Customer experience has become a key differentiator for consumers today. In fact, according to Zendesk's 2023 CX Trends, 50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience, and 80% will switch to a competitor after more than one bad experience.
But between rising customer expectations and huge volumes of support tickets to deal with, customer service agents today risk facing burnout. To keep pace and combat job dissatisfaction, brands need to ensure that their customer service is built around addressing customer needs in a scalable manner.
So how can companies solve their customer issues efficiently, deliver personalized experiences, and provide 24/7, omnichannel service? Customer support automation featuring AI-powered ticket resolution and routing, of course.
To help global brands take customer-centricity to the next level, automation platforms (like Ultimate) can reduce the number of repetitive tasks your customer service agents have to handle, so they can focus on more complex tasks. A solution that includes generative AI-powered bots, chat automation, as well as AI-powered ticket automation will accelerate resolutions and improve CX across all channels.
But for now, let's just focus on automating tickets.
What is an automated ticketing system?
An automated ticketing system is the part of your helpdesk software that uses AI to help manage inbound customer support tickets. A good AI ticketing system will be able to:
Understand and respond to tickets automatically
Route tickets to the correct agent or team
File tickets, including setting a priority or updating custom fields
It allows your customers to get answers 24/7, in multiple languages, and get answers fast. Furthermore, it alleviates your agents from dealing with mundane or repetitive tasks and reduces backlog, making your customer support more efficient.
The current status of ticketing
Email seems to be getting left behind by brands. And while brands may believe that customers always want instant answers, the truth is many customers prefer asynchronous messaging — that is, they want to be able to communicate with companies whenever is most convenient for them. And email or messaging is the perfect way to do that.
However, handling tickets manually requires time-consuming processes and rests solely on human availability to deliver a satisfying customer experience. Backlog can build up, and if customers feel they are waiting too long for an answer, they may create duplicate tickets, resulting in a vicious circle of backlog and inefficiency.
While this may work for companies who receive a low load of customer requests, brands that want to stay competitive in the market cannot afford to deliver a subpar experience to their customers. To empower both their customer success teams and their customers, brands are launching automated ticketing systems to create better and more efficient customer experiences.
Flaws of traditional ticket automation systems
One level up from purely manual email handling is traditional, rule-based ticketing systems. These pieces of software work based on defined, often rigid or broad keywords, which not only leads to inaccuracy in sorting incoming requests, but also leads to customer frustration and feeling of being treated as a request, rather than holistically — as a customer with specific needs, requirements with a history of relationship with the brand.
To overcome these rigid and imprecise ticket routing mechanisms, we’ve integrated the power of our AI engine with our automated ticketing system to understand the intent behind more specific queries that are difficult to correctly route with traditional tags. This way, brands can implement a ticket automation platform that is able to respond to customer-specific needs, while allowing agents to focus on higher-value work.
In addition to imprecise routing, most traditional ticketing systems are difficult to integrate with other company systems and sources of information, which in turn leads to clunky integrations or the need for manual retrieval of information.
Why you should consider AI-powered ticket automation
To deliver an excellent customer experience, brands need to ensure that each interaction with customers is context-based and meaningful.
One of the top frustrations among customers is the lack of knowledge on the agent's end, and the need to repeat information more than once during the interaction. A whopping 70% of consumers believe that companies should collaborate on their behalf so they don’t have to repeat information to different representatives. This expectation clearly signals the importance of having information retrieval synchronized and automated.
Backed by NLP and intent understanding, AI-powered ticketing serves as an underlying structure that can process customers’ inquiries. It can also decipher their needs and serve the required information, all without the involvement of a live agent, across all channels, from chat to emails. In this way, AI-powered ticketing platforms remove the burden of manual, repetitive tasks, such as sending a forgotten password email or checking on an order status, from agents.
Where manual email and traditional rule-based ticketing fall short, AI-powered ticketing systems provide omnichannel, tailored support for each customer. With AI, emails can be automated so that each incoming request is properly tagged according to the customer need, their case updated with the most recent information and requests, and finally, an automated reply with contextual information can be sent to the customer. This helps speed up the process of serving a customer and reduces the backlog of outstanding tickets, while removing the errors of manual work, and thus ensuring high-quality interaction.
But AI ticket automation isn’t the solution to everything. The best customer experience comes from a blend of human and virtual agents working together. While AI takes away repetitive tasks that simply need to be done, it also creates space for human agents to cater to more empathetic tasks, genuinely engaging with customers and delivering meaningful value to them.
Where traditional ticketing systems have trouble integrating with other software, AI can support integration and thus base its actions based on historical data. For instance, your AI ticketing system could be tied to your CRM, such as Zendesk or Freshworks, and have easy access to historical data. This allows your virtual agent to gather context so it can better address your customers’ requests.
Furthermore, if you serve a multilingual customer base, you can repeat this process for each language group. With a robust NLP engine, you can cater to the needs of all your clients in their native language, thus removing language barriers.
As a result, your inbox gets de-congested, ticket handling times are slashed, and ticket backlogs are kept at bay. This in turn allows your customer service team to focus on more strategic, high-value work that helps improve the customer journey.