Varun Kumar from Freshworks, has penned an exclusive op-ed on how customer service agents can be empowered through the implementation of automation software.
For customer service agents, something worse than dealing with an inbox full of support tickets is managing the queue itself. This can sometimes prove to be way more brutal.
Most support teams these days can’t do without a sound trouble ticket tracking system. When it comes to the queue, just when you think you’ve completed all the tasks at hand, you find other tickets waiting in line for you. Some are rogue tickets that have been bouncing back-and-forth between departments/agents, while others are the ones no one seems to want to touch.
You need to be organised if you don’t want to stress yourself to death. Create a trouble ticket tracking system that allows you to speed up resolution and response times and properly prioritize tickets. That being said, so many things must be taken into account when managing the support tickets’ order of being addressed. Some of these include help-desk software capabilities, SLAs, technical difficulty, and subject matter. Below are a few ways your team can improve their ticket queue management.
- Enabling Self-Service
The same issues, the same tickets, popping up time and time again. Does that sound a bit familiar? Having to answer the same queries over and over again can end up wasting a lot of your time, and money too. One of the best ways to reduce the load on your ticket queue is by empowering your customers. Give them a chance to be able to resolve some of the common questions themselves. Around 60% of consumers in the United States prefer automated self-service processes for simple customer support needs.
Have searchable knowledge bases in place. Answer the question once. Put it in your knowledge base and forget about answering it again. This is the easiest way to cut down unnecessary tickets that’ll eventually consume precious resources and cluttering your dashboard.
- Setting and Monitoring Ticket Statuses
It’s vital you set the right ticket statuses. Not doing so could lead to many different issues arising, all of which help make customer experience worse. You can’t have an effective trouble ticket tracking system with setting and monitoring of ticket statuses. Without this, staff can get confused, priorities may not be set correctly, agents can start duplicating efforts, and tickets can go unanswered. If you want to make sure your support tickets keep moving, keep the tickets’ status up-to-date and visible on your main dashboard.
‘Open/New’ tickets are to be attended to as soon as possible. Respond to the customer immediately and let them know their query is being handled. ‘In Progress’ can be used to show that the ticket is already being handled by someone else. ‘Solved/Closed’ status pretty much explains itself. The solution has been found, and the case has been closed. Having a visible ticket status on your main dashboard will prevent you from losing tickets in the shuffle, and it’ll allow you to set your priorities better.
- Automating Your Workflows
Automating workflows isn’t always all about removing the tedious parts. In comparison, when it comes to supporting ticket queue management, automation is essential and can bring with it many other benefits. Workflow automation allows you to keep up with incoming requests and makes sure the right category or person gets assigned the right ticket. All this while still being able to send out notifications when a particular ticket becomes overdue. The truth is, this is the hallmark of a sound trouble ticket tracking system.
Automation minimises error. You can even set automation rules that notify you when response schedules or SLAs have been violated in some systems. This kind of automation gets the tickets out at the right time and to the right people, increasing its chances of being resolved quickly.
- Segmenting Your Support Tickets
As your customer service team evolves, you’ll need to start segmenting support tickets according to the team that needs to be taking care of it and the kind of request made. The best way to have a segmented support queue is by defining categories. It allows you to assign specific cases to the right departments or people, giving team members the ability to build custom reports and search tickets faster to identify both the strengths and weaknesses across categories.
There are many different ways support tickets can be segmented. This includes by priority, by product, by client, or by problem type.
- Setting Tiered Support Structures
Your customer service team goes through many different cases and scenarios every day. Some might require the need for expert knowledge, while others won’t. An excellent way for you to handle these instances is by creating support ticket categories/segments based on the level of expertise or difficulty involved. This is something you’ll notice in a sound trouble ticket tracking system.
Another option available is the creation of tiered support structures within the company itself. These can be created in many ways. For example, you could have the first-tier made up of agents who take calls and then escalate the case to the right department or expert. The structure will often depend on how complex and big your business and support team is.
- Following The Data
It’s hard to improve what’s not measured. It’s essential to have some KPIs which your company can use to track support team performance. This is how you’ll know where you need to improve. What’s your team’s average handling time? Which categories use up the most human resources? What’s your team’s average response and resolution time? How’s your support ticket close rate? You should be able to answer all these questions. It’s hard to have an effective trouble ticket tracking system if you can’t. If you aren’t looking at data, then you’re flying blind.
You can manage your support queue in so many different ways. There’s no clear wrong or the right way of going about things. It all depends on what kind of trouble ticket tracking system you want your business to use. Every process out there has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Although if you follow some of the tips highlighted in this article, you’ll be on your way to creating an excellent ticket management process.