3 Signs You Need a Ticketing System Yesterday

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ticketing

“Alright meow, hand over your license and registration.”

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks of that scene in Super Troopers when I hear “ticket.”

Either way, today I want to talk about another kind of ticket.

This one is defined well in the book RT Essentials:

If your organization is anything like any of ours, there’s always a lot of stuff to do. Vendors need to get paid. Customers need to get invoiced. Staff need to do work for customers. Sales inquiries need to be answered. Bugs in hard- or software need to be fixed, and everyone needs to know that they have been fixed. Somebody needs to take out the garbage. And at the end of the day, you’ve got to know who wanted what, who did it, when it got done, and most importantly what remains undone.

That’s where a ticketing system comes in.

Alright, so that’s what a ticket is. Now what’s a ticketing system? Well, unfortunately it depends on who you ask. Our ticketing software directory is supposed to be for software that automates selling and tracking tickets for events such as concerts and conferences. And yet we’ve got some help desk software and issue tracking software vendors in that category as well because “ticketing” can refer to issues or events.

For the purpose of this post, when I refer to a ticketing system, I mean issue tracking software. According to Wikipedia, an issue tracking system is a “computer software package that manages and maintains lists of issues, as needed by an organization.” It’s also sometimes called ITS, troubleticket system, support ticket, request management, and incident ticket system.

When do you need a ticketing system?

1. You’re losing issues in email

“Many businesses try to manage customer issues via email, and that leaves room for error,” Laura Ballam, VP of Marketing at TeamSupport said.

“Emails get lost, or forgotten, or simply fall through the cracks because of the vast amount of emails that come in to a support department,” Ballam said. “And if the email isn’t shared, when a customer contacts you a second time they may get a different agent, who has no access to the previous email exchange.”

But a shared email inbox isn’t a good solution. Robbie Richards writes for JitBit, a company that provides live chat and helpdesk software. I asked him about the signs he’s noticed that alert a company they need a ticketing system. Richards described a pattern. The majority of their customers realize they need a ticketing app the moment they find themselves using one shared mailbox between multiple team members.

“This was the turning point for about three customers just this month alone,” Richards said. “Emails keep piling up and you can’t tell who’s doing what.”

Before becoming one of JitBit’s customers, one IT company came up with a semi-automated system of labels and tags in their email app. This system “eventually became so complex it did more harm than good.” Realizing that, the team switched to using a system of shared folders in MS Exchange, which was “even more painful.”

2. Your agents aren’t getting to issues in time

Another one of Richards’ clients told him that they have just one person handling all the support. That company knew they needed a ticketing system when their CIO discovered this person kept marking emails unread to deal with them later. “It’s actually funny how many people are doing that,” Richards said.

Ballam also sees companies noticing unhappy agents. “Overworked employees are not productive, and frustrated employees eventually leave,” Ballam said. And let’s not forget that unhappy agents don’t provide the same customer service as happy ones.

The solution? Software. For example, TeamSupport customers report an average 20% increase in efficiency after implementing this customer support software.

Let’s examine how we can realize those efficiency gains. First, we can cut down on the time agents spend searching for customer information. As we all know, customers hate giving the same information twice. In fact, if you make customers repeat themselves you’ll make them madder than if you fail to resolve their issue.

As Richards put it, “You need a quick and simple way of reviewing the history for a case/person/company etc.”

What else wastes agents’ time? Tracking support issues in spreadsheets. “Using spreadsheets to manage customer issues is very time consuming and not at all efficient,” Ballam said. “It’s hard to find patterns and commonalities, and has no ability to set reminders or flag important issues like a ticketing system can.”

Another time waster (and bit of boring make-work) is resolving the same issue multiple times. Companies know they need software when, according to Richards, “You end up getting same questions over and over.”

3. You don’t know how quickly agents are getting to issues

Reporting is incredibly important if you want to improve outcomes. You need an objective way to measure agent performance for promotions, outcomes of experiments, which customers are most profitable to retain, etc.

In other words, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. And you can’t measure what you can’t get to. “Having to manually search for information on trends, statistics, and general data is time-consuming,” Ballam said.

How can a ticketing system help?

Losing issues in email

Richards described what happened when the email-befuddled customer tried a “very basic” open-source helpdesk script. “They were amazed how smooth their support workflow became and started looking for a helpdesk app.”

When you have more than one person answering questions and helping customers, you need to see “who’s doing what,” according to Richards. “You need some sort of collision detection.”

A ticketing system includes roles for agents that show you who has what ticket.

Agents aren’t getting to issues in time

Searching for customer information outside a ticketing system is time-consuming. “Ticketing software improves the agent experience by providing the information they need in one central location,” Ballam said.

“A ticketing system helps organize and catalog all customer issues so they are easy to find, which also means agents can resolve customer issues faster. This means happier customers and reduced support costs as they become more efficient.”

“Emails get lost, or forgotten, or simply fall through the cracks because of the vast amount of emails that come in to a support department,” Ballam said. “And if the email isn’t shared, when a customer contacts you a second time they may get a different agent, who has no access to the previous email exchange.”

Canned responses and a knowledge base can help save time otherwise wasted answering the same questions over and over. “Features that allow customer self-service reduce the burden on support agents so they can focus on more complex, and arguably more interesting, issues,” Ballam said.

Not knowing how quickly agents are getting to issues

“A proper ticketing system will include reporting functionality that helps you manage your team, and your customers,” Ballam said. Reporting and compiling data takes forever without one.

Conclusion

The bottom line for when you need a ticketing system comes to us from Ballam. You need one when your customers are unhappy, and before they leave you for good.

“If customers are leaving at a high rate, or giving feedback (for example on a site like Capterra) it could be a sign you need a ticketing system,” Ballam said. “A ticketing system helps you manage customer relationships better and provide a better customer experience so your customers will stay with you longer.”

If you’re ready to shop for a ticketing system, check out TeamSupport and JitBit. To read more than 120 reviews by TeamSupport customers, check out their Capterra profile page.

Our issue tracking software directory has a new feature that allows you to compare up to four vendors side-by-side if these two options aren’t the best fit for you.

If you’re already happy with your issue tracking software, let us know what you’re using in the comments below, along with any stories or suggestions that can help others better serve their customers.

 

Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

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About the Author

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Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a former Capterra analyst.

Comments

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I’d like to suggest a fourth reason:
Your customers do not have an easy to reference identifier with which they can follow up on service/support requests, and other inquiries.
As a result, they are not able to get immediately in touch with the correct person(s) when following up, and so they are forced into a negative customer experience with complex phone trees, agent transfers and having to re-explain the reason for their contact every time.

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