What Is a Help Desk Ticket?

Osmand Vitez

A help desk ticket is a computerized system where companies use technology to help track work requests. Technology allows a business to use an e-mail or server-based system to maintain any help desk ticket sent in by employees. Most of these systems are internal software that makes a business more efficient. Under a computerized system, companies have formal records of requests for repair or updates. A ticket can be for just about any item or issue in a business.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

The term ticket is only figurative as no individual company typically gives or receives a physical ticket from the help desk. In reality, it represents an entire system whereby an employee uses e-mail or other internal message system to make a specific request. A software program is often necessary to help manage and run the help desk ticket system. In most cases, a company can design its own system or use a third-party program. The design and type should be customizable to the business.

Specific information is often part of filling out a help desk ticket. Most tickets require the name, location, or department and reason for request from the individual needing help. If the ticket requests help on computer hardware or software, specific information may be necessary on the system type. In many cases, the more information sent in originally will help focus the corrective activities from the help desk department. Other information or follow-up tickets may be necessary for large jobs or tasks.

E-mail is a primary use in a help desk ticket system. Companies can set up a basic e-mail address that directs requests to a specific individual. This person is responsible for receiving and cataloging all tickets from each person or department. The individual can then assign the tickets to someone who can rectify the situation as requested. A filing process or other means to store the tickets may be necessary depending on the system.

Large companies may use a help desk ticket system in order to reduce downtime or the loss of worker productivity. Companies with multiple locations, however, may find it difficult to successfully use a ticket system if on-site activities are necessary to correct problems. In this case, only software tickets that require off-site corrections can go through the help desk ticket system. Companies can typically review and implement a system that best suits their needs. Fortunately, many systems exist for such purposes.

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Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- I think we must work for the same company. We get the same runaround. The only time I can get a solution is when I email the IT guy directly, or corner him in the office and make him deal with me face to face.

On occasion, I have dragged him into my supervisor's office so he could explain why my computer won't log in to the front end system because it's so old the system doesn't recognize the OS. I got a new computer out of it, so I'm not complaining, though. It really irritated me to have to go to those lengths. I filed five help desk tickets. Nada.


Occasionally, the help desk ticket system works like it's supposed to. Most of the time, you get the friendly email with a number assigned to your ticket on the problem, and then you'll get an email some time later saying the problem has been "resolved" -- or what passes for resolved at your company.

At my company, that's a subjective term. It may mean they don't feel like trying to deal with it, so you have to find a work around. Submit another help ticket on the issue and the same thing happens. Call the IT department and they say, "Well, you're just going to have to deal with that issue. The system won't support the solution." Love dealing with tech issues.

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