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A Complete Guide to Support Ticket Systems

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A Complete Guide to Support Ticket Systems

Mar 15, 2024
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9 min read
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Imagine that your company is hit by a major system outage. The fallout is immediate – a surge in user complaints and the potential for significant revenue loss. In such a critical situation, there is going to be a huge increase in the volume of customer queries and what can really help in such a situation is an efficient support ticket system.

A support ticket serves as a structured communication tool, turning chaotic user complaints into organized, actionable items. It streamlines the process of resolving issues efficiently and keeping clients informed, improving customer experience.

In this guide, we will talk exclusively about support tickets, their role in customer service, and their benefits. We will also share best practices for choosing a support ticketing system to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Measuring customer satisfaction: The essential guide

Table of Contents

What is a support ticket?

A support ticket is a documented record of a customer’s issue or query and the process of resolving it. 

It is usually created in a customer support software system designed for managing the escalations of customer issues.

A support ticket contains crucial information such as:

  • Customer’s contact details like their name, email address, and phone number.
  • Description of the problem they are facing, any error messages encountered, or specific questions they need assistance with.
  • Any steps taken towards resolution of the problem
  • Other relevant information conveyed by the customer

Support tickets can help you track the progress of an issue from when it is reported all the way to when it is resolved. This ensures a structured approach to problem-solving and consistent communication with the customer.

Top 10 helpdesk software for small businesses

What is a support ticket system?

A support ticket system is a software application that manages and maintains lists of issues, reported by customers, in the form of “tickets”.

It is also known as a help desk ticketing system or customer service ticketing system.

Tickets can be generated from various channels such as social media, direct messaging, live chat, or email. This multi-channel approach enables companies to unify ticket requests from across all these platforms on a single dashboard.

A support ticket system allows for the categorization and tagging of issues enabling agents to better prioritize work.

How are support tickets useful?

Support tickets serve as a centralized system for managing and resolving customer issues.

Let’s dive in and discover how support tickets help in effective issue tracking and prioritization.

  • Support tickets allow your teams to track the progress of all reported issues from start to finish. It enables your agents to manage and resolve customer queries with ease. 
  • They act as a communication link between the customer and the support team, centralizing all issue-related updates and information. 
  • The data from support tickets helps in analyzing team performance, tracking response times, and identifying areas of improvement. 
  • Over time, resolved tickets can be consolidated into a knowledge base, enabling quicker and more efficient handling of similar issues in the future. 

Examples of support ticket software

Support ticket software, also known as help desk software, helps organizations to streamline the handling of customer queries and issues. Here are some of the popular support ticket software:

1. Hiver

Hiver's intuitive multichannel helpdesk
Hiver’s intuitive multichannel helpdesk

A multi-channel helpdesk that works inside Gmail, Hiver is extremely easy to set up and use as it fits intuitively within Gmail’s interface. With Hiver, you can manage email, live chat, knowledge base, and voice communication without leaving Gmail. The platform also offers robust functionalities such as automations, and in-depth analytics. 

2. Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service software that allows you to offer multichannel customer support across email, phone, knowledge base, and live chat. It streamlines your support team’s workflow and improves their efficiency. However, Zendesk is nearly 2x more expensive than Hiver and is better suited for enterprises considering it’s price. 

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is popularly known for its low-cost pricing plans, making it quite affordable for small and medium businesses. They even offer a free plan that offers basic features such as self-service, ticket management, and internal collaboration for up to 10 users.

4. Hubspot Service Hub

A part of the broader HubSpot platform, Service Hub provides ticketing and customer service tools that are integrated with HubSpot’s sales and marketing tools.

5. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a part of Zoho’s suite of business software and offers robust ticketing and customer support capabilities. It is quite an affordable option for both startups and small businesses and offers several critical support features. The platform allows you to turn customer queries into tickets and assign them to your team.

6. Help Scout

Help Scout started out as a shared inbox tool and has evolved into a customer service platform over the years. It helps businesses of all sizes offer seamless multi-channel support. Beacon, Help Scout’s chat feature allows customers to self-serve themselves whenever they have queries. In situations where they are not able to find answers themselves, it also offers an option to connect to a live agent.

The benefits of a support ticket system

Support ticket systems bring a variety of benefits to organizations, especially those with a significant customer service component. Here are some of the key benefits it brings to your company:

1. Streamlined workflow

Support ticket systems automatically organize and prioritize customer inquiries, helping support teams to address the most critical issues first. 

For example, Hiver allows you to assign all incoming customer queries to support agents and ensures no conversation is missed. Every email has an associated resolution status that allows you to see if a customer query is pending or closed. You can also leverage Hiver’s automations to assign incoming emails to specific agents. For instance, all emails with ‘Invoice’ in the subject line can be routed to the Finance Team

Assign incoming emails to agents with Hiver's automations
Assign incoming emails to agents with Hiver’s automations

2. Improved customer service

By ensuring that every customer inquiry is tracked and addressed, these systems can significantly enhance the quality of customer service.

3. Efficient communication

Support ticket systems consolidate all customer communications in one place, providing a clear history of interactions and making it easier to manage ongoing communication. 

4. Performance tracking

These systems offer valuable metrics on response times, resolution times, and customer satisfaction, helping businesses to monitor the performance of their support teams and identify areas for improvement.

5. Collaboration

Many support ticket systems allow multiple team members to work on the same ticket, fostering teamwork and facilitating more efficient problem-solving.

6. Knowledge base creation

Customer service representatives often find themselves deflecting repetitive queries which could in fact, be handled better by enabling a self-service option. A knowledge base is quite useful in this case since it allows customers to find answers to commonly asked questions by themselves without having to rely on support agents. This improves agent efficiency and customer satisfaction as well.

What to look for in a support ticket system?

There are several key features you should consider when evaluating which system best aligns with your organization’s unique needs.

1. User friendly interface

To begin, consider the system’s usability. An intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface is crucial to ensure your team can quickly adapt to the software. It should offer a clean layout and require minimal training to get started – allowing your team to focus on addressing customer needs rather than struggling to navigate complicated software.

2. Multichannel support

Today’s customers interact with businesses across a multitude of touchpoints. As such, your support ticketing system should be capable of consolidating requests from different channels – email, phone, social media, live chat, and others – into a single, coherent dashboard. This enhances your team’s efficiency by allowing them to manage and respond to inquiries from a centralized location, regardless of the initial point of contact.

3. Automation capabilities

Look for a ticketing system that includes automation features. This could include automatic ticket assignment, priority setting, and follow-up reminders. Automation can drastically reduce manual effort, streamline workflows, and ensure timely responses, thereby increasing overall efficiency.

For example, you can trigger conditional assignments, skill-based assignments, round-robin assignments and more with Hiver.

Automating customer service (without losing the human touch)

4. Collaboration functionalities

Your support ticketing system should foster teamwork. Features such as collaborative notes and the ability to assign or transfer tickets between team members can significantly enhance collective problem-solving efforts.

5. Scalability

As your business grows, your customer service needs will inevitably grow with it. Opt for a system that can scale with your business and accomodate an increasing volume of tickets.

6. Reporting and analytics

To continually improve customer service, you need data. The support ticketing system should provide reporting tools that offer insights into key metrics such as response time, resolution time, customer satisfaction scores, and more.

These insights can guide data-driven decision-making and help identify areas for improvement. For example, with Hiver’s Analytics, you can view multiple reports and also create custom reports based on your specific requirements.

Build your own reports with Hiver's Custom Reports
Build your own reports with Hiver’s Custom Reports

7. Security and compliance

In an era of heightened data privacy concerns, ensure the system adheres to the necessary security standards and regulatory compliance requirements relevant to your industry.

For instance, Hiver – a Gmail based helpdesk has stringent processes, technologies, and policies to ensure data security. Aside from this, Hiver is ISO 27001 compliant, SOC2 Type II compliant, GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA compliant.

8. Integrations

Finally, check if the support ticket system integrates smoothly with other tools and software your business already uses. Seamless integrations can further optimize your workflows and improve data sharing between different systems.

By thoroughly evaluating each of these aspects, you can select a support ticketing system that not only enhances your customer service capabilities but also drives your business towards sustained growth and success.

Wrapping up

Support ticketing systems serve as the backbone of efficient and effective customer service operations. By streamlining workflows, facilitating communication, and enabling performance tracking, these systems can greatly enhance your business’s customer service capabilities and overall performance.

It’s important to remember that choosing the right support ticketing system isn’t just about finding the most advanced features. Rather, it’s about finding a solution that best aligns with your unique business needs, customer expectations, and the scale of your operations.

Evaluate your current system or the one you’re considering against these parameters. Try implementing a new technique, exploring a previously overlooked feature, or refining your existing strategy using the insights shared.

If you want to try out a support ticket software, take a demo here!

An engineer by qualification and a marketer by profession, Ronia loves to create research oriented, educational content for her audience. Her expertise lies in helping teams manage business communication effortlessly by diving into common questions, industry trends, and more. When not working you can find her catching up on Netflix or spending time with her dogs.

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