For companies, the question about ticketing often revolves around the choice between a full-fledged system or resorting to a common in-box. The latter usually only acts as a very short-term fix for newer, very small entities. But, for organizations that have been around a while and have more than just two or three employees, the ticketing dilemma is focused on a different question altogether: should you build your own, in-house program or purchase software to do most or all of the needed chores? What are the pros and cons of using a common, simple ticketing system as opposed to a shared in-box approach?
Few companies stick with the shared in-box method these days, but it’s a rather common technique for startups that haven’t yet figured out how to deal with large quantities of requests for service. Later, most managers realize that if they want to eliminate task overlap and other headaches. Here are the advantages of doing so.
- Task overlap is eliminated: When the managing agent doles out each assignment, there’s no chance that two or more people will attempt to work on the same query. And what if the issue needs to be kicked up to another level? It’s simply assigned to someone who can handle it, not to multiple agents.
- Transparent accountability: Even the simplest arrangements allow for tagging and categorization so that everyone knows who’s doing what, with respect to particular issues and incidents. And when tagging is detailed enough, managers can combine repeat requests, or identical ones, and give them to the same technician. This also means that end-users deal with just one person from start to finish.
- Ease of review: A written record serves many purposes, one of which if bringing context to an otherwise confusing set of issues. Precise records also allow managers to check on, review and cancel any ticket, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
- Paper trails and reports: Usually located on the main dashboard, the overview feature lets anyone with access to the program examine each issue and gather data about resolution time, create reports about certain problems, and track any metric that is relevant for improving efficiency and responsiveness.
- Simple reference: The vast majority of configured systems allow for posting details about staff discussion on a particular issue, query, or incident. Later on, this type of data can serve to resolve small challenges before they become large ones.
The advantages almost always outweigh the disadvantages, but the reality is that there are some downsides to ticketing systems. Here are the most common drawbacks.
- Cost: A ticketing system can be costly for small companies, and even larger ones face high fees for software, implementation, and support. Whether your company purchases a generic package or opts for a SaaS (software as a service) approach, expenses can be significant.
- Confusing product mix: The market is overflowing with ticketing system offerings, all of which come with unique sets of features and capabilities, as well as different levels of difficulty in terms of setup and configuration.
- Loss of in-house control: When you turn your ticket system operation and maintenance over to a SaaS provider, you’re usually going to be dealing with a cloud-oriented arrangement and won’t have full control over things like maintenance and updating.
Finally, what are the advantages and disadvantages of opting for a comprehensive software product to handle the company’s help desk tickets?
There are basically two ways of operating a ticketing system: building your own and purchasing a software product that does most of the heavy lifting. The good news is that there are plenty of advantages for managers who want to buy an off the shelf solution, including:
- Customer satisfaction: Retail products in this niche are good at adding a personal touch to the entire ticketing system setup. This feature usually translates into better overall quality and end-user satisfaction. No one likes to feel as if they’re talking with robots, even when they know a conversation is automated.
- Expanded volume: Even in the IT world, a so-so software package can deal with a much higher volume of queries and incidents than even the most talented team of humans. That’s really one of the key advantages of software in general. In the end, this advantage is about higher efficiency, a direct result of being able to handle a large volume of work.
- Potential for improvement: When you have a ticketing system that allows for on-the-spot improvements, simple tracking, data capture, filtering, and creation of various reports, you’re effectively building a better arrangement every time you use the product. That means there’s virtually unlimited room for improvement.
- Support: Want ticketing system help whether you’re on a mobile device or your office computer? The better retail offerings in the niche come with comprehensive service no matter what device the end-user chooses to employ.
Regardless of the advantages, some organizations choose to create their own ticketing system from scratch. Many do so to avoid the expense of buying a retail product. Several disadvantages of ticketing system software are:
- Upfront cost: Most software pays for itself within a very short period of time. Regardless, you still have to come up with the purchase price, so be ready for an expense. Depending on what your needs are and how many requests you receive through your current TS, that expense can be significant.
- Implementation: In general, companies that have become accustomed to their current setup, get frustrated when they acquire an off-the-shelf version. It takes time to figure out all the details and get it up and running the way you want.
- End-user resistance: This might not appear to be a major issue, but if your organization is large and has been relying on a workable in-house configuration, the new version might throw your end-users for a loop. Even if your own IT staff gets past the learning curve and becomes fully comfortable with the new products, end-users will face their own challenges and sometimes will become frustrated with transitioning over to a new way of doing things.