Matthew Lindfield Seager

Matthew Lindfield Seager

Is Your Ticketing System a Tool or a Weapon?

In the hands of a carpenter, sportsperson or chef, hammers, bats and knives are all useful tools. In other hands, or even just other circumstances, they are useful weapons. In fact, just about all tools and technologies can be used constructively or destructively.

A ticketing system is no exception. At its best, a ticketing system helps agents collaborate, facilitates communication with customers and ensures issues aren’t forgotten.

At its worst, a ticketing system can be gamed by agents to avoid work they don’t like (or colleagues they find annoying), they can be weaponised by customers to prove how poor the service they received was or they can simply devolve into a distraction from the actual work of helping people.

Some quick rules of thumb I have for running a ticketing system are: - never ask someone who has just told you about a problem to log a ticket… they made the effort to visit you or call you to tell you there’s a problem, don’t make them tell the story all over again to an impersonal ticketing system - focus on solving their problem, not closing the ticket. If the problem is solved and the customer is happy, the ticket can stay open forever for all I care, just as long as it doesn’t stop you from noticing the next ticket - don’t use the ticketing system as a wishlist or backlog. Anything that hasnt been touched for two weeks (and probably isn’t going to be in the next two weeks) doesn’t belong in the ticketing system; it just gives the customer false hope and the agent unnecessary stress - if you can fix it straight away, just do it, no ticket required. We’re here to solve problems, not track time or put notches in our belts - try to fix problems and have conversations in person (or at least on the phone). Put a (very brief) summary of the conversation or solution in the ticket for collaboration/posterity - find ways to measure what matters, rather than what’s easy to measure - ignore any or all of these rules when doing so makes more sense or gives the customer better service