Step 1: Create Categorization
The first step is setting up a ticket triage process to create a categorization system. The most common system teams will use is one where tickets are handled, categorized, and routed based on the following factors:
Customer support teams hope to address the most severe customer complaints as soon as they see them. Prioritizing more pressing issues over less important ones can help address urgent customer needs as they come on. When prioritizing based on urgency, support teams need to be well-versed and informed on what is deemed as “urgent.” Urgent support requests are often from top priority customers or the sentiment from them is determined to be urgent. You’ll want to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Deciding how important a message is can be a little arbitrary. If your support org wishes to resolve customer support needs based on importance, you’ll need to clearly define what is important. Most of the time this is based on customer importance and the impact of ticket resolution. Incoming support requests from executives or bigger companies will usually feel more important than those coming from common customers, so you’ll need to prioritize as needed.
If you’re like most support orgs, you’re probably battling a barrage of incoming support requests from multiple channels, including chat, email, social, text, and maybe even phone. It can be difficult to know which queries to prioritize.
Many support teams will prioritize providing customer support to one channel over another, it’s up to your organization to determine which ones to resolve first.
Companies often offer many products to their customers, some support organizations choose to create categorization for incoming customer support needs by siloing tickets by product. Your org may want to tag tickets by product name.
Service Level Agreements
Another way many support teams set up their categorization is with SLAs. Service Level Agreements look at terms between customers and support. These service level agreements will denote ticket priority and are often meant for high-priority customers who pay for such SLAs.
Step 2: Define When To Triage
Like we mentioned, support teams need to outline what drives severity and urgency to require a proper triaging. What are the characteristics of the different severity levels for triaging tickets within your organization? Here is where teams must decide what is considered a high-priority ticket.
In order to determine what is considered a high-priority ticket, support teams must set specific parameters. Your team must now define each level of urgency and assess the impact it will have on your business.
Most businesses will prioritize tickets and support issues that result in “extreme loss of revenue,” what that means for your organization will depend on the type of product or service you are delivering. For example, Slack does its best to keep users up-to-date with any outages. During their last outage they determined that the loss and impact on customers was too great and was very much “high priority.” They fixed the issue and solved it as fast as possible. This is because they likely had “global outage” as a very urgent issue to fix.
Step 3: Assign Agents
Along with having a solid plan in place for triaging your tickets, you must also ensure that your agents are fully prepared to support any needs within support. Your team is a crucial element to the ticket triaging process.
Your support organization will need to determine how they will assign agents within their triage process in order to best meet customer needs.
What we’ve seen many support teams do is break their team needs based on their categorization model. If tickets are being sent in and siloed into categories based on urgency, product or service, channel, or SLAs, then you’ll have agents who are specifically trained to reply to a certain type of message.
Other companies will also rotate agents – someone may be watching queue volumes one day and replying to social media support questions the next, they could be in live chat responses in the morning and working on different tickets in the afternoons.
Assigning agents to specific question types or categories is a beneficial way to respond to tickets. It allows for certain matters to reach the specific person who can help right away, and keeps urgent tickets from getting lost in the queue.
Your agents deserve to feel valued and appreciated while working, help them feel empowered by improving how they do their jobs.