Our three biggest challenges with Freshdesk

Our three biggest challenges with Freshdesk
By Pedals | On Sep 15, 2021
5 min read

In our previous post, we shared three of our favorite Freshdesk features. For smaller teams with fairly simple requirements, we think Freshdesk is likely to be a great fit. However, as we configured our Freshdesk environment, there were a few things we found challenging. In this post, we describe the challenges we encountered with SLAs, Automations, and integration with Salesforce, along with the workarounds and solutions we found.

Note that our Freshdesk accounts are in the Estate and Forest tiers, so your experience may vary slightly depending on the Freshdesk tier you use.

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, you can find them here:

Let’s dive into Freshdesk.

In this article:

1. Service level agreement (SLA) options

One of the things that we noticed is the limited ways in which you can apply SLAs in Freshdesk. Customer support teams commonly want to set up different SLA policies for their various tiers of service. But in Freshdesk, you can only assign one SLA policy to each product.

A couple of other challenges we encountered with SLAs include: 

  • You must enter a value for resolution time — leaving it blank isn’t an option.
  • You can’t turn off the default SLA.
  • You can’t duplicate an existing SLA, so if you need a new one, you have to manually create it from scratch.

Our recommendation:

One workaround for the issue of not being able to set up different SLAs for different tiers of service is to create a product for each tier, with its own unique service email address. This introduces some complexity to your setup but allows you to cater to different customers and needs with multiple SLAs. 

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2. Automations

Overall, we found the Freshdesk automations somewhat limited. Freshdesk doesn’t give you an option to use tags in time-triggered automations, so there was no straightforward way to create industry-standard bump-bump-solve automations. We checked the Automations and Triggers page of the FAQ Repository on the Freshdesk website, but couldn’t find anything specific to bump-bump-solve. 

In this article, they suggest changing the status of the ticket for a first bump. But this means that once the first bump email has been sent, there’s no easy way to confirm whether the ticket is in the bump-bump-solve process already, other than to look at the ticket contents manually. Also, changing the ticket status is ambiguous, as many other tickets could have the same status without having been bumped already. This makes it hard to know when to push a second bump email without risking sending too many or too few outreaches.

Our recommendation:

Ultimately, to handle bump-bump-solve automations, we added custom fields to every ticket to indicate the bump-bump-solve status. We:

  • Added three custom checkboxes — bbs_1, bbs_2, and bbs_3 — to each ticket. Our automation selects these to indicate to agents that it has sent a bump email.
  • Created three tags — btrack_1, btrack_2, and btrack_3. The automation applies these tags permanently after it has sent each email. These tags give us a way to search tickets to identify which have already had one or two bump emails sent.

Both of these steps, as well as the bump email, happen as part of a broader automation that checks how many hours it’s been since the requester last responded. No manual agent intervention is needed.

Note that these checkboxes do clutter the ticket view, which might be annoying for tickets that haven’t been idle long enough to necessitate a bump email.

3. Integration with Salesforce

Customer support platforms that are integrated with Salesforce provide a tremendously valuable live data connection that gives your support agents an up-to-date view of the customer. Agents can see things like whether a customer is up for renewal soon.

In Freshdesk, the Salesforce integration is somewhat limited. Freshdesk is only able to sync to customers if a contact has already been set up in Salesforce. If a contact’s email domain links them to a company but they haven’t been set up in Salesforce, the Salesforce widget still appears to be empty.

There’s also no way to backfill data — you can’t use data directly from Salesforce to configure Freshdesk — and the Salesforce data that is shared with Freshdesk is read-only (there’s no way to edit it in Freshdesk).

If you choose to install Freshdesk within your Salesforce environment instead, there are several additional integration benefits. For example, you can view, edit, and create Freshdesk tickets inside Salesforce. That said, it’s generally more useful for your support agents to have visibility into the latest Salesforce customer information than for your salespeople to see support tickets.

Our recommendation: 

If you want to backfill data in Freshdesk, you can use a third-party service such as Zapier.

Note that Freshdesk is offering a beta version of a new Salesforce app. We haven’t tried it ourselves yet, but we’re hoping the new app addresses many of our integration frustrations. Features of the new app include:

  • Users can configure the direction of sync between Freshdesk and Salesforce or enable syncing in both directions.
  • The sync happens in real-time. For example, when a contact is updated in Freshdesk, the corresponding contact in Salesforce is updated immediately, and vice versa.
  • Users can map fields in Freshdesk to fields in Salesforce to define exactly what information is synced across contact and account objects.

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In conclusion

As we mentioned in our previous post, Freshdesk has a simple and sleek user interface that’s intuitive to use. We did struggle in a few places where we wanted to build more complex features, but if you’re willing to work around these issues, Freshdesk could be the right customer support solution for your team. 

Sam's Face

Pedals is a beloved member of the TestBox team whose entire goal in life is to author amazingly helpful blog posts and to cameo on every piece of TestBox swag.

TestBox empowers you to have a self-serve, customer-led experience so you can buy new software and feel confident that you made the right choice. Currently focused on Customer Support, TestBox allows you to test out Zendesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Dixa, and other products side-by-side. It takes a matter of minutes to sign up and take these products for a test drive. Find out more at TestBox.com or follow on LinkedIn.