Article | 6 min read

What is a ticketing system? (+3 ways companies use them)

Want to avoid getting overwhelmed by support tickets? Use ticketing systems to manage the influx and provide your customers with timely responses.

By Stella Inabo, Contributing Writer

Published January 4, 2022
Last updated January 30, 2022

For support agents, organizing and triaging customer requests from various channels is already a challenge. The fact that 73 percent of consumers plan to continue using new support channels only makes ticket management more complex.

The best way to beat the odds and consistently provide your customers with quick and effective responses? Ticketing systems.

Ticketing systems document and track customer issues and interactions, making it easier for customer service teams to manage their support cases. These systems give agents the customer details they need to provide personalized service, help support staff coordinate their efforts, and automate repetitive tasks—all of which empower companies to reduce resolution and wait times.

What is a ticketing system?

A ticketing system is a help desk software program used to process, manage, and track customer issues from submission to resolution.

Ticketing systems automatically organize and prioritize support requests in a central dashboard. Users can tag, categorize, and assign tickets as they come in. These systems also indicate ticket status so you can keep tabs on active requests.

Ticketing software serves as a hub for responses, streamlining communication between agents and customers. Say a buyer reaches out to your business via Instagram. An agent can respond to their message directly from the ticketing system without having to switch to the social media app. Or, imagine a customer issue must be escalated. Using a ticket escalation process, an agent can transfer a support ticket to the right person and send a notification to the customer from the ticketing system.

Shared inboxes in ticketing systems also promote collaboration. Agents can break down silos by exchanging customer information with one another.

Customer support managers can use ticketing systems to analyze team performance metrics such as resolution time, response time, and first-reply time. Ticketing systems can even track the frequency of customer issues, so you can determine which problems need addressing.

How a ticketing system works

A ticketing system creates a support ticket or a record of every support interaction.

Say a customer wants to reset their account password but doesn’t receive an email with the reset instructions. They contact your business on one of your support channels. When the customer reaches out, the ticketing system creates a ticket that contains relevant information about the customer, such as their:

  • Address
  • Work title
  • Company
  • Past support interactions

The ticket is then assigned to a customer support agent who helps the customer resolve their issue.

The ticketing management system logs all communication between the customer and the agent into a single thread. Agents can also add internal notes about the customer or the issue for future reference. For example, agents might leave a reminder to send the customer a follow-up email to ensure the issue was fully resolved.

Once the customer’s service request has been addressed, either the customer or the agent can close the ticket. (Tickets can be reopened if the issue needs further attention.) Even after a ticket is closed, agents can still search through past tickets in the system to find solutions to similar problems when necessary.

3 examples of how companies use ticketing systems

It’s easy to think a ticketing system is just a way to organize customer requests, but the software can do so much more. Check out how three major companies are using ticketing systems in innovative ways, so you can apply the same ticketing system best practices to your business.

  1. Instacart: Analyzes customer data trends

    The grocery shopping platform Instacart receives over 175,000 tickets per month—yep, you read that right. With so many customer requests, the company would be lost if it tried to manually analyze trends in this data.

    Instead, Instacart uses Zendesk’s ticketing system to manage customer inquiries. The brand leverages our platform in a number of ways—to access 360 customer views, route tickets, and so on. But one of Instacart’s favorite use cases is utilizing the data Zendesk collects to understand the customer journey more clearly and improve the shopping experience.

    “Since we’re a data-driven organization, the use of custom fields and tagging has been really wonderful,” says Jeremy Flanagan, customer ops project lead of tools at Instacart. “We can pull in every piece of Zendesk data into our internal database—furthermore, we can slice and slice that data, and join it with internal data to create an extraordinarily vivid picture of the customer journey.”

    With Zendesk’s ticketing system, Instacart has been able to increase agent productivity and boost its CSAT score to 90 percent.

  2. Siemens: Provides personalized support and manages backlogs

    The support team at Siemens, a manufacturing and technology company, strives to provide their large client base with personalized experiences. But personalized support is hard when you rely on emails and spreadsheets to track customer data. Support agents had to spend a lot of time and effort to get the information they needed.

    Once Siemens’ support team switched to Zendesk’s ticketing system, they could log complaints and quickly pull data to personalize their responses. Because they didn’t need to work with inefficient spreadsheets anymore, they had more time to offer personal customer service and manage their ticket backlog.

    “Zendesk helped us quickly get control once the volumes spiked—both in terms of understanding what was happening so we could take steps to proactively reduce the volumes and also in the handling of the queries—to reduce the backlog again,” says Steven Franklin, global head of customer service at Siemens.

    With the help of Zendesk’s ticketing system, Siemens’ support team kept first-reply time steady at six to seven hours, despite a 30-percent increase in ticket volume. They also reduced the resolution time from 24 hours to about eight hours, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

  3. Grubhub: Simplifies complex workflows

    Agents at Grubhub always have their hands full keeping tabs on diners, drivers, and restaurants. With three different user groups to serve, Grubhub’s support team uses Zendesk’s ticketing system to route issues to agents who are best equipped to fix the problem.

    The ticketing system also simplified agents’ complicated workflows when diner requests surged during the pandemic. Whenever customers requested a change to their order, Grubhub agents had to update the restaurant as well as delivery drivers. But once they started using Zendesk’s ticketing system, agents could easily adjust orders for everyone without switching tabs.

    Zendesk’s ticketing system has helped Grubhub’s support team increase their CSAT score to 90 percent.

Use Zendesk to manage your support tickets

A ticketing system can make all the difference between providing an exceptional customer experience or watching customers walk out the door. Choose a flexible tool like Zendesk to organize, prioritize, and track support tickets.

Zendesk connects your support team with customers across all communication channels. Our ticketing solution enables customer support managers to view team performance at a glance (thanks to a centralized dashboard), and it provides agents with the customer details they need to navigate interactions. The best part? You don’t have to switch between tools, as Zendesk integrates with a wide range of software solutions.

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Migrate your data with ease

Learn more about how you can migrate your data from various platforms directly into Zendesk.

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