Ticket resolution time is an unavoidable metric for your customer support helpdesk. Every customer wants their problems solved quickly, accurately, and with high levels of care.
However, for a support agent, these three things often conflict with each other. If you are quick, you may make a mistake or make the customer feel rushed away. Or, if you go above and beyond for the customer or agonize over every detail, you may delay the resolution. It is a difficult balance to achieve for support teams. In this article, let's examine five techniques to speed up ticket resolution without negatively impacting accuracy or customer satisfaction.
How to Speed Up Ticket Resolution
Organize your tickets.
Step one for any support department is to make sure you have a ticketing system to help you view, sort, track, and report on all of your tickets. Having tickets reside in an agent's email, a spreadsheet, or through a variety of separated tools like chat, social media management, etc., is a recipe for slow ticket resolution. It’s impossible to prioritize customers' needs across multiple tools or understand the current load and status of tickets without a standardized, consistent view of all of the data and who is actively working on it.
Your tool needs to clearly show information like:
- Ticket priority
- Pertinent customer information
- The time since it was opened and since the last response
- The owner of the conversation
- The status of the investigation
Having all of these details displayed and reportable is the most critical step in starting to organize your ticket load for faster responses.
Route tickets to reduce the "Time to Expert."
The fastest way to resolve a ticket is to get expert eyes on it as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of your products, your experts might be focused on a feature set, customer segment, or they might simply be the most senior members of your team. Your process needs to route tickets to the right people or allow ticket reassignment as the owner learns new information. Having your experts available to take on tickets and help solve advanced issues is a crucial step in reducing time to resolution.
Measuring 'time to expert', which is the time from a ticket being opened until the person who ultimately resolved the ticket first responds, can help you validate that the expert is brought in at the right point in the investigation. For example, a system down issue may need an expert sooner than a lesser impacting issue. Always ensure your tooling and process allows for the right people to see the right tickets at the right time.
Use all available context.
Using context effectively is where many Support teams struggle. Especially in the SaaS, mobile app, and IoT product spaces, there is a significant amount of data stored about users and their actions. Making the data accessible to support can speed up ticket resolution and decrease customer effort. How often does your support team ask questions like this:
- Which feature were you using?
- What were the last steps you took?
- Where are you located?
- Have you had this issue before?
Many of these can be solved using data you likely have inside your organization or by linking your helpdesk to your CRM. Using all available context to understand a customer's issue will help you respond faster and with a more accurate answer.
Create a comprehensive knowledge base.
Your support team should never need to research the answer to the same question twice. If you know the answer from a previous ticket, you need to document that knowledge in a way that is reusable and easy to find. A knowledge base will significantly improve your resolution time in two ways:
- It will help your agents ramp up and be able to answer all documented questions faster. Without knowing the product well, an agent can find the answers to known problems through keyword searches and then directly relay those to your customers to answer tickets.
- If your knowledge base is publicly available, you allow your customers to find their own answers, reducing the number of tickets that come to your team and giving your agents more time to focus on troubleshooting new problems. Reducing your ticket queue will allow responses to all tickets to be faster.
A knowledge base that is consistently and frequently updated is a great tool to help you speed up ticket resolution.
Maximize macros and snippets.
Are there phrases, responses, links, or workflows that your team uses all the time? Almost certainly! For these situations, snippets (also called macros or canned responses) are essential to save the agent's time. Macros are little scripts used for any repeatable situation to save you time writing a response, including links or data, or filling in templates.
For example, if you use a template to escalate information to a backline specialist, a macro can help you organize the details consistently and clearly, making the details easier to understand. Or perhaps there are common responses to the most basic customer questions like: "How do I change my password?" or "Where is your price list?" You can use a snippet to answer these questions immediately. Your agent can quickly provide a meaningful and complete response to your customer without any time spent typing a custom message.
Fast, Accurate, Pleasant Ticket Handling
These methods for how to speed up ticket resolution are the foundations of a positive customer experience. Solving customer tickets quickly, accurately, and meeting expectations is a delicate balance, but with the right considerations, you can consistently achieve this goal.
Your agents will be happy they have the tools, processes, data, macros, and knowledge to perform at their best, and your customers will be happy to have fast resolutions that are detailed and leave them satisfied.
Originally published Dec 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated June 15 2021