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5 Reasons to Switch from Email to a Helpdesk System

by Alex Yumashev · Dec 18 2014

How many times have you "marked something as unread" to deal with it later?

Don't get us wrong, email is perfectly fine if used appropriately. Especially for early stage startups that need to focus on launching their first product and getting their first customers. But once the "early stage" days are over, it's time to consider more powerful support tools.

1. Agent collision

For starters, using one shared support email can be challenging for a team of 2 or more to begin with. But there's also every helpdesk team's nightmare called "agent collision".

"Agent collision" - is when several support agents start answering the same support request. Proper helpdesk software apps track this kind of conflicts. For instance, our helpdesk ticketing tool shows small notifications like "agent Chip is also looking at this ticket right now" or "agent Dale has just posted an update while you were typing". Trust me, this saves a lot of hassle.

2. Reporting

How many emails have you handled last week? What was the average response time? What was the average resolution time? Which area causes the most support burden - is it the installation procedure or payment issues? No idea.

3. Emails can be lost

While all of these questions can still be answered using an email app, it takes a lot of your (and your customer's) valuable time.

4. Can't log tickets from other channels

Email is good enough for, ahem, email support. What about phone support - where would you log the incoming calls? How about social media - Twitter or Facebook? Also, how do you browse the customers "previous requests" if they didn't come via email?

Hint: actually, both Twitter and Facebook have an option to send an email when someone mentions you or sends you a Facebook message so you can still kinda work this around.

5. Can't reassign tickets between people

How do you pass an email to another person for further handling (or simply "to have a look")? Actually, your only option is to "forward" or "cc" it to your colleague. And now the customer doesn't know where he should send his further communication - is it still you or is it "John from Accounting" now? Wouldn't it be easier for him to keep replying to the same support address, while all the "routing" happens on your side?