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Why do customers avoid using help desk tickets?

It is a common phenomenon, some customers would rather send an email instead of creating a ticket in the help desk.  There seems to be a perception that an email will be answered quicker or handled with greater care than a ticket.  In this article we will explore the reasons users avoid using a help desk and ways you can convince them that the help ticket really is their best friend.

Some common help desk misperceptions

Some customer will have the perception that submitting a help desk ticket simply sends their issue into a black hole, never to be seen or answered.  Others may think that their problem is so small that it does not warrant creating a full blown support ticket.  Then there are those who simply email or call out of habit, or sometimes they forget that there is a help desk available.

Why email is evil for customer support

Lets look at an email sent from a customer asking for help.  The customer composes the email, includes some nice detail about their issue and sends it off.  Then is it received into a generic inbox where a support agent reads, answers the question and responds. This is the end of the story, there is no ticket or system to track the issue. Lets hope the customer does not send another email, how would you relate it to the first one?

A help desk ticketing system is ALWAYS better!

When a ticket is created in a help desk, there is one single record of the issue.  All correspondence, notes and attachments are recorded inside the ticket in ONE place.  The support ticket has several date/time stamps attached to it, opened & closed dates, correspondence dates, and note dates, all on one page.  A ticket can be assigned to a department consisting of several support agents, or assigned directly to one agent.  A help desk also has the ability to prioritize and escalate help tickets to higher level agents. And YES, customers can create tickets by sending an email, the email simply needs to be addressed to the help desk.

So how can I get my customers to use the support desk?

There are several techniques to getting your users and customer to use your help desk, all are equally important.  First and foremost the help desk must be readily visible and available on your website.  Secondly it must provide a knowledge base both browseable and searchable by the user, many users will simply search the knowledge base, find the answer and be happy - no ticket required.  Third is persistence in directing your users to use the support desk, convincing them that a ticketing system will provide faster and more accurate solutions for them.