How to Compare Help Desk Ticketing Systems (6 Things to Look For When Buying)

Angela Stringfellow

3min read

The average service desk today spends less than 10% of its annual budget on technology and over 65% of its budget on personnel. Under pressure to control costs while providing top-notch customer support, many companies look to technology investments that can streamline customer support processes. One such investment is a help desk ticketing system, which helps to improve productivity by providing a central platform for managing support requests. In addition to boosting efficiency, help desk ticketing systems help to ensure that all support requests are resolved promptly, which has a positive impact on the customer experience.

Modern help desk ticketing systems typically offer a lot of extra value beyond simple ticket management. It can be a challenge to differentiate between the numerous software platforms that are on the market. Beyond the core capabilities, some platforms offer solutions such as a shared inbox, knowledge base, and customer portal that may have very different capabilities and varying levels of customization.  

Below, we’ll discuss six important things to look at when buying a new help desk ticketing system. By comparing your unique customer service processes and future needs with the capabilities and cost of your desired platform, you can make a truly informed decision about which software is best for your business.

1. Tools for Collaboration

Coordinating work among team members is an important task for any help desk operation. One key advantage of using a help desk ticketing system is the ability to share draft replies among team members. An effective system will allow users to review drafts, make changes, and send messages within the same platform and have additional tools to facilitate collaboration. Features such as the ability to add comments to emails can be of great use to service staff who need to contact other support reps. It reduces the need to switch between screens and software platforms to get input from other team members.

2. Shared Inbox & Customization

Today’s ticketing software systems typically come with a shared inbox, but it’s important to consider the amount of customization that is allowed. Since each user can log in to their dashboard, the ability to add custom filters, tags, and views allows each support agent to access information in the way they desire. Another example of customization is the ability to manage multiple teams and brands. This gives your team the flexibility to support additional customers as the business grows. Customization may also be possible through integrations with third-party software platforms, such as Slack and Trello.

3. Privacy & Data Integrity

The best ticketing systems will offer advanced privacy settings so that administrators have complete control over access. Being able to create private inboxes can also help to protect sensitive data associated with customer requests or projects. Having a platform that utilizes cloud storage is also important, as cloud-based help desk platforms allow for efficient backups of data and real-time access to the system from any location.  

4. Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is an excellent way for companies to offer customers direct access to product or service support material. In ticketing systems that include a knowledge base, customers can find solutions to common questions or problems without making a formal support inquiry. When a knowledge base is integrated with a help desk ticketing system, customer support reps can easily attach knowledge base articles to replies. Integrating a contact form in your knowledge base gives customers an easy way to reach out if they need additional guidance, as well.

5. Customer Portal

One of the best ways to build trust with customers is through a customer portal. The portal gives customers real-time access to a customized interface where they can create and review tickets directly. Customers can easily see the status of a support request, meaning they won’t be emailing your support team to find out if their inquiry was received or is being addressed.

The ability to see all their past requests and solutions in one central location allows customers to use a customer portal as a knowledge source, so they’re less likely to ask the same questions again. Help desk ticketing systems that include a customer portal are often better equipped to serve as a true customer-facing support platform.

6. Simplicity and Reporting

The real test of support desk ticketing software is its ability to streamline your processes. With a shared inbox, these systems allow you to make assignments and view the status for any ticket without referencing any external software. Team members and management can also create and view reports with real-time performance metrics. Look for a ticketing system that presents data clearly and provides essential information within a clean interface.

Comparing your business’s needs with the features above will help you refine your criteria and select the best help desk ticketing software for your team. Preparation could mean the difference between money well spent or future issues for your team. Choosing a platform that meets your core requirements while allowing flexibility and customization should be a top priority.

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