5 Tips to be Smart about Customer Support Ticket Management


Are you struggling with your customer support tickets? Are you facing disgruntled customers and unhappy agents? Well, truth be told, you are not the only one. Any business which still has not understood or acknowledged the need of having the right ticketing software is facing these issue. Having the right software eases the burden on the agents and improves their efficiency.

While having a ticket management system is the first step towards exceptional customer support, the story does not end here. Let us look at some ways to be smart about managing the customer support ticket to enhance the agent and customer experience. 

#1. Ticket Prioritization

The agents get a lot of interactions in a day. This is particularly true for enterprises dealing with a large customer base. With that kind of ticket influx, it is tiring for the agents to manually pick and choose the tickets while keeping its priority in mind. This process needs to be automated. One way of doing that is by using artificial intelligence. Natural language processing (NLP) for passive channels such as an email or chat makes it is possible to run text-analysis on the customer-agent interaction to understand the sentiment of the customer based on configurable parameters. These parameters further contribute to the heat index which will further help the agents to prioritize the tickets effectively.

For example, a customer who has been waiting in the call queue for more than 2 minutes and was evidently disgruntled in his last email should will be assigned a higher priority over someone, who had a pleasant conversation the last time.

#2. Picking Unassigned Tickets

Having a ticketing software lets the business to auto-assign the tickets to the agents based on configurable parameters. At the same time, to encourage proactive behavior and taking care of low-priority tickets, it is a good idea to allow the agents to pick the unassigned tickets.  This will shorten the queue and can also be used as a metric to incentivize the agents as well.

For instance, for a customer support executive, product inquiry tickets will be of low priority. But, if the executive is proactive in picking and resolving these tickets as well, then this behavior should be rewarded with equivalent incentives.

#3. Setting Automation Rules

Design the workflows according to your business requirements using the rule engine based on certain events and/or time lapsed. This is another way to automate the customer support process and make it as seamless as possible.

  • Event-based Rules: Initiate a set of activities when a pre-defined event occurs and notify the supervisor of the same. For eg., when a new ticket comes in (event occurs), it will e assigned to a queue, the supervisor will be notified and the customer will be sent an acknowledgment mail.
  • Time-based Rules: Do not miss your SLAs by setting up rules with conditions and actions that will be triggered after a specific time interval for rules with the matching condition. For eg., the time elapsed since the first response on a ticket has been more than the SLA, the ticket will immediately be sent to the escalation queue and assigned to any available agent.

#4. Add Layers to Customer Support Process

Not all customer queries are the same. Similarly, not everyone is equally capable of handling the queries. Having a tiered customer support structure can solve this problem. For instance, having executives with basic product or service knowledge at the first level and the subject matter experts (SME) at the next level. So, if any routine query comes in, the first level executives will be able to solve it quickly. In case of tickets requiring a detailed, in-depth discussion, the ticket can be directly transferred to  more knowledgeable resource i.e. a SME for faster resolution.

Having a layered structure will help in the optimal use of the resources. At the same time, it will reduce the ticket handling time and improve the resolution rate. This will eventually lead to higher customer satisfaction.

#5. Provide Self-Service Options

The best way to effectively manage the support tickets is to ensure they are not needed in the first place. If the customer is able to find answers to their problem on their own, they will not need to contact your support department. Empower your customers to resolve the queries on their own. This will de-clutter the support executives dashboard and will help them to focus on high priority cases. Posting the FAQs on your website or using a chatbot to answer the mundane queries are some of the options. In case the query is out of the purview of the chatbot, the interaction can be transferred to a live agent. Another way of achieving that is via a self-service IVR. All these will help in cutting down the queue and resolving the tickets within SLA.

Lastly… It’s Okay to Escalate

Rather than making the customer wait while you struggle to find an answer, it is better to transfer the ticket to your superior who is more capable of handling the query. Do not just pass around the ticket. What’s worse than not knowing the answer? To not accept it and keep stalling. The agents need to be alert and intelligent to identify when and to whom the tickets need to be escalated for a delightful customer support experience.