Customer Service Glossary - Support Ticket

What is a Support Ticket?

Support tickets are a record of a customer communication with a support representative. Learn more about what support tickets are and how to use them properly in your support ticket system.

catherine heath

Last updated: October 4, 2022

6 mins read

Are you struggling with too many customer support requests? Are you wondering if using support tickets would help streamline the process?

You know – If you’re selling a product or service to customers, it’s likely that, at some point, they’re going to need help. And when customers require assistance, what’s the first thing they’re likely to do? 

They reach out to your support team, of course!

But here’s the thing – When you only have a few such inquiries, these are relatively easy to keep track of. You’re unlikely to need specialist software to help you support a minimal number of customers. 

Struggling to keep customer emails under control?
Keeping gives you everything you need to manage incoming customer emails without ever leaving Gmail.

But as your company grows, so too does the number of customer inquiries you receive. It is at this point that you might want to start referring to customer inquiries as support tickets and investing in a support ticket system that lets you handle these inquiries effectively. 

Below you’re going to learn more about what support tickets are and how to use them properly in a support ticket system.

What is a support ticket?

Support tickets are a record of a customer communication with a support representative used by support ticket systems. A support ticket is characterized by a unique ticket ID that helps customer service agents keep track of individual customer conversations. The ticket ID prevents your customers having to repeat information in order to get their issue resolved by multiple agents. 

Support tickets contain all the information relating to the customer’s issue including the date, time, and nature of the issue. Additional communication between the agent and the customer is recorded in the support ticket by the customer support ticket system. 

However, it’s important not to get carried away with ticketing. 84% of customers say that being treated like a person, not a ticket, is critical to winning their business. 

What is a support ticketing system?

For customer support ticketing to work, you need a customer support ticketing system. This is a tool which receives all your customer communications and converts them into support tickets with a unique ticket ID. Some support ticketing systems are omnichannel so they bring together communications from multiple different channels such as email, phone, live chat, and social media. 

Here’s one example of what a support ticketing system looks like. The image shows an open customer inquiry in such a platform, with a ticket status set to Open.

Support ticket example.

Customer support ticketing kicks off when a customer chooses to get in touch with your company. They might visit your company website, and find an email for your support team. The customer sends an email to your team, which is received by your support ticketing system and converted into a support ticket. 

By default, all new support tickets that arrive in your ticketing system are marked as ‘open’. This means the support ticket is unresolved and someone has yet to respond to the customer’s enquiry. As emails are exchanged between the customer and the customer service agent assigned to resolve the issue, further communications are appended to the original support ticket. 

When the customer’s issue has been resolved successfully, the support ticket can then be marked as ‘closed’ so your agents know that no further intervention is required. If the customer follows up again you can always reopen the support ticket. 

Most of the customer support ticketing process should remain invisible to the customer, with the focus on getting their issue resolved. 

But why should you use support tickets in the first place?

There are several reasons why support tickets are important when it comes to keeping track of customer service requests. 

Manage high volumes of customers

The main benefit of support tickets is they allow you to manage high volumes of customers. You can see when new tickets come into the system and get an idea of the workload for your agents. Your ticketing system keeps track of each ticket and whether it is open or closed, meaning that your customer support team is able to work out what resources are required.

Support tickets keep your customer conversations organized and help you keep track of where the issue is in the resolution process.  

Better experience for the customer

When customer enquiries are converted into tickets this results in a better experience for your customers. Customers know that their issue is being handled and they are able to use their ticket ID as a unique reference number when communicating with agents. Customers are able to open multiple support tickets at once if they have several issues concerning the company. 

Customers who have their issues converted into support tickets experience a higher level of professionalism from the agents they are dealing with. 

Access to metrics and analytics

Since support tickets require support ticketing software, this means your support team has access to key metrics and analytics to help you assess performance. You can track metrics like first response time, and volume of tickets, which helps you manage the resources on your support team. 

If your metrics aren’t on track this means you can intervene to improve performance, perhaps by ensuring more agents are available at peak times. 

Can assign tickets to agents

When you turn customer issues into support tickets this means they can be assigned to individual agents. As a result, there is no more duplication of effort as every team member knows who is responsible for what. Customers aren’t falling through the cracks as you know who is taking care of each ticket. 

Assigned tickets can appear in your agents’ inboxes so their open tickets are always accessible. 

Agents can collaborate on tickets

When your customer conversations are managed by a support ticketing system this means your agents can more effectively collaborate on tickets. They can tag each other and add comments, helping to resolve the ticket internally and keeping the collaboration invisible to the customer. 

If agents can collaborate better on tickets this means your customer issues can be resolved much more quickly. 

Classify issues

In your support ticketing system you have the ability to tag support tickets with a category, which helps your agents gain an idea of the types of issues that they are receiving most frequently. When you identify the most common issues, you can use support tickets as inspiration for self-service content that helps your customers troubleshoot problems on their own. 

Read More: Help Desk Ticket Categories – A Guide

When agents are relieved of dealing with the most common issues, they have more time to spend on dealing with more complex queries. 

Types of customer service tickets

The support ticket lifecycle goes through several stages, starting from when a ticket is marked as ‘open’ right through to when it is ‘closed’. 

Open ticket

An ‘open’ support ticket is usually one that is newly arrived in the inbox and needs to be assigned to an agent. Open means that the customer’s question is not yet answered or their issue is unresolved, and indicates that the ticket requires action. Support teams usually strive to reduce their number of open tickets and get down to inbox zero. 

Closed or resolved ticket

Tickets are ‘closed’ or ‘resolved’ when the customer’s issue has been dealt with to their satisfaction. Support teams usually aim to resolve a customer’s ticket on first contact to ensure maximum levels of satisfaction. Closed tickets are the final stage of the ticket’s lifecycle and means that the customer interaction has been completed. 

High priority ticket

Ticketing systems usually allow your team to flag certain tickets as ‘high priority’, which means they should be dealt with as soon as possible. High priority tickets might include customers who are about to leave, customer complaints, or system outages. When a ticket is marked as ‘high priority’ agents know that they should handle these tickets first. 

Reopened ticket

Sometimes a ticket might be marked as closed but the customer follows up with additional issues. In this case the ticket would be moved from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ again and agents will provide further assistance. A high number of reopened tickets might mean your agents are being too hasty when it comes to closing tickets, and more in-depth questioning might be required to ensure that customers are satisfied. 

Escalated ticket

Escalated tickets are tickets that cannot be resolved by your tier 1 agents, either because they require an agent with more experience or an agent with more technical expertise. An example of an escalated ticket might be a customer who has a serious complaint against the business and requires an agent with more authority to approve a refund. 

Wrapping up

Sometimes customer support tickets get a bad reputation, and rightly so when companies reduce their customers to ‘tickets’. Support tickets are no excuse for treating customers like they are just a number, and it’s important to always maintain the personal touch when dealing with customer enquiries. 

Growing companies cannot afford to ignore customer support ticketing software like Keeping which helps you manage a rising number of requests from customers. One of the best things about Keeping is it sits right on top of Gmail so your support reps don’t need to learn a new piece of software. Simple and yet powerful, Keeping remains invisible to your customers so your agents can focus on helping them. 

Tickets help your agents to handle a growing volume of customer enquiries and ensure that service remains consistent. 

Support tickets are the way that professional companies organize their customer requests, and help to deliver a positive customer experience. Customers are assured that their issue will get resolved and agents are empowered to offer excellent customer service

catherine heath

Catherine is a content writer and community builder for creative and ethical companies. She often writes case studies, help documentation and articles about customer support. Her writing has helped businesses to attract curious audiences and transform them into loyal advocates. You can find more of her work at

Join 150+ teams that are sharing inboxes with us

The easiest way to upgrade your shared Gmail account. There’s no credit card is required.