We’re all well aware of the pitfalls of email now.
Yes, of course it still has its place. It’s an awesome tool for marketing purposes for a start.
But in many situations, it just doesn’t cut it anymore.
One of those situations is when you’re managing multiple client websites.
Why email doesn’t cut it
The more clients you have, the more websites you’re looking after.
The more websites you’re looking after, the more requests you will receive.
Email starts to get messy very quickly when you’re receiving lots of website support requests from clients.
It’s easy to lose track of threads.
People will leave emails marked as unread, when in fact they’ve been read and dealt with.
The list goes on.
A professional support ticket system.
Even better, one that’s specifically tailored to website maintenance.
Why a support ticket system is better
So, let’s dive into those 5 things that a support ticket system can do, that email can’t …
#1 Assign tickets to different teammates
In a busy agency where you could easily be managing well in excess of 100 websites, you need software that helps your team collaborate.
When a support request is raised by a client and assigned to a member of your dev team, you want the ability to assign that to someone else.
It could be that:
- Your teammate is better suited to resolving the issue in question
- Or that your teammate knows this client account better than you do
It could also be that the issue has escalated and now you need the expertise of your teammate to resolve it.
Whatever the reason, being able to quickly assign requests to other members of your team is crucial to resolving issues faster and more efficiently.
#2 Quickly view the status of the support request
A key part of being able to efficiently manage multiple support requests, is to understand the status of each request.
When you’re using email, there is zero indication of status, except for whether the email has been read or not.
This can cause so much confusion between dev teams.
Furthermore, you can’t quickly see the status of all tickets in one click.
In a support ticket system however, you are able to assign a status to a ticket.
For example, in Glow’s support ticket feature, we have the following statuses:
- Open – ticket has been raised by the client and not yet responded to
- In Progress – a developer has responded to the client and is in the process of dealing with the request
- Closed – issue has been fully resolved
At any moment, you’re able to filter the tickets by any status.
For example ‘Open’, so you can quickly see which clients haven’t yet had a response.
Account Managers get a better understanding of how the dev team are managing workload and the dev team are able to more easily make their way through requests.
#3 Be prompted to record time after each reply
Let’s face it, tracking time is boring.
But it’s also super important.
Iryna Viter at Forecast writes brilliantly on the subject.
It allows you to do things like:
- Analyse team performance
- Understand which tasks take longest
- Establish which clients take up most time
- and more …
When you’re using email to handle support requests, you need to then remember to track time in another app.
Yes, you could already have this app open in another browser tab to remind you.
But you’ve still got to remember to open the time tracking app in the first place.
With a ticket system, it can remind you at the exact right moment.
After submitting your reply, it can ask you: “How much time needs recording to this ticket?”
It’s impossible to forget.
And it’s easy to know the answer (you’ve literally just finished).
#4 Set priority levels
If you’re handling loads of support tickets from clients – it helps to know which are the most serious.
In email, the best your client could do is add the word ‘Urgent’ to the subject.
If they forget, you need to figure it out yourself.
In a ticket system, a client could choose a priority level when raising their request.
For example, in Glow’s support ticket feature, a client could choose from the following priority levels:
When the ticket comes in, the dev team are then able to quickly filter tickets by priority.
It’s likely they would then deal with those that are ‘Urgent’, before those that are ‘Low’.
This results in increased client satisfaction as the developers are able to act faster to get important work done, before moving onto simpler, less urgent jobs.
#5 View the time you’ve spent on this issue so far
Some issues are a pain.
Like, a real pain.
It just happens sometimes in web development, doesn’t it?
You just can’t figure out why something is broken / won’t work.
And the minutes and hours pass by …
When using email to handle website support requests, you’ve got to remember to track time in a time tracking app, each time you attempt to resolve the issue.
If you forget one day, or you record the time a week later, it’s never going to be accurate.
However, using a ticket system that prompts you to record time after each reply, means that you always know exactly how much time you’ve spent on a particular issue.
It will tell you at the top of the screen.
This is so helpful as it allows you to have an honest conversation with your clients at the right moment.
Maybe they want you to continue working on the issue and are happy for you to invoice them for the extra time.
Or maybe they want you to stop as they don’t have the budget for you to carry on with it right now.
Either way, the conversation is perfectly possible when you’re using a ticket system.
With email … you best make sure to have that time tracking app open!
Email can be great for lots of things, marketing for one.
It just isn’t the right fit for handling website support requests.
There’s far too many high quality support ticket systems out there that can:
- Save your developers time
- Help you provide an even better client experience
- Improve team collaboration
- Support team leads on analysing performance
- Make your developers more efficient
- and more …
Still using email?
Get a free trial on a support ticket system and then message me 😉
You won’t look back.