Speedy, efficient problem management. The reputation of your business depends on it, so how do you make sure it happens? By using an issue tracking system. The concept of issue tracking dates from a time when you could physically track issues – or support requests, to give them a more traditional name – across a board. A customer query would be written on a piece of paper, then moved along from one column to the next as the issue got pushed through the system. It was a reassuringly tactile, visual method, which is what made it so popular. But times change, and a simple corkboard doesn’t cut it any more.
Why has the corkboard fallen way of the 8-track tape?
- It lacks visibility – necessary for employees across offices, buildings or even countries
- It’s not integrated – essential for processing requests that stem from help desk systems
- It’s not scalable – there’s a limit to how big you can make a corkboard!
- It’s not mobile – modern businesses move around
Luckily, companies that make issue tracking tools have taken these shortcomings into account, improving the weak points while retaining a look and feel that’s as usable as the old system. Other improvements that have been added are Agile capabilities, automation, security features and self-service options, so your customers can help themselves.
If you’re looking for an issue tracking solution, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start.
- Does it integrate with the way I interact with my customers?
- Will it be accessible to all of my help agents?
- Can I automate any parts of the issue raising/solving process?
- Do I need mobile access?
- Does it provide a customer portal?
- Do I want customers to be able to raise their own issues?
- Will a knowledge base improve my customers’ user experience?
- What kind of reporting does it provide?
This last point is essential for making sure that you are indeed dealing with support requests effectively.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in a much better position to choose a tool. To get an idea of what’s out there, take a look at four of the most popular ticket management tools on the market.
This app is popular and with good reason. It’s solid, yet lightweight, and based totally in the cloud for ultimate visibility, integration and mobility. It’s also got excellent ticket customization options, which means more flexibility – you’ll be able to assign custom ticket types, split, merge and move tickets, to ensure the most efficient service possible.
Zoho Support is a part of the vast Zoho ecosystem, meaning it has lots of arrows to its bow. Of special note with this issue management tool is strong telephone support, the ability to integrate social channels within the app, and the ability to create both customer support portals, where your clients can raise their own tickets, as well as a powerful knowledge base, where they can seek out their own answers to questions.
Vivadesk comes in two varieties, Lite and Pro, making it very accessible, especially to smaller companies. It has all the tools you’d expect, like email-to-ticket, automation, and ITSM support, but at a much reduced starting price which naturally levels the playing field.
Jira is considered by many to be the granddaddy of ticket support software. It’s got a reputation for being a very technical tool, and it’s definitely aimed at IT support, but it’s user-friendly and can be rolled out to employees all over the company, no matter their skill set.