What is a Help Desk Ticketing System?
A help desk ticketing system is responsible for helping your customer service department stay organized when processing and addressing various forms of customer communication. But how exactly does a cloud-based help desk ticketing system work and how do you use one effectively?
We’ll explore all the basics in this guide.
Help Desk Software Basics
Help desk software is software designed to provide service and solutions to people who need them, usually in the context of technology. For example, if you’re using a new app and you encounter a bug that prevents you from using the app properly, you might file a report with the help desk service portal and wait to hear back from a customer service agent.
Help desks can be used for both internal support and external customer ticket resolutions. For example, if your company develops and hosts software for thousands of end users, you can use help desk software for ticket management and gather reports from users and correct issues as they arise (or provide guidance to people who are confused about how your software works). Internally, you might use service desk software to consolidate technical requests from your employees and streamlining operations within your IT department.
Help desk platforms usually come with an assortment of different features, but one of the most important features is a “ticketing” system. Whenever someone asks a question, raises a concern, or opens a conversation, they create a new instance in the back end of the system known as a support ticket. This ticket represents a standing issue that needs to be addressed and resolved.
From there, tickets can be automatically categorized and organized based on certain parameters, such as how and when a person creates the ticket. Ticket routing will help assign requests to specific individuals or specific teams and forwarded to different people as the ticket evolves; for example, if a customer service agent doesn’t understand how to resolve this ticket, they may send it to their immediate supervisor.
Within the ticket, agents can communicate directly with the ticket creator, applications, write descriptions, and provide notes for others. Whenever the ticket is finally resolved, it can be closed and removed from the system (though a record of the ticket will remain for data analytics and archiving purposes as well as monitor service level agreements and desk performance).
The Benefits of a Help Desk Ticketing System
There are several good reasons to have an online help desk ticketing system in place:
- Customer/employee control and autonomy. Most people appreciate autonomy in the form of self-service. Instead of having to call a customer service line or contact the IT department every time you run into an issue, you can simply call up the ticketing system and enter a ticket yourself. You can concisely describe the nature of the problem, categorize the ticket, and send it off. Depending on the nature of your ticket, you may get an immediate response; thanks to AI, it’s possible to create a help desk ticketing system that provides automated responses to certain types of queries via live chat with an AI Virtual Assistant.
- Customer feedback and direction. Allowing customers to generate their own tickets gives them a Direct Line of communication to your business. You can quickly figure out what some of the most common issues faced by customers are, then use that information to improve your products and services. For example, are people frequently complaining about the new feature that you added? Perhaps it’s time to remove or change it.
- Omnichannel customer support. Help desk ticketing systems aren’t relegated to any one communication channel; instead, they can be leveraged in almost any number of contexts. You can allow customers to create tickets from within your app, through your website, on social media, or even through email. On the back end, your system will automatically consolidate details from these interactions to create tickets in real time and in a consistent format.
- Faster resolutions. Generally, ticketing systems allow for faster problem resolutions. Because tickets are created quickly, efficiently, and in a consistent format, your customer service agents have all the tools they need to identify potential problems and address them. Customers get responses quickly, and sometimes immediately, ultimately allowing them to leave happy and thus ensuring you can always improve customer satisfaction.
- Ticketing automation. Most help desk platforms have some form of ticketing automation in place, streamlining and automating tasks that would otherwise require manual time and effort. If you’re upgrading from a rudimentary, mostly manual system, this can save you a ton of time and money.
- Agent information. Tickets work well for customer service agents because they always present the most important information in a properly organized format. Agents don’t have to perform significant fact finding to figure out the root cause of the issue; instead it’s presented directly to them
- Agent knowledge. Most of the time, help desk ticketing systems are equipped with robust knowledge bases, which employees can use to find answers to common problems. Within the same platform, an employee can read up on a customer’s issue, figure out the best way to respond, and then write a response.
- Employee resources and support. Help desk software isn’t just about helping your customers. It’s also about helping your employees. If anyone on your team has difficulty managing your current systems and technologies, they can use a ticketing system to get the support they need.
- Cost savings. Almost any system with automation has the power to save you money, and ticketing systems are no exception. If you rely extensively on the automatic components of your ticketing system, you can probably afford to hire fewer staff members and cut costs in other areas.
- Operational streamlining. Organizations that harness the power of help desk ticketing systems typically operate more efficiently and in a more streamlined way. This workflow is intuitive and, in most cases, mostly automatic, meaning your employees can spend their time and effort on more significant matters.
- Record keeping and analytics. Don’t forget that help desk ticketing systems are exceptional at collecting and reporting on data related to customer and employee inquiries. If you analyze this information, you can probably find and address the most pressing challenges for your organization.
How to Choose the Best Help Desk Ticketing System
There are many different types of external and internal help desk ticketing systems out there, so how should you make this decision?
This is a good place to start:
- Document your needs. What are you trying to get out of your help desk ticketing system? What are your needs and how will this platform solve them?
- Document your workflows. What are your current workflows with regard to customer service and employee tech support? How could these workflows be modified and adapted to an environment where your ticketing system centralizes these operations?
- Set a budget. There are help desk ticketing systems for almost any budget, but it pays to know what your budget is going in. How much are you willing to spend on this? How much of a return can your ticketing system offer?
- Work with the team. Don’t try to make this decision alone. You’ll have a much easier time and you’ll end up making a better decision if you work directly with people who will be using this system on a regular basis.
Key Factors to Consider in a Help Desk Ticketing System
As you explore different help desk ticketing systems, keep the following factors in mind:
- Core features. What are the core capabilities of this platform? Obviously, it should be able to create and organize tickets, but what else can it do? How does it handle reporting? Does it have chatbots that can automatically handle certain tickets?
- AI and machine learning tools. AI can instantly elevate the power and sophistication of your help desk ticketing platform. With the right tools, you can automate even more help desk activities, learn more about your customers, and even predict future customer behavior.
- Channel support. Are you able to use this ticketing system across all communication channels?
- Integrations. Does this ticketing system connect to other systems that your business already uses? Can you quickly and easily transmit information between these platforms?
- Learnability. Consider the learnability of this platform. If your employees are learning how to use it for the first time, how long will it take them to master the basics? Are there tutorials and guides available if they’re struggling?
- Usability. Is this platform fast and efficient? Is it intuitive enough that employees won’t struggle with it on a daily basis?
Customizations. How much customization potential does this platform offer? Can you tweak it to your liking with add-ons and extra features?
- Price. Obviously, you need to think about pricing. Does this platform fit your budget?
- Future plans and updates. Are the developers thinking about the future? Are there new features that will be released soon? Are bug-fixing and improvement patches committed regularly?
Are you putting together a help desk ticketing system? Or are you overhauling your entire customer service strategy? The right AI-powered tools can make your job easy and save you time every day. Request a demo today to see how Aisera can supercharge your service experience with AI & Automation.