What is Issue Tracking Software and Do You Need It?

No matter what the business or what the product, the penchant for error, mistakes and breakdowns exist. It’s what you do when these problems arise that can make or break your company name. The term, “issue tracking software” is a little bit of a misnomer. While the tracking program will allocate necessary information in easily accessible locations and streamline processes, it also has huge implications on the success and or failure of a company. Markets are inherently consumer driven and when these consumers’ complaints and problems are not adequately dealt with your company’s future is on the line.

While each issue is unique unto itself, the basis of how each one is handled through a tracking system is pretty similar. Depending on which module you chose to adapt into your company (phone or web based) when a customer voices a concern or complaint, that complaint is then matched up with a ticket which then is brought to the attention of the team or individual you have assigned to customer support. From here, the employee will then use the system to solve the customer problem. Upon setup, you will be able to develop steps to take for popular issues so that when they occur, the employee will be able to deliver a standardized and high quality way of remedying the problem.

If additional steps must be taken to solve the problem, the employee can search through similar issues and find what worked in that situation. This is possible through tracking software’s detection labels which makes searching for similar terms, issues and complaints rather simple.

A large part of issue tracking software is automation. If you ask that a customer registers there product or service online, issue tracking software is able to pull this entered information into its system so that the customer service representative has the necessary information in front of them at the time of the call or message.

Issue tracking software can also be used internally for a business project or campaign. Rather than complaints assigned the software can be adjusted to represent tasks that need to be completed, who is on them as well as the amount of time deemed necessary to complete them. As the tasks are carried out, users can enter various relevant information that has led to the completion of the project or even hang-ups that they have encountered along the way. This is particularly helpful when multiple individuals are working in a slew of satellite locations.

Issue tracking software is of course not the right fit for every business. Like most databases and automations there is a relative learning curb that must be achieved for the software to function as intended. Smaller businesses won’t rely on issue tracking software as heavily as much as larger one will (consumers in need of support versus employees allocated to customer service). There isn’t so much a benchmark set of data that shows when you reach X level of sales, issue traffic software is recommended. Instead, the switch is more of an intuitive one.

For smaller businesses, it’s never too soon to start anticipating these changes. As you begin to navigate the waters of customer feedback begin to pay attention to common issues that arise. Does your product have strange interactions in certain scenarios or is there a common instructional breakdown upon assembly? Take a note and begin to think which approach to issue tracking software will be the best fit for your business.

If issues can be carried out by the consumer themselves with the addition of a little help or instruction, web based support might be the way to go. Web based issue tracking software is generally more affordable and easier to customize but can lack that personal feel and may alienate the consumer.

If you are in the businesses where speaking to a live representative is key, perhaps a phone based support system is more ideal. While a help desk team may not have the same amount of time to address questions (as it is all going down in real time) it will give the consumer a greater sense of appreciation and perhaps a little more patience when dealing with the problem that brought them there in the first place.

Patrick Strahan is an IT professional and freelance blogger. He writes about such things as the latest help desk software on the market. When he’s not busy blogging or responding to dozens of work orders, Patrick finds time to ski and to write the next great graphic novel.