SmarterTrack should handle search queries like Google does
Idea shared by Peter M - 10/22/2014 at 1:00 AM
One of our most important resources for answering new support questions are the answers that other colleagues have given to similar questions. For this reason, it's imperative that the search feature in our help desk system is quick and efficient.
The current version of SmarterTrack (10.3.5406.21074) unfortunately does not support this very basic feature. If you search for a phrase with more than one word, SmarterTrack will return all results containing just one of the words. A search for "Internet Explorer" is pointless, since results are returned that contain references to Windows Explorer or Internet databases, among many other irrelevant results. Sifting through all of these false hits takes a lot of time. 
Our feature request: SmarterTrack should handle search queries like Google does. In other words, when a user performs a search with multiple terms, the results displayed should include all search terms

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While I agree the Advance Search can be better, I would like to offer some advice as your method of using the Advance Search appears to be inefficient.
Without knowing how you're using the Smarter Tools software, I would offer that Canned Replied would probably suit your needs better than searching for previous emails sent by other colleagues.
For example, if you have a question that is asked more than once a week, why not create a Canned Reply that can be used instead of searching through previous emails each time?
With regards to the search function however, it is in fact not very accurate. They have also take away the Subject Line search field under the Advance Search option because; "the search String field already searches the ticket body, subject and notes so having a Subject field was a little redundant". Their words, not mine.
Well, the subject line field was extremely helpful, especially when we have a customer order number or other important information entered into every subject line. Makes finding old emails very easy. Not so much anymore.
Hi Wes,
Thanks very much for your advice.
We do use an external tool for our "canned responses" that are reused over and over again. We would use SmarterTrack's "canned responses" feature, but because of the large number of texts and because we use these snippets in a number of programs, we find it more convenient to use the external text expander tool.
However, this is only a solution for responses that have already been proven and that we use over and over again. Sometimes we may have a ticket with an issue that we couldn't resolve or a bug that could not be reproduced. We later receive a ticket from another customer and remember that we've seen the issue before. In such cases, the background information from the first ticket could contain additional information crucial to solving the problem, but it won't help us if we can't find the ticket again.
We, too, use Canned Replies.
But there's still a very clear business case for good search and Peter M is exactly right - having an 'include all words' policy for returned results makes the search string feature almost unusable.
It's fine when we are searching for the name of a particular issue which is quite unique.  However, try searching for a phrase with common words in it and the results are no help at all.
We have a 13GB database of customer support and the lack of good search is costing our staff a lot of time.  Some of them have even started writing down ticket numbers on paper because it's so difficult to locate instances of historical issues  -just like Peter is describing with a bug that needs further background information but isn't from the same customer.  
You know a search system is not meeting your needs if people have to resort to pen and paper and then email each other to see if anyone else remembers the ticket that was associated with a prior-reported bug!
A simple solution would be to allow the use of quotes, as search engines do, so that "abc xyz" (entered with quotes) is a restrictive query looking for those two words occurring together in that order, whereas a search for abc xyz functions as the current system does.
Glad I'm not the only one watching his agents write down ticket numbers on paper just to keep track and find stuff.
The search system in SmarterTrack is very antiquated and doesn't match up to it's competition at all. The most worrying bit for me is that there is no mention at all about improving search in SmarterTrack 11.x beta.
It's way too hard to get information out of the system. From it's lackluster reports to its horrid search capabilities. We are constantly at ends with it.
Thanks for pointing that out Sergio. I, too, had scoured the SmarterTrack 11.x beta list hoping to see something on search... Reports aren't so much of an issue for us but search is fundamental to the smooth running of any support system.
Yeah, I gave up on the reports and had to build my own with SQL and report creators. The search though, I just can't wrap my head around why it's so.. antiquated and linear compared to google type phrase searching that's used in about every other ticket system. Even the ability to use wildcards would go a long way.
I think it was suggested elsewhere that Regular-Expressions should be added to all software applications so the learning curve is short and the searching is strong.
My Other suggestions: http://bit.ly/segoideas
"but at this time I do not know if this [search function as described above] is something we intend to support in the future." (Email from SmarterTools Sales, 2014-10-23)
I am not so worried about search features like google offers. My main problem is, that the search in Smartertrack does not work at all.
When I search in a view or in the extended search for a single word (which is used in the body field of some tickets) I get tens of results and most of them completely wrong!!!! So, if you want to look at tickets which share a single word, Smartertrack completely fails on that requirement.
We are not living in 2015 and any tool working with mass data should provide at least the minimal search requirements of finding entries based on a single word!!!!!
And I am arguing with Smartertools since months and they just ignore my request...
After updating from ST9 to ST11 we were disappointed to see that the search feature, instead of being improved, has actually gotten worse! It's no longer possible to sort search results by "idle time". This makes it even more difficult to find support cases, since it's no longer possible to view search results in chronological order.
We hope that this sorting option will be reinstated.
This is the second 'upgrade' in search that has in fact been a downgrade (the first being the loss of the subject line search). I wonder whether SmarterTrack staff are even considering this issue? It's such a major inefficiency for companies such as ours that handle support over many different brands and hundreds of thousands of customers. The lack of precise phrase searching wastes so much time as finding related customer service responses becomes worse with each release.
Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post
Hi all,
I'd just like to let you all know that there is another thread available for discussing SmarterTrack's search functionality. We'd like to centralize the conversation in order to prep for the next major version of SmarterTrack. Please reference this thread for continuing SmarterTrack's search discussion or to offer your input: http://portal.smartertools.com/community/a86741/discussion-smartertracks-search-functionality.aspx
Thank you!

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.


Employee Replied
Employee Post
Hi all,
I just wanted to let you know that the next update for SmarterTrack11 will include advanced searches that only return results that include all terms used in the advanced searched or, at least, includes their root words (for example: "running tests" would include results containing the words "run" or "running" AND "test" or "tests"). Along with this change, the result's grid for advanced searches will be sort-able as well.
Fantastic. Thanks for the update Mike. We've been needing this for SO long!
Hi Mike,
I would like to thank you for improving the search feature. It's exactly what we had been hoping for and has made how we work much more efficient.

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