We all know that a strong customer support team and process can make or break a company. However, making sure that all customer questions are answered, that everything is in the right hands, and that customer service personnel are following through can be challenging.
Most companies do this by setting up a Gmail account for customer support requests using a generic email address such as support @yourcompany.com or help @yourcompany.com. But fielding these requests is only half of the battle. You also need to put a plan in place to promptly address all incoming customer support requests. That’s where a G Suite ticketing system comes in handy.
There is no ticketing system app within G Suite or Google Workspace. However, there are other G Suite ticket system options available. Which one is right for your customer support team? Here are your options:
G Suite ticket system option #1: Google collaborative inbox
One option is to use a Google collaborative inbox as your ticketing system. A Google collaborative inbox is a Gmail shared inbox that can be accessed by more than one member of your team. Behind the scenes, this is really just a fancy Google Group and comes with all the trade-offs of using a Google Group for customer support.
Anyone with access to the inbox can read and respond to incoming emails. Every email sent from the collaborative inbox will come from the shared email address regardless of who sent it.
How to use a Google collaborative inbox as a G Suite ticketing system
The first step is creating a Google collaborative inbox. To do this, follow these steps:
- Sign into Google Groups and click on the name of the group that needs to use a collaborative inbox.
- Go to the Group Settings page.
- Select “Collaborative Inbox” under the “Enable additional Google Groups features” section.
- Assign permissions to every member of your group.
Now, your inbox is set up and ready to be used as a G suite ticketing system. Your team will now be able to manage customer support requests by assigning tasks to one another.
Pros and cons of a Google collaborative inbox
Setting up a Google collaborative inbox is free, which is one of the main advantages of this option.
The collaborative inbox is also designed with a task assignment feature, so everyone on your team can pitch in and handle their fair share of customer support requests. You can also close out requests once they have been resolved, which makes it easier to keep your inbox organized.
However, there are a number of drawbacks to using a Google collaborative inbox as a ticketing system. Google’s collaborative inbox is not designed with some of the key features you need to manage customer support requests.
For example, it is not designed with a feature that allows your team to communicate with one another regarding specific tasks. This makes it difficult for a customer service representative to provide background information on a task when assigning it to someone else.
It also does not tell you when someone else on your team has already resolved or is actively resolving a specific request. As a result, you may end up duplicating efforts by responding to a request that has already been handled. This can confuse and frustrate the customer, who won’t know why they are receiving multiple messages regarding their request.
Although it does have several beneficial features, the Google collaborative inbox is not ideal for managing customer support requests.
G Suite ticket system option #2: Google Forms
Google Forms is a G Suite app that is designed to help users conduct surveys, create questionnaires, and manage event registrations. However, some people also use Google Forms as a G Suite ticket system.
How to use Google Forms as a G Suite ticketing system
Anyone with a free Google account can access Google Forms and use it as a ticketing system for customer support requests. Follow these steps to get started:
- Sign into Google Docs using your Gmail account.
- Click “Create New” and select “Form” to create a new Google Form.
- Type in a name for your form where it says “Untitled Form.” You may want to choose something like “Support Ticket” or “Contact Us” since this will be visible to customers.
- Now, create additional fields to add to your support ticket. You may want to add fields for the customer to type their name, email address, phone number, and reason for contacting your business.
- Choose the answer format for each field. Google allows you to choose from a number of different answer formats, including short answer, multiple choice, checkboxes, and dropdown. Make sure you choose the right format for the information you are requesting. For example, if you are asking a customer to provide their name, you will need to select the short answer option. But if you are asking whether they want to be contacted via email or text, you may want to select multiple choice instead.
- Customize the theme of your form by clicking on the painter’s palette icon in the top right corner.
- Once you are satisfied with the form, click on “Send.” Copy the HTML code so you can embed the form onto your website. Now, your customers will be able to contact you by using this form to submit their information to you. You can see submissions by logging back into Google Docs, clicking on the form you just created, and viewing responses.
Pros and cons of Google Forms
The main advantage of using Google Forms is it’s free. It also allows you to customize your forms, which ensures you can capture the information you need to respond to a customer support request.
There are also many drawbacks to this option. First, it only allows you to manage customer support requests that are submitted via the form on your website. It does not address customer service requests sent via email.
Google Forms will not notify you whenever you receive new responses. This means your team will need to manually check the responses on a regular basis in order to see if your business has received any new customer support requests.
Google Forms was not designed to serve as a ticketing system, so it is not built with the features you need to collaborate on customer support requests. For example, it does not allow you to assign requests to different team members or close requests that have been resolved. It also does not tell you when another member of your team is already working on a request, which means your team may waste their time duplicating their efforts.
The bottom line? Google Forms is a great way to create polls, questionnaires, or surveys, but it’s not an effective way to manage customer support requests.
G Suite ticket system option #3: Keeping
The final option is Keeping, which is the best G Suite ticketing system. Keeping is a third party tool, but it works directly within Gmail, so you won’t need to open another program to manage your customer support inbox.
It allows you to turn every customer support email into an assignable ticket. In other words, Keeping allows you to convert your shared Gmail inbox into an effective customer support tool and help desk.
How to use Keeping as a G Suite ticketing system
It only takes a few minutes to create an account with Keeping and start using this tool as a ticketing system. Here’s what to do:
- Log into Keeping using the Gmail account you use for work.
- Type in the name of your company and the email address associated with your shared inbox.
- Keeping will generate a unique forwarding email address. Copy this email address and log into your shared inbox in Gmail.
- Go to Settings and click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
- Click on “Add a forwarding address” and paste the unique forwarding address from Keeping.
- Send a test email through Keeping to confirm that everything is set up properly.
That’s all it takes to set up your account. Now, log back into the Gmail account you use for work. You should see a “Keeping” folder located directly underneath your drafts. All of the emails in your shared inbox will be directed to this folder. You can also access all of Keeping’s features directly within this folder.
Pros and cons of Keeping
Keeping is the best G Suite ticketing system because it is designed with all of the features you need to successfully manage your customer support requests. These features include:
- Task assignment: You can assign emails to other members of your team with a click of the mouse.
- Collision detection: Keeping prevents duplicate efforts by telling you when someone else is working on an email request.
- Status updates: Adjust the status on each email task to keep track of issues that still need to be resolved.
- Shared notes: Provide your team with more information about a specific email task by creating a shared note.
- Templates: Save your team time by creating response templates that can be quickly inserted into emails.
- Automation: Use “if/then” logic to automate task assignment, the prioritization of tasks, and removal of spam.
- Reporting: See how well your team is responding to requests by pulling easy-to-read reports.
Keeping gives you everything you need to manage customer support requests directly within Gmail. Thanks to Keeping, it’s never been easier to provide exceptional customer service to your customers.