Customer-facing support roles are fast-paced and require a lot of focus — to master them, your team needs to be organized and capable of maintaining an efficient workflow.
That's why the HubSpot Support team — which fields a few thousand support cases every weekday — uses issue tracking software.
In this post, we'll review what issue tracking software is and cover the best options available for your business this year and beyond.
What Is Issue Tracking Software?
Issue tracking software is a customer service and support tool that records incoming support cases from start to finish. It monitors a case's progress and provides updates whenever there's a change on a ticket. This ensures service cases are completed on time and no customer request is lost.
Issue tracking software also helps busy support teams, like HubSpot, stay ahead of customer demand, categorize and monitor active service cases, manage daily workloads, and track long-term and/or complicated inquiries.
Issue tracking software isn't limited to customer tickets, either. If an employee notices a problem, they too can report it through the software. In fact, some systems even automatically submit tickets when the software encounters internal issues.
Benefits of Issue Tracking Software
Now let's look at some more benefits you'll get out of issue tracking software.
1. Omnichannel Support
It's important to communicate with customers using their preferred channels. So, your issue tracking software should field customer tickets from several different sources, including phone, email, live chat, social media, and online forms. This will help your support team create an omnichannel experience for your customers.
2. App Integrations
One important feature for issue tracking software is the ability to integrate with your other apps and service and support tools, like Service Hub or your CRM platform. This lets you centralize data into one location, preventing data silos and making it easier to find timely information.
3. Collaboration Features
Two heads are better than one. So, software that allows teammates to work on an issue at the same time is beneficial because it ensures every ticket is getting solved as efficiently as possible.
In other words, issue tracking software streamlines and improves your team's ability to communicate and collaborate in real-time on any ticket.
4. Automation Features
Since manual labor can only do so much, it's extremely helpful to have automation that can assign tasks, fill in answers to common questions, and organize tickets based on priority. These features will save your reps time and increase their daily productivity.
5. Ticketing System
It's difficult for issue tracking software to operate without a ticketing system. Tickets provide a document for the software to track and centralizes all case information into one location. Many issue tracking tools, like HubSpot, come with a ticketing system. However, if your software doesn't have a ticketing system pre-installed, make sure it can integrate with an external one.
6. Analytics and Reporting
Every issue tracking system should come with some form of reporting and analytics. This way, you can track your team's progress and identify areas to optimize performance.
For instance, HubSpot's Issue Tracking Software offers visualizations and dashboards to analyze performance and communicate insights information to your team. You can also establish goals and benchmarks for your team to work towards and then refer to the built-in analytics to assess rep ticket volume and performance.
7. Customer Feedback Loop
After a ticket is closed, your software should ask customers for their feedback on their experience. This — along with analytics — will help you continually modify and improve your service offer.
8 Best Issue Tracking Software
Now that we've covered the basic features of issue tracking software, check out the lists below to find a free or premium option that's best for your support team.
Free Issue Tracking Software
Here are some powerful and free issue tracking software — something to keep in mind is that certain tools, like HubSpot, have a free-forever plan as well as the option to upgrade to a premium/ paid version of the tool for greater flexibility and more features.
1. HubSpot Issue Tracking Software
HubSpot's Issue Tracking Software is a shared inbox where you can view all of your customer issues — visualize reports on all active and ongoing issues in a single location. The tool also automates ticket escalation and issue tracking so your team doesn't miss a request.
Prioritize requests and create reports with the metrics that matter to your team — HubSpot will also track responses and satisfaction over the course of the customer lifecycle for you.
Connect HubSpot to one of over 500 integrations via the App Marketplace, take advantage of Service Hub's other powerful customer service and support features, and integrate your issue tracking data with your all-in-one CRM to unite all of your customer data across the business.
Tool Highlight: Best for combining issue tracking data with all of your business's customer data — located in your integrated CRM and/or service software — to get a complete and unified view of the customer.
Pro Tip: Use HubSpot's Issue Tracking Software to get an overview of all of your customer issues in a single inbox, create informative reports, prioritize requests, and automate customer service tasks.
2. Atlassian Jira Software
Price: Free; paid plans starting at $7/ user average/ month
Atlassian Jira Software is a bug and issue tracking tool with several use cases for customer service teams. It's meant for internal bug tracking, so when team members find bugs and issues while testing products, they can report them to product development.
Any employee can create and submit an issue, and issues can also be imported from a variety of sources, such as Excel or CSV, or from other issue tracking software like Bugzilla or Redmine.
Tool Highlight: Best for bug tracking on your internal teams throughout your entire development process.
Price: Free; paid plans starting at $5/user/ month
ClickUp is a powerful productivity app designed for all users in any stage of development, from solo programmers to large software development enterprises. Whether you use a traditional or agile project approach, it provides an intuitive experience that lets you manage your workload, oversee any issues, and collaborate with your team.
Create Bug Report Forms, manage incoming issues, and prioritize existing bugs in the same place you do the rest of your work with over 15 customizable views and hundreds of flexible features. ClickUp's Bug Queues and Issue Tracking template help QA analysts, engineers, or any Agile team save time on issue tracking with pre-built views, Custom Statuses, and Custom Fields to start optimizing their workflows faster. Plus, you can connect ClickUp to over 1,000 work tools to streamline your team's workflow even further.
Tool Highlight: Streamline your issue tracking processes by prioritizing your bug reports on the same platform that manages your entire project timeline.
4. Tara AI
Price: Free; paid plans starting at $5/ user/ month
Tara is an intuitive sprint planning and issue tracking software for cross-functional teams from engineering, design, and marketing ops.
For software engineering teams, Tara allows you to import issues directly from GitHub. The two-way sync with GitHub enables Tara’s users to convert GitHub issues into tasks where the issue title turns into a task title, the issue description becomes a task description, and assignees become collaborators. The seamless integration streamlines workflows, allowing your entire team to track issues with ease and ship bug fixes faster.
With the help of labels, Tara also takes the hassle out of tracking, categorizing, and prioritizing tasks. Team collaboration is further enhanced through task commenting and @ mentions. Plus, team members can attach files and links to provide more context on every issue or task.
Tool Highlight: Best for complete visibility in the product development process to speed up issue resolution.
5. Zoho BugTracker
Zoho's BugTracker and Issue Management tool helps your team log and track reports based on priority. Reps can set notifications for when new issues are submitted and when updates are made.
The software is also customizable in two ways: you can personalize the interface to meet your team's needs as well as create custom workflows in the support case to meet customer needs.
Tool Highlight: Best for recording bugs and then tracking them based on your desired criteria.
Backlog's bug tracking software follows a four-step process when resolving any software issues: 1) capture, 2) prioritize, 3) track, and 4) release.
During capture, employees document exactly where and when the issue occurred. In prioritize, issues are prioritized based on urgency and assigned to specific team members. When the issue reaches track, team members working on the task can comment on it with updates. Finally, in release, developers can share their resolutions from within the tool.
Tool Highlight: Best for capturing and tracking bugs and then managing the development of your products from start to finish.
Premium Issue Tracking Software
Now let's review three more tools that are always paid options.
HappyFox is a customer issue tracking software that organizes tickets based on category, urgency, and progress. Automated tracking features improve your workflow by streamlining repetitive tasks like updating ticket status and assigning new cases to team members.
You can also gather feedback from your customers then review these metrics via dashboards and reports. When customers are waiting for responses, they can either fill out the feedback forms or review the self-service options you can create, like a knowledge base or community forum.
Tool Highlight: Best for creating a ticket resolution workflow and streamlining the processes of ticket tracking and management.
Price: Plans starting at $19/ month
Airbrake's issue tracking system is designed to resolve problems as quickly as possible. The software alerts your team in real-time whenever an issue is discovered and shows them the exact trail of events that led to the issue so you can prevent it from happening again.
With expert diagnostics, your team will identify any errors and be able to resolve them before they affect your most valuable users. You can release new products feeling secure that you'll be able to recognize and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
Tool Highlight: Best for establishing error monitoring and gathering performance insights for your code and entire app stack.
9. Freshservice Smart Incident Management Tool
Price: Plans starting at $19/ month
Freshservice's Smart Incident Management tool filters tickets by incident type or by other categories, like deadlines, to assist with prioritization. Single screens and shared inboxes improve the ability to collaborate and allow multiple team members to work on a single ticket.
By using integrations like Google Hangout, you can directly chat with the user who submitted the ticket and give them live updates or ask additional questions.
With its automation features, you can speed up processes by setting predefined criteria for priority, category, and employee assignments. You can also easily locate tickets and make updates to ensure the same error doesn't occur twice.
Tool Highlight: Best for establishing ticketing rules that allow you to categorize and assign tickets based on criteria you define.
Start Using Issue Tracking Software
With issue tracking software, your team will never miss a ticket or bug — you'll be able to work efficiently to resolve issues and potentially even gain the necessary insight to prevent them from occurring.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.