Article

What is a support ticket?

By Jesse Martin, Content Marketing Associate

Published March 11, 2019
Last updated March 9, 2022

Customer support can often be overlooked as an essential part of an organisation. People tend to underestimate the importance of providing quick and effective responses to the problems that your customers might have.

According to the Customer Experience Trends report, companies are managing more customer data than ever before – and much of that comes in the form of support tickets and conversations. Good support can greatly improve customer satisfaction and is crucial to maintaining brand loyalty. So to help explain what a support representative actually does, let’s start with the basics.

Definition of a support ticket?

The term 'support ticket' describes the interaction between a customer and a service representative. It’s the basic element of any customer experience-related job – allowing your business to create, update and hopefully resolve any problems that your end users might have. Likewise, a good support ticketing system allows your organisation to manage and maintain a list of common problems or questions that your customers may be having.

Help desk software has greatly simplified the task of triaging and solving customers' problems. While some organisations might wrestle with shared inboxes and spreadsheets, a solution that organises incoming tickets, employs automation and directs queries to the appropriate place can be a huge timer saver – not to mention provide a better overall experience for customers.

Today, customer support staff can deal with a much higher ticket volume, while offering quicker response times, thanks to the wonders of the modern help desk.

What is a support ticket system?

Tickets can come from a variety of channels, such as social media, live chat or messaging, email or the customer support portal that you have set up on your company’s website.

An omni-channel approach to customer service enables companies to streamline their ticket workflows by organising requests from all your channels and bringing them onto one comprehensive dashboard. Omni-channel ticketing systems allow queries from any channel, and support ticket systems give visibility into customer conversations across the organisation, allowing the support team to collaborate to solve queries, resolve issues, or pull relevant insights from tickets.

Some help desk providers have chosen to ditch the term 'support ticket' in favour of more human-sounding terms, such as 'conversations' or 'chats'. All of these terms reflect the 'to and fro' nature of support tickets – they are, in fact, conversations, and these conversations carry a wealth of data. This data is relevant to teams across the entire organisation, from marketing to support and sales. Our service-level agreement (SLA) feature, for example, will automatically notify management if customer service agents aren’t resolving tickets in the timeframe you promised your clients.

What are the benefits of a helpdesk ticketing system?

Good customer support software allows you to manage multiple conversations at a time, whether net new or previously existing. Your ticketing system should also provide a way to establish a knowledge base of common problems that your users are experiencing, which can be a great reference for support agents or an external, customer-facing resource to deflect common queries.

Once a frequently asked question or request has come in, automation can direct the customer to self-service channels, deflect the query to the appropriate agent or lead to the creation of an article inside a knowledge base. Otherwise, you could mark open tickets with a certain status so that your team knows the issue is common and can be responded to en masse.

While some backlog is normal, support leaders can create a queuing system that prioritises tickets so that no customer request is left open for too long. Ultimately, a support ticket system is the best way to scale your customer-service efforts to provide better, more personalised experiences.

If you're interested in learning more about customer support ticketing systems, ticket management, omni-channel engagement and simple metrics that will improve CX, take a look at these four strategies for implementing a world-class customer-service solution. It's easier than you think.

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