5 min read
Sep 11, 2017
Help Desk & Ticketing

Help Desk and Ticketing Software Feature Guide to Manage Customers Effectively

Help desk and ticketing software can help you streamline customer management, which leads to happy customers and ultimately increased customer loyalty.

Abhishek SinghTeam Lead

Is your business bombarded with customer queries regarding your products and services? Are you finding it difficult to track and answer relentless customer emails that flood your inbox every day? Managing customer queries can be a daunting task-especially when you don't have Jim Carey's help desk and ticketing management system from the movie Bruce Almighty.

You may not be answering millions of prayers, but help desk and ticketing software can help you streamline customer management, which leads to happy customers and ultimately increased customer loyalty.

In this article, we have provided a comprehensive list of all the functionalities to look out for while evaluating help desk and ticketing software. The feature guide below helps you understand the features of each functionality and the benefits they offer your customer service team. The links in the tables below allow you to filter applications listed on GetApp's help desk and ticketing directory.

Let's start with analysis of the core functionalities that are present in most help desk and ticketing software.

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Core help desk and ticketing software functionality

Functionality Description
Issue tracking and ticket management Captures customer service requests and complaints by classifying and allocating them to a customer service representative.
Self-service Allows customers to resolve their queries through a knowledge management database without contacting a customer service representative.
Reporting Gathers and consolidates key customer service data from multiple sources to analyze customer satisfaction trends for faster customer query resolution.
Integration Enables help desk and ticketing software to connect with other email, marketing, and third-party software to get more data insights.
Additional features Add-ons that boost core functionality of help desk and ticketing software for businesses seeking to scale with software.

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Issue tracking and ticket management

What is the status of customer queries among your support staff? Are they getting resolved on time? These are just some of the questions that issue and tracking management features within help desk and ticketing software helps address. Each time a customer logs a query with your representative, a ticket is generated with a time stamp, allowing you to track status and the time it takes to resolve queries. Let's look at some other specific issue tracking and ticketing management features that you should be aware of:

Features Description
Alerts/escalation Generates an alert to the stakeholder and automatically escalates overdue tickets to a service desk agent for an immediate response.
Change management Ensures standard operating procedures (SOPs) are adopted by streamlining and automating the process of change management.
Customer history/customer database Maintains database of all the previous interactions with customers, including previous issues and how they were resolved. Access to database reduces the turnaround time of service desk agents.
Email notifications Sends a notification to a service desk agent about the email or ticket received from a customer so that the agent can resolve the customer's query in a timely manner.
Issue tracking Monitors the progress of every technical or non-technical problem raised or support ticket issued until service desk agents solve the problem.
Ticket management A centralized system to manage every request, convert them into tickets and assign tickets to the service desk agent. Agents can categorize and prioritize tickets as per the nature of service requests.

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Self-service

Is your customer call flow always full? Finding it tough to wrap up calls on time and increase your call resolution rate? One way to reduce customer dependence on your agents is through self-service portals that let customers access your product knowledge base, FAQs, online forums, and other resources. Self-service portals free up bandwidth for service agents and allow customers to resolve queries that are related to general information of a particular product.

Here are some self-service features that your customers can access without contacting your customer care representatives:

Features Description
Knowledge base Provides a repository of descriptions of common or previously resolved customer queries, or FAQs that incorporate search technologies to help users find the right answer.
Online forums Hosts customer conversations about product reviews, queries, and complaints within a single online platform. Support team members can also participate and solve queries.
Self-service portal Allows internal or external customers to search for solutions to their problems.
Surveys and feedback Facilitates the answering of questions about service quality and what's expected from a service request or service desk agent.
Web forms An online form that can be used to submit queries or give a suggestion. Helps with the process of capturing service requests from the website.

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Reporting

Measuring the effectiveness of your customer services is essential to maintaining customer loyalty. Reporting tools such as dashboards, real time analytics, and customized reporting templates provide up-to-date information on the number of outstanding customer tickets, call flow, customer queue, and call resolutions. Based on these data parameters, you can make accurate assumptions of how well customers appreciate your products and services.

Here's a brief breakdown of some of the reporting features that you commonly find in help desk and ticketing software:

Features Description
Activity dashboard Identifies team performance metrics by the number of queries solved. The dashboard helps with categorizing groups that have maximum pending requests, as well as the particular modules that are generating more tickets than others.
Customizable reporting Allows users to change the report template to feature the company logo and themes. Teams can add new tables and columns such as queries received, solved, and pending.
Real-time analytics Helps identify the number of users on the help desk page in real time and analyzes types of queries submitted by the users.
Real-time monitoring Captures details such as login issues and client activities in order to monitor usage and the problem areas users are facing.
Service level management Allows users to set prioritization triggers, automatic escalations, and other custom rules to ensure applicable issues are handled in compliance with an SLA.

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Integration

Including other software features such as CRM, email marketing, and social media management also helps monitor customer service. Instead of purchasing a new system, you can integrate your customer service software with other third party software such as QuickBooks.

Listed below are some of the integrations that you can use with your help desk and ticketing software:

Features Description
Active directory integration A directory service implemented by Microsoft for Windows domain networks that authenticates and authorizes all users as well as enforces security policies.
APIs Provides a set of tools to build applications that can integrate with help desk software to improve the user experience.
CRM integration Enables additional integration with a CRM software to understand customer-buying behavior, purchases, and case management.
Email integration Provides additional integration with other email software to send automated emails to customers for a survey or feedback after a service desk agent has resolved their query.
Social media integration Enables additional integration with social media software to resolve customer queries or complaints on social media.
Third-party integration Provides additional integrations with third party software to offer a more complete customer service solution.

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Additional features

Add-ons broaden the scope of your help desk and ticketing software by offering more features to augment your customer service. For example, if your software is not configured with a chat interface, you can include a compatible customer care chat module to enhance your business requirements.

Here's a list of some of the additional features that you can chose for your help desk and ticketing software.

Features Description
Access control Provides limited viewing rights to help desk agents in order to restrict access to confidential customer files.
Auto-responders Automated emails and messages are sent to customers to inform them about ticket resolution time. Agents can set up their own customized auto-reply messages.
Chat A mode of communication that allows help desk agents to communicate with customers and facilitate interaction through short text messages.
Custom fields Enables help desk agents to create user-specific fields to enter additional customer information.
Customizable templates Documentation/note templates that make it easier for agents to input customer information.
Multi-channel communication Allows customers to communicate with customer care agents through various modes of communications such as email, chat, text messages, and social media accounts.
Single sign on Enables service desk agents to access multiple applications with a single login account.
IT asset management Tracks inventory of IT assets such as desktops and laptops, while also tracking changes made to hardware and software configurations.

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Next steps

This help desk and ticketing software feature guide should give you a clear view of many of the features that you should keep in mind while purchasing a help desk and ticketing system. Here are some additional GetApp resources to help you with your selection:

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