I want to gather some feedback on where people track customers in Jira. I have seen suggestions to use the component field but it could be hundreds if not more. Or create a custom issuetype for customers. Love to see different strategies for handling tracking customers with tickets in Jira.
If you want to do it without and an app the easiest would be to use an issue type for it. If you do not mind using an app you could use Insight, Atlas CRM, or CRM for Jira (the last two I found while searching for customers on the Marketplace). I have only experience with Insight, and you can configure it to be used for CRM. Using a custom field would only allow Jira admins to add/modify/remove customers, and it limits you to what information you can store about the customer.
There used to be an article on how to do it using an issue type in Jira, I believe it was for assets but you could do it for customers instead, let me see if I can find it. And Insight will be part of Jira Service Management in the near future, and my guess is that it will be part of Jira too similar to what happened to Automations.
I couldn't find the article, but I did find this KB which describe how to use user properties, Using Lira for customer relationship management. The drawback would be that you have to create a user for each customer leading to more licenses needed. I also found this blog post that might help, Jira as a CRM – How We Put Together Our CRM in Jira
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