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Customers First: The Best B2B Customer Service Blog

How to handle an increase in customer support tickets

[fa icon="calendar"] May 12, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Laura Ballam

Occasionally, customer support teams experience a sudden upsurge in incoming tickets. Whether they are anticipated or happen unexpectedly, a large number of incoming tickets means more work for agents. A poorly functioning team with subpar software will quickly become swamped with the workload. On the other hand, agents with the right tools and structure will easily address these tickets in a timely, supportive manner and help customers find solutions on their own. Here are some tips for handling an increase in customer support tickets:

Be proactive
Sometimes several customers send in questions detailing similar issues. If your business experiences several support requests with the same concern or same solution, assigning parent and child tickets will help manage the large volume. This organizes the similar tickets into one group - one is designated as the parent and the rest are children. Once the issue is solved and the parent ticket is closed, the child tickets close automatically.

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Organizing tickets into parents and children helps manage heavy workloads.

In addition, support teams should look through their customer profiles and see who may have questions regarding the same problems. These could be customers using the same software or in similar industries. Instead of waiting for them to contact your customer support, your team can reduce the number of incoming tickets by preemptively alerting them to any potential issues.

Be organized 
In today's multichannel world, support requests come from all over. Customers contact businesses through the phone, email, social media and online chat. Managing all of these sources can be a hassle, especially for a disconnected team. Omnichannel customer support software that consolidates incoming requests from various channels and creates tickets based on their queries is the best way to handle the connected nature of today's customers. Such software minimizes data entry, as agents don't have to create tickets manually for every incoming support request. Instead, they can spend their time directly addressing the tickets that come in.

"Sharing knowledge streamlines the support process for customers."

Be efficient
The best way to handle an increase in tickets is to be as efficient as possible. This means assisting customers in ways that actually support them and solve their issues, not just using methods that are common practice. For instance, allowing agents to collaborate with each other provides faster solutions. If an agent doesn't know how to solve a particular issue, he or she can ask another rep instead of transferring the customer around. In addition, the best support software stores articles and guidelines written by other team members. Each agent has access to this information, allowing reps to share answers and comment on solutions. Overall, sharing knowledge streamlines the support process for customers, which, as Gallup noted, increases engagement.

Be supportive
Help doesn't always mean direct contact with an agent. Supporting customers also means providing plenty of self-service support options. Offering accessible answers to basic questions gives customers the resources to solve issues on their own instead of submitting a support ticket.

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A sudden increase in tickets doesn't have to overwhelm your customer support agents.

Sometimes businesses think negatively of ticket deflection. They assume it gives customers the implication that companies don't want to interact with them. On the contrary, today's customers prefer self-service support and would rather find answers on their own rather than contact an agent.

Providing a knowledge base or FAQ section is a great way to reduce the number of incoming tickets. However, sometimes it helps to send customers directly to these options when they begin to contact support. Robust customer support software solutions will automatically suggest related self-support content. The technology analyzes incoming questions based on key words and product information, then provides a list of related articles. This ensures customers browse through available self-support options before submitting a ticket.

A sudden increase in tickets can make or break your business's customer support team. If agents mismanage these incoming questions, they'll quickly be overwhelmed by customer needs. Instead, agents should take steps to reduce the number of incoming tickets and solve existing ones as efficiently as possible.

   
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Tiered Customer Support is Dead...and That's Good for Business!

 

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