One of the major challenges in customer support operations is being efficient while ensuring an optimal customer experience. Addressing this challenge is important because according to Zendesk, 80% of customers stop using a product or service after a bad customer service experience. In order for businesses to gain a competitive advantage, every area of the customer journey needs to provide a quality experience for the customer. This includes support.
Let’s break down the concept of efficiency. A company is efficient when it can maximize productivity and minimize work that can otherwise be avoided. An efficient customer support system can go a long way in improving customer experience.
What Is Ticket Escalation?
One way of boosting efficiency is by predicting ticket escalations and resolving them before they occur. Not only would this save time for the engineering team, but it would also save the customer's time.
Ticket escalation occurs when a customer ticket is transferred to more experienced support staff, or in most cases, the engineering team. Typically, there is an issue the customer support team cannot resolve and needs the input of the engineering team.
When there is a ticket escalation, the customer must wait for the issue to be resolved. The customer may see the company in a less favorable light and could affect the customer relationship in the long run.
If a company puts proper systems and tools in place to avoid these escalations, they can see a huge return on investment both in time and money. According to HDI, the average cost of resolving a customer ticket was approximately $22 in 2019. If a company can prevent 1,615 level 1 tickets per month (according to the calculation on HDI), it will save an estimated $35,530 per month.
The Consequences of Ticket Escalation
Failing to prevent ticket escalation can lead to a number of outcomes, such as:
Increased costs or tradeoffs - When tickets are escalated, it can lead to a greater likelihood that a customer may ask for a refund or cancel the subscription when an issue takes too long to be resolved.
Poor customer satisfaction - When a customer is unhappy, their level of satisfaction goes down and this leads to low referrals, reduced customer retention, and ultimately lower sales. According to Salesforce, 89% of consumers and 92% of business buyers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.
Lack of customer insight - When a ticket is escalated to the engineering team, companies might miss out on gaining deeper customer knowledge, especially if there is no effective feedback loop between the customer support team and the engineering team.
Waste of resources: Engineering has many important topics on their hands like product development and updates. If they spend their time handling support tickets that could have been prevented, it will be a huge waste of the company’s resources.
How to Predict and Prevent Ticket Escalations
Proactive Customer Support
Proactive support ensures that the product or customer issues are resolved before the customer reaches out or even realizes that there was ever an issue. A lot of customer support operations are reactive. They wait for the customer to stumble upon an issue, and report to the customer support before any action is taken to resolve the problem. If customer support cannot resolve the issue, it is likely escalated to the engineering team. Imagine how much time the customer has spent waiting.
However, a customer support team with a proactive approach will use technology to detect problems before they occur and resolve them before the customer is aware. This saves time for all parties involved.
Integrate intelligent software into your tech stack
Automated and intuitive software can monitor and detect customer behavior or product usage in real-time. This type of software saves time and is cost-effective. It predicts potential issues and alerts the appropriate person. With the right software in place, the customer support team can efficiently prevent ticket issues from happening, or at the very least, resolve them in a short amount of time without having it escalated.
Using Artificial Intelligence
With AI, you can automate processes and optimize efficiency by automatically reviewing frequent, repeated issues. AI can use this data to predict potential outcomes in product usage or in business operations.
Due to the robust and updated knowledge bases that Al solutions gather, customer tickets can be compared with historical data, and user context to propose solutions for incoming tickets thereby avoiding escalating the issues to engineering.
Proactive customer support based on AI solutions can help organizations avoid high ticket volume and engineering escalations. The customer support team could be empowered to handle and solve issues themselves withs little to no waiting time for the customer.
Start preventing escalations with IrisAgent. Contact us to see how it works.