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What is ticket triage?

Definition: Ticket triage is the process of classifying and assigning customer support requests (tickets) to either customer service representatives or self-service software based on their issue type, department, urgency, importance, and complexity.

Ticket triaging follows the 80/20 rule, based on proof that 80% of customer support requests are repetitive and easily answered, not specific questions that can be answered by AI customer support

The other 20% of requests need to be handled by customer support representatives due to their complexity, importance and need for personalization or involvement of specific departments.

The importance of ticket triage

Customer satisfaction

Customers get precise answers to their requests more quickly by categorizing and prioritizing incoming tickets. Customers immediately get automated answers to their low-level tickets, so they don’t waste time looking for available agents. 

Customers with more complex issues get a more personalized response faster because they don’t have to wait for an available agent who is busy with all other requests.

In the end, customers are satisfied because all of their requests are handled promptly and with care, so there is a higher chance they will recommend the service to someone or buy again. 

Also, the company gets better reviews and testimonials as social proof.

Employee satisfaction

Customer support agents are more satisfied at work when they focus on more important and complex issues. 

Besides more productivity and less stress, employees are more confident in answering questions they are specialized for and can contribute with personalized solutions. 

The chance for employee burnout is minimized, and employee retention is increased.

Cost reduction

Ticket triage reduces the amount of time and resources required to address customer issues.

Due to customers getting precise answers faster, there are fewer follow-up interactions, returns, and support tickets in total.

Trend identification

Analyzing categories and tags assigned to tickets gives the company useful data about common issues in customer feedback. 

Companies use this information to address potential product issues or improve their marketing efforts. 

Based on trends in customer interactions, the documentation, such as the FAQs section, is updated or better organized, so there are fewer inquiries.

Setting up ticket triage process

  1. Define categories

The first step is defining the type of requests and problems your customers have, and companies classify them into:

  • Technical issues
  • Billing issues
  • Customer feedback

After defining the customer problem, the next step is deciding where the tickets are directed, and companies direct them according to:

  • Channel
  • Product
  • Skills-based
  1. Determine priority levels

Prioritizing tickets based on their urgency and impact is a crucial step in the ticket triage process. Based on the customer’s status (free or paid), the urgency of the problem, and the impact on the company, the ticket is classified as:

  • Critical
  • High priority
  • Medium priority 
  • Low priority
  1. Assign roles

The last step before creating a workflow is defining the roles of customer support agents and AI customer support in the ticket triage. AI customer service helps with basic ticket filtering and providing answers to low-priority customers. 

Customer support agents help assign specific high-priority or critical issues to the right department.

Roles within customer support are assigned based on the problems agents are best suited for. For example, ten agents work only with product set-up-related inquiries.

  1. Develop the workflow/Use a ticketing system

Once every step in the triage process is defined in terms of who deals with what requests, it’s time to create a workflow that outlines the steps above. The workflow is a clear process that begins with an incoming ticket and ends when the issue is resolved. 

Instead of customer support agents or operations support routing tickets to different teams based on the category and priority level, a ticketing system manages the whole process. 

Mindmesh helps you automate the ticket triage process more efficiently and with fewer errors.

Ticket triage best practices

  1. Ticket status

Setting up and monitoring the status of each ticket prevents duplicated effort and unresolved issues. Tickets are categorized as:

  • New 
  • Opened
  • In progress 
  • Closed
  1. Ticket form

Provide a form that only includes the fields needed to process the ticket adequately. A concise ticket form avoids confusion in ticket triage and makes it easier for customers to define their requests.

  1. Ticket resolution time

Setting clear and pre-defined expectations for ticket resolution time helps the team be more efficient and up to the best standards. It helps improve communication between the support team and customers, increases accountability, and helps prioritize tickets.

  1. Monitor and adjust the ticket triage process

After setting up the workflow, monitoring and reviewing constantly is crucial. Companies track key metrics such as response time, resolution time, and customer satisfaction to identify areas of improvement and adjust the process when needed.

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Article FAQs

How does an effective ticket triage process contribute to the overall customer experience?
The effective ticket triage process contributes to the overall customer experience because the results are faster response time, better quality responses, and better issue resolution. Improving these metrics leads to a positive customer experience, increased satisfaction, and customer retention.
How can I prevent ticket backlog during the triage process?
To prevent backlog during the triage process, ensure someone monitors the volume of tickets and adjusts staffing levels according to the trends. Also, automating the ticket triage process helps reduce errors, and prioritizing high-impact tickets ensures team members are focused on resolving them first.
What factors should be considered when prioritizing tickets during triage?
Factors that should be considered when prioritizing tickets during triage are based on customer revenue, the nature & complexity of the issue, the time passed after receiving the ticker, and specific indicators such as emotion or subject. Previous communication and impact on the customer are additional factors worth considering.
What is priority ticketing?
Priority ticketing is a process of organizing tickets based on the level of urgency and impact of those requests. While ticket triage involves other categorizing requests such as department or issue type, priority ticketing is based on the level of urgency.

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