What is a ticket system?
The term ticket system does not, of course, refer to the sale of concert tickets, the purchase of an airplane ticket, or the your place in line at the DMV. The parallel between these common meanings and a ticket system, however, lies in the fact that a ticket is intended to solve a problem or satisfy a need. Like a traveler who wants to physically get to a destination, a generated service ticket aims to process a request.
A ticket system is a tool used to handle customer and employee requests and orders. Each request creates a ticket so that requests are not lost and can be processed with all related information.
This is the common definition of a ticket system.
So basically, ticket systems provide a central platform through which all customer requests can be managed using service tickets. Service teams thus maintain an overview, work more efficiently, and increase the quality of customer service, especially when using process automation.
Ticket systems were originally intended to help IT support. However, they have long since become established in many other areas of the company as well. This is because successful communication now plays a decisive role almost everywhere: Communication includes, among other things, clear responsibilities and efficient task handling.
Ticket systems are also known as trouble ticket systems, issue tracking systems, helpdesk systems, service management systems or bug trackers. (The latter are mainly used in the coordination of software development.) But whatever they are called, all these systems have in common the goal of supporting companies in structuring communication and information as well as automating task distribution and processes in order to optimize service quality.
Optimizing processes with ticket systems – how does it work?
After a support request is received in a ticket system, it is assigned a processing number or ticket number. This serves to make it easier to find a case during further processing and downstream communication. The requestor usually receives an automatically generated confirmation as an acknowledgement that the request has been received.
At the same time, the support team is informed about the receipt of a new request. Dedicated role and authorization management, in combination with extensive automation options, ensures that requests are immediately assigned to the responsible department and that the right contacts always communicate with each other. As soon as an employee has begun working on the issue, the ticket is blocked to prevent another colleague from processing the same request at the same time or, in the worst case, from even initiating conflicting communication with the customer. This saves resources and time: A ticket system is the perfect time management assistant.
The aforementioned receipt confirmations have long been a matter of course and are no longer particularly meaningful to customers. What is really important for customers, however, is the current processing status of their request. With OTRS, for instance, it is possible to look online at any time that a ticket is being worked on to find out its status. Combined with short response times and fast resolution times, this creates solid and trusting customer relationships in the long term.
Once the request has been processed and the customer’s problem has been solved, the ticket is closed.
And because the number of inquiries usually exceeds the resources in the customer service center, a ticket system supports service employees with useful features such as communication templates, automatic assignments, and ticket or customer histories. This makes work simple and efficient. Thanks to consistent documentation, KPIs can be easily created and the right reports derived from them. This prevents stagnation and information gaps, enabling transparency and faster response times.
Communication is key. Email programs are yesterday’s news.
Surprisingly, however, there are still companies where support requests are handled via normal e-mail programs. It is not uncommon for them to experience difficulties in tracking cases or processing requests quickly. Inconsistent communication; a lack of information about who did what and when; and the current processing status make the daily work of many a service departments difficult.
In today’s business world, however, everything revolves around successful communication.
That’s why it’s important to assign inquiries directly to the relevant departments and thus ensure goal-oriented communication. After all, if you have a question, you usually expect a quick answer! With a ticket system like OTRS, requests do not go unanswered long periods of time. Notifications, reminders and professional escalation management guarantee fast processing and evaluation.
The complete documentation of all relevant information in a ticket also allows new communication partners to connect seamlessly and understand the current status. In addition, frequently recurring business processes can be standardized and automated via process templates. This further increases the quality and efficiency of processing.
So does the term “ticket system” actually still do justice to the scope of services offered by today’s solutions?
As already mentioned in part, ticket systems today generally do much more than simply handle requests. In my opinion, the term “ticket system” is therefore no longer sufficiently suitable to describe service management software in many cases.
Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities using OTRS service management as an example of what’s possible.
Key advantages at a glance
The CMDB monitors the inventory of objects and products, from hardware and software to the vehicle or machine fleet to the management of contracts and licenses. In addition, it provides important organizational and commercial information. User or department affiliations as well as information on time values or procurement can be documented sustainably.
The use of process management helps to avoid errors in workflows. The features integrated in OTRS ensure that, for example, mandatory fields, checkboxes or important information are no longer forgotten during input. If processes need to be adapted, this can be done easily, even without employees needing lengthy training.
A complete, up-to-date knowledge base, also called FAQs or KBAs, are a first point of contact for customers and can reduce the number of tickets that need to be processed. Even more support is provided by a feature that adds targeted recommendations to the search in knowledge base articles.
Answer requests faster
Templates save time and guarantee consistent quality throughout. They simplify both communication and documentation and ensure that time remains for essential tasks.
Automatically generated reports on the number of tickets and their processing times. Integration with modern analysis tools, such as ADVANCED ANALYTICS, provides valuable information and delivers indicators of the current quality of service.
Escalation management in OTRS offers a variety of options to individually regulate escalations and corresponding notifications. For example, reminders, response times and resolution times can be configured accordingly.
So today, a contemporary ticket system like OTRS offers a wide range of support, services and functionalities.
OTRS is also easy to integrate and adapt since companies must be able to rely on the compatibility of a software solution. The Generic Interface and the XSLT mapping module not only allow for easy integration of existing systems, but also for the customization of interfaces. This significantly reduces the risks, efforts and costs involved in creating and maintaining conventional interfaces. With the help of the XSLT mapping module in OTRS, it is possible to adapt outgoing and incoming data structures to and from third-party systems to the OTRS data structures – without complex programming or Perl know-how.
In addition, OTRS is perfectly tailored and configured to the company’s requirements and comes with a large number of stable and individually configurable functionalities that can be freely selected and constantly renewed, adapted or configured by the user.
However, systems, workflows and processes must not only run reliably and be as secure as possible, but above all must adapt and change over time. In many companies today, they are tailored as individually as possible to very specific requirements.
A solution desk covers the most diverse areas.
All the more reason, then, for full solutions to be needed today – in the truest sense of the word. Because only these can meet individual customer needs.
That’s why we see our service management software and our expertise and services as a solution desk that helps companies deal with the concerns of internal and external customers optimally and efficiently. It includes service management tools, enables the automation of tickets and processes, and offers a wealth of different functionalities that can be integrated as needed.
A solution desk for a wide variety of areas:
- It serves as a reliable and flexible ITSM tool.
- It enables better customer service.
- It acts as a cybersecurity management solution.
- It simplifies facility management with its ticket system.
- It manages HR tasks.
- It provides a flexible tool for all hotlines and call centers.
- It structures document management workflows.
- It creates an optimal overview for property management.
- It provides smooth fleet management.
- It avoids bottlenecks in resource management.
- It ensures smooth ordering and maximum customer satisfaction.
At OTRS Group, we believe that only real solutions can meet what have become highly individualized customer needs and requests so that we can be sustainably helpful.
That’s why we have developed our software and services with exactly these aspects in mind — as a solution desk — and think that the term “ticket system” no longer adequately reflects today’s scope of services.