An Overview of Features in Help desk Software and Ticketing Systems
When exploring the diversity of solutions IT ticketing system vendors offer, you would notice that there are two general categories of features offered – some of these are essential for the functionality of the software/service (and are ubiquitous), while others might be more unique and distinctive and are attempting to establish on the market.
These features are likely to present in any top IT ticketing system. Nevertheless, the specific way these are implemented might still determine you to lean towards one solution or another. Among core functions, the following could be mentioned:
- creating, editing, and closing tickets, receiving tickets via email
- automation features like tracking deadlines or the time spent on processing an issue, escalating or prioritizing issues based on time or the type of inquiry, etc.
- integration with other apps – e.g. with the database of customer relationship management (to boost sales of certain products) or with social media tools
- creating a knowledge base customizable to serve both agents and customers, or customizable to show different rubrics depending on the customer type or status
- creation of custom forms
Oftentimes, an IT ticketing system comes with distinctive/innovative features and they might represent the marketing trick or an important benefit the developer wants to highlight. The presence of such functions is a sign that the field is evolving:
- additional communication channels implemented (e.g. enabling ticket creation from social media platforms);
- chatbots driven by artificial intelligence – natural language processing algorithms allow chatbots to become efficient tools at least in the first stage of interaction with the client or for solving simple problems. These can ask clients basic questions, analyze their answers, and either offer a solution or help categorize the problem before passing it to a human specialist;
- adherence to the ITIL – this is a service framework that encompasses a set of best practices (checklists, tasks, processes, procedures). It is more important for big companies rather than SMBs and has varying importance depending on the industry you are in;
- additional identity management features (e.g. Single Sign-On);
- native apps for mobile devices.
To conclude, depending on your needs and preferences, your specific choice might fall either on a product that brings more innovative features besides the core ones or equally likely, on a highly rated product that implements the core features in the most convenient manner. In addition, adherence to information processing standards like ITIL might be another aspect that can play a decisive role.