Customer Support AI in SaaS: How Intelligent Ticket Classification Accelerates Customer Issue Resolution

By Machielle Thomas

Customer needs drive nearly every part of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. From product ideation and adoption to purchase to support, customers are the focus.

And customers know it: According to a report from PwC, 80% of customers expect speed, convenience, and knowledgeable help in their customer service experiences. Artificial intelligence is increasingly used to help facilitate better, faster, and more consistent customer interactions. One key area where AI can optimize is in customer support is ticket classification. 

Like a lot of other business processes and activities, customer support is increasingly online—meaning customers must access support through chat windows or email to resolve any issues they’re experiencing. These interactions create tickets for an agent to resolve. Agents can get overwhelmed with requests fairly quickly. AI helps by streamlining and focusing on giving the best experience to customers.  

Ahead, we’ll go through what customer support AI is, how SaaS companies can use AI in their customer ticketing experiences, and some of the tips and tricks for customer support AI in SaaS.

What is customer support AI? 

Customer support AI is when a business deploys artificial intelligence and other technologies to help customers find a resolution to queries. These questions and issues can range from simple asks that AI is programmed to know through data collection (ex. product information) with a common answer to escalating with categorization rules to human agents in an effort to solve complex issues (ex. outages.) 

Customer support AI can be used in a number of ways: 

Customer support AI helps delegate and create efficiencies for businesses— better resourcing a system that’s able to handle an influx of customer questions. 

What is an AI-driven ticket classification?

Support tickets may list different issues customers are experiencing in different ways but many of them can be grouped into a few categories by similarity of issue or specific keywords. Classifying problems this way makes managing tickets a lot easier. 

AI can help with this through AI-driven ticket classification. It’s one of the first steps after receiving a customer query. AI-driven ticket classification can categorize the issue by type, urgency, or priority. In this process, tickets can then be assigned faster, moved through a workflow to agent or resolution, and provide customers with a more accurate response. This lessens any potential errors made by humans or delays in resolving a ticket. 

How SaaS companies can use AI-driven ticket classifications in support 

Using AI-driven ticket classifications in customer support is an important way to optimize and streamline customer queries and processes. SaaS companies looking to find solutions for their customers can first begin with solving their own internal workflows to provide better results with accuracy and speed. 

Streamline workflows and automations

An automated AI system is a massive benefit for any SaaS company’s customer support team. Automated workflows for AI-driven ticket classifications include:

  • Automated ticket creation
  • Automated tagging and assignment
  • Routing to correct department or agent, including AI-powered responses
  • System filing for resolutions

For many customers, a chatbot is the first point of contact. From there, a workflow kicks off to bring the customer to the correct point of resolution—whether that’s an instructional video or a ticket created for more support.  

Prioritize requests

AI-driven ticketing helps agents understand the priority levelling for customer support requests. By enabling an AI-driven ticket classification system with the appropriate tags created by AI-powered data collection, the workflow can assess which tickets at any given time need to be resolved more quickly than others. 

Define the criteria that requires prioritization. This can include keywords or specific timing, like if a ticket goes unresolved after a few days. 

Accelerate issue resolution

Issue resolution can be resolved at a faster speed with AI-driven ticket classification. Much like having priority as a category on tickets, acceleration, too, can be added as a way to speed up the resolution of some issues. 

Some SaaS businesses may need immediate help because a product isn’t working correctly. AI-driven tickets classified with the right data pulled using other AI tools can more accurately speed up resolution.  

Reduce employee burnout 

Let’s think about the human toll of handling, researching, and resolving customer requests. Ticket after ticket, complex issue after complex issue can lead to an employee reduction in quality work. By using AI support tools to automate, categorize, notify, and escalate the tickets that require a human touch to it, your employees are freed up to focus on essential, timely issues without the burden of quantity to overwhelm them. 

Best practices AI-driven ticket classifications in SaaS support 

AI can be an immense help for SaaS customer support teams. With so many requests and questions, at varying degrees of complexity, AI-drive ticket classification is your best choice to streamline workflows, reduce agent overwhelm, and achieve faster results. 

If you’re new to using AI for your customer support needs, here are a few best practices to implement and operate AI efficiently. 

Understand the needs of your business and customers

AI-driven ticket classification is an immense help to SaaS businesses that get a lot of customer queries. A key way to maximize this technology’s abilities is to first understand what it can do for your business and your customers. Are your customer support wait times long? Are customers often left dissatisfied with support experiences? Do you have too many resources spent working on smaller issues when they could be used for more complex queries?  

Implement auto-categorization and set-up escalation rules

Start with familiar keywords your customers use when seeking out support. These can be things like “password reset” or “outage.” These can be auto-categorized to buckets like account issues or account login to outages and technical issues. 

These keywords will also help with generation escalation rules. A login issue isn’t going to get the same response as an all-out outage. Set auto-priorization rules as well so that the urgent requests get to where they need to go first. 

Create auto-responses with natural language

While many customers understand that they are using AI and dealing primarily with AI technology to help solve any issues, they still require a degree of human touch to their interactions. Use NLP to deliver friendly, warmer toned responses to customers, whether that’s the confirmation their request is being moved through the system, has been resolved, or it’s being re-routed for someone to look at it with urgency. 

Monitor and optimize 

Your AI-driven ticket classification system works only as well as what you tell it to do. Continuously monitor how tickets are categorized and moved throughout the system to ensure workflows are performing the way they need. 

Ensure that if anything changes for the business, if you’re noticing new keywords or patterns in customer support, change your AI-driven ticketing to handle that, too. 

Dive in.

Interested in generative AI for customer support? Check out this guide to learn about the 3 key pillars you need to get started.

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