email vs support ticket systemsYour customers need great support. Great support improves your brand and product’s reputations and creates repeat business from your customers. Some companies use email for support and other’s use support ticket systems. Let’s consider email vs support ticket systems to see which is he most useful for your organization.

Why Don’t More Companies Use Support Ticket Systems?

Let’s look at some of the reasons some organizations prefer to use email vs support ticket systems.

  1. Simplicity: You already have email. So why not just get customer support queries by email since you already open your email inbox every day? That way you don’t have to remember to log into another area every day and enter more IDs and passwords.
  2. Cost: & Time: Support ticket systems cost time and money to purchase implement and train people to use the software, so many organizations just route all support questions to email instead.

What are the Benefits of Support Ticket Systems?

Here are some benefits that favour support tickets in the email vs support ticket systems decision.

  1. Team Support: If you are using a single email address for support queries, such as support@yourdomain.etc, it only goes to one person. If you have a very heavy support day, one person may not be able to handle it all. And what happens when that person goes on holidays? If you let multiple people log into the support email, what stops two users from answering the same support request? With a support ticket system, you can assign replies to multiple people.
  2. Single Place for All Support: A support system has a single place where all support tickets come into and are handled instead of being spread among various team members’ emails.
  3. Support Dashboard: With a support dashboard, you can tell at a glance how many support queries were handled today and how many are left to handle. You can also see the dates and times of each inquiry to make sure your support team is helping clients in a timely manner.
  4. Reporting: In addition to being able to see the status at a glance, most support systems let you create reports to track customer related key performance indicators (KPIs). You can track KPIs such as  – customer satisfaction levels, average time to resolution, most active customers and the performance level of each member of your support team.
  5. Spam Filters: You might carefully reply to a customer’s problem in email, only to have the client’s spam filter gobble up the reply. With a support ticket system, the client receives an acknowledgement email with a link to the support ticket online so they can come back and check in the event their spam filters block a reply.

Email vs Support Ticket Systems – Which is Best for Me?

I use a LOT of software. Not only for me, but for my clients as well. So, when I recommend software to people, the speed and quality of the support is a critical factor. I will often drop free software in favour of paid software if it offers support.

As a customer and user of software, I personally prefer support tickets instead of email when looking for help. The reasons I prefer support tickets are that:

  • I get a notification that my support request has been received
  • I get a link to my support request so I can check for answers in case my email spam filter strips out the reply
  • It just feels more professional

If you only receive 1-2 support requests per week, it might make sense to stick with email. But, as your sales and support requests grow, I highly recommend you consider a support ticket system.

There are lots of support ticket systems to choose from such as osTicket (free and open source), Freshdesk, Zendesk and others. Carefully test these before you fully commit to them to make sure you find the right one for your organization.

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– Garland Coulson, “Captain Time”