How to Handle Support Tickets: Scaling Ticket Volume
Working in a customer-centric industry, there are some days when it seems like everybody wants to talk to you. Maybe it’s because you’ve done something great, but most of the time it’s due to an error or malfunction in your product or service.
So, what can you do on these days where the ticket volume just isn’t going down? Here are 5 tips on how to handle support tickets when there's an increase in ticket volume so you can make the best of these unwelcome situations…
1) Tag, associate, and categorize tickets – Sometimes when the volume keeps increasing, it’s because several agents are stuck trying to figure out a ticket. One way to help agents in these situations is to make it easy for them to learn how similar issues were resolved in the past. A customer support software solution that lets you tag tickets by topic is a great way to categorize issues of the same type. For example, creating a tag called “Log-in Issues” can allow agents to easily access common log-in problems of the past and how they were resolved. Another similar method is to associate tickets to the same customer, even if they were submitted by different people. By doing this, it’s easy to see if the issue has already been resolved for another person so you can quickly share the same solution.
2) Leverage sentiment analysis to quickly gauge ticket tone – When you have lots of tickets coming in, choosing which ones to work on, ignore, and escalate is crucial. One modern way to do this is by utilizing customer support software that has built-in sentiment analysis capabilities. What this technology does is assesses the “tone” of a ticket – such as satisfied or frustrated – in real-time and displays this information for agents to see. So, if a customer has a lengthy ticket but their sentiment is “polite”, agents can determine that they don’t need to read the entire ticket right away. However, if the sentiment is “frustrated”, it may require more immediate attention.
3) Focus on the most distressed customers first – Leading customer support software is now also able to gauge customer distress levels for your entire customer base. This is helpful because in situations where ticket volume is high it’s still important to also keep customer retention in mind. If a customer has a high distress score and is at risk of leaving your business, you’ll likely want to make their tickets a priority, even if the content isn’t urgent.
4) Maximize your self-service portal – One of the best assets to have during an increase in ticket volume is a customer self-service portal. When tickets are coming in left and right, keeping response times lower becomes a greater priority. That’s why more customer support teams are building out their portal so they are prepared in times of high ticket volumes. Instead of typing out custom responses to each ticket, sharing a link with detailed information on how to resolve a customer issue is much faster. And, even better, maybe the next time they have an issue they’ll check your portal first!
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5) Try to have fun with the volume – As management, it can be difficult to keep morale high during an increase in ticket volume. That’s why it’s important to set obtainable objectives with tangible goals for your team. For example, set a goal that if your team can close a certain number of tickets in the morning that you’ll order in lunch. Or keep an eye on positive feedback throughout the day and reward the top agent with a cash bonus. There are lots of choices here that apply to different customer support environments, so be creative! Your team will thank you and feel appreciated after a hard day of work.
In short, successfully handling an increase in ticket volume is all about technology, efficiency, and motivation. Choose the right customer support technology that lets you solve tickets faster while also being more efficient with how and when you solve them. It’s also important to remember the human component of these sometimes stressful situations and try to lighten the mood. Being prepared in several different ways is the best strategy for scaling customer support ticket volume increases.