AI-Powered Ticket Automation: All You Need To Know

Alex Henderson, the Product Manager behind Ultimate’s AI ticket automation platform.
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Here’s everything you need to know about what AI ticket automation is, how it works, and what the benefits are for your customer support team.

Customer experience has become a key differentiator for consumers today. In fact, it has even overtaken the product’s price. According to PwC’s Future of CX Report, 

“86% of buyers are likely to pay more for a better customer experience.”

And their expectations continue to rise. The pandemic seems to have accelerated rapid digital adoption as well as heightened customer expectations and they’re not going anywhere.  Customers now expect brands to solve their issues efficiently, deliver personalized experiences, and provide 24/7, omnichannel service.

Read more about rising customer expectations in our 2022 Customer Service Trends guide. 

In that same report, PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. So it’s more important than ever that brands keep pace. To do this, brands need to ensure that their customer service is built around addressing customer needs in a scalable manner.

Discover the latest customer service best practices.

To help global brands take customer centricity further, our product includes both chat automation and AI-powered ticket automation. Powered by AI and advanced NLP technology, automated ticketing reduces the number of repetitive tasks your customer service agents have to handle, so they can focus on more complex tasks.

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 tooling

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.

A Microsoft study found that 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 75% of customers want the agent to know who they are and their purchase history—an expectation that 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.

Ready to transform how you handle tickets?