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Better UX for support ticket systems

Solving customers’ problems with positive experiences

Got a problem? Raise a ticket!

The purpose of a support ticket is for customers to report issues or ask questions and receive a response from a customer service representative. For example, if they are having problems logging into their account, they can submit a support ticket for assistance.

Death by SLA

How service desks should function is defined by service level agreements (SLAs). It includes metrics that measure resolution times as well as the end-user experience, such as customer satisfaction and response times. Service desk teams can then adjust their service based on the impact it has on the end user.

Stickers were the ultimate feedback as 90s kids for a job well done

Positive experience: a wrinkle in time

Customers will benefit more from your service desk and offerings if they have a positive experience over a fast one. Organizations should take the high road and ask the user if they are satisfied with the resolution they received. In spite of organizations’ and often clients’ desire for speed, service desk employees need to consider end users’ happiness in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for their tickets. Not all tickets are resolved the same way. In some cases, users may not receive a satisfactory resolution if they are focused solely on time, affecting productivity.

How to create positive experiences

Throughout my involvement in a number of projects that involve the design or improvement of ticketing systems, the feedback I’ve gathered has covered the following topics:

1. Provide time for the best solution

Think about your customer using your service to become “more productive”. Raising a ticket signifies a break in productivity. When ticket resolution times are equivalent to productivity gains, customers will generally be willing to wait longer if the resolution is better in the long run. The loss of productivity may seem minimal with a quick resolution. However, if the resolution doesn’t meet their specific needs, they may not be able to return to maximum productivity.

  • Understanding the number of tickets being worked on and time estimate “938 tickets are active— response time 30 mins”
  • License yourself to provide intermediary solutions. Labeling “Fast solution”, “Common solution”

2. Setting and managing expectations

There is no doubt that the service desk must prioritize tickets and that some issues will take more time to resolve. However, users do want a realistic timeline for their issues. Service desk analysts sometimes have to explain why a ticket has a lower priority than others and why a resolution will take a certain amount of time. In this way, users feel they received a better service because their expectations are managed.

  • Create a matrix for priority, allocate, and explain why the ticket is being prioritized that way
  • When answers require escalation, re-assignment, or further research: update the wait time

3. Communication that is open and transparent

There are numerous ways to deliver updates, but this is mainly the duty of a client-facing ticketing system: to keep clients posted about their tickets. Users want to stay informed about progress. Providing regular updates to users can provide reassurance that the issue is being addressed in a timely manner.

  • Accountability of service provider: talking with a person and not with a robot
  • Changes in resources capability: “XXX is causing delays at the moment, and we appreciate your patience” or “Due to YYY, ticket resolution may take longer than usual.”

4. It feels good to be heard

An analyst’s greatest responsibility is listening (or reading attentively) to their customers. A service desk analyst who pays attention gets a much better understanding of the issue. In addition, this includes the circumstances surrounding the issue, customers’ attempts to resolve it, the significance of the issue to them, and the impact it has on their productivity. By analyzing all the information and prioritizing the ticket, an analyst can provide better guidance.

  • In order to get meaningful user input, it is essential to strike a balance between open text fields and too many specific fields. Open text fields allow users to express themselves more freely but could result in incomplete or incorrect information. The user can get overwhelmed when there are too many specific fields, which can result in incorrect or incomplete data. Therefore, striking a balance between these two factors is essential.
  • A balance between required and optional fields. This ensures that the service desk has enough information to understand what is required for the form but also provides some flexibility for the user to provide additional details if needed.
  • By monitoring and analyzing customer feedback, it is possible to identify patterns in the types of problems customers are experiencing. This can help identify underlying service issues and potential areas of improvement, as well as alert the team to any potential problems before they become too serious.

5. BONUS: Preventive UX design

The best tickets are the ones that don’t need to be created. Customers would rather not have any problems or be able to navigate them by themselves than have to reach out to the organization. To name a few things that will allow better User Experience without requiring to contact the organization with a ticket:

  • Comprehensive error messages that allow the users to understand the problem and take the best actions by themselves
  • A common questions and answers section as part of the documentation will help people sort out the majority of the problems. Don’t fear redundancy of information, let customers find the information their own way.
  • Open forums: Answer questions openly with the customer community and allow them to help each other


Design a ticketing system that enables positive experiences. The ticket system should be designed so that service desk personnel have time to find the most suitable solution, expectations are set and managed, transparent communication happens, and the customer is heard.



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