Streamline Customer Support With an Automation Powered Issue Tracker

issue tracker

Nearly two-thirds of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide excellent customer service. And support organizations are highly aware of the fact that speed is critical when it comes to helping customers. So why do so many organizations fail when it comes to routing issues quickly and tracking them efficiently?

The answer lies within technology. Issue tracking software helps customer support organizations organize and manage the heavy influx of requests they receive daily and see them through to resolution. In collaborative settings where multiple agents (and sometimes bots) must work together, an issue tracker is essential to productivity and organization.

Customer support operations are complicated

New tickets must first be segmented into specific issue classifications based on customers’ needs. Is the query related to sales support, technical support, or a specific subset of one or the other? Determining this is essential to routing the request to the correct agent. There can be other factors that influence how customer issues are routed as well, such as their VIP status or how time-sensitive or critical their issue is.

Routing incoming issues is complicated because they often come in from multiple channels: emails, social media messages, live chat requests, and in-app messaging in addition to — and often instead of — the phone. All of these channels enable convenience and choice for customers. But inquiries from disparate channels must be parsed and routed effectively within a single support operation. That’s where an issue tracker becomes essential.

But most legacy and barebones issue tracking solutions offer little by way of intelligent automation. Instead, tickets must be manually triaged and assigned by support staff. This is inefficient and only creates new bottlenecks for staff to deal with.

How automation can streamline issue tracking

Automation can take issue tracking technology from a project management tool that provides marginal efficiency improvements to a game-changing solution that can dramatically scale customer support without adding agents.

From Helpshift’s own analysis of 75 million customer service tickets and 71 million bot interactions, we learned that 62% of customers find long hold times to be the biggest annoyance when it comes to seeking customer support. One of the biggest bottlenecks that contribute to long hold times is the need to manually classify and track tickets.

When customer inquiries first come in, bots and automated routing can greatly simplify how they get directed. Bots can automate ticket routing and resolution and even collect customer information before a human agent gets involved. They can be custom-built to specific workflows, such as a bot to collect customer information, and can even deflect tickets in the first place by suggesting self serve options such as knowledgebase articles so that the issue never needs to be handled by an agent. And because automated bots are available immediately they’re an easily scalable way to offer an instantaneous first point of contact.

Inevitably, the most complex customer questions will always turn into tickets. But by leveraging an issue tracker solution with automation built-in, you can ensure that agents are spending the majority of their time on these high priority tickets.

Adding artificial intelligence to the mix

The next layer of automated issue tracking is artificial intelligence (AI). AI-powered classification uses machine learning to further streamline agent workflows and the customer experience. With AI, custom bots can be trained to understand variations and nuances in human language and typing to more accurately direct incoming customer queries to the right place — even when a specific query isn’t part of a pre-built workflow.

Speeding up the customer support process means assigning issues to the right agents, teams, or bots and then ensuring optimal resource utilization. The entire rest of the customer service experience that follows from issue classification depends upon this task being done well. If the initial issue is classified and routed correctly, it makes the issue tracker much more effective overall. AI-powered classification engines get better as they learn from handling a critical mass of tickets, eventually becoming an integrated and essential part of your customer service organization.

Issue tracking from start to finish

Regardless of which channel a customer inquiry comes in on, having a unified dashboard for customer service agents helps them manage cases, ticket data, and interaction history across all channels. This creates a connected customer experience because the context of any customer conversation is continuous even if the channel the customer chooses to communicate on shifts.

Customers never have to repeat their entire story and divulge all their information to a new agent. Even if the conversation starts with an automated bot, the agent who picks up the thread doesn’t have to backtrack. All the information they need is available on the dashboard in an easy-to-read format.

In any customer service organization where agents and bots work together — or even just when there are multiple agents assigned to solve customer problems — an issue tracker is an essential operations tool. Issue tracking technology that allows you to connect the dots between customer interactions with automation and agents helps streamline the customer experience and save your organization time and money.

Published October 2, 2019
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