Help desk ticketing system

Delivering consistently great customer service is hard. The right ticketing system makes it easy.

A complete guide to the best ticketing system

A well-implemented ticket system consolidates communication. It does this by eliminating the bottlenecks that happen when no one has an overview of the problem, its priority, and the person reporting it.

But even the best software doesn’t work without the right people and processes.

So before we get into how to choose the right ticketing software, we’ll review the basics of a ticketing system. Then, you can learn about best practices and read an overview of 15 of the best ticketing systems out there.

If you’d like to skip to a specific section, click through the table of contents below.

What is a ticketing system?

A ticketing system is a software program that a customer support team uses to create, manage, and maintain a list (or lists) of customer problems.

Of course, many ticketing systems also provide other functions including, but not limited to:

  • オムニチャネルサポート
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Tracking and measurement
  • インテグレーション
  • Knowledge base management
  • Automation
  • チャット

You might also hear ticketing systems referred to as ticketing software, ticketing support, or a helpdesk ticketing system.

Why does your business need a helpdesk ticketing system?

Your business needs helpdesk ticketing to help organize, prioritize, and consolidate support requests. Ticketing systems enable organizations to quickly assign inquiries to the most relevant agent, provide context to customer interactions, and track inquiries from customers. The system also provides a shared inbox which helps support staff coordinate their efforts.

How does a ticketing system work?

When customers have a problem, they report an issue—through social media, phone, live chat, or any other channel—to a customer support team. The support team’s ticket system then notifies and sends an agent a digital record (or “ticket”) with details about the customer’s problem.

What are the features of a ticket system?

There are several, high-level features you’ll find in common among most modern help desk ticketing systems. Just remember: the sophistication of these features can vary widely.

To help you prepare to compare different ticketing systems, here are six common features to look for and evaluate.

  1. オムニチャネルサポート
    Customers contact your organization from many channels—email, social media, live chat, and phone—sometimes simultaneously. In many companies, insights gained during these interactions are scattered between tools and teams. This forces the customer to repeat themselves every time they reach out. But by consolidating customer profiles and conversations into a shared inbox, omnichannel support enables agents to serve customers in their preferred channels.
  2. Ticket Routing, Categorization and Tagging

    In a larger enterprise, just centralizing customer support communications isn’t enough. To provide the best service, agents need to know—at a glance—a ticket’s status and what steps they must take, whether that’s routing the ticket to a different agent or handling it themselves.

    That’s why help desk ticketing systems also enable users to categorize and tag tickets as they come in. These categories and tags provide large, siloed teams with the ability to quickly route support tickets to the agents that have the skills and knowledge to handle them.

  3. Tracking and Measurement

    Good customer service departments resolve issues quickly and minimize back-and-forth. But that doesn’t happen without analytics. With helpdesk ticketing system analytics, you can generate reports based on what you’re trying to understand. For example, you can quantify the amount of time your team spends on certain issues to help inform decisions about where to invest additional resources.

  4. インテグレーション

    Just as customers like to use a variety of channels, businesses tend to use different databases and tools to use and manage important customer data. This creates data silos. Through a broad range of integrations, ticketing systems (like Zendesk’s) help break down these silos.

    As a result, it becomes far easier to create a unified, streamlined customer experience. And it prevents the disjointed, often frustrating experience agents have when they’re forced to try and make sense of multiple sources of different versions of information while dealing with an impatient customer.

  5. Knowledge Base Management

    While live chats and phone conversations have their place, given the right information, many customers are fully capable of—and oftentimes prefer—serving themselves. Knowledge base systems help customers do this by summarizing and storing large amounts of information in searchable, linked databases.

    These systems enhance your ticket support system by simultaneously improving self-service for your customers and reducing ticket volume for your agents. Not only that, knowledge bases provide support agents with a searchable database where they can easily find resources for customers.

  6. Automation

    What makes customer service “go” is getting the right information to the right person at the right time. And even in a relatively small company, the logistics of routing information from different systems to the people gets complicated quickly. That’s why it can be very powerful to automate tasks like assigning tickets, sending preset responses, escalating issues, pulling in relevant customer data, and more.

    By eliminating or reducing the time agents must spend on menial, repetitive tasks, automation helps make agents happier, more engaged, and more productive. Not to mention automating these tasks reduces the chance of human error.

Zendesk ticketing system screenshot

What are the benefits of a help desk ticketing system?

A simple ticketing system is the price of entry for any professional customer service team, even if it’s a team of one. But don’t take our word for it, check out these five powerful benefits:

  1. Greater agent productivity

    Great customer service is invaluable. Yet there are quite a few low-value, time-consuming tasks involved in providing great customer service—searching for information, routing calls, categorizing tickets, and more.

    By automating all or a portion of these tasks, ticketing systems provide more time for agents to spend on high-value tasks like training and serving customers. This improved productivity also means that your organization can more easily provide great service with fewer agents, greatly reducing costs without necessarily impacting service quality.

  2. Enhance the quality of customer interactions

    With full audit trails of every conversation, even if it spanned multiple channels, agents are empowered to have more productive, informed conversations with customers.

    Customers tend to be less frustrated because they don’t have to repeat themselves. And agents can take things a step further by providing personalization. For example, with accessible data on past purchases, a retail support agent could see a customer’s sizing information and help them identify the right fit for a pair of jeans.

  3. Transparent customer service performance

    Without a ticket support system in place, there’s no single source of data you can use to evaluate customer service performance. Sure, you could use customer retention data if you have it, but that can be influenced by other factors. And while actively surveying customers might provide clues, you often need more granular, quantitative data to monitor and evaluate service performance.

  4. Learn and grow over time

    By centralizing customer issues and your support agents’ responses to those issues, ticketing systems double as a learning tool. Managers can use it to discover what common issues might be better addressed with new knowledge base articles. Or they can identify certain situations which agents are struggling to handle, which might indicate where additional training is needed. The opportunities to learn and grow over time are endless and good helpdesk ticketing software makes them possible.

  5. Better internal team collaboration

    Few customer service experiences are worse than the all-to-common hot potato call. This happens when a customer calls in and gets passed from agent to agent, with each one struggling to find a solution. The root cause of this is often poor internal communication, which a ticketing system helps reduce or eliminate.

Best practices for helpdesk ticketing software

Ticketing software has exciting capabilities, but even the best ones don’t run without the right processes built around them. Here are four best practices that’ll have your team maximizing your software investment:

Train agents on the new system

When businesses buy software, they often only use a fraction of its capabilities. Ticketing systems are no exception. To avoid this pitfall, start a training program to get your people up to speed on the system. Depending on what ticketing software you use, the vendor may offer their own training, which is a great way to get your people trained without the administrative burden. Plus later on down the road, your agents can use what they learned to train new hires.

Build out a self-service knowledge base

The idea of building out a knowledge base for your customer can seem intimidating at first. But start small, and focus on providing resources that help solve the simplest, most common issues. Even a simple knowledge base can make your agents more effective and your customers happier. Plus, with a knowledge base in place, you can provide automated answers to common customer questions.

Create (and use) a clear, well-structured tagging system

Without tags, you lose out on what makes the best ticketing systems most valuable. But it’s not enough to create some tags and call it a day. You have to be thoughtful about what tags will properly contextualize the problem so your agents can properly prioritize and route each ticket.

Not only that, but customer support agents also need to be active in tagging tickets as they learn new information while helping the customers. Tagging in this way ensures tickets show up in relevant reports as they develop and are easily searchable.

Automate with predefined ticket actions

Consider this: 51 percent of consumers who prefer the phone as their primary support channel expect a response in less than five minutes. 28 percent expect the same on live chat. In the age of ever-increasing customer expectations, automation is an agent’s best friend.

The kinds of automation you should set up will depend on your service channels, the types of inquiries, and many other factors. But a basic example to set up is an auto-response that triggers a predefined message to acknowledge receipt when a customer submits a ticket via chat or text.

An overview of the 15 best ticketing systems

  1. Zendesk
  2. Zoho Desk
  3. Freshdesk
  4. HappyFox
  5. Wordpress Advanced Ticket System
  6. Help Scout
  7. LiveAgent
  8. KB Support
  1. Vision Helpdesk
  2. HubSpot
  3. Front
  4. AzureDesk
  5. SupportBee
  6. Awesome Support
  7. TeamSupport

1. Zendesk

Zendesk is designed to seamlessly connect your customer support team with customers across all platforms. Beyond improved customer satisfaction, Zendesk’s ticketing software is also a dream for chat agents, who get a comprehensive view of the entire customer journey, so they can stop searching for information and start serving customers.

Plus, the centralized hub makes it easy for managers and admins to track their team’s performance metrics, KPIs, and SLAs across the customer experience.

Zendesk ticketing system

Never lose a request with Zendesk's ticketing system

Context is king for Zendesk's ticket system

No one wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot. Zendesk ticketing software sets your team up with everything they need to provide customers with truly personalized service. With an omnichannel ticket support system, your agents have full details about every customer they interact with through an organized workflow. Equipped with context about every customer, customer support agents can quickly resolve individual support requests and provide quality customer experience across the board.

Problem-solve at lightning speed

Beyond having a centralized hub for a seamless workflow, Zendesk software makes it easy for your team to identify issues as soon as they arise.

Tickets are assigned unique reference numbers and statuses to help teams manage and prioritize their workflow. To stay on track, teams can also set up alerts in Zendesk for tickets that agents haven’t responded to in a timely manner.

With Zendesk’s built-in issue tracking system, the support team can easily identify issues the moment they’re raised by customers. Agents can use the information gained from Zendesk’s issue tracker to notify the software development team of bugs or create new self-help resources for customers.

By identifying problems early, your team can take action swiftly to ensure customer satisfaction isn’t interrupted.

Features of Zendesk's helpdesk ticketing system

  • Native automation
  • Canned responses
  • チャット
  • Integrations and API
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Shared inbox
  • カスタマイズ
  • Knowledge base management
  • オムニチャネルサポート

2. Zoho Desk

Zoho ticketing system

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Zoho Desk is a good choice for smaller, customer-facing support teams that need a platform they can grow with. Also, since Zoho Desk integrates easily with other Zoho products, if you’re already using Zoho products, implementing and using Zoho Desk will feel familiar.

Plus if you’re using Zoho CRM, you can easily sync your database with Zoho Desk. And keep in mind: Zoho consistently adds new features, such as social media integration and data analysis, so you should keep an eye on how this product evolves.

機能

  • Workflow automation
  • Self-service knowledge base
  • Contextual AI, APIs, & SDKs
  • CRM integration
  • Canned responses
  • リアルタイムチャット
  • レポーティング
  • Ticket management
  • Conversations inbox
  • Branding customization
  • マルチチャネルサポート
  • セキュリティ

Learn more about Zendesk app for Zoho

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk ticketing system

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Freshdesk is another option aimed at smaller businesses that has an affordable price and intuitive interface. Freshdesk comes in five editions; one free plan called Sprout and four paid editions called Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forest. If you pay for the most expensive plan, you can access key features such as team dashboards, social signals, and chatbots.

Freshdesk also provides Freshworks Academy, which you can use to offload some of the administrative burden of training your agents on your new system. However if you opt for one of the lower-priced plans, you may find features offered a bit lacking.

機能

  • 自動化
  • Extensions, SDKs, APIs
  • Shared canned responses
  • リアルタイムチャット
  • 分析
  • Email ticket routing
  • Multiple shared inboxes
  • カスタマイズ
  • Public and private knowledge base
  • オムニチャネルサポート

4. HappyFox

HappyFox ticketing system

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HappyFox is a cloud-based CRM that provides ticketing solutions for many different industries. Their ticketing software provides a host of easy-to-use, powerful capabilities. But where it excels in features, it lags in price and integrations. Unlike options like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Zoho Desk, HappyFox doesn’t integrate with as many other tools and systems.

There’s also no free option for you to get a feel for the software. Their price tiers range from $39 to $99 per user per month, so you will have to pay to try it. Still, if your priority is best-in-class ticket management capabilities, HappyFox is worth consideration.

機能

  • Smart rule automation
  • Integrations and API
  • Canned actions
  • チャット
  • レポートと分析
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Unlimited shared inboxes
  • Ticket and branding customization
  • Knowledge base management
  • オムニチャネルサポート

Learn more about Zendesk app for HappyFox

5. WordPress Advanced Ticket System

Wordpress advanced ticketing system

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If your organization uses WordPress and you have a simple customer service operation with no more than two channels, the WordPress Advanced Ticket System plugin is worth consideration. Since this open-source helpdesk ticketing software is built directly on WordPress it’s very easy to integrate. Plus, because the system uses your site’s default single post template to display tickets, it won’t slow your site down.

Of course, supreme simplicity comes with its drawbacks. The system doesn’t support direct ticketing from social media, live chat, or blog comments.

機能

  • Ticket tracking and reporting
  • Email ticket routing
  • カスタムチケットフィールド
  • Branding customization

Learn more about Zendesk app for Wordpress

6. Help Scout

Help Scout ticketing system

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Help Scout’s helpdesk ticketing system is similarly full-featured like HappyFox. And also like HappyFox, Help Scout can support large teams with more than 500 users. That said, even small teams who need powerful, flexible ticket management tools may find Help Scout to be a great fit.

In addition to its ticketing system, Help Scout provides robust reporting and built-in knowledge bases. Plus, its robust API and a broad selection of integrations mean you should have no problem getting the system to work with your existing customer channels and databases.

機能

  • Rule-based automation
  • Extensions and integrations
  • Templated responses
  • Website live chat
  • 分析
  • Ticket routing and prioritization
  • コラボレーションツール
  • Customizable branding
  • Knowledge base content management
  • Multi-channel communication

7. LiveAgent

LiveAgent ticketing system

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LiveAgent emphasizes its live chat service with features like real-time typing view, website monitoring for chat engagement, and proactive chat invitations based on the active agent availability. The software also provides a universal inbox that collects and consolidates tickets from a variety of channels.

LiveAgent is particularly well-suited for small support teams that use WordPress. Plus it has native integrations for many of the most popular apps that support teams use. The various plans from LiveAgent include a free version and paid versions that range in price from $15 per agent per month to $39 per agent per month.

機能

  • Smart automation
  • Mobile SDK and API
  • Canned answers
  • リアルタイムチャット
  • Advanced reporting
  • Email ticket management
  • Shared inbox
  • Ticket and branding customization
  • Knowledge content management
  • Omnichannel communication

8. KB Support

KB Support ticketing software

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Another lightweight, WordPress-friendly helpdesk ticketing system is the KB Support plugin. The plugin includes support for ticketing from web forms and email, agent permissions, custom ticket statuses, preset replies, and WooCommerce integration. Also, you can integrate KB Support with other apps fairly easily through Zapier.

In addition to using its ticketing features, KB Support also has a built-in knowledge base you can use to provide self-service options for your users. You can even restrict certain articles to be available for logged-in users only.

機能

  • Native automations
  • Tracking and measurement
  • チケットルーティング
  • Brand customization
  • Knowledge base management

9. Vision Helpdesk

Vision helpdesk ticketing software

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Vision Helpdesk is a cloud-based helpdesk ticketing system that’s designed for all team sizes and industries. Teams can automate their ticket management with rule-based criteria and record conversations across social media, emails, live chats, web portals, and calls.

To support agent productivity, Vision Helpdesk also offers gamification features that businesses can use to set up agent achievements with rewards. A mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows phones but many users report that the mobile app needs some work.

機能

  • ワークフロー
  • API
  • Live website chat
  • レポートと分析
  • Ticketing
  • Shared inbox
  • Branding and ticketing customization
  • Optimized knowledge base content
  • Multi-channel support

10. HubSpot

Hubspot helpdesk

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HubSpot provides a fairly robust ticketing system through its Service Hub product. In addition to providing broad helpdesk functionality, Service Hub helps support agents prioritize tickets, automate workflows, and provide personalized experiences across many service channels.

If you’re already using HubSpot’s other products like the HubSpot CRM, integration with those tools is very simple. And even if you’re not a HubSpot user, their broad range of integrations makes implementing this ticketing system into your workflow fairly straightforward.

機能

  • Rules-based automation
  • APIs, SDKs, and native integrations
  • Shared canned responses
  • Real-time website chat
  • Advanced reporting
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Conversations inbox
  • Brand customizations
  • Knowledge base management
  • オムニチャネルサポート

Learn more about Zendesk app for HubSpot

11. Front

Front customer support

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Through its shared email inbox, Front connects your entire customer service team. But beyond that basic functionality, Front is truly geared towards fostering a culture of teamwork on your service team.

For example, after an agent selects a case, other agents can still monitor that ticket’s progress which helps improve transparency and collaboration. Similarly, through its shared draft tool, Front lets agents work on tickets together before responding to customers. Plus, Front supports ticketing for emails and messages from every channel including email, chat, social media, and SMS.

機能

  • Workflow rules
  • Shared drafts
  • Integrations directory
  • API access and custom plugins
  • Canned responses
  • チャット
  • Ticket analytics
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Universal inbox
  • Custom branding
  • Knowledge content management
  • Omnichannel communication

12. AzureDesk

AzureDesk ticket management software

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AzureDesk’s core features include reporting, ticket management, knowledge base management, and email-to-ticket conversion. In short, it’s a light system with enough capabilities to support larger customer service departments. Uniquely, AzureDesk’s ticketing system allows you to use an unlimited number of email addresses which makes it easy to convert emails to any address into a support ticket.

AzureDesk is also very flexible software with an API that can support many customer service integrations and pre-built integrations with other popular support apps, such as Slack.

機能

  • Smart automation
  • APIs and app integrations
  • Live chat widget
  • Agent signatures
  • Advanced reporting
  • Ticket management
  • Shared email inbox
  • Brand customizations
  • Knowledge content management
  • オムニチャネルサポート

13. SupportBee

SupportBee ticketing system

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Designed as a simple, intuitive ticketing system, SupportBee is designed for small teams that need to get up and running fast. SupportBee offers a solid set of basic features including a centralized inbox and customer ratings. Plus, their plans include unlimited tickets and inboxes which makes it easier to scale up if needed.

However, for what you gain in SupportBee’s simplicity, you lose in your ability to customize. So if you’re looking for a solution that provides tailored service and extensible tools, you may want to skip SupportBee.

機能

  • Ticket workflows
  • Customer portal
  • Snippets, filters, and integrations
  • Team messaging tools
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Ticket assignments, categorization, and tagging
  • Private and shared inboxes
  • Multiple brand support

14. Awesome Support

Awesome Support ticketing plugin for Wordpress

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Awesome Support is one of the most popular customer support ticketing system options for WordPress. The free version allows unlimited tickets, agents, users, products, and departments. It’s a good base for simple customer support, but you can also upgrade for more advanced features. The highest plan supports service level agreements (SLAs), deeper reporting, and automation.

While Awesome Support is super easy to set up, it’s not powerful enough for the needs of most support teams. So unless you’re a support team of one with your website as your only channel, Awesome Support may come up a bit short.

機能

  • ワークフロー
  • AI search and automated chatbots
  • API and Zapier integrations
  • 分析
  • Ticket handling
  • Shared inbox
  • Custom branding and localization
  • Knowledge base and documentation management
  • Unlimited support channels

15. TeamSupport

TeamSupport ticket management software

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TeamSupport is a customer support ticketing software solution designed to meet the needs of companies serving B2B technology customers. In addition to functioning as ticketing management software, TeamSupport’s reporting features focus on helping with root cause analysis to help minimize ticket volume. TeamSupport also offers external and internal knowledge base functionality and a customer forum.

The tool is fairly customizable. For example, you can make your own basic ticket management page with fields of your choosing. And it’s focused on improving your agent’s service delivery through features like suggested solutions which automatically surfaces articles relevant to a customer’s issue.

機能

  • Ticket automation and workflows
  • 3rd party integrations and API
  • リアルタイムチャット
  • レポーティング
  • Customizable ticket management
  • Custom branding
  • Shared inbox
  • Customer database
  • Knowledge base management
  • Omnichannel service

Summary chart of the best ticket support systems

Here’s how our top 15 picks for ticketing system stack up against one another at a glance:

サポートチケット管理システム

Cost

レポーティング

Automation

インテグレーション

Ease of Use

Zendesk

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★
Zoho Desk

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★

★★★
Freshdesk

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★
HappyFox

★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★

★★★★
Wordpress Advanced Ticket System

★★★★★

★★★

★★

★★★

★★★★★
Help Scout

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★
LiveAgent

★★★★★

★★★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★
KB Support

★★★★★

★★★

★★★

★★★

★★★★★
Vision Helpdesk

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★
HubSpot

★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★
Front

★★★★

★★★

★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★
AzureDesk

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★
SupportBee

★★★★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★

★★★★★
Awesome Support

★★★★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★

★★★★★
TeamSupport

★★★★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★

★★★

How to choose the best ticketing software for your business

As far as software goes, your ticketing software will be among your customer support team’s most heavily used tools. So choosing among the many options available is high stakes.

To help guide your decision-making, here are six questions you’ll want to ask yourself and your team, and the kinds of answers you should be looking for.

How easy will it be to implement your ticketing software?

Web-based ticketing software is typically much easier to implement than traditional software. But how easy one system is to implement versus another also depends on what your implementation looks like.

For example, some systems are very easy to integrate with other applications while others are not. Similarly, if you want sophisticated automations, certain ticketing systems that are otherwise easy to set up can become a hassle.

As you’re evaluating various vendors, look for customer references to validate claims regarding the implementation process. Also, if possible, use references from customers that are similar in size and industry.

Is the ticketing software easy to use?

It’s normal, even expected, for agents to need training on ticketing software. So while it’s not quite as easy to use as, say, your iPhone or Android, ticketing software shouldn’t make you want to throw your computer out the window.

As soon as they’re trained, agents should be able to start responding to and managing tickets. If they can’t, that’s a red flag. Fortunately, many ticketing software vendors will offer free trials so you can see how intuitive their product is.

What systems does your ticketing system integrate with?

To ensure your agents can engage customers on their own terms, your ticketing system should, at minimum, integrate conversations across all the channels your support team currently uses.

However if you expect your team to grow, find a ticketing system that also integrates the channels and internal systems you might expand to including:

  • メール
  • ソーシャルメディア
  • チャット
  • コミュニティフォーラムの構築
  • CRM

What support processes can you automate through your ticketing software?

Most ticketing systems allow you to automate the logistics of customer support. This includes routing and assigning tickets, sending preset responses, pulling in relevant customer data, surfacing relevant knowledge base articles, and more.

The more of your existing support processes your ticketing software supports with rule-based triggers, the better.

Does your helpdesk ticket system measure what you need it to?

At a minimum, your ticketing system should measure customer satisfaction and agent performance. And most do. But if you’re looking for more advanced analytics that measure, for example, compliance with a detailed SLA, you’ll need to make sure your software can provide the metrics your managers and agents need.

How much does the ticket system cost for your team size?

The price of your ticketing system will depend on the features you want, the number of users you’ll have, and your vendor’s pricing model. Simple ticketing systems with basic features may be free, but more sophisticated systems can cost up to several thousand dollars per year.

Try Zendesk’s ticketing system for free

Seamless communication doesn’t have to be a distant dream for you and your team. Zendesk’s omnichannel ticket system elevates your customer reach and bridges the gaps within your business. With our open CRM platform Zendesk Sunshine, you can connect all customer data so chat agents have all the customer context they need to respond easily across channels through live chat software. Plus, reporting with customer service analytics gives you a detailed insight into your support agents' work so you can make your workflow work better for both your team and your customers. That’s a win.