Comprehensive guide to ticketing systems
Regardless of how your help desk works, the appropriate solution should have the right features for your needs.
Is your business still using independent/ standard emails for customer support? Is it extremely challenging to prioritize or track vital client requests?
Are you tired of setting up several complicated folder structures to identify relevant emails? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this guide is for you!
If you are looking for a reliable way to sort out your customers quickly and on time, a support ticketing system is your best bet. It offers a great way to alphabetize how you handle and attend to requests from customers.
But what exactly is a ticketing system, and how can it improve your customer support? Here is an overview:
What is a ticketing system?
For a small start-up or a single-founder brick and mortar store supporting customers through regular emails is somehow OKAY. However, when the business grows along with the volume of support, you may want to consider a shared inbox.
Be as it may, a standard shared mailbox that allows several people to log in and respond to client requests still misses some essential features like;
- It is impossible to follow up on previous emails with a customer or anybody else in the company.
- It is impossible to determine if someone else is also dealing with an issue you are handling.
- It is impossible to track your support staff’s performance. Even if they are just 2 or 3, you will still want to look at factors such as the average time spent on clients, first response speed, or the number of tickets per request.
And this is where ticketing systems come in handy. They are essentially applications that pull incoming requests from your different support inboxes and change them to tickets for clear cut processing and management in the main database.
It differentiates replies from existing tickets to new ones and then passes them along with their respective attachments, like CC-ed users, images, and so on.
Now, from a customer’s perspective, it seems like they are just receiving a simple reply. From the customer support point of view; however, it is a streamlined database of tickets that allows them to:
- Tag or categorize incoming tickets
- Assign tickets to different agents
- Determine time spend on various tickets
- Stay within the service level agreement
- Find answers or look for canned replies in the knowledge
Simply put, ticketing systems convert all incoming requests from various channels into tickets.
This makes it easy to prioritize, follow-up, and even track support requests from one central location. It helps you engage well with clients as well as handle issues more proficiently.
Connecting to your email server
Most ticketing systems connect to your main mailboxes through EWS (Exchange Web Services), IMAP, or POP3 allowing them to pull fresh emails, create tickets, and mark messages as read or deleted in the shared inbox.
The pulled images come with the in-line images and file attachments, which means that when a support agent responds to a certain ticket, it is directly sent to the respective user via SMTP. Also, there are some that do basic anti-virus and spam checks.
How can a ticketing system help your business?
Streamline customer queries
As mentioned earlier, in a reliable ticketing system, inquiries, and requests from several communication platforms are stored in one place. This means your support team can easily monitor, track, solve, and prioritize tickets without necessarily juggling between different tools.
Access context from a central area
When agents access previous tickets from a client, it gives them all the information as well as the context they need to offer better services. The software allows them to access initial customer interactions from any channels through a single and unified location.
Automate various tasks for optimum efficiency
Ticketing software also allows you to automate different routine functions to enhance the speed of responses as well as efficiency. From creating pre-set responses to assigning jobs to agents to determining escalation guidelines if some deadlines are not met, there are tons of things that you can do with the software.
Most ticketing systems can be blended with a database that allows a user to publish comprehensive solution articles as well as other resources that clients can utilize to find important data. This helps reduce ticket volume and the need to reach customer support in some cases.
Get details of team performance.
Another important feature of robust ticketing software is that they allow you to assess how your customer support team is working. It allows you to get insights from different analytics available and utilize the information to make better and informed decisions in the future.
Enhance client loyalty
With an organized client support team and system courtesy of a ticketing system, it becomes easier to satisfy clients. And the chances of these happy clients, not only being loyal to your company are very high, but they will also spread the word about their experiences with your brand.
Who is a ticketing system for?
Both small and large businesses can use a reliable and robust ticketing system to improve their customer support services. You can easily get rid of redundancy in routine tasks and concentrate on expanding your venture via a highly responsive and fast customer support processes.
Similarly, the system is much more efficient and reliable than standard emails as it can help you assign, prioritize, and categorize tickets flawlessly without having to use sophisticated color-coded tags or folder structures.
A help-desk ticketing solution also sets SLA policies to ensure your support team adheres to deadlines when attending and resolving customer queries. If a ticket is not responded too within a certain time, it is escalated to senior support staff.
In addition, you can easily ensure several support agents are not working on the same issue and do not end up spamming your customers’ inbox with several similar responses.
Choosing the right ticketing application for your needs
How do your clients interact with you? Do they contact you via email or phone or do they chat directly with agents on your social media handles or site?
Based on your answers to these questions as well as your resources, look for an application that can handle the communication channels your clients use mostly.
Ease of use
The more innovative and user-friendly a help desk ticketing system is, the easier it will be for your agents to use it. A simple and intuitive one will make sure your support team doesn’t spend several hours or even days on education and training.
Contrast and compare the various applications available in terms of features and pricing. Go for one that is designed with features that are in line with your support needs. If you are providing B2B support, even a free system will do the job.
Vital Features of a ticketing system
There are tons of ticketing applications available on the market today; Most of them with different features. As such, it is important to go for one that addresses your venture’s needs. Here are must-have features of any help desk ticketing system:
Good software should allow you to attend to your customers on several channels such as social media, chat, phone, and email.
It integrates multiple requests from the different channels into one repository making it easier for your agents to handle requests from a wider audience efficiently and promptly without necessarily juggling between multiple platforms, tools, and passwords.
A robust system should help you save time by automating different functions using event-based or time-based triggers. Similarly, automation should allow you to set the rules when it comes to sophisticated workflows and make sure customer questions or calls are routed to the right agent or team.
It should also help you maintain efficiency by setting escalation rules and deadlines.
Customers today expect brands to be consistent and in-line with their personalities. With a reliable system, you can personalize your support help desk to make it appear like an extension of your brand.
From fonts to background colors, you can adjust almost everything to make sure your support matches your site’s design and style.
Also, the application must have an extensive knowledge database that allows you to add comprehensive solution articles and guides. This is a very important resource to clients as it helps them find answers to frequently asked questions without necessarily contacting your support team.
Analytics and Reporting
The system ensures you can track and monitor your customer support team. In-depth statistics about how you are tackling client requests can help you make important decisions for your company correctly.
Chances are your business is using different applications to perform various business operations. For instance, most businesses use tools for email marketing, invoicing, and CRM.
As such, it is important for the right software to be easily integrated with such solutions. Go for one with ready to use integrations or that allows you to create your integrations.
The Right Support Ticket System for Your Business
Are you looking for an external or internal system? The best way to go about it is to ask your clients and employees how happy they are with their experience. If their answers aren’t enthusiastic, then it means your business needs a better way to handle requests.
Regardless of how your help desk works, the appropriate solution should have the right features for your needs now, plus the ability to scale up or down as your brand grows.
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