Finding an IT ticketing system for managed services providers (MSPs) that can meet your specific requirements can be a challenge. The IT software market is booming, which means there is plenty of choice—but not all IT help desk ticketing tools are created equal. As one of the main communication channels between your customers and your business, choosing a ticket management software solution isn’t something your MSP can afford to get wrong.
This guide will help you choose the right IT help desk ticketing tool for your MSP by providing an initial list of eight must-have features for you to look for in your search.
1. Quick ticket creation
There are many ways in which an IT ticketing system for MSPs can enable rapid ticket creation. Certain ticket management software solutions might, for example, offer a dedicated “Quick Ticket” feature. This might allow customers to enter a few brief details, enabling them to submit a ticket in just a matter of seconds.
This is important because if customers are required to fill out a form with multiple fields in order to submit a help request, they may feel discouraged from doing so. The aim should always be to make submitting a ticket as easy as possible. If the ticket creation process is confusing or unnecessarily complicated, customers will quickly become frustrated before they’ve even had a chance to establish contact with one of your IT support representatives. Naturally, this will increase the risk of customer dissatisfaction.
Similarly, it’s also important that your IT specialists can create tickets in just a few clicks, as requiring technicians to go through an arduous ticket creation process will slow them down and take the focus away from actually resolving customer issues. Ideally, the ticket management software you choose will allow support technicians to create a ticket from any screen. In short, before committing to an IT help desk ticketing tool, make sure your customers and technicians can create tickets quickly and easily.
2. Email to ticket creation
In addition to enabling rapid ticket creation, the IT ticketing system you choose should also provide multiple options for how tickets can be created. One way of achieving this is through an email-to-ticket creation utility.
Ticket management software that offers email-to-ticket creation can automatically convert email correspondence between customers and IT support technicians into tickets. This is a very efficient way of creating tickets, saving technicians time, and ensuring they have access to all necessary details by automatically capturing the content of the email correspondence in the generated ticket.
3. Time tracking
Time tracking is an extremely useful feature for several reasons. Firstly, time tracking helps generate performance metrics for each of your IT support technicians by measuring how long they spend on each ticket. Time tracking metrics can also inform your SLAs and help you determine whether you’re likely to meet them or not.
This feature can also influence your training initiatives. If, for example, you find that your IT support staff are taking longer than expected to resolve certain tasks, it may be time to renew their training in those particular areas. Some IT help desk ticketing systems are even able to automatically calculate and update billing information based on the recorded time and associated service rates—which streamlines billing and saves time.
4. Custom ticket status tags
Although this may seem like a simple utility, custom ticket statuses can have a significant impact on your team’s productivity. Custom tickets help you organize tickets to suit your individual requirements or preferences and can help you spot popular or common problems. Certain IT ticketing systems can then use these tags to automatically recommend knowledge-based articles, helping customers resolve simple issues themselves.
If you’re an experienced IT support technician, you’ll know that running a help desk isn’t always as simple as “open” and “closed” tickets. Your IT ticketing system should offer plenty of ticket tags and statuses, so that you can be sure all your tickets—no matter how varied they are—are tagged appropriately. This offers the added benefit of helping your team prioritize customer issues in the most informed and efficient way.
5. Priority view
The way a tool displays tickets to technicians when they log in to the IT ticketing system plays an important role in how organized and productive ticket resolutions are. We recommend looking for a tool that offers priority view as soon as an IT support engineer logs into the platform. Priority view should display the tickets the engineer has been assigned, the tickets that are overdue, and the tickets that are in progress by order of importance. A view organized in this way will help support technicians organize their workload appropriately.
The best way of determining the dashboard layout of an IT ticketing system you’re considering is to take advantage of a free trial, if available. We recommend using this opportunity to check how organized and clean the dashboard layout is, how to view tickets, and how easy it is for technicians to access the information they need.
6. Comprehensive ticket information
The ability to add information to a ticket, or have it updated with the necessary information automatically, allows technicians to associate all relevant customer knowledge with the right ticket. This means everything they need to resolve the ticket should be centrally located within the ticket itself—saving technicians time spent hunting for customer information, old emails, and records of any other communications.
Comprehensive ticket information also helps by allowing technicians to pass work onto another support representative if necessary, without disrupting the resolution process or bothering the customer with questions that have already been asked. This is especially useful when technicians leave your company or go on holiday or maternity leave. Ideally, ticket information should include time entries, expenses, communications, appointments, and notes.
7. Integration capacity
Although integration capacity with other tools is not a strictly essential component of successful ticket management software, it can be very useful in supporting MSP success. Remote support software, for example, can complement IT ticketing systems very well. Integration with an all-in-one remote monitoring and management tool can enhance your help desk’s service delivery by better supporting other capabilities like patch management and network device monitoring.
8. Mobile application
Even with the best remote assistance software, your technicians will still need to spend time at customer locations providing hands-on support from time to time. To be effective in the field, technicians need fast access to the knowledge and information available in their help desk and billing system—which is why it’s so important that your IT ticketing system for MSPs features a mobile application. A native mobile app that’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices will allow technicians to access their help desk from their mobile device from anywhere on the road, as long as they have an internet connection.
Choosing the right IT ticketing system for your MSP
Hopefully you’ve received some insight from this guide into what to look for when choosing your ticket management software. Finding the right IT ticketing help desk tools that tick all of the necessary boxes can be a challenge.
SolarWinds® MSP Manager is a user-friendly, comprehensive, and scalable IT ticketing system that can provide everything MSPs need to deliver fantastic service to their customers. This tool seamlessly integrates with SolarWinds RMM, allowing you to enhance your IT ticketing system with industry leading remote monitoring software. This fully unified solution enables you to deliver prompt and proactive service, allocate resources effectively, and efficiently bill customers—with reliable, defensible invoices for rapid approval.
MSP Manager features intuitive and lightweight ticketing, extensive customer and knowledge management capabilities, interactive dashboards with priority view, and much more. It also offers a mobile application that supports both iOS and Android, which allows your technicians to access your help desk even when they’re providing assistance on-the-go.
This tool also offers the above eight must-have features, such as allowing your engineers to create tickets in just a couple of clicks and automated email to ticket creation, both of which save your technicians time and simplify the ticket creation process. To ensure your engineers have access to all the necessary customer details, ticket information is extensive and comprehensive—they allow your technicians to view time entries, expenses, appointments, communications, and notes for every ticket. They are also able to add time or notes (internal or public) to a ticket from within the RMM dashboard.
Overall, SolarWinds MSP Manager delivers a sophisticated, all-in-one ticketing solution that is easy to use and makes resolving tickets straightforward and efficient. For MSPs interested in learning more, a 14-day free trial is available.