Running a large, medium, or even small sized business can mean that you get bombarded with emails at a dizzying pace. From quotes and invoices to client concerns and just plain spam, it can be hard to keep track of the who needs what and why when your inbox becomes a total war zone. Luckily, there are developers out there that have experienced these problems too and have worked hard to develop solutions which address these issues.
One of the most common solutions for this issue are the various ticket tracking programs now available, which integrate your email while offering a variety of other features. This week we take a look at when and why you should seriously consider expanding your software beyond email to incorporate these ticketing systems into your global mobility work.
When running a small team where the volume of emails is relatively low, standard business email systems will usually be fine for your needs. But, when either your team or the number of daily queries expands, it can be become more difficult to handle the work using just email. You know it’s time to move to a better system for your needs when customers have to chase you up for an answer to their issues and questions, and your team begins to forget about email requests.
These issues and others, such as complaints about the quality of service aren't necessarily hinting at incompetent or ineffective staff, but are more often indicative of inefficient and difficult workflows. When the number of requests and inquiries from customers increases in volume it’s easy for the tickets to begin to fall through the cracks in the system. Without unified tracking and delegation through a central system, it can be difficult for workers to take ownership of tasks and find appropriate and timely solutions. It is in these situations that ticketing software excels. Using such software also ensures business continuity in the case of an unexpected absence within the organisation, as anyone can see what tasks are in progress and can pick up the work with no additional briefing.
Ticketing systems aren’t just glorified email providers; they offer a whole host of additional features. Some of the more advanced offerings on the market, such as Zendesk, integrate communications from many input sources, not just email, so you can efficiently handle all of your communication channels in one place. Full integration with corporate staple applications such as Workforce and Slack explains why so many are moving their primary source of customer-business communication from email services to full-service ticketing systems; in fact, many large corporations such as Xerox and L’Oréal have moved their client services over to Zendesk’s ticketing system.
Ensuring that all queries, requests and problems get brought straight into one centralised place ensures that all tickets can be tracked a lot easier than just in your email inbox. There’s never going to be a situation where you consult a colleague and have to remember to forward on all of your email correspondence, so they get the appropriate background when everything is there on the system for them.
Having all of the critical information and tickets stored in the same place also allows effective and efficient delegation of tasks between different staff members, without having to worry about items being missed and not completed. When everyone has ownership of tasks in a centralised system it also encourages collaboration between colleagues in an environment where having two people emailing the same client doesn’t instantly cause a mess of ‘forward’s, ‘reply’s and ‘reply all’s across multiple email accounts.
Ticketing systems allow you to standardise your workflows and provide stock answers to frequently asked questions when appropriate, and then let you spend more time on the issues which require a more considered approach. The ability to set tasks as being of different priority levels also allows managers to ensure that the most important duties are handled first, without having to get too involved and becoming a hindrance to their teams.
Ticket tracking software allows you to determine which teams are dealing with the most issues and allocate staff more effectively in response to differing workloads. It also improves accountability within the group as a whole, ensuring that supervisors can see what work is being carried out, what needs to be prioritised, and who is working on which issues.
Putting all client-business communications through a centralised system also allows easy and efficient tracking and reporting of data from your work. The software automatically keeps records of start and completion dates, ticket owners, collaborators and customer feedback. This information can then quickly be turned into reports for future learning and alteration of best practices where needs be.
A major reason these kinds of system are becoming more popular is that they provide automatic accountability, something that will be essential for anyone doing business in, or with, the European Union from 25th May 2018. On this date, the General Data Protection Regulation will come into full force, a far-reaching new set of laws around data protection with financial penalties of up to €20 million, or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.
Ticking solutions allow detailed records to be kept of data flows in and out of the organisation, ensuring that you have access to any essential records required for an audit. In contrast, keeping track of the data sent and received over a multitude of different company email addresses can be extremely difficult, and potentially dangerous.