Having worked with a range of service desk platforms, I thought I’d share my thoughts on two well-known options: Freshdesk and ServiceNow. This blog talks about our experience of a transition from Freshdesk to ServiceNow and provides a brief comparison of two leading service desk solutions.
Whether you are delivering IT services to an enterprise-level user community, or small groups of independent users, the customer service catalogue is the success factor. It plays a critical role by acting as the common interface for users to access the tools required to ensure smooth and timely delivery of products and services. Customers are vital to an organisation. Some customers spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year with a company. Consequently, when they have a question or product issue, they expect a company’s customer service department to resolve their issues.
Putting together an intuitive and highly effective service catalogue is best achieved when you take time to understand end-user objectives when they use it.
The aims of an effective service desk solution
For those of you unaware, a service desk is tailored more towards internal growth and customer care. The main focus of an IT service management (ITSM) system is to enhance service desk capabilities. For example, to streamline internal workflows, automate mundane work, and essentially, facilitate cooperation and quality. Such tools come equipped with proper service management features that you can’t use to push better customer service. But rather, improve the quality of the service or product. The key benefits such tools bring to the table are tied directly to your customers. In a nutshell, with a customer-orientated service management tool, you can establish a self-service portal, a dedicated customer support department, and all kinds of knowledge bases.
I personally have experience with using a number of service desk solutions for project management in ITSM, as well as ESM (enterprise service management), with the use of, Jira, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Autotask, Freshdesk, and lastly ServiceNow. All of these have key features and benefits that come with utilising the software – some more than others. But my focus in this article will be ServiceNow and Freshdesk. These are the two main victims of this common misconception. This is what I will talk about today.
I will start our view with ServiceNow, which is a web-based service desk system. Like any traditional help desk application, ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) helps you manage customer problems (Incident Management), using cases, knowledge base, self-service portals, and other relevant features. Where ServiceNow excels, is in its ability to resolve the underlying problem (Incident Resolution) with the help of other ServiceNow Service Management Applications. Such as, Field Service Management, Facilities Service Management, and Change and Release Management. After all, the key idea of ServiceNow is to push your current team to a completely new level of collaboration. And to achieve this, it made sure that you have all the necessary tools.
For instance, with ServiceNow, you will get a small little feature dubbed Employee Workflows. With it, you can set up several different workflows for each agent, department, or even company. This module will help you get a higher degree of control over each process, as well allowing you to identify your current bottlenecks. While we can’t say you won’t be able to find such features in help desk software, the probability of them being there is super slim.
Another aspect of ServiceNow is that it allows you to take care of each asset in your organisation. In other words, the tool has an asset management system. Whether you need to follow the health status of your hardware within the company or see if a subscription service is about to expire, ServiceNow provides all the necessary means to complete such tasks. You can easily track all your items and services, and if supported, you can even hook them up so that you can manage everything using ServiceNow alone. And as noted by popular user reviews, if you are searching for something akin to a knowledge base feature, this isn’t the tool for it.
There are quite a few ServiceNow alternatives, but not every one of them can provide such features and such quality. Indeed, some of them might have a higher number of functions, whereas others might be cheaper. However, they will likely have less-than-stellar performance. We suggest that you try a free trial if available before doing a purchase. If you are wondering if ServiceNow is good, then yes. The system is a well-known product, and many big-name companies rely on it. It is also recognised as the leader in ITSM by Gartner.
Now that we’ve covered ServiceNow, it’s time we talk about Freshdesk. And boy do we have a lot to cover. For starters, this web-based tool was made to help customers get fast, reliable, and straight to the point answers. As noted by many user reviews, this focus is reflected in the systems functionality assortment, as well as its user interface, which lets you work with several customers at the same time (more on that later).
Specific Help Desk Features
- So, if you look at Freshdesk, you will immediately notice one thing. It’s sleek and fast. And not just fast, it’s a jet engine. The reason why it’s fast lies in its focus on customer service. The development team behind this product made sure that you, the end-user, have full control over each customer support experience. What this means is that you can route your customers to resources you find best (i.e., your knowledge base). As well as this, you can set up a proper expectation level, helping both the customers and your employees.
- Freshdesk will work best if you receive a lot of questions and messages due to the included Predictive Support feature. What it does is it gives your employees a timely recommendation to a question, pulling information from historical records. And if configured, it can obtain data from your knowledge base as well. Some service desks have similar features, but they aren’t as reliable as this one. Plus, they don’t have the excellent self-service module this system has.
And finally, like with ServiceNow alternatives, Freshdesk has quite a few of them. Yet, if you are looking for a reliable tool that gets regularly updated, look no further. Freshdesk is a very polished product. It usually works in any organisation, regardless of size and scope of operations. But, bear in mind that it won’t help you manage your assets or provide you with proper internal service management tools.
Key Service Features Differentiators
Below are some of the key differentiators between ServiceNow and Freshdesk.
- Better Account and Contact Management – Freshdesk helps in capturing basic customer and contact information. ServiceNow Account and Contact Management captures more detailed information such as customer locations, relationships, hierarchy.
- Product and Asset Management – ServiceNow Product and Asset Management helps in capturing information about the products and services sold to your customer.
- Contracts and Entitlement Management – Contract Management helps in managing service/support contracts, entitlement, and coverage.
- Chat and Phone – Chat and Phone are Add-ons and are sold separately by Freshdesk. ServiceNow Customer Service Management has inbuilt support for Chat and Phone.
- Completeness of solution – ServiceNow Customer Service Management also includes below a list of applications to execute end-to-end customer service:
- Field Service Management
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
- Change Management
- Release Management
- Asset Management
All these additional application modules help in effectively resolving customer issues.
- Popular and reliable – Freshdesk is a proven cloud-based customer service application. Many customers trust Freshdesk including some of the world’s leading brands for customer support.
- Integrations – Freshdesk offers easy integrations with multiple leading software solutions such as Salesforce, Box, Google Apps, JIRA, Microsoft Dynamics, Office 365 etc.
- B2B and B2C support – Freshdesk is designed to offer support for both businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C)
- Social support – Freshdesk out-of-box supports social channels to create cases. Customers can submit a case through Twitter or Facebook.
So, who wins in ServiceNow vs Freshdesk comparison? Both tools look similar though they help to achieve different goals. You’ll find Freshdesk better for customer retention and customer support. Whereas ServiceNow can help your employees reach a higher level of productivity. As we noted, this isn’t exactly a Freshdesk vs ServiceNow showdown but a differentiation article.
Although the main focus of each web-based system is clear, you can still use them for supplementary purposes such as automation, tracking, and reporting. They get constant updates and will most likely evolve even further as time goes. Thus, before we leave, if you plan on moving to any of these, leave us a message. We can help you organise things, as well as set up everything for a seamless transfer. But for now, see you soon in a new blog post.
Fraser is the Head of Managed Services at the 848 Group. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in ITIL, ITSM, and service delivery, and creating effective processes for managing and enabling change.