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Issue tracking software: the tool that stops you from getting queries lost

Gone are the days when companies needed to manually follow up on each and every conversation they had with their customers. Today, businesses are empowered with leading-edge tools that provide visibility into every facet of their engagement with customers.

A great example of these technological advancements is issue tracking software, a resource that generates a record of all the issues a customer faces with a product, service, or app.

In this article, you’ll deepen your knowledge about exactly what issue tracking software is and why it’s important for modern businesses. You’ll also see its main features and primary use cases. Lastly, you'll discover how to create an issue tracking software platform and effectively manage customer service interactions.

What is a customer ticket?

Traditionally, a customer ticket serves as a formal digital record of the interaction between a customer and a support representative. In practical terms, when a person submits a query to a company or needs assistance to solve a problem, a ticket is generated and shared with both the customer and the support rep. 

However, at Intercom, we believe that tickets are more than a record-keeping mechanism. For us, a customer ticket is the registration of a request that often requires time for the business to resolve. This is largely because support reps will probably have to involve specialists from other teams to resolve these requests.

Conversely, a query arises when a customer is in search of information from a brand, and it can be promptly addressed using tools like a messenger, chatbot, or automated tool.

What is issue tracking software?

Issue tracking software is a solution used by businesses to manage customer support requests, bug reports, and other common issues that frequently arise. Its main goal is to allow support teams to prioritize and manage their workload by assigning tickets to specific team members, setting deadlines, and tracking progress.

It also provides a centralized location for storing information related to a particular issue, making it easier for support teams to collaborate and resolve issues more efficiently.

Why is using issue tracking software important for your business?

1. It provides visibility into your support processes

With an issue tracking software system, you can easily see which tickets are open, which ones have been resolved, and how long it took to resolve them. This visibility allows you to identify ways you may need to improve your processes, such as hiring additional support staff or improving your response times.

By using an issue tracking software system, you can ensure that your customers receive the best possible support experience. These resulting positive experiences can ultimately lead to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

2. It allows you to establish a single source of information 

By linking all related customer conversations to an issue tracking software platform, you can establish a single, objective source of information that your team can rely on. This means that everyone involved in the process has access to the same history and data and can work together to resolve issues effectively.

With an issue tracking software, you can streamline your workflow, improve communication among team members, and ultimately provide better customer service.

3. It keeps customers up-to-date

When it comes to a problem that needs to be solved or information that needs to be obtained, no one likes to be left in the dark. Thankfully, a ticketing software system with a tracking resource can help companies keep their customers informed in real time and even send mass updates to all users who’ve been impacted by a specific bug or other issue. This way, businesses can save valuable time and reduce the risk of misunderstandings or missed communication.

With modern tracking systems, you can even keep customers in the loop through their preferred communication channels, including messenger and email. This not only keeps them consistently informed but also demonstrates your commitment to providing excellent, proactive customer service.

What are the main features of issue tracking software?

3. Automatic creation and assignment

A robust tracking system seamlessly automates the creation and assignment of tickets, intelligently directing them to the designated team member through predefined rules or criteria. This not only enhances efficiency but also optimizes time management in handling tickets.

It’s no secret that automation is already playing a substantial role in customer service departments. According to our report, State of AI in Customer Service 2023, 67% of support leaders believe they are already seeing value from their automation efforts.¹

2. Categories or tags

An effective issue tracking program facilitates the categorization of issues through the use of tags or similar procedures. This dynamic feature serves as a pivotal organizational tool, contributing to the systematic arrangement of tickets based on their nature, priority, or other relevant criteria.

However, the advantages extend beyond mere organization; the intuitive categorization system also facilitates quick and precise filtering. This means that users can access the exact information they need promptly, expediting decision-making processes and boosting overall productivity.

Do you want a deep dive into getting started with tickets? Learn how to assign categories to your ticket types here.

3. Priority levels

An issue tracking software should allow users to tailor the priority levels assigned to each ticket, enhancing their control over workflow dynamics.

The flexibility to set priority levels serves as a proactive measure, allowing teams to strategically allocate resources and attention based on the urgency and significance of each ticket.

This adaptability is crucial in navigating the complex decision-making required to take on diverse tasks and ensuring that critical issues are promptly identified and addressed.

4. Internal communication

If you feel your support reps could benefit from closer collaboration, an issue tracking software can help facilitate that. These systems allow team members to engage in real-time discussions, share insights, and collectively strategize how to tackle uniquely challenging issues.

This not only accelerates the resolution process, but also harnesses the collective intelligence of the team, leading to innovative problem-solving and continuous improvement.

In fact, the internal communication feature offered by issue tracking software becomes a virtual hub for information exchange, reducing the silo effect and promoting transparency at your company. It enables team members to stay informed about ongoing ticket developments, project updates, and relevant discussions, cultivating a shared understanding of the tasks at hand.

5. Search and filter

Another great feature of an issue tracking tool is that it empowers users to execute searches based on a diverse set of criteria, including but not limited to ticket status, priority levels, assigned team members, and custom-defined fields. This functionality translates into heightened productivity and improved response times.

6. Notifications

The notification system operates in real-time, alerting team members promptly when there are changes in ticket status, new assignments, or important updates. This instantaneous communication not only fosters a sense of shared responsibility but also enables team members to stay well-informed about the evolving dynamics of the ticketing software.

7. Reporting and analytics

The reporting feature of an issue tracking software should encompass a diverse range of metrics, such as response times, resolution rates, and workload distribution among team members. This detailed analysis allows project managers and team leads to gauge the efficiency of their team, identify potential bottlenecks, and recognize high-performing individuals or areas that may require additional support.

Moreover, analytics tools within the tracking program can provide trend analysis, helping teams understand the patterns and fluctuations in ticket volume over time. By identifying recurring issues or peak periods of activity, teams can proactively allocate resources and streamline their processes to handle fluctuations more effectively. This foresight is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and preventing potential service disruptions.

8. Customization

A comprehensive issue tracker should offer extensive customization options, empowering companies to finely tune various elements such as fields, workflows, and other settings. Whether it's adding, modifying, or removing fields, this level of flexibility is crucial for aligning the issue tracker with the unique and evolving needs of the organization.

Furthermore, the customization of workflows is instrumental in reflecting the nuanced but important differences between the stages a ticket might traverse within the organization. Different teams or departments may have distinct processes for handling tickets, and the ability to configure workflows allows for seamless integration with existing practices.

No matter where you are in your tech journey, AI and automation can make a big difference in your productivity levels. Find out more here: Introducing Workflows – the mission control center for customer service automations.

9. Integration

Our Customer Service Trends Report 2023 revealed that disconnected support tech stacks are holding teams back. In fact, over three-quarters (76%) of support leaders believe that their current customer service tools are preventing them from achieving their goals. To remedy this, 73% say that the interoperability of their systems, apps, and programs will be a priority in the coming year.²

But don’t worry – this struggle to achieve interoperability isn’t a problem for issue tracking tools. Most of these software systems should be able to easily integrate with other tools and programs, including email, chat, and project management platforms. 

When to use a ticketing software

1. Bug

One of the most common use cases for ticketing software is bug reporting. When customers encounter errors in an application, they can use the system to report the issue and track its resolution progress. This helps businesses to stay on top of bugs, prioritize the most pressing matters, and ensure that they’re resolved in a timely manner.

2. Feature requests

Another use case for a ticketing software system is feature requests. When customers have ideas for new functionalities or improvements to an existing product or service, they can use a ticketing system to submit their suggestions. This helps companies gather feedback from their customers and prioritize new developments based on their potential value and feasibility.

3. Outage

In addition to bug reporting and feature requests, a ticketing software can also be useful for handling outages. When an application or service experiences downtime, customers can use a ticketing system to report the issue and receive updates on its resolution progress. This is where an issue tracker becomes invaluable, as it allows businesses to stay on top of outages and communicate effectively with their customers during the recovery process.

4. Faulty delivery batch

Finally, ticketing software can also be used to manage faulty delivery batches. When customers receive damaged or defective products, they can use a ticketing system to report the issue and request a replacement or refund. In addition to helping with reporting and refund requests, this feature also helps companies manage their inventories, ensuring that customers are satisfied with their products.

How to create a tracker ticket

In general, companies don't need to create an issue tracker from scratch. Rather, this component is usually part of a more comprehensive customer service management tool, like the ones we’ve designed at Intercom.

If you need a step-by-step guide on how to create a tracker ticket with our tool, click here.

How to effectively manage tickets in customer service

2. Set clear expectations for each channel

According to our previously mentioned report, Customer Service Trends 2023, 83% of support teams have seen an increase in customersexpectations, but only 40% are confident they can meet them.

Using an issue tracker can help you learn which channels require the greatest investment of time and effort from your support reps, and establish clear service level agreements (SLAs) at each touchpoint.

This way, you ensure that reps know what standards they must follow and that customers are aware of what they can expect from your company's service.

2. Leverage automation and AI

Another finding from our Customer Service Trends Report 2023 is that 50% of support teams are meeting increasing customer expectations through workflow efficiency, while 43% are doing so by providing fast, on-demand support.

How are teams raising their games to meet these heightened expectations? By leveraging automation and AI to effectively manage tickets. Take a look at what both technologies can do for your business:

3. Train your staff to handle high-complexity queries

Given the sharply increasing expectations of customers, it’s important that your support team is sufficiently equipped to handle the wide and varied assortment of potential issues they’re likely to come across. 

Our Customer Service Trends Report 2023 showed that 53% of support reps are meeting these increasing customer expectations through better team training.

By utilizing upskilling programs and workshops, you can ensure that your staff is up to date with the latest industry trends and techniques, an investment that will pay off through their performance and ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction.

Examples of issue tracking software

Looking for an example of issue tracking software? Here’s a list to get started.

1. Intercom

Intercom stands out as the sole solution available that blends an AI chatbot, a help desk, and proactive support, enabling you to maintain budget efficiency, support your teams , and consistently satisfy your customers. 

With seamless integration and an omnichannel approach, Intercom goes beyond a linear issue tracking system and works as a comprehensive customer service platform, providing swift and personalized support on a larger scale.

Say goodbye to fragmented solutions and complicated integrations — Intercom has all the features necessary to enhance productivity and offer tailored support.

What can you do with Intercom?

  • Easily share updates and resolve issues impacting multiple customers with a single ticket.

  • Use a visual builder to automate your team’s workload with assignment rules, SLAs, and time-saving bots.

  • Deliver in-context help by connecting your help center to Fin, your website, mobile app, in-product messages, chat, and more.

2. Jira

Jira is a software that allows task monitoring and project tracking, helping you to manage all your activities in one place.

Numerous companies opt for Jira to capture and organize issues. One notable shortcoming with Jira, however, lies in its user experience, which requires a significant amount of training to be fully and effectively utilized.

Jira, in other words, isn't exactly a plug-and-play solution. Instead, users typically need multiple training sessions to grasp basic actions like creating a story, setting up a Jira board, and crafting Jira JQL.

The steep learning curve associated with the Jira product can become a hurdle to adoption, fostering resistance among enterprise teams that are inclined to embrace quicker, more agile methodologies.

3. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a web-based help desk solution dedicated to enhancing a company’s ability to provide exceptional and enduring customer experiences. Its primary goal is to boost customer satisfaction, empower agents, and contribute to the overall health of businesses.

Some users have expressed concerns, though, citing frustration with the inability to easily sort tickets by account without creating a more complex report. Another point of feedback is the absence of alerts to end users when a ticket is transitioned from one agent to the next.

Go beyond the ticker tracker

Issue tracking software is an excellent tool for maintaining an efficient, standardized, and transparent record of customer interactions with your support reps. However, it’s just one of the many resources that can help your company improve productivity in managing queries, issues, and help requests.

If you want to broaden your horizons, check out the following articles:

And if you need a better system for team collaboration and real-time customer updates, take a look at our ticket tool. You’ll love it! 😉


1. Intercom, The State of AI in Customer Service. We commissioned an independent market research firm to survey a random sample of 1,013 global support leaders and practitioners. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.7% at the 95% confidence level. 2. Intercom, Customer Service Trends Report 2023. We asked 1,700+ customer support teams across the world how they’re meeting the challenges and opportunities of 2023.