Help desks play a crucial role in every business’s customer service strategy. Whether customers report service interruptions or employees contact IT departments about software issues, you need a way to receive, categorize, and prioritize communication to ensure the best service.
Enter help desk ticketing.
Consider the following questions: How well does your business meet service level agreements (SLA)? How much time do customer service reps spend responding to common questions? Could your teams be more productive? What are your customer satisfaction scores?
If the answers show a need for improvement, this guide is for you. You’ll learn how customer support ticket management works, its benefits, and the features to look for in a help desk ticketing platform.
What Is a Help Desk Ticketing System?
A help desk ticketing system is software that automatically tracks customer questions or requests, ensuring timely responses. It serves as a central repository, consolidating queries from various channels such as email, phone calls, and chatbots.
Help service desk ticketing doesn’t just apply to external customers. Larger companies can also leverage the ticketing process to manage internal support.
Here’s how it works.
Online customers access the ticketing system through your website’s help desk center. Help centers are web pages that store troubleshooting information customers need. Clickfunnel alternatives such as Unbounce and Leadpages help build organized and intuitive funnel pages, enabling visitors to contact customer service efficiently.
Customers also access the ticketing system from your chatbot, IVR menu, email, or phone calls.
The system records the query and creates an incident ticket with a unique ID. Support staff use this ID to track the status of the issue.
Next, the system assigns priority to the incoming ticket based on a predefined matrix that measures urgency and severity. For example, an airline customer service team may rank issues around online check-in higher than missing or unrecorded frequent flyer miles.
Once the ticket is categorized and prioritized, the system assigns it to a support agent based on skills or availability. The agent works to resolve the incident and escalate it to a specialized team member if necessary.
Check out the ticket management platform below.
Users see tickets grouped by status (new, open, pending, hold, sent, overdue, and closed) on the side panel. From the main screen, users view who’s assigned to which ticket and review communication or resolution attempts.
Once the agent resolves and closes the ticket, the system sends a survey to collect feedback on the customer’s experience and the effectiveness of the resolution. Support queries don’t disappear after resolution. The data collected provides valuable insights that inform future interactions and guide customer service strategies.
Features of Help Desk Ticketing Systems
Help desk solutions can be standalone tools or part of an IT service management package. Whatever the case, here are must-have features for your system:
- Centralization – the ability to collect requests across different channels and consolidate them to deliver 360-degree support experiences. With the platform, you should be able to capture, track, and resolve all customer queries quickly and efficiently.
- Workflow automation – the ability to automate ticket management processes such as categorizing and prioritizing based on predefined rules or parameters. For example, you should be able to create rules to prioritize issues by SLA response times.
- Self-service portal – enables customers to troubleshoot common issues. You should be able to create knowledge bases that answer FAQs, ensuring you solve tickets quicker and reduce the burden on help desk teams.
See WordPress’ self-service guides for troubleshooting, building landing pages, monetizing blogs, and more above as an example.
- Integration – seamless communication with third-party apps. For instance, you can look for integration with your CRM so you can have a comprehensive view of your customer, enabling the support team to give personalized service.
- Security – the ability to protect sensitive customer data. With the platform, you should be able to comply with privacy laws such as GDPR and industry regulations like HIPPA. They specify how businesses should collect and store customer information. Some of their requirements include customer consent to collect data, encryption, and access control.
- Reporting and Analytics – generation of custom reports in real time. The platform should allow you to gain insights, which you can use to optimize customer support operations. For example, since you know your usual ticket volume, you can schedule shifts effectively and efficiently.
The analytics dashboard above, for instance, highlights various performance metrics, including days to close tickets and customer satisfaction.
Depending on the help desk ticketing platform you choose, you can get other advanced features like shared inboxes and customer feedback and surveys.
Major Benefits of Help Desk Ticketing Systems
What if you had hundreds of inbound requests of varying importance? Say, one is a phone call asking about your holiday hours, and the other is a chat from a customer experiencing log-in issues. Which should customer service agents address first?
Because a help desk platform has all the features I mentioned in the previous section, you can navigate the scenario above without any hiccups. As a result, here are the specific benefits you can derive from a help desk ticketing platform as a business:
Ticketing systems boost employee productivity in several ways.
Business automation isn’t limited to marketing and sales funnel software. Tasks like customer request collection, ticket creation, priority setting, and agent assignment are mundane and repetitive. And while they are necessary, they aren’t core to the job function. Automating these tasks saves time, allowing staff to focus on problem-solving. Automation also reduces errors. The result is faster response times and improved service.
The second way ticketing boosts productivity is prioritization. Customers reach out to you for various reasons. It could be positive or negative customer feedback about a product or experience. It could be information gathering. Sometimes, they need assistance in using your service. Prioritizing customer service requests that impact business allows you to meet SLA standards and delight customers.
Finally, self-service options boost productivity. Not all customer interactions require human intervention. Self-service stats show that 67% of consumers prefer to solve their own problems. Help desk tools with knowledge banks reduce turnaround times and free agents to handle high-priority tasks.
Improved productivity means you can do more with less. Time is money. Automation and canned responses save team members from wasting time on activities that don’t add value. Moreover, they enable you to provide excellent service with fewer employees. That means reduced costs without compromising service quality.
Improves Customer Satisfaction
Customer experience is pivotal to sustainable growth. Around 89% of customers are more likely to buy from you again after a positive customer service interaction.
By housing customer data and conversation history in one place, ticketing tools empower help desk agents to deliver faster, personalized service. Support teams don’t have to toggle between different applications. Customers don’t have to repeat information to different representatives.
Another way help desk ticketing improves customer satisfaction is by providing actionable customer insights. Managers can discover trends and identify bottlenecks. Let’s say you’re a VPN service provider. A spike in tickets around restoring firmware to routers using your service indicates a need to add knowledge base articles to your help center.
Performance reports also ensure you maintain SLA compliance. Metrics like response rates and resolution time enable you to make data-driven decisions to improve customer support experience. For example, if your average response time isn’t where it should be, maybe reorganizing employee scheduling will improve coverage.
Future of Help Desk Ticketing System
As with every other industry, artificial intelligence (AI) marks the future of support ticketing. AI-driven customer service software will help growing businesses respond to large influxes of customer tickets. Furthermore, they can evolve beyond rule-based automation, enabling ticketing tools to account for new scenarios.
For example, cognitive automation features will accelerate the time it takes to identify and solve customer issues. Machine learning algorithms will also help businesses analyze the mountains of data they collect for increased efficiency.
Other ways AI will impact help desk management include:
- 24/7 chatbot support
- Ticket triaging
- Sentiment analysis
- Language translations
- Predictive analytics
Conversational support is also the future of help desk ticketing systems. Messaging apps aren’t just for family and friends. With applications like WhatsApp adding business features, more and more people will use messaging tools to contact businesses. Natural language processing will enable messenger bots to have more human-like interactions with customers.
Help desk ticketing is a vital component of effective customer experience operations. They streamline workflows, which enhance productivity so customer support teams can focus on providing stellar customer service.
If your goal is unrivaled customer satisfaction, you need a help desk system. Other benefits include increased employee productivity and reduced costs.
When choosing customer support tools, look for solutions that align with your business needs. Must-have features include multi-channel support, workflow automation, third-party integration, and reports.
Tools like Proprofs Help Desk offer end-to-end support. They also combine basic ticketing with advanced features like knowledge banks, live chat, and collaboration to deliver effortless ticket management.