Get rid of ticket and case numbers forever.

Have you ever had to call a company, gone through your call, and then be given some ridiculous case or ticket number? Not just a 1234 thing, but something like 123456-AJKJK-09324-B. I’m not a math person, but there is obviously a very large amount of potential cases with a number like that. They are annoying to spell out, annoying to keep track of, and so on. So, why not get rid of them?

When I suggest to some companies that they can get rid of ticket numbers, I am given some very weird links. If I didn’t know better, I would swear some of those executives thought I was crazy.

Ticket and case numbers can be removed and it won’t cause problems – I promise you!

The most effective way to get rid of ticket and case numbers is to simply group them under the client ID or some sort of universal locator for the customer (service tag, etc.). That way, the customer only has one number to keep track of. The rest can be done internally. Various CRM systems are compatible with this.  Some may require editing.

What I’ve seen a lot of companies do is just have the subject of all of their cases include the client number and the date. That way, they can search by the subject (just entering in the client ID) and quickly see the most recent issues, what was done, and so on. It also saves having to make a lot of changes to complicated CRM or case management systems. That’s a quick and easy fix.

Once you’ve implemented one of the two changes above, start putting it into practice. Ask customers for their client IDs instead of case numbers. Update things based on the client IDs. Remind customers about their client IDs and so on. You want the customer ID to be on everything the customer sees – that way there is no confusion.

A reader emailed and suggested that companies could also use phone numbers, email addresses, etc. as other universal indicators. Those have the possibility to change, so just keep that in mind. Ideally, you want something that won’t change and is easy to keep track of. A plus side of using a phone number or email, though, is that it is slightly more personal.