How does the helpdesk software work?
Most helpdesks are not very complex, but there is some terminology you need to learn to understand how they work:
- Ticket. A ticket is a support request submitted to Helpdesk by a user. It could be anything – a problem, a question, a feature request or just "hi" or "thanks". Typically tickets are created via email - when a message comes in, it is converted into a ticket (if it's not a reply - then it's being added to an existing ticket).
- Category. A category is just a container to organize you tickets. Think of it as folder on your computer.
- Technician (or "tech", or "agent") Technician is a person, who handles tickets and talks to users inside those tickets.
Here's a typical helpdesk ticket life cycle:
- A user submits a ticket to the web-based help desk software app either using the web-interface or by sending an email to the helpdesk-monitored mailbox.
- Your helpdesk team is notified of a new ticket by email or by other notifications like SMS or push notifications to their phones.
- A technician "takes over" the ticket. Doing so he tells other techs that he will handle this ticket.
- Both the technician and the user interact by:
- posting replies and updates to the ticket
- attaching files.
- optionally adding other people to the discussion, or when a ticket needs to be escalated to someone
- As soon as the issue is resolved, the technician (or the user) closes the ticket.
- Optionally - the ticket is posted to the knowledge-base.The resulting knowledge-base article can be edited of course.
Custom statuses and workflow automation
An administrator can optionally add one or more "custom statuses" in the helpdesk app, creating a unique workflow for his team. Like, for example, an "awaiting manager's confirmation" status.
You can additionally create "automation rules" that will automate your workflow, for example "when a ticket becomes overdue - add Administrator to subscribers, post an alert to the ticket feed and move to a status". This feature is sometimes called "macros", "workflows" or "automation" in different helpdesk apps.