The day-to-day routine of a typical customer service rep can be quite challenging due to a huge amount of support requests coming in from different communication channels. This is where a ticketing system can make it easier for service teams to handle the daily influx of support queries and effectively manage an unlimited number of requests and incidents, all through a single interface. In fact, the ticketing system technology has greatly revolutionized the way businesses deal with customer service and support.
A ticketing system (also referred to as an online ticketing system, a support ticketing system or a ticket management system) is a software tool that is designed to organize and distribute incoming customer support requests, enabling agents to efficiently manage them and deliver a consistent service experience. A ticketing system is basically the core of today’s customer support software. In particular, ticketing systems come as a featured part of most help desk software solutions available on the market.
When customers send a service request via email or through a contact form, call a support line or start a live chat, the ticketing system automatically creates a document that records and stores a customer’s interactions with a company’s service team. That document or ‘ticket’ is then used by support agents to easily track the progress of a customer’s issue until it’s resolved.
Unlike email, a ticketing system doesn’t require the set-up of multiple folder structures to track customer queries. It brings in all customer conversations from multiple support channels into a single, easily accessible and convenient location with all the context you need. Simply put, a ticketing system is a smart online software that acts as a shared inbox for customer questions and requests.
Depending on the industry a business belongs to, some support agents are able to handle up to 50 cases per day. This is why it’s nearly vital to have a support ticketing system in place that allows agents to deal with significant customer request volumes in a quick, efficient and professional manner. Ticket management systems can also automate a number of routine support tasks, help to increase the support team’s efficiency and productivity while also reducing excessive workload.
A support ticket is an official record of a customer’s request, its current stage of progress, internal notes and other context information regarding the issue. Every ticket that enters the system has its own unique reference number that enables support agents to quickly locate, add information or communicate the status of a user’s request. In an omnichannel ticketing system, a ticket contains the complete stream of emails, chat messages, phone calls, or messages from other communication channels about the same incident or issue reported by a customer.
Each ticket’s progress is marked by a ticket status, or a ticket phase, assigned to it, that explains whether a customer’s problem has been solved, and if not, why. Ticket status names can slightly vary depending on the ticketing software you use, or can even be customized according to your business needs. Every ticket that is created is typically marked as ‘New’ by default. The ticket’s status may then be changed to ‘Open’, ‘Answered’, ‘Pending’, ‘On-hold’, ‘Postponed’, and finally ‘Resolved’ or ‘Closed’ when it reaches its final stage in processing. A ticket is considered closed when a customer’s problem has been resolved, or a request has been handled successfully. ‘New’ and ‘Open’ statuses usually have the highest priority as they need to be dealt with first.
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A professional ticketing software system may include, but is not limited to the following key features and functionalities:
Today’s consumers prefer using various communication channels to connect with brands – very often switching them during a single inquiry. A solid ticketing system must be capable of tracking customer requests from multiple channels and merging them into a single, ordered stream of tickets, easily accessible from a unified inbox.
Workflow automation is an essential feature of any ticketing software. Automation can perform a number of tasks, from automated ticket distribution to ensure that agents always have their optimal load to routing tickets to the right departments according to certain pre-defined criteria for quicker and more efficient resolution, and much more.
Being able to set SLA policies and apply them to different scenarios based on the pre-set rules is an important capability of a good ticketing system. It helps to ensure that agents can easier prioritize tickets and deliver better ticket resolution times, while customers get their requests answered within a reasonable timeframe.
An ability to create categories, apply filters and add tags to tickets is critical for ticketing systems as it provides agents with the flexibility to quickly and easily locate tickets, effectively manage them and customize their support workflows. Ticket tags can also be of great value for spotting popular or common support issues.
A set of team collaboration tools is a must-have for ticket management systems. Those could include basic features like assigning tickets to departments or individual agents, escalating and managing ticket responsibilities, to more advanced such as agent collision detection to prevent multiple agents from working on the same ticket, attaching files and images to tickets, creating internal notes, etc.
Since any support team is likely to get lots of similar queries from different customers, canned (or pre-defined) messages is a highly useful feature that allows agents to create a set of ready responses to the most frequent questions. It helps to streamline their workflow, save a great amount of time and effort, as well as significantly speed up responses.
Robust reporting capabilities are essential for a good ticket management software system. Reports and analytics provide managers and team leaders with invaluable insights enabling them to easily monitor their team’s performance, productivity and progress, identify top and poor performing team members, monitor service standards and track customer satisfaction.
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