What Is a Ticketing System? Everything You Need to Know to Implement It with Ease

Maryna Paryvai
Maryna Paryvai
May 13, 2024

Handling hundreds of customer inquiries a day via Slack or a shared inbox is obviously messy. 

You won’t have clear visibility into who’s doing what, the status of each task, and the blockers your support team is facing along the way. 

That’s where customer support ticketing systems come in. 

They help you organize all requests, align the team’s efforts, streamline processes, and provide clear visibility into task statuses.

What is a ticketing system?

A ticketing system, often integrated into platforms like Jira Service Management or ServiceDesk Plus, is a central hub for managing customer queries and service requests from creation to resolution. 

Teams across various departments, including the customer service team, software development, and tech support, rely on ticketing systems to streamline customer requests processing and automate routine tasks.

Each incoming customer issue, referred to as a helpdesk ticket, is assigned a unique ID. It includes essential details such as customer or employee information, query type, and issue description. 

Support tickets also document interactions between requesters and the responsible teams.

What are the benefits of using a ticketing system?

Support or success teams at startups often start with a shared inbox because it’s quick, easy, and enables you to communicate with customers. 

But most teams outgrow that very quickly. The moment you’re dealing with a higher volume or complexity, you need to work with tools that help you streamline your processes and automate workflows

A ticketing system will help you with:

  • Streamlined communication: Omnichannel ticket platforms like Service Hub enable customers to contact you via their preferred channels like email, live chat, or social media. Your team can manage requests from all these channels within a single platform.
  • Enhanced productivity. Ticketing systems can automate workflows, provide performance reports, and streamline manual tasks. 91% of service teams report increased productivity with ticketing systems.
  • Insights and analytics. Ticket management systems typically offer comprehensive analytics, so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your operations and team performance. By using these insights to continuously adjust your workflows, you can improve key metrics such as ticket volume, response times, and resolution times.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction. All of these results in shorter response and resolution times, ultimately leading to a better customer experience and satisfaction.

How does a ticketing system work?

Tickets can be logged directly into the system or converted from external sources like emails, chats, or phone calls. 

As tickets come in, they create a backlog or queue, which you can prioritize based on factors like urgency, type, and importance. Most platforms offer automated assignment and triage features with advanced filters and rules that you can tailor to your team’s needs. 

They can also automate routine tasks, such as ticket tagging or handling simple customer queries, through logic rules or AI-powered mechanisms.

Say a customer request involves a damaged product and is submitted through your contact form, which creates a ticket. 

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  1. The system retrieves information about the customer: their name, email, order history, and any previous conversations. This information is displayed in the ticket. 

2. Once the ticket is assigned to a customer service agent, they respond to the customer and provide a replacement product. 

Managers can easily see the status of the request and how it’s being handled. All communication between the customer and the company is recorded for future reference.

3. When the customer issue is resolved, the ticket is closed and removed from the active queue. 

You can still access closed tickets to provide consistent customer support requests experiences in the future – for example, when the same customer reaches out again or if another customer submits a similar claim.

Types of ticketing systems

There are several types of ticketing systems, tailored to meet the diverse needs of different teams and purposes:

  • Help desk ticketing system or service desk ticketing systems are designed for reporting incidents and offering support for technical issues. 
  • IT ticketing systems are built specifically for IT teams to tackle bug reports, software configuration requests, and IT needs. They typically serve internal customers, allowing IT teams to effectively tackle internal requests.
  • Project management ticketing systems cover a broader range of tools for tracking tasks (tickets) specific to project execution. Tickets are often displayed on a Kanban board to track the progress of different project pieces at a glance.

Key features to look for in a ticket management app

If you’re in the early stages of building your team’s tech toolkit, you might not have a clear picture of what you need in a ticketing system. These are the primary features they offer. Assess your requirements for each one, and use that to evaluate each tool:

  • Multi-channel support: Today’s ticketing systems, such as those that integrate with ServiceDesk Plus or Jira Service Management, consolidate inquiries from various channels – such as email, chat, phone, and social media – into a single platform. This enables your support agents to manage all customer inquiries from a single place, boosting their productivity. Switching across tools is one of the biggest killers of focus in support.
  • Customization options, like custom agent roles, custom fields, and branding options for external elements, such as help center, live chat, or contact forms.
  • Ticket management capabilities: Ticket systems allow agents to manually (or automatically) assign and prioritize tickets based on factors like keywords, customer type, or issue severity.
  • Automation and workflow rules: With automation and AI-powered features, you can streamline ticket routing and tagging as well as simple request resolution, freeing up time for your team to focus on resolving more complex issues.
  • Integrations with external systems: By integrating your ticket system with platforms like payment services, online stores, CRM tools, and cloud data warehouses, you can improve overall operational efficiency and eliminate the need to manually copy and paste information from one system to another.
  • Reporting and analytics: Solid analytics features are crucial for effective management and decision-making. Your ticket system should provide easy access to essential metrics such as response and resolution times, first-contact resolution rate, customer satisfaction, and other performance indicators your team relies on.

3 easy steps to implement a ticketing system successfully

Implementing a ticketing system can get challenging if you’re dealing with a high income and you have historical data that you need to import. 

The good news is the steps involved are quite simple and they’re the same no matter what type of tool you’re using.

1. Choose the right tool

What are your customer’s specific needs? What are the pain points you’re trying to solve with this tool? 

Define clear objectives for what you aim to achieve with the ticketing system. These objectives will, unsurprisingly, guide the types of tools you evaluate. 

The clearer your goal is, the easier it will be to test tools and find the right one. A great starting point is to write up a list of must-have and nice-to-have features, considering factors like scalability, ease of use, integration capabilities, and cost. 

Involve as many stakeholders as possible, so you can make sure that list is complete.

2. Configuration and customization

Once you’ve selected ticketing software, actually setting it up is the most complex step. 

The rough steps are:

  • Connecting ticket submission channels. This may involve creating and customizing internal or external contact forms, integrating email or live chat channels, connecting with call center or messaging platforms, and so on.
  • Planning and executing data migration if you’re switching from another system.
  • Integrating data sources by connecting the ticketing system with your CRM, online store, payment service, and other relevant tools to pull in details that help resolve tickets without having to switch between tools.
  • Configuring assignment and prioritization rules, and setting up the views your team will typically work with.
  • Setting up automations for tagging tickets and resolving simple queries.

3. Offer comprehensive training

The next step is to ensure your team knows how to use it. Some platforms offer 1:1 onboarding experiences, which you should absolutely take advantage of if that’s included in your contract. 

If not, provide your team with the platform’s knowledge base resources or develop your own internal standard operating procedures tailored to your specific use case. Key items to include in training materials are:

  • How to access tickets.
  • Ticket assignment and prioritization principles if this process isn’t automated.
  • How to look up ticket-related information such as customer details and order status.
  • How to update requesters and change a ticket status.
  • How to reassign and escalate tickets and when it’s appropriate.

Best practices for using ticketing systems in customer service

Successfully implementing a ticketing system is just the beginning. Here are our top tips to enhance customer experience and ensure an efficient workflow post-implementation:

1. Centralize customer interactions

90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels. And which channels are relevant to your customers will change over time. Maybe they’re on X (Twitter), TikTok, or WhatsApp. 

Feed these channels into your ticketing system as much as possible. Not only will that improve the customer experience by providing consistency, it’ll also make it easier for your team to keep track of everything they need to get done. 

2. Organize ticket buckets

You need as many views as necessary, but as few as possible. Views are an opportunity to categorize your backlog and working within the same set of cases will increase efficiency. But having too many can be distracting for your team. 

Find the right balance between the two extremes. 

Common structures typically revolve around tiers and specialization. For example, you can create views for your tier 1 and tier 2 teams and additionally set up separate buckets for billing and technical support.

3. Provide self-service resources

90% of customers expect companies to have self-service options, and almost every ticketing software out there will include some knowledge management features as well. 

Chatbots and AI-powered flows are another way to address common customer queries automatically.

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4. Automate routine tasks

There are usually some automations that are really obvious, like automatic categorization, filtering, or even following up on resolved tickets to get feedback.

But you can also set up automations that impact the customer experience, like:

  • Proactive communication to keep customers informed about ongoing customer issues.
  • SLA escalation to stay on top of tickets that might breach.
  • Dynamic prioritization to override the priority of a case if a customer reaches out a second or third time.

Empower your team with an internal knowledge base like Tettra

A ticketing system is a crucial tool for any team aiming to deliver prompt resolutions and operate efficiently.

Another way to dramatically level up the efficiency, consistency, and quality of your team’s responses is to invest in a robust knowledge base that your team can rely on.

With Tettra, your team can quickly access the information they need to resolve support requests promptly. Looking to boost your team’s productivity? 

Start a free trial of Tettra today to enhance your internal knowledge base.