When you work for a customer support team long enough, you'll start to notice some patterns in the cases that come across your desk. A lot of times customers ask related questions or are confused about similar tools, making you undergo the same troubleshooting steps again and again.
Don't get me wrong — this consistency is great once you're a seasoned customer support representative. But obtaining that expert level of product knowledge doesn't always come quickly for beginners. Wouldn't it be great if you could streamline the process for all of your new reps?
The good news is you can do just that with a ticketing system. Support ticketing systems record important case information that your entire team can benefit from.
Why You Need a Support Ticketing Tool
Customer support teams rely on ticketing systems to organize their daily workloads and prioritize the most important issues that they need to work on. Instead of having to track down an old email thread or call recording, reps can use a ticketing system to quickly search archived cases and locate important historical information.
For example, when I worked on HubSpot's customer support team, I often struggled with solving webpage design problems. Rather than having to track down an expert, I used my support ticketing system to look at previous cases that dealt with similar issues. This not only provided me with a proven solution to my problem but it also taught me useful coding tricks over time.
A support ticketing system is an important customer service tool that growing businesses use to deliver a consistent customer experience. If your team is looking to adopt a ticketing system or improve your current one, take a look at this list for the best support ticketing tools available this year.
HubSpot's Service Hub tools manage customer support tickets all on one dashboard. Reps can view all communication made on the ticket and oversee the case's progress throughout the entire troubleshooting process. Tickets are also linked to a customer’s contact card in the CRM, making it easier for customer service reps to reference past engagements with the company.
Additionally, HubSpot's Service Hub provides ticket analytics that customer service managers can use to track their team's performance. This data includes important metrics like agent response time and ticket volume, which can indicate if a team is meeting customer demand. If not, management can investigate individual rep workflow and identify key roadblocks that are preventing the team from achieving business goals.
HappyFox is a help desk software that's built around ticket automation. Its support ticketing tools pre-fill ticket properties when they're created, saving customer service reps time in their workflow. The software also provides templates that businesses can distribute amongst their customer service teams. By sharing these ticket templates across the entire department, companies can create a consistent tone and layout for customer-facing communications.
SolarWinds is a cloud-based help desk that includes "incident management software." This feature doubles as a ticketing system and simplifies how tickets are created and organized within the organization. Reps are provided with pre-written rules and checklists that help them complete tasks faster and improve the customer's experience with your brand. Additionally, implementing proactive steps like these creates a consistent and clear workflow that's easy for new reps to learn.
This tool can also be used to provide internal IT support to all employees in your business. Another of its more notable features is its ticket association tool, which groups similar support cases together. This improves response times, especially during a business crisis. Instead of having to sort through a lengthy ticket queue, reps can quickly search for all tickets regarding a specific issue, then send one message to all of the customers in that grouping.
LiveAgent manages customer communications by turning every new customer service engagement into a ticket. Once the ticket is created, LiveAgent distributes the case to an available employee or shared inbox. This not only organizes incoming requests, but it also makes it easier for customer service teams to streamline information to other departments in the company. Reps can work with teams like product management and marketing, and share insights regarding specific customer interactions with the business.
Zendesk is a help desk software that provides a variety of ticket management tools. Its ticketing system integrates all customer communication into the platform, provides agents with a detailed history of past customer interactions, and automates common tasks.
It also offers automatic ticket creation that turns calls, messages, and texts into tickets, with no action needed from any individual agent. If you also have a forum on your website, Zendesk gives you the ability to turn community posts into tickets, should a customer raise a serious issue in a post. You can also share tickets across multiple Zendesk accounts — this is especially useful if a ticket can be used as a training opportunity for service reps.
Front connects your entire customer service department by creating a communal ticketing system. This system uses a shared email inbox that all employees can access. When new service requests come in, they're forwarded to this central inbox where reps can pick and choose the case they'd like to work on.
Even when a case is selected, other reps can still view the progress being made on that ticket. Front offers a shared draft tool that lets reps collaborate on tickets and share ideas and comments before sending a response to the customer. This not only ensures your customers are getting the best answer possible, but it also fosters a teamwork culture on your service teams.
Spiceworks differentiates itself from its competitors by providing users with a mobile interface to work from. Instead of having to use a computer, reps can log in on their phone or tablet when working on the go. Even if a rep goes on vacation, they can oversee all of their open cases from their mobile device. This way your team is always connected with their support inbox and can provide updates to customers the moment that they're available.
Spiceworks is primarily targeted toward IT firms providing support toward other businesses. Alternatively, it can also be used as an internal help desk for IT issues within your company.
AzureDesk's ticketing system can support your entire customer service department. That's because the software allows you to connect an unlimited number of email addresses. This can be a cost-effective solution for teams that have a large customer support staff.
AzureDesk can also be easily integrated with other support apps like Slack or JIRA. Its ticket system has a flexible API structure that's supportive of most customer service integrations. This is useful for brands who are trying to create an omni-channel experience for their customers.
SupportBee is a ticketing system software that includes a shared inbox, knowledge base, and customer portal. With this tool, your entire service team has access to one unified inbox where customer messages, tickets, and complaints can be visible to everyone and distributed accordingly. It also includes unlimited inboxes and tickets, as well as customer satisfaction ratings.
SupportBee is designed to be a simple tool to set up and use. On its home page, the app advertises its short onboarding time and minimal learning curve. If you’re concerned about getting your entire team to learn to use a new software, SupportBee might be the right option for you.
Zoho’s ticketing system allows you to collect tickets from multiple channels, including social media, email, live chat, web forms, and telephone. You can assign tickets automatically to your customer service reps and create assignments based on preset criteria. For example, if one of your service reps is well-trained in website help, then all website help inquiries can be automatically routed to them.
Another helpful feature is its sentiment analysis tool, which helps you and your agents gauge the sentiment in a ticket before opening it. That way, reps respond to negative tickets more quickly, ensuring that the customer doesn’t get angrier.
Ticketing systems can provide your service reps with tools that will help them achieve both individual and team success. However, while the systems listed above are considered the best, they may not be compatible with every website host.
If you're using a host like WordPress, you may need to integrate a ticketing system plugin that's different from the products listed above. The next section lists a few of the top support ticketing systems that offer a plugin for WordPress sites.
WordPress Support Ticketing System
WordPress is a popular website host that offers a unique system for integrating external software onto your business' website.
Rather than installing software via HTML code or using a custom API, WordPress uses "plugins" that make installations simpler. If you're unfamiliar with WordPress plugins, below are a few that you may want to consider adopting for your support ticketing system.
Awesome Support is a WordPress support plugin that's often used as a help desk. It provides a ticketing system, email notifications, and media upload software that makes the workflow easier for your support reps. Additionally, the ticketing system includes restricted access features that prevent other reps from inadvertently responding to an open case.
SupportCandy is a ticketing software that's designed for smaller customer service teams. Users can enjoy features like email notifications, ticket status, unlimited agents, unlimited tickets, and custom fields. You can also include file attachments and private form fields that only your agents can see in the ticket.
Support Ticket System V2 is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to create an unlimited number of tickets, products, and users. Support reps can then search the ticketing system based on a specific ticket, product, or user.
Companies with larger case volumes can benefit from this because it makes it simple to search for a specific ticket. For example, if a customer calls a support team twice about the same issue, the support rep can quickly find the first ticket that was opened and continue working on that thread. This significantly improves the customer experience because it prevents customers from having to repeat their problems to your team.
Improve Your Customer Service with a Ticketing System
A ticketing system can help you keep track of all communication with customers and provide future training material for your reps. It’s also an essential part of an omni-channel support strategy. With the support ticketing tools we’ve recommended, you can focus on giving stellar service, helping you retain more customers and increasing revenue at your company.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 16, 2021 5:00:00 PM, updated April 29 2021