12/01/2021

Ticket is trump: Why the ticket system is unbeatable in support

Do you handle incoming customer inquiries and complaints via e-mail? Or would you like to offer round-the-clock customer service, but are struggling to keep your hotline staffed throughout? Does your support team have a hard time prioritizing customer inquiries and assigning them to the appropriate agents? Consider a ticket system in customer support! A ticket system is the ideal solution to make your support customer-centric, productive and efficient. Learn more about the advantages of a ticket system in support and what you should look for when selecting a system here.


What is a ticket system?

A ticket system, also called a ticketing system or issue tracking system, is a mostly software-supported process to

  • receive
  • acknowledge,
  • manage,
  • classify,
  • systematize,
  • process and
  • document customer inquiries and orders.

Ticket systems are often part of a larger software environment. As an integrated application, they are part of helpdesk or CRM software. However, there are also stand-alone solutions that have specialized in the function as a ticketing system.

Ticketing systems are suitable for any industry. They structure and organize customer requests. Each request generates a ticket, so that requests are not lost and can be processed with all related information. The support team thus maintains an overview and can process requests in a concentrated and efficient manner without having to worry about organization, assignments and prioritization.

Definition: A ticket system is software that centrally records, organizes, prioritizes, and assigns customer inquiries to the appropriate agent.

 ticket system tool provides you with a central platform that can capture and organize all your customer inquiries, be it error messages, requests for help, inquiries regarding various topics, requests or suggestions. A help desk ticket system translates requests received through various communication channels such as phone, email, chat or social media into tickets. These tickets are assigned to the appropriate agents with the correct prioritization.

Pros and cons of ticket systems

Ticket systems are ideal for processing customer inquiries efficiently and transparently in both B2B and B2C environments. The numerous advantages of ticket systems are offset by only a few disadvantages.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Centralizes and documents customer communications
  • Standardized processing procedures ensure efficiency
  • Bureaucratic effort is reduced
  • Processing status can be viewed
  • Transparent data basis for billing services
  • Time saved through customer engagement
  • Service quality can be optimized based on KPIs
  • Availability is always guaranteed
  • Costs for software acquisition, implementation and, if necessary, training of employees
  • Ticket system should be able to be integrated into existing software environment (CRM, ERP, PMS, time recording system, invoicing software, etc.)
  • Employees may feel monitored if evaluation is too detailed
  • Provider must comply with the strictest data protection guidelines

Advantages of ticket systems

Centralization

A ticket system records incoming inquiries from all available communication channels and stores the contact history centrally in one place, cross-channel and context-related. The software provides every agent with a clear overview of all relevant information, from the contact history and the digital customer file to the current processing status.

Automation

Routine tasks are handled automatically by a good ticket system once the appropriate workflows have been defined. These include

  • Recording of inquiries,
  • Transfer to a digitally standardized format,
  • categorization,
  • prioritization and
  • initial evaluation.

Time saving

Capturing user requests in tickets saves first-level support work in recording and classifying a request. The customer, as the ticket creator, already makes the necessary entries independently, without a support employee having to query information or request supplementary material from the customer.

Timely processing

A ticket system makes it much easier to comply with your SLA (Service Level Agreement) guidelines. Reminder functions and prioritization levels ensure that your service agents process customer inquiries and error tickets on time. If an employee fails to meet deadlines due to overload or absence, escalation rules ensure that the ticket is taken over by other agents.

Evaluability

Tickets are stored with all information and processing history and can be evaluated with regard to pre-defined questions. This makes it easy to evaluate and optimize response times, ticket volumes and average communication efforts. You can see unnecessary work steps and too much effort, keep an eye on your team's performance and easily adjust workflows.

Availability

Even if your customer support or help desk cannot be staffed around the clock, the ticket system remains available to customers 24/7. The ticket system automatically informs the customer about the expected processing time and about any change in status. Many ticket systems can also be linked to an online knowledge base, an FAQ area or a support forum, where customers can find answers to their questions via self-service. This relieves the burden on your service hotline even during service hours.

Customer friendliness

The customer can track agents, processing status and progress in detail. This helps them to build trust in the company and to understand calculated efforts more easily.

Disadvantages of ticket systems

Costs

Professional helpdesk software with a ticket system costs money, of course. Depending on the complexity of the system and the software environment into which it has to be integrated, there are expenses for implementation and training of support staff.

Need for suitable interfaces

The software should have interfaces to third-party programs such as your ERP system, your CRM software, telephone systems, collaboration tools or your project management software.

Risk of employee monitoring

If the ticket system lists time tracking and performance descriptions in too much detail, accusations of surveillance and performance monitoring can arise.

Necessary compliance check

When selecting a suitable helpdesk software with ticket system, you must thoroughly check aspects of data protection and labor law, especially if you are flirting with providers outside the EU. Be sure to find out about the ticket system provider's data protection and IT security conformity.

From inquiry to time recording: Why a total solution makes sense

Especially in the B2B sector, support budgets are often used or the customer is charged for the processing time used. This requires various software components:

  1. a helpdesk tool with a ticket system that documents the processing steps, communication history, required and provided services in a traceable manner,
  2. a time recording system that records the processing time directly on the ticket
  3. a software that transfers the provided efforts and service descriptions into an invoice
  4. CRM software that manages customer data and information relevant to invoicing.

Therefore, it makes sense to choose a support ticket system that combines all these components. A complete solution saves

  • the acquisition and maintenance of additional software solutions,
  • interfaces and compatibility problems,
  • error-prone and time-consuming data import and export and
  • data protection concerns.

The Projektron BCS support ticket system as an example

Since the beginning, we have relied on support via the ticket system at Projektron. We don't need separate helpdesk software for this, because the ticket system is already a firmly integrated part of our Projektron BCS project management software. The ticket system of Projektron BCS combines the functions of all stand-alone solutions. It forms the direct interface between users and our support team.

Users enter requests and error tickets here. Support staff use the tickets for organization, documentation and billing. Clearly defined workflows and the freely assignable role of a ticket mediator reliably ensure that tickets submitted by customers reach the right contact person immediately. A ticket broker accepts incoming customer tickets, tags them and forwards them directly to those members of his or her team who have the greatest expertise in dealing with the issue in question. Processing of the customer inquiry can begin immediately.

Support staff record the processing time to the minute directly on the ticket. Invoicing with service presentation and time calculation is done at the click of a mouse. Ticket expenses are either automatically deducted at a discount from a preloaded prepaid support budget or invoiced at the normal hourly rate. Billing and invoicing are thus possible within your internal BCS instance and are largely automated. The ticket system is embedded in the entire functional scope of BCS; freestanding, it would be less effective.

At Projektron, data protection and information security are particularly important to us. Therefore, we also use the support portal as an extension to the ticket system in Projektron BCS. The support portal is a second Projektron BCS instance that is synchronized bidirectionally with the internal BCS instance:

  • Customers access the support server and enter their tickets there. 
  • The support staff work in the internal BCS system, which cannot be accessed from the Internet.
  • This ensures that sensitive information, such as invoices, can never be accessed via the Internet, as it is not even available in the support portal.
  • Thanks to bidirectional synchronization, it is not noticeable in everyday life that we are working with two separate systems.

Optimize support ticket system: Ticket scoring thanks to Projektron Supportathon

In order to optimize our Projektron ticket system as best as possible for both sides - for customers as well as for support staff - we have introduced an innovation: We have adapted the principle of the hackathon from development for support. Once a year, our customer support team organizes the two-day supportathon. The entire team uses these two days to work on aspects that otherwise have to take a back seat to processing customer tickets: We gather ideas on how to optimize our way of working, our workflows and our support portal. Afterwards, we evaluate the results together and agree on which ideas we will actually implement.

One result of such a supportathon, for example, is our automatic ticket scoring system. For each customer ticket received, Projektron BCS calculates an individual ticket score, which is made up of various attributes. This ticket scoring results in a prioritization of tickets without manual intervention. Which factors are included in the ticket score and how they are weighted can be individually set and regulated depending on the economic situation, staffing and workload of the support team. Customers who submit the tickets cannot view the ticket score.

The idea for the score came from an internal necessity: Our Projektron customer support team handles around 13,000 tickets with various customer requests per year. To manually prioritize this amount of tickets and escalate them as needed would take too much time. Automatic prioritization saves us resources that we can now spend on processing the requests. With success: The customer ratings of our support have been in a very good range between school grade 1.3 and 1.5 for years. Nevertheless, there is potential and suggestions for improvement: The Git integration, for example, is expandable. The satisfaction survey after ticket processing is a good KPI for evaluating our support quality and constantly improving it based on user suggestions. 

How to find the right ticket system

There are two key factors you should consider when choosing a ticket system:

1. Way of contacting

Which way of contacting your customers has been most convenient so far? Do the majority of your customers contact your company by phone, email, chat, or social media channels? Or is it a mix of different contact methods?

To avoid having to revamp your entire support system and even retool your customer support staff, you should choose a ticket system that takes two key aspects into account:

  • the preferences of your customers when contacting you 
  • Your existing support structures

The system should not only map existing processes, but also automate them as far as possible and make them more efficient.

2. Usability and support experience

Providing customers with the best possible user experience when it comes to support is not just a matter of respecting the people who trust you. Good usability also pays off for your business. Every contact with your support staff is an opportunity,

  • to offer a perfect customer experience,
  • to strengthen customer loyalty, and
  • to win brand ambassadors.

The support experience is critical to this. However, it includes not only satisfaction with the competent handling of a request, but also the user-friendliness of the entire support process.

A ticket system should therefore

  • be self-explanatory,
  • integrate seamlessly into the design and navigation structure of your website, and
  • guide the user without presenting him with too many choices.

Are you convinced that you already offer your customers the perfect support experience? There is always potential for optimization! We at Projektron were able to experience this as part of a cooperation with students from Reutlingen University to improve our support portal.

Better customer support with the right ticket system

Regardless of whether you operate in a B2B or B2C environment, the top priority in customer support should be to process customer inquiries quickly, satisfactorily and efficiently. This is not only in the interest of profitability, but also to provide your customers with the best possible support experience and thus strengthen customer loyalty. Be aware, however, that the best support system will not help if support staff do not respond optimally or do not get along with the implemented system.

However, ticket systems offer the best prerequisites, as they centralize communication in one place and make it traceable and transparent. When selecting a ticket system, be guided by your existing structures, but above all by the needs of your customers. A good ticket system is flexibly adaptable and will meet your requirements. Contact us and get to know the ticket system from Projektron BCS.

 

I would like to learn more about Projektron BCS!

 

About the author

Projektron's technical customer support team receives an average of over 250 customer tickets a week via the BCS internal ticket support system, and around 13,000 a year. Despite the high workload, our customer support team manages to handle our users' concerns efficiently and in a customer-oriented manner. Our trump card here is the ticket system.

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