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Best Practices of Ticket Categorization in Jira


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Categories are the basic construction blocks used to manage your help desk software. Choosing the wrong categorization method will have repercussions for your entire customer service or help desk, from inefficiency in assigning requests to be unable to report the types of requests you receive accurately.

Let’s look at some of the different ways you can arrange your ticket categorization in Jira and some additional insights from niche experts!

Purpose of creating categories

In general, we can say that categorization is especially useful in several large tasks.

Analytics of customer needs and tracking the correlation between the topics of the request and your work: for example, after each advertising campaign, we have more questions from the price category, which means we need to provide links and information right in the description of the promotion.

By issue type

The most common and usually best way to organize support tickets is by issue type. Specialists say this is best because, in most cases, the problem-type organization correlates well with the people who work on that type of problem.

The type also tends to be the main high-level indicator management is most interested in. Let’s look at examples of how you can set up your categories in different scenarios.

Software development company:

  • Technical Issue

  • Sales Question

  • How To

  • Feature Request

  • Cancellation

  • Bug

Online store:

  • Vendor

  • Shipping

  • Return

  • Product Availability

  • Pre-Sale Question

  • Order Question

  • Affiliate

Enterprise IT:

  • Website

  • Server

  • New Employee

  • Networking

  • Desktop Software

  • Desktop Hardware

  • Change Request

All this can vary depending on your particular case. So don’t apply this scheme blindly.

By department

In some organizations where issues are strictly controlled by each department, classification by department may make sense.

  • Software Development

  • Shipping

  • Sales

  • Operations

  • Mailroom

  • Information Technology

  • Human Resources

By product

When specific teams work on specific product lines, it sometimes makes sense to categorize them based on the product. Choosing this route requires additional fields to classify the request by type.

  • Product A

  • Product B

  • Product C

For example, Product A – Sales question. Rarely product knowledge alone is useful. In most cases, you may want to organize by problem type, as described earlier. After that, you can track the product as a custom field in Jira.

By client

By client

Classification by customer is not really scalable for most companies, although it may work for companies that focus on individual orders.

  • John’s used shoes;

  • Heather’s homemade chocolate;

  • Pete’s pizza.

There are cases where organizing client requests at the top level really makes a lot of sense. If you are dealing with a few dozen clients, this is not for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t slice and dice customer requests; you can and should many times. But you probably don’t want the main organizing principle of your support appeals to be the customer.

How many categories are too many?

Your support team will choose a category for each incoming request. Category selection should be quick and obvious. This can only be quick and apparent if you restrict the number of categories you have.

It is simply impossible to quickly select the desired option from a list containing hundreds of categories. In most cases, experts recommend not exceeding 20 if possible. In some cases, there may not be, but there should never be hundreds. It is better to use other data fields or perhaps subcategories to organize the selection further.

Development of categories over time

One of the common misconceptions among organizations that are just starting to use help desk software is that they need to pre-define each category before they start using the software.

We recommend starting with the minimum number of categories that you think can do the job. You can always edit the categories to define them better or add new ones as needed.

Focusing on the quality and quantity of categories will make it easier for your employees to get started as they get used to categorizing requests and organizing your support processes.

By the way, leave the groundwork for the future. For example, if you open a new point of sale or a new channel of calls, the category structure should make it easy to add the desired item without redesigning everything.

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