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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

Categorizing and prioritizing tickets is important for managing ticket surges because it helps the customer support teams focus on high-priority issues first, preventing further escalations.

 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
  • Email

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.

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Article FAQs

What is a ticket surge in customer support?
A ticket surge in customer support implies a sudden increase in the number of tickets (customer support requests) received in a short period. Customer support agents are prepared for a higher volume of tickets in certain situations, such as new product launches or critical technical bugs.
How can we predict and prepare for ticket surges?
Companies can predict and prepare for ticket surges by analyzing previous data and finding patterns when ticket surges occurred, such as when they launched a new product or during the holiday season. Another technique is constant monitoring of social media to come across a potential alert on time.
How can we measure the success of our ticket surge management efforts?
To measure the success of the ticket surge management effort, it’s important to check KPIs such as customer satisfaction score and average resolution time. Also, assessing the customer support’s stress level, quality of responses, and burnout during a ticket surge through surveys or feedback forms.
How can we ensure continuous improvement in managing ticket surges?
To ensure continuous improvement in managing ticket surges, the company needs to encourage feedback from support agents and customers and invest in training, technology and professional development to stay up to date with the latest customer support strategies.

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