Using SugarCRM as Case Management System / Support Ticketing System / Trouble Ticketing System

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SugarCRM comes with many customer support automation features. Customer Support or Service teams use multiple terminology for this activity. Whenever a customer encounters any trouble or issue with the product or service, they would like to report to the company that has provided the product or service.  Some companies call the reported complain as cases and some of them call them as tickets and a few of them call them as Issues or Trouble Tickets or Service Ticket. Some companies call the Support Team / Service team as help desk or service desk. Because the support team is basically helping the customer who has issues / troubles with the system it is called help desk or service desk.

In a way the CRM we use for Customer Support Automation is also called help desk software or service desk software or customer support tool or Case Management System or Trouble Ticket System. Whatever be the nomenclature, it is all about Customer Support Automation. This article is about how you can transform SugarCRM Case Management features into a  help desk software or service desk software or Trouble Ticket System.

SugarCRM provides Cases and Email Modules to handle Customer Support Automation. You can easily change the “Cases” module name to “Issues” or “Tickets” or “Trouble Tickets” or “Service Requests”. In SugarCRM it is just a minute configuration task to change “Cases” module to whatever you want across the board.

Case / Ticket Management: The Cases module can be customised to capture all the information about the issue or complaint customer has. Whenever a new record is created in this module, it automatically numbers and time stamps so that it can be tracked on how much time it took to close the Case. The life cycle of the compliant is managed with the Status starting from “new” to “Closed”. Customer Support is all about what happens from he minute a customer has complained about his problem / issue till that is resolved by the customer support team.

Case Creation: Cases can be created by the support team members manually as and when they receive an email or phone call. Or as and when any employee receives this information. But the main things is how do we automate this process so that there is no requirement by the customer to connect with the company to raise a complaint.

Creation of Cases through Email: SugarCRM can be configured to capture all emails coming to a common email id like support@company.com . All emails are captured automatically in SugarCRM Emails module and the moment an email is received the system is configured to create a Case / Ticket. It can also be configured in such a way that the tickets are manually created after an executive sees the email.

Creation of Cases from website: You can create a small case creation form on your website that uses SugarCRM Web Services API to create a case directly in SugarCRM. This way customer can register his complain anytime of the day by email or the website form.

Allocation of Cases: Cases can be allocated to the customer support / service team manually or automatically. A company can decide to manually allocate in the initial stages of implementing CRM for Customer Support and then switch to auto allocation.

Manual Case / Ticket Assignment:

SugarCRM Business Process Automation Component allows you to create Case Communication templates and design a workflow. A manager from the support team can do a first level qualification of each Case and allocate to the right team / right person for further action. And now if the volume of cases / tickets is very high a manual allocation may be very difficult to handle. Sometimes the team logs into CRM and can open each case and self allocate the case to them depending on how much time they have.

If the company has incentive mechanisms the customer support team members basically manually allocates whatever cases are available the moment they finish answering / responding to a case.

Automatic Case / Ticket Assignment: SugarCRM can be configured to automatically assign the Cases / Tickets to the customer support team. SugarCRM systems can be configured to use one of the two logical assignment methods for this.

Round Robin Ticket Assignment: Sugar automatically allocates all new tickets one by one to each person. Once it allocates to all the team members, it starts allocating to the first person in the list and repeats the process again and again.

Least Busy Ticket Assignment: Sugar assigns cases / tickets to the least busy user within the team. Least Busy is defined by the person with the least number of unread email assigned to them or cases assigned to them.

Case Communication Capture: Sugar workflow automation can be setup to send an auto acknowledgement with a trackable Case number in the email subject. So whenever a user responds to that email, the email is automatically brought under the Case communication. And if the support executive communicates through the sub panel of Case, the communication and its replies is also captured. So whenever a new support executive who is on the job looks at the case, he knows and has all the communication in front of him.

Other features like Customer Self Support Portal and SLA based escalation conditions are part of the basic SugarCRM product.

Bhea is leading SugarCRM Advanced Partner with office in Singapore, New York and Bangalore. Contact Us for a packaged SugarCRM Implementation for Customer Support Automation.

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