What are ticket surges?
Definition: Ticket surges are sudden spikes in the volume of customer support requests that exceed the normal volume of incoming tickets and potentially lead to longer response times.
To avoid unsatisfied customers and strained customer support agents, companies need to look into the cause of sudden increases in customer tickets and develop strategies for managing ticket surges.
Causes of ticket surges
- Product or service launches — When a company launches a new product/service or feature, it can expect a ticket surge because customers have questions or issues with the novelty.
- Technical issues — A ticket surge occurs when many customers have a critical technical issue, such as a bug that prevents them from logging into their accounts.
- Seasonal demand — During certain parts of the year, there are higher demands for certain products and services, so customers may have questions regarding shipping, discounts, or gift cards.
- Marketing campaigns — An interesting marketing campaign can generate increased interest in the company’s product or service, so customers may have additional questions or concerns.
- Changes in policies or procedures — An unexpected change in policies or procedures is a cause for a ticket surge because of frustrated customers who aren’t sure how the change affects them.
- External factors — Economic crises or natural disasters impact customer behavior, potentially increasing support tickets.
Strategies to manage ticket surges
1. Utilizing automation and AI tools
- Chatbots — During a ticket surge, chatbots handle simple and repetitive inquiries, so customer service agents focus on more complex tasks.
- Automated responses — Quickly acknowledging the receipt of a ticket and setting expectations with the customer about the resolution time with automated responses helps with customer satisfaction.
- AI-powered ticket routing — With automated ticket routing, tickets are sent to the support agent with the right skills and tools to solve them, thus ensuring faster resolution time and less friction during a high volume of tickets.
2. Offering self-service options
- Knowledge bases — Offering customers an easy-to-navigate knowledge base helps them find the information they need on their own or solve a problem without having to wait for a representative.
- FAQ pages — A well-crafted FAQ section helps prevent surges and reduces the number of overall inquiries the customer support agents get.
- Interactive guides and tutorials — Reducing the load on customer support agents while providing customers with an enjoyable learning experience that they can cater to their own pace and style.
3. Prioritizing and categorizing tickets
Tickets are categorized based on the level of urgency, customer value, or complexity to divide those who require immediate attention and those who can wait or be directed to self-service options.
4. Leveraging multiple communication channels
Distributing the volume of inquiries across the company’s channels reduces the workload on a single channel, helping reduce response times and ensuring all tickets are opened and resolved. The most important communication channels are:
- Live chat
- Social media
- Phone support
5. Monitoring and adjusting resources in real-time
Monitoring customer behavior, tracking ticket volume, and adjusting resources in real time ensures the company can predict potential surges and allocate support teams accordingly. It prevents ticket backlogs, reduces customer wait times and the workload of the support team, especially during marketing campaigns and seasonal demands.