North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Phase 4 Strategy - Step 4 Service Desk Applications

Help Desk Ticketing Systems

Many of the considerations in choosing a CRM/EMR are the same for choosing a service desk application, with a few additional things. The Service Desk uses an issue tracking system, aka trouble ticket, support ticket, request or incident ticket; those are the most popular names.

Ticketing systems allow the support team to track issues from end-to-end. The system allows help desk personnel to route issues to the most qualified technician. The routing of the request is transparent to the end user. The user is then contacted by the appropriate tech to resolve the issue. Each issue in the system may have an urgency value assigned to it, based on the overall importance of that issue. Low or zero urgency issues are minor and should be resolved as time permits. More urgent issues, like the customer experiencing a production issue (whether external or internal) are higher priority. The ticketing system tracks the date of submission, detailed descriptions of the problem being experienced, attempted solutions or work-arounds, and other relevant information. Ticketing systems also track each issue and maintain a history of each change.

Here are some typical service desk functions. - Entering request
- Assignment of issues
- Monitoring; time spent on issues
- Reporting – statistical analysis of number of tickets
- Fulfillment of SLA’s
- Systematic collection of questions/answers
- Assignment of priority of each issue
- Details: attempted solutions
- Track issue history
Easy Implemenations!

Make it easy for end users, the implementation team, and the service desk team to use.

Applications that are cumbersome and just plain difficult are not used to their full capacity. Manual processes and empty data fields don’t solve issues; they create more. Spending the money on an application and using only half of it is wasteful.
Integration and Customization

You want a solution that already has pre-built integrations for CRMs, and include such features as Time Tracking & Billing and Project Management.

The ticketing system should offer API technology allowing the ticketing system to integrate with the contact center platform. Automating the ticketing process reduces service level times, errors from data entry and speeds up your tech’s ability to get to the next caller.
Brand the service desk with customized emails. "This ticket submitted by HELP DESK" is just not professional. End users are customers who want to be treated like people not like ticket numbers. Include your logo, the service desk’s URLs, instructions, and your company’s service slogan. Don’t forget to include your SLA (service level agreement) and your results. Especially if your team is exceeding SLA’s, this is your tool to market your service desk – brag a little!
Only a Few Features Are Important

Map out your service process and look for areas where automations can increase your agent productivity and cut down duplication.

Look at what would make this process easier and faster for end users and service desk personnel. Service desk applications like CRM’s have more features then you will ever need or use. Remember empty fields in an application don’t help anyone so boil it down to what you need and it will make selecting features more productive.
Automated Ticketing Management A SaaS service desk solution should provide all your existing support processes with rule-based triggers, notifications and views.
Multi-Channel Support We know that external customers want multi-channel communications, but so do internal customers. Companies today have users on smartphones, running chat forums, and are located in multiple time zones around the world. Users want to be able to get help from any channel at any time, fast and efficiently.
Reporting All departments want to justify their existence and the service desk is no exception. Is the service desk earning its keep? With reports and advanced analytics to track activity, answering that question has never been simpler.
Don't Forget Security

In many cases, the ticketing system will be passing client data back and forth. This is especially true when the Service Desk is supporting external clients.

Passwords, addresses, names, and other sensitive information travel to and from agents to helpdesk tech, and you don’t want outsiders to obtain access. Make sure the tool you select can be secured in both the environment and the data transfer. Minimize the potential risk for all parties.


1. Mobile devices are here to stay. Choose a ticketing system that makes it easy for IT to support Smartphones, tablets, laptops as well as desktops.
2. Help desk can track metrics too! Resolution time, percentage of issues resolved by staff, percentage of issues resolved by the help desk and others will help you understand how effective the help desk is and where it can serve better.

Take the Next Step!

Reduce workman’s comp, absenteeism, turnover and injuries by investing in ergonomic furniture and including implementing an ergonomic training program;
Showing agents how to be more comfortable at the workstation while agents stare at monitors, sit all day, and deal with challenging customers will reduce the muscle tension; eye strain, headaches and a host of other injuries and illness that come from poor functioning workstations.

Happy comfortable agents make for productive agents.

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The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.