What is issue tracking?

Issue tracking is the method of recording and tracking the progress of customer cases, tickets, or issues, from inbox to resolution.

Issues are queries, problems, questions, or complaints raised by customers who are using your product or service. They can also be problems discovered during the development and deployment of a product.

What is an issue tracking system?

An issue tracking system is a tool that allows agents to manage various cases and track their progress during the resolution process, from beginning to end. Issue tracking begins as a customer reaches out to report the issue, and is completed following the resolution of the issue, and the gathering of any relevant customer feedback.

An effective tracking system allows you to route issues, prioritize cases, add internal notes, create filters for easier searching, manage issues with dashboards, and capture customer feedback.

Why track issues?

A majority of customers indicate that fast issue resolution is very important. In fact, 90% say that an immediate response is important or very important when customer support problems are being addressed (source: Hubspot). With this in mind, it’s crucial for businesses to track issues carefully and move quickly toward resolution, still while maintaining transparency.

To help facilitate this, issue tracking provides several benefits.

Establish a clear procedure for capturing issues

Tracking issues creates a process of acquiring customer issues, categorizing them, sending them to the proper team, and tracking them to resolution.

Record customer issues

Issue trackers record issues received from customers over different channels. Each time an agent interacts with a customer, they can review the customer’s history to better understand the issue and prior interactions.

Conduct follow-ups

Good issue tracking software records details from issues, such as resolution due dates, actions that need to be completed, and assigned responsibilities. This allows agents to conduct follow-ups once the issue has been resolved.

Prioritize issues

Agents have the ability to prioritize issues in order to address the highest priorities first, moving down the line to the less urgent issues.

Check progress

Tracking software allows agents to view the progress of cases as they move toward resolution. Issue tracking is also capable of highlighting and prioritizing outstanding cases, to help ensure that no issues or customers fall through the cracks.

Channels

Issue tracking tools should be omnichannel, allowing customers to report their issues or request features using a single solution that aggregates their preferred channels into one, real-time integrated experience. Channels can include web forms, email, chat, social media, or phone. Good issue trackers centralize each touch point, which empowers customers to move easily from channel to channel without any bumps.

Time tracking

Time tracking allows agents to measure the effort that software engineers use while researching, coding, testing, and resolving any bugs. This feature is useful for project managers who need to manage team members while also managing sprints that are centered around upcoming releases.

Integrations

Consider how well your system implements with tools like Jira, Github, Bitbucket, Bugzilla, and other relevant IT and project management applications. Support agents and software engineers should be able to manage tickets and communicate across different systems, without having to interrupt the resolution or remediation process.

Analytics and reporting

Issue tracking software should include the ability to create reports to ease the project management process by identifying trends. Reports refine how resources are being used for software projects, and provide updates to the roadmap for a company’s application. Managers can also track automated reports that are delivered to email inboxes while also creating helpful dashboards to track KPIs.

Customer feedback

A thorough issue tracker should provide the ability to gather feedback from customers about their issues and resolutions. Agents should also be capable of reaching out to customers post-resolution to follow up and solicit feedback. Common tools include Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score NPS surveys.

SLAs, automations, and workflow customization

It’s crucial to think about workflows within a software system. The service-level agreement (SLA) plays a significant role in how organizations respond to service requests, and SLAs are important to track in workflows.

Administrators may simplify issue tracking by setting up automations for more routine tasks. This may include assigning agents or closing cases after a predetermined amount of time.

Scalability

Effective issue tracking software plays a big role in helping small businesses manage resources and productivity. It provides customers with self-service options to help them resolve more common issues without having to reach out to and interact with live support agents. As business grows, trackers offer complex tools to help customers receive excellent service, without having to bring on many new support agents.

Trial periods

Although options vary from provider to provider, most issue tracking solutions offer free trials where businesses can test-run the software before fully committing to it. The test periods can be helpful to assess if a tracker will provide efficiency while also providing real-time reports to help resolve issues more quickly.

Email

It’s easy to reply to emails when all of your emails are in a single, accessible location. This is particularly essential when your organization has several email addresses.

Social media

You can manage your organization’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media platforms from a single location. See what your customers are saying and respond easily to questions and comments without having to constantly switch between platforms.

Live chat

Agents can chat with customers to understand their issues and provide instant help. If the issue requires further attention, issue tracking software converts chats into cases with one simple action or click.

Telephony

Ticketing tools allow you to answer and make phone calls with cloud telephony technology. Calls are logged and monitored, then converted into cases or attached to existing cases.

Web form

Embed a self-fill web form on your website. This allows customers to elaborate on their issue and submit the form. Automated tools convert the form into a case and then send it along to the relevant agent or team.

Centralized dashboard

The right issue tracking solution allows agents to track requests in a single location, brought together from issues submitted through different channels. All customer-facing inboxes, such as support, sales, billing, etc., are managed on a single, incorporated system. This allows for easy, direct access to data associated customer interactions and conversations.

Categorization and prioritization

Organizations may receive a large quantity of new cases on a daily basis, and your agents need to be able to sort through them, categorize them, and prioritize them quickly and efficiently. Effective tracking software will allow you to address serious issues fast, without allowing any to slip by.

Agents should also be able to label tickets. Labeled tickets help maintain clarity and provide information about the ticket and where they are categorized.

Third-party integrations

Integration with third-party software tools is crucial for any issue tracking software. These integrations provide agents with additional benefits and a centralized location for tracking and service.

Detailed reporting

Reports among the most important aspects of issue tracking software. They provide a view of how agents are performing, and whether customers are satisfied with their experiences. Important metrics include number of new cases, cases resolved, case frequency, customer rating, cases pending, and average agency rating.

Collaboration capabilities

A strong ticketing tool facilitates collaboration across departments and leverages that feature to split complex cases into smaller, easier tasks. The smaller cases help reduce response time and increase efficiency. Internal notes are also effective for collaboration and creating consistency in addressing customer issues.

Capture customer feedback

Capturing customer feedback and allowing agents to use tools like the NPS surveys to measure customer satisfaction levels is also vital. Feedback requests should be automated wherever possible, to facilitate better response times and improved resolution.

Dive Deeper with ITSM

Track, manage, and resolve issues effectively. Future-proof your IT with a single cloud platform.