Where Companies Are Succeeding and Failing with Online Support – Ticketing Systems

Where Companies Are Succeeding and Failing with Online Support – Ticketing Systems

Especially for software companies, support ticket systems are another expected component of the support environment. Like chats, they’re also becoming easier and less expensive to integrate into your website or product. The key word here though is “integrate.” While it doesn’t cost much to get up, companies are struggling with the cost of actually running these.

The core concepts of the ticketing system are simple and there’s not much to highlight regarding successes and failures. For your customer, it should be clear how to use it and they should get a response in a timely fashion. It should be easy for you to use. Ultimately, it should result in some sort of closure.

While there were a few issues that we’ve heard with ticketing systems, there is one that comes up in every conversation.

The Misuse of the Ticketing System.

I’m not talking about anything malicious here like people trying to hack your ticketing system. I’m talking about garbage tickets that waste your time. Customers submitting support requests for advice, instructions, or anything else that isn’t actually a problem is a major source of frustration and expense. In our discussions, it’s typical for us to hear that 20 – 30% of tickets opened are unnecessary.

We’ve spoken to many companies who are drowning in support requests and know that Navitome can help them. They feel like they can’t even take the time to fix their problem. They continue working the tickets even though 30% of them could’ve been off-loaded to something else. They feel stuck in this cycle of support. Note: they’re actually not but they’re comfortable with this pain. It’s at least familiar.

Taking this back to the start of the post, what’s the real cost of ownership for the support ticketing system? The real cost here needs to factor in the cost of your team’s time and the cost of feeling or actually being stuck. With that said, there are things you can do to prevent this very common problem.

  • Allocate time from the beginning to understand what’s happening with the ticketing system, how it fits into the entire support environment, and how to improve it.
  • Track why people are opening tickets. Are they mostly information requests? Are they for advice? Are they for enhancement requests?
  • Understand why people are doing what you see in the step above. Companies who are getting fewer garbage tickets have clear paths for their customers to get this non-support information. Is it that people can’t find your information? Does your content need improvement?
  • Prioritize which of the sources of misuse you focus on. You might focus on the most painful, costly one and live with the others forever. For example, if 30% of your support tickets are for general information and 1% is for product enhancements, focus on the information requests.

The takeaway here is that the ticketing system itself is rarely the source of the cost or pain. The use of it and how it fits into your environment is leading to failure. So spend less time focused on its features and more time on how your customer will use it. In my opinion, it’s worth the extra work or temporary degraded customer experience to break out of the cycle you’re in through the suggestions above. In the next post, we’re going to talk about another very common problem that we’re hearing. This time, it’s with knowledge bases.

To learn more about what we’re doing to help, check out this demo.