How to Scale Customer Support Ticket Volume AND Increase Customer Happiness
As the demands on your customer service team grow you need to find a way to serve more NOW Customers without sacrificing the quality of your support. Here’s how you can do more with less.
You’re noticing an uptick in customer support tickets. This is either good news (you’re growing your customer base) or it’s bad news (you’re getting more tickets because of issues with your operation or products… or a snowballing backlog). Either way, you’ll have to scale your support to meet this new demand and keep your customers coming back. Every customer service situation is unique, but here are some options for scaling customer support in some of the most common scenarios.
Find out exactly why you are getting more customer service tickets
This seems obvious but is often overlooked. There are many reasons why your volume might be going up and you need to scale your customer support to match. Each one should lead you down a different path to addressing the issue. Here are some typical scenarios:
Issue: You’re experiencing the same issue over and over again
Maybe you’ve just released a new product or made a substantial change to your business operations. This has realized a flurry of tickets around the same subject.
Solution: Consider self-help options for your customers
You might have to change customer behavior and alter expectations. By building up a robust self service portal you can tackle the issue with an article or a step-by-step guide. This can also be a useful asset for your customer service agents who can quickly direct callers to the solution, shortening resolution time.
Issue: You are getting lots of new unique customer problems
This usually arises when you grow and add new customers. New customers may be less knowledgeable about your products and contact you with issues your long-standing customers can deal with by themselves. This puts more pressure on your customer support team to convert the visitors into customers.
Solution: Give support staff the right customer support software solution
A robust customer support software solution can help with tagging and allocating tickets to ensure the appropriate agents are handling the ticket. It can also use analytics to find solutions to common problems and develop alternative ways to solve them. Sentiment analysis will also enable support staff to gauge which tickets to handle immediately and which to deal with when the agent has more time. Support software should be used to lower response time and increase customer happiness.
Issue: Your volume is going up in all categories
Congratulations, this means you’re growing and organically have to handle more tickets. This is a critical step for your company because how you handle this growth will determine your future success.
Solution: Make sure all your channels are an effective customer support solution
Look at all the ways your customers interact with you and maximize their capabilities:
- Live chat: Make sure your customer support agents are focused on this growing support channel as they can multitask and handle two or three customers at a time and in real time
- Email: While customers don’t expect instant responses from email, they do not want to be ignored so ensure you allocate agents to respond to every email your receive
- Social media: Utilize this platform to answer customer issues as soon as possible and use its public facing nature to cut down on the amount of tickets you receive
- Inbound calls: Make sure your agents have access to complete customer profiles so they can anticipate issues and resolve tickets faster
- Self-service: Take a look at your customer facing knowledge base and ensure it reflects the types of tickets you are currently encountering (existing customers turned gig workers are also another option)
- Chatbots: Utilize this technology on your website to solve frequently asked support questions and keep fine-tuning it to adapt to new situations. Do not use for pre-sale support!
Scaling customer support ticket volume isn’t easy
Oftentimes it’s make or break for a company. How your support team handles a bump in volume can define how you grow as an organization. Remember, the customer experience is now the number one way consumers differentiate between brands. Your customer support team need all the tools available to handle this increased volume. It’s not simply a case of increasing the headcount of your team to meet ticket volume. Scaling your customer support requires a holistic view of the whole operation. Learning why volume has gone up is the first step. Then increasing agent efficiency to decrease response times and increase customer satisfaction requires new technology, methods, and channels. The challenge is to find the right mix so your customer support department can handle consumers’ pain points, deliver great support, and ultimately customer success.