Regardless of what ticketing software system you use and how it operates, it’s critical to manage it properly to ensure it’s helping, not hindering your customer service team, enabling them to support customers in a quick, efficient and professional manner. Here are 12 ticket management tips and best practices you can adopt today to enhance your customer support, increase customer satisfaction and improve your support team’s performance:
Ticketing System Management Tips and Best Practices
1. Ensure proper agent training
The effectiveness of your ticket management system largely depends on how well your agents are able to manage the tool and use all the available features to their maximum. If you are just starting out with ticketing software, proper onboarding and training is essential to ensure agents can effectively leverage the tool and all of its features in order to provide a seamless service experience to customers.
2. Decide how you will prioritize tickets
Depending on the size and the type of your business, you might choose to prioritize tickets based either on the order they arrive or urgency. The ‘first-in, first-out’ method that is generally preferred by smaller support teams can help to optimize workflow, provide faster response times and prevent ticket backlog. However, it lacks flexibility unlike the ‘pick and choose’ approach that allows agents to give more attention to customers with tougher or more urgent problems.
3. Use all the automation capabilities
Different ticket management platforms offer varying automation options. Whatever automation capabilities are available with the ticketing software of your choice – use them to their full potential to manage your ticket queue efficiently, eliminate human errors and ensure tickets are always distributed to the right departments and individuals. In fact, without an automated way to sort and route tickets appropriately, they will take longer to reach proper agents, resulting in loner wait times for customers.
4. Ensure your team isn’t overloaded
Work overload inevitably leads to increased stress, job burnout, poor agent performance and, ultimately, slower ticket response times and decreased customer satisfaction. A large volume of backlogged tickets might indicate that your ticket management system needs improvement or your support team isn’t big enough to handle the current workload and you may need to expand your team by hiring additional manpower.
5. Make the right use of ticket tagging
Ticketing software solutions typically offer tagging functionality – very often, however, this feature is being underutilized by support teams. Tags are extremely helpful in adding more context to tickets and can greatly assist reps in identifying and organizing support requests, as well as understanding what drives customer trends. They also help in managing and customizing the workflows of your agents. To get the maximum out of tagging, it’s important to keep tags clear, accurate, well-structured and consistent.
6. Set and monitor ticket statuses
Any ticket management software allows tracking the progress of tickets and viewing ticket updates on a centralized dashboard. Make sure each ticket is always assigned the right status – failing to do so may result in a number of issues, such as tickets going unanswered, priorities aren’t set properly, requests getting lost or neglected, or agents duplicating efforts. That can be confusing for your team members and frustrating for customers.
7. Create canned messages and templates
Drafting individual replies to each ticket is time-consuming and impractical. Create a catalog of templates and canned responses for common queries and situations that will increase your team’s efficiency and enable them to provide more resolutions to more customers in a less amount of time. However, since consumers highly value personalized experience – with 63% expecting personalization as a standard of service – canned responses should be used wisely and customized to recognize each particular customer and their specific problem.
8. Implement Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
Most of today’s ticketing software systems come equipped with service-level agreement (SLA) tracking and management capabilities. SLAs lay out an agreement between you and your customers defining response and resolution times customers can expect, and help agents to deliver service targets. Set SLAs to ensure each ticket is answered and each request is handled within a reasonable timeframe – while customers are never left waiting for too long.
9. Keep records of past tickets
Having an easily accessible library of previous tickets might be helpful for your support team. Whenever agents receive tickets for issues that they’ve already solved in the past, being able to refer to those cases can make it easier for them to handle requests faster and help to avoid spending much time on repeat issues. In addition, keeping track of past tickets enables you to spot common problems that might need to be addressed with a higher priority.
10. Enable self-service to cut down ticket queue
Answering the same questions over and over again is a waste of time and effort of your support team. One of the easiest ways to reduce your ticket queue and weed out unnecessary requests that consume precious resources is enabling self-service and allowing customers to help themselves. If your ticket management software provides self-service capabilities, make sure your customers are empowered to address easy-to-solve problems without having to contact your support team directly. Microsoft’s survey actually found that 90% of global consumers expect brands and organizations to offer an online portal for self-service.
11. Track and reward agent performance
Robust ticket management systems usually provide a wide range of reporting and analytics tools. Not only does it allow tracking various service metrics such as ticket volume, number of backlogged tickets, ticket resolution time, first contact resolution, etc. You can also monitor individual agent performance and see how effective each agent is when responding to and resolving tickets – and thus identify top performing agents and reward them accordingly, as well as spot those who need extra coaching, training and guidance.
12. Empower your support agents
According to the report by Salesforce, 65% of high-performing service teams say their agents are completely empowered to make customers happy, that’s 3.4x more than underperformers. Ensure your agents always have easy access to all the customer and product information and tools they need to resolve tickets quickly and efficiently, and are authorized to make their own decisions (or know exactly what they should do if a decision is outside of their authority).