With a wide range of various ticketing software tools available on the market, choosing the right one for your business can be an overwhelming, challenging and time-consuming task. Whether you’re already struggling with a bad-fit solution or are just starting to research the options and evaluate platforms, you will likely encounter a host of providers claiming their product is better than those of competitors, which might make it even harder to select one. Making an informed choice starts well before comparing feature lists. Below is an 8-step, easy-to-use guide to assist you in picking up the most appropriate ticket management system for your business.
Your support team is the one that will use the ticketing system constantly and rely on it heavily. Therefore, as the very first step, you might want to talk to the members of your team and gather some input regarding where they are currently facing problems and what they would consider being the optimal ticketing software solution that will allow them to support customers better while also simplifying their daily routine and increasing productivity.
While your main concern will be finding a ticketing software tool that maximizes the efficiency of your support team, you also want to determine which solution will enable them to deliver a seamless and consistent customer service experience. Think of an ideal customer support interaction and what your current service experience is like from your customer’s perspective, and which features and functionalities of a ticketing system can help your team improve that experience for your customers.
A number of small businesses ignore ticketing software assuming that they can’t afford it. Though certain ticketing tools target large enterprises and have higher subscription plans, there are also lots of others that are great for SMBs and are much more reasonably priced. If cost is a critical factor for your organization, set a budget, research the options meeting your budget limits, and if a tool doesn’t offer what you need within it, move on to evaluating the next one.
Think of the ticketing software type that is the most appropriate for the size and the needs of your business. Cloud-based and web-based (SaaS) solutions are typically better suited for small and mid-sized businesses as they are easier to install and use, offer great scalability and flexibility, can be implemented at low cost, don’t need to be installed on your own server and don’t require an in-house IT expertise to manage them. Whereas on-premises, enterprise, and open-source systems are mostly preferred by large organizations that want to have full control over data security and privacy of the information as these solutions are hosted locally on the customer’s own server. Those are also more costly and harder to implement.
Create a list of essential (must-have) and non-essential (nice-to-have) features to narrow down your choice of software vendors, and use it when comparing different tools. If you are struggling with the list, ask your customer support team to write down all the features that come to their mind and which they would consider helpful – then place them into either of the two columns:
If you are offering a variety of customer support options, the tool’s ability to consolidate all incoming requests from multiple channels into a single centralized inbox should be on top of must-have features. Automation capabilities are also essential for a robust ticket management system - that ensures tickets are always routed to the right agents which enable fast and efficient resolution. Collaboration features, tagging, canned replies, SLA management, reporting, and analytics might as well be critical for your customer support team. Ease of implementation and use, customization possibilities, security and privacy of data, availability of tool support are other important factors to consider along with feature selection.
When evaluating the options pay attention to the tool’s scalability and whether it can grow with your business so that you could switch to a higher subscription plan at any time as your support team expands and as you require more features. It’s also essential to ensure the ticket management solution you choose integrates well with the software tools you currently use across your organization, like e-commerce or payment processing systems, customer relationship management software, online analytics, etc.
Shortlist potential ticketing software providers matching your desired set of must-have features and offering pricing plans that fit your budget. Once you have a couple of options to try, sign up for a Free Trial to test-drive each solution and see which one best suits your requirements. Take into account, however, that some vendors don’t provide free access to all the features available with the tool. Involve your customer support team to test each ticketing system – the best solution will be the one they are able to easily pick up and run with.
Though testing trials are helpful, you are never going to be able to use the tool in exactly the same way when handling real customer requests at your full volume. Therefore, to have a more complete picture, it makes sense to additionally check user reviews (on websites like Capterra or G2Crowd) to see how customers of different ticketing systems talk about their experience and what they enjoy and dislike about the software they use. Apart from top-rated reviews, make sure to look at the negative ones too (if any) to understand where the tool falls short and which potential issues you might face.
Getting the right ticket management solution is a great investment in your service team, your customers and, ultimately, your company. By thoughtfully and carefully considering ticketing software tools and selecting the best fit for your organization, you’ll set your team up for success and improve the service experience for your customers.
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