our Kayako vs Freshdesk review, we first need to talk about each of the service desks individually. This will allow you to understand better what each service desk is aiming to achieve, as well as what to expect in future updates.


So, what is Kayako and how it is different from the competition? The answer is quite simple, it’s a cloud-based service desk system that aggregates the most important channels into one convenient place. This, in turn, allows for a more efficient way to assess consumer issues, requests, or questions.

Approximately 50,000 companies and organizations (including governmental) use Kayako as their go-to tool for managing customer requests. The tool has a wide range of different features that accelerate time to market, support, and sales. Among the most prominent ones are live chats, web interactions, emails, self-service through knowledge bases, etc. All this and more is used by big-name companies such as NASA, Peugeot, and De Beers.

Aside from traditional functionality, Kayako allows for a wide range of automation techniques. Essentially, you can completely eliminate mundane work through different automation scripts which in turn will free up more time for agents to solve problems that automation cannot. And in case you need to connect Kayako to something that isn’t supported straight out-of-the-box, you can use the open API system. With the help of an API, you can hook-up Kayako to external tools that will help you reach even more people.

And last but not least, Kayako has apps for mobile devices. The company has released a robust mobile companion app that can run every major platform, including iOS, Android, and even on Windows Phone and Blackberry.


Looking at Freshdesk, it’s immediately clear that this service desk is powered by world-class tech and tools that will not only boost your service but help you establish a cult following. It is one of the few systems that was designed with brand management in mind. Aside from that, it is a perfect fit for small and medium-size businesses thanks to the included gamification tools.

Another key element of Freshdesk is its support for multi-channel service. It helps streamline operations and reduces time spent on mundane work such as exporting, extracting and sorting out multiple reports into one readable format as everything can be automated. Also as an added bonus, Freshdesk has support for self-service portals. In other words, users can establish a vast knowledge base that will help them educate their key audience, as well as attract new customers. And it’s not just customers, with it you can teach new employees about your product line.

Just like Kayako, Freshdesk has support for live chats, phone, and different game mechanics. Also, with Freshdesk you can hook a wide range of different CRMs, including those that are considered to be legacy products. Thanks to the huge amount of integration possibilities, you can connect Freshdesk with Google Apps, Youtube, Twitter and a more. Finally, the company offers a mobile version of the app for Android and iOS that has most of the functionality found in the desktop version.

Compare Kayako vs Freshdesk in 2019


When it comes to features, both tools share a lot of similarities. Yet, the way these functions are executed is quite different and there are a few things that are exclusive to the one platform. In any case, let’s have a look at what each of them offers to the end user.


First thing first, unlike Freshdesk, Kayako offers a self-hosted solution. This might seem small but when you take into consideration that most of the system is under your direct control, the benefits are actually massive. You can easily move, update, and manage your data without any kind of latency as everything is on your side.

Another vital feature of Kayako is its Custom Fields system. What is seemingly an editing tool at glance, hides a huge potential behind it. With this tool, your agents can fully adapt their workspace to their need. Take this possibility into a huge corporation with more than 1k+ people on board, and benefits are clear. Indeed, with Custom Fields, agents can edit every string of information to their need, as well as they can re-think the way live chat forms work. This is a very powerful tool in the right hands.

Lastly, there’s the Insights system. It's essentially an analytics tool that allows you to forecast a wide range of metrics and trends. It draws information from you and your customers using different channels. It's still in its infancy through but the results are more than promising. We suggest you pair it with GA to get even more accurate results.


While it's true that setting up and managing people in Freshdesk is easy, there is a category of people that love the two-side gamification feature of the system. You see, most systems focus only on one-sided (agent) gamification and forget that their customers love a game too. In Freshdesk you can set up a wide range of quizzes and mini-games that will help you educate and in some cases, invite new customers.

The second prominent feature is the ability to simplify ticket management. Unlike other service desk solutions, Freshdesk doesn’t force its customers to use whatever they have in store. In fact, with Freshdesk you can adapt all kinds of functions to your business and this includes the ticket management tool. This will ease the staff education process, as well as help you avoid unnecessary errors that might occur during ticket rerouting, reassigning, etc.

Finally, Freshdesk has the Intelligent Automation feature. While simple on paper, it’s actually powered by neural networks as it has the ability to learn new things. Keep in mind that the learning capability is limited, it’s still a very good tool that can offload a ton of work from your agents, including ticket resolve issues, rerouting, closing, etc.

Pros and Cons

The review wouldn’t be full if we didn’t put Kayako vs Freshdesk in terms of advantages. While the two systems bring a lot of good stuff to the table they do have their set of pros and cons. Among the most noticeable are the following:



  • Highly scalable
  • Great options for online collaboration
  • A lot of customization options
  • Good omnichannel support
  • Best-in-class automation system


  • Most features are locked behind a paywall
  • The stock user interface needs are redesign
  • Searching via tags can be cumbersome
  • Establishing rules can be hard
  • Poor email functionality



  • Great issue tracking options
  • A very fast and intuitive ticket search system
  • Well-documented open API
  • State-of-the-art automation
  • A lot of gamification tools


  • Macro is hard to set up for no good reason
  • KPI dashboards are non-customizable
  • Limited in-app capability
  • Performance can throttle for some reason
  • No on-premise option


To start off, both help desks are practically identical in this regard, therefore we won’t compare Freshdesk vs Kayako but instead explain how each of them excels. Now that this is out of the way, we can’t stress enough how both service desks are very accessible tools. No matter what background you’ve come from, the interactive tutorial will get you started in no time. And it’s not just the tutorial section, most features are intuitively placed and easily reachable.

You don’t have to scroll through a hundred different windows just to find a simple rename button. The system also has a number of keyboard shortcuts and those that are empty can be edited to open/close, launch/pause, and delete/restore certain elements. Overall, you won’t be needing a coach to teach your new employees about the system.

Selcting between Kayako and Freshdesk


The final part of our Freshdesk vs Kayako comparison is the pricing and this is where the similarities end. The first at whom we will be looking at is Kayako as the number of options isn’t that big.


Inbox — This is the starting tariff plan and it will cost you around $15 agent/month. The tariff itself included the bare minimum and does not have a lot of cool features. Among them all, the most useful feature is the Live Chat, Insights, and Collision prevention functions.

Growth — This is the second tariff plan and this one is much better in terms of features. Among the most prominent are advanced automation rules, multi-brand support, a higher level of customizability. This plan will cost you $30 agent/month.

Scale — This is Kayako's premium plan and it includes everything in the Growth plan, as well as a few extra things such as custom roles and permissions, advanced workflows, and even Salesforce integration. This tariff will cost you $60 agent/month.


When it comes to pricing, Freshdesk offers its customers a wide range of options. And we wouldn’t be lying as the company has 5 tariff plans, including a free one. Thus, here’s what you get in each plan.

Sprout — This is the Free plan that entails a few basic features. Nothing much can be said about this plan aside from the fact that you can move your agent data from it to another plan.

Blossom — This is the first paid plan that costs $15 agent/month. It has everything the previous plan has and add a few extra little features, namely automation, collision detection, and the ability to set business hours.

Garden — Viewed as the happy medium by the community, Garden has a few things that make it very valuable for the price of just $29 agent/month. One such feature is Customer Satisfaction surveys and performance reports. These features alone make it a very viable option for small and medium businesses.

Estate — This plan usually suits medium-large companies and it has everything you might need. The only limiting factor here, its the fact that you don’t ger HIPPA compliance and IP whitelisting. Aside from that, for just $49 agent/month, you will get access to the Portal Customization feature, Ticket Assignment Automation, among others.

Forest — Last but not least, there’s the cream of the crop, the champion tariff Forest. It has everything and the best part of it, in unlimited quantity. Although, this tariff will cost you $109 agent/month. It is pricey but the amount of things you get is worth it.


So that about wraps things up for this Freshdesk vs Kayako review. There are many things we didn’t cover but what we did, hopefully, will help you pick the right tool for you. Both of them are very good at what they do and the pricing options are actually pretty good. It’s just that not every tool is for every organization. Some might prefer Kayako’s UI, others will love the ticket management tool in Freshdesk.

In any case, if you plan on migrating to any of these, we suggest you give our tool a try. After all, migrating to another service desk can be challenging and not always worth the effort. But using our wizard, in just a few clicks you move all your valuable stuff to the new help desk. The greatest part of it is that you don’t have to take our word for it. Just sign-up for our Free Trial and see for your self.

Made your choice?

Migrate to a new platform now

Setup Free Demo
Help Desk Migration

Automated service to migrate your data between help desk platforms without programming skills — just follow simple Migration Wizard.

Book a Call
— %s