For most businesses, email is a fundamental communication tool enabling internal teams to collaborate and drive productivity while also connecting companies with their customers, partners, and suppliers.

Email is the number one business productivity tool and the most used business application. It powers productivity and drives interaction and engagement with customers and prospects, while enabling collaboration within and between sales and customer service teams.

Email campaigns are also an effective way to connect with customers – more than 60% of consumers say email marketing influences their purchasing decisions – and can deliver ROI as high as 4200% when done correctly.

But managing an ever-growing inbox can be tricky without the benefit of dedicated software tools.

Email management tools such as timetoreply, Freshdesk, Zendesk and Front ease the burden of overflowing inboxes and can help companies better manage sales teams, improve the handling of customer service requests, and enhance communication between teams to boost productivity.

But how do you choose which email management tool is the right fit for your business?

In this guide, we will look at the key differences between Freshdesk, Zendesk and Front, compare their pros and cons against our platform, timetoreply, and share valuable insights to help you make the best decision for your company’s needs.

Main factors to look for in an email management software

Any great email management solution will offer a range of features and functions that ease the pressure on your team’s inboxes and helps improve the quality and speed at which customer requests are successfully resolved.

But there are also several essential, underlying components that are essential to any email management tool worth your time.

What should companies look for when they choose an email management tool? When making your decision, be sure to consider the following vital elements:

  • Reliable delivery: the last thing you want is for your emails to end up in your customers’ spam folders. Using a professional email management tool can help ensure your professional emails lands right in your customers’ inboxes. timetoreply doesn’t get involved in the sending or receiving of emails and simply sits on top of your existing email server to provide insights into your teams email performance.
  • Contact management: emails sent to carefully segmented customer groups have better open and click-through rates that bulk mails sent to all users, so make sure the tool you choose offers easy customer segmentation.
  • CRM integration: if you’re considering an email management tool, chances are you are already making use of customer relationship management software. Ensure your CRM and email management tools can easily integrate to gain the maximum benefit from both.
  • Mobile-friendly: only 15% of email is opened on desktop applications and 24% in a webmail client. The rest? All on mobile. The email management tool you choose should offer the option to create emails that are designed for the mobile experience.
  • Automated response handling: managing large volumes of customer and campaign emails can be tricky and time intensive. Choose a software tool that allows for automated responses to help keep your campaigns on track.
  • Performance tracking: as the adage goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Choose an email management tool that allows you to analyze the performance of your email campaigns and provides data insights that can be used to make changes to the campaigns or your broader strategy.

Now that we’re clear on what is ideally required from an email management tool, let’s take a look at how Front, Zendesk and Freshdesk stack up against each other, and how timetoreply compares.

FrontApp vs Zendesk vs Freshdesk (A Detailed Comparison)

  timetoreply Front Zendesk Freshdesk
Analytics & Measurement
Measure reply times
Measure individual inboxes
Measure group mailboxes
Measure web forms
Report filtering
SLA measurement
Functionality
Ticketing
Reports
Works directly from your existing mailbox      
No training required      
Custom widgets
Support desk
Chatbot messaging   Via API
Field service management   Via API
API integrations
Security & Compliance
GDPR compliant
ISO27001 compliant  
SOC 2 compliant  
ISO 27018 compliant  
HIPAA compliance  
PCI DSS   Partially
Other
Free trial 15 days 14 days 21 days

 

Front (FrontApp) overview

FrontApp

Front is a customer communication platform that combines emails, apps, and teammates into a single view to allow companies to communicate effectively with their customers. Front are trying to replace your inbox with their solution, so going this route means foregoing Outlook or Gmail and working from within Front.

Front offers custom automated workflows and improved collaboration to prevent duplication of tasks while ensuring customer requests are handled quickly and efficiently.

By storing all emails in a single place, Front enables users to quickly notify teammates when their input is needed in internal conversations. Companies can also connect as many inboxes, SMS, or social accounts as they like. They’re calling it a “collaborative inbox”

Like timetoreply, Front measures email response times and tracks trends in customer communication through email analytics although the level of reporting and email response time tracking is not as detailed as timetoreply.

This solution works best for teams that want to handle customer communication from a single, shared inbox.

Front gives companies high-level analytics into the email performance of their customer facing support teams but having to move all email communications into a single platform is not for everyone.

Front was designed to replace your existing inbox, so if you are looking for a solution that works with your existing mail client (o365, Outlook, Gmail etc) then timetoreply could be a better option for you.

FrontApp Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • For any size of team, from 5 to 5000 users
  • Measures email response times, but this is not their focus
  • Analytics reveal trends in customer communication and team workloads
  • Great for teams working off a shared inbox
  • Encourages real-time collaboration to reduce bottlenecks
  • Allows for automated custom workflows that free teams up to focus on keeping customers happy
  • Secure with industry-standard encryption
  • Compliant to GDPR, SOC 2 and other governance requirements
  • Integration with 100+ apps
  • Offers open APIs for further customization

Cons:

  • Designed to replace your inbox.
  • Not designed for sales teams.
  • Requires all email communication to move to single platform
  • Large migration for some companies, requires staff to learn a new platform
  • IT may not allow this move due to being tied to Outlook or Gmail for security reasons
  • Lacks integration with some apps
  • Only offer cloud-based solutions which can be seen as a con for some larger organisations that require on premise solutions.
  • Can become pricy when scaling up for a growing team

Looking for the best alternative to Front? Try timetoreply for free

Why choose TTR over Front?

If you want to boost email productivity and unlock the benefits of email analytics, but you’re not prepared to move all your email communications onto a single platform, timetoreply is an ideal alternative to Front.

timetoreply is best for teams looking for insights into shared and individual inboxes without the hassle of having to move their day-to-day email activities to an entirely new platform.

Once you’re set up with timetoreply, you can connect your existing inboxes and within minutes start seeing data on your team’s email performance, helping you make instant improvements to your email response times.

Zendesk overview

Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service desk solution that offers customizable tools to build a customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. Zendesk is an out and out ticketing system.

It provides companies with a customizable front-end portal, live chat features and integration with popular applications such as Salesforce and Google Analytics.

The platform includes a rich range of customer service features, allowing you to create automated workflows to manage incoming support tickets, as well as a knowledge management platform that helps companies manage support documentation.

In addition, it offers a range of sales-focused features including CRM, sales call logging, contact enrichment and lead recommendations.

However, as with Freshdesk, companies looking to use Zendesk will have to go all-in on their platform if they want to make the most of its benefits and features.

If you’re looking for an exhaustive list of features and don’t mind the all-in approach to their platform, Zendesk is a powerful option. However, unless your company is quickly scaling both its support and sales functions, Zendesk may be overkill. If you are looking for a solution that gives you the basic functionality of a ticketing system that works with o365, Outlook and Gmail, that doesn’t require routing of emails via a different platform, that doesn’t insert ticket numbers or apply templates to your emails, then timetoreply is a better option.

Pros & Cons of Zendesk

Pros:

  • Exhaustive list of features and functionality
  • Offers solutions for sales teams
  • Offers solutions for support teams
  • Sunshine Platform enables powerful customization
  • Tracks support requests across web, mobile apps, and social media
  • Live chat software
  • Excellent collaboration tools
  • Extensive knowledge management platform
  • Powerful ticketing system software
  • Forum software
  • Excellent security functionality and support
  • Extensive app marketplace of over 1200 apps integrated to Zendesk
  • Offers a customizable customer experience that helps teams remain productive
  • Compliant to GDPR, SOC 2 and other governance requirements

Cons:

  • Requires you to go all-in on their platform
  • Users require training and upskilling to get most out of the solution
  • Some businesses find ticketing systems impersonal and prefer dealing with their customers on email
  • Some communication inevitably lands up circumnavigating the ticketing system
  • Technical setup required
  • Only offer cloud-based solutions which can be seen as a con for some larger organisations that require on premise solutions.
  • Can be expensive, especially when you use all the features
    Does your business really need so many features?

Looking for the best alternative to Zendesk? Try timetoreply for free

Why choose timetoreply over Zendesk?

There’s no denying it: Zendesk is a powerful platform for any company looking to manage their customer service and sales inquiries at scale.

For mid-sized companies however, moving all your email operations to Zendesk is a major time and financial investment.

If you only want to start tracking data on your team’s email performance without the countless bells and whistles offered by Zendesk, timetoreply can help.

Like Zendesk, timetoreply enables you to improve your team’s efficiency by empowering them with data and reports on email performance that can be used to maximize productivity.

If your business is growing fast and you find you the volume of incoming emails is too much for your support or sales team to manage, you can start hiring new reps or build new systems to help keep team inboxes under control.

timetoreply gives you data on your shared inboxes – such as [email protected] – and provides you with granular detail on individual inboxes.

If you don’t want to move your customer facing and sales teams onto a whole new platform but still want to extract useful data from your existing email activities, timetoreply is the perfect alternative to Zendesk.

Freshdesk overview

Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an online cloud-based customer service software solution that provides companies with help desk support and offers several smart automations to help companies resolve customer requests more quickly. Like Zendesk it too is an out and out ticketing system.

The platform is ideal for B2C brands that receive a high number of incoming requests and is a popular choice among companies that are scaling and looking to boost customer engagement and improve customer management.

The solution enables companies to triage customer service requests, build automated workflows, and tag fellow support agents into conversations, making it ideal for collaborative customer service.

Freshdesk allows integration of social media accounts, support phone numbers, live chat, and website conversations to provide support teams with a single view of all incoming requests, regardless of the channel from which they arrive.

It remains a popular choice for companies that want to scale their customer service capabilities as they grow.

What’s missing from Freshdesk?

Unlike timetoreply, Freshdesk is a full blown ticketing system and requires team members to leave their inbox and learn a new system. Customers experience a ticketing system experience rather than an email experience which can be more personal. To use the platform to its full potential, significant infrastructure changes will be required alongside a full migration of all your team’s email activities onto Freshdesk.

Freshdesk Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Ideal for B2C brands receiving high numbers of customer requests
  • Smart automations help resolve customer requests more quickly
  • Good for collaborative customer service
  • Integrates social media, phone numbers, live chat, and website conversations for single view of customer requests
  • Great for companies looking to scale customer service capabilities
  • Messaging enables easy engagement via customer channel of choice
  • AI-powered chatbots help guide customers to resolve queries
  • Contact Centre solution helps guide resolutions to customer queries and improves call productivity

Cons:

  • Not built to provide support to sales teams
  • Some businesses find ticketing systems impersonal and prefer dealing with their customers on email
  • Some communication inevitably lands up circumnavigating the ticketing system
  • Infrastructure investment required to migrate email activity to Freshdesk
  • Can be a steep learning curve for new users
  • Limited reporting features
  • Only offer cloud-based solutions which can be seen as a con for some larger organisations that require on premise solutions.
  • Customizing reports requires extensive product knowledge and training
  • More suited to B2C companies

Looking for the best alternative to Freshdesk? Try timetoreply for free

Why choose timetoreply?

If you’re not ready to shift all your email activity to a new platform, it’s likely to early for your company to use Freshdesk. The platform is also more suited to customer service – not for both sales and support.

If you’re looking for actionable insights into your customer service and sales teams’ email activities, timetoreply could be perfect for you.

Your team can use timetoreply’s email analytics to identify trends in support tickets and sales inquiries and apply a data-driven approach to all client-facing email interactions.

timetoreply also integrates with your existing inboxes and does not require a full migration to a new platform to enjoy its benefits. Within minutes of using timetoreply, you can start gaining actionable data insights and use that information to set high-impact goals and targets for your customer-facing teams.

timetoreply is perfect for B2B companies that want to gain insight into their email productivity but don’t need a comprehensive customer service platform.

FrontApp vs Zendesk vs FreshDesk recap

All of timetoreply, Front, Zendesk and Freshdesk are outstanding solutions that can provide business benefits to your company. However, depending on your company size and specific needs, the best solution for you may vary.

timetoreply is ideal for companies that want to gain access to actionable data that can unlock instant improvements in their teams’ email performance. Within minutes of connecting your mail accounts, you can start accessing detailed reports with data that includes:

  • Average time it takes to reply to customer communication
  • Average number of conversations per day
  • Average inbound emails per hour

Companies can track their team’s performance against their goals and service-level agreements. timetoreply is also an addition to existing processes, not a complete ecosystem change with all the time and resource investment such a process implies.

Tools such as Front, Zendesk and Freshdesk however, require ecosystem changes within your organization. Your teams will need to move their email activity to the chosen platform to make use of their features. While this may be a worthwhile move, it’s important to make the distinction as there is significant additional effort required.

Time needs to be allocated to migrate email activities to the new platform, and budget needs to be allocated to cover the short-term costs associated with that.

However, if your teams are drowning in customer emails and you need a dedicated platform to handle customer service operations, all three are great options.

Why you should choose timetoreply

If you’re not ready for the type of ecosystem and process changes needed to make use of Front, Zendesk or Freshdesk, but you want to start tracking and improving your team’s email productivity with a view to optimizing reply times, then timetoreply is for you.

Activate a free 15-day trial, and within minutes start seeing actionable dashboards with invaluable insights into your team’s email productivity. Set goals, add inboxes, and start taking a data-driven approach to improving customer and sales lead -facing communication.

timetoreply offers both a cloud-based SaaS solution and self hosted options. The platform works with O365, Gmail, MS Exchange, and IMAP inboxes.

There’s also no need to radically change any internal processes to make timetoreply work – just enable the solution for your sales and support teams, start gathering valuable data, and then apply that data to your customer service and sales strategies to unlock greater efficiency and productivity across your teams.

Your teams won’t have to undergo any training or change management to unlock the benefits of timetoreply – simply enable the solution and start tracking your team’s performance in the background.

timetoreply is also ISO27001 certified and fully compliant with GDPR, so your teams can work safely in the knowledge that they’re operating securely and within all regulatory bounds.

Getting started is as easy as clicking here to start your 15-day free trial and begin experiencing the benefits of data-driven customer communication.

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