“45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly” – Forrester Research
Mean Ticket Resolution Time or Resolution Time as it is more commonly known, is a vital customer service KPI that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Customer service may change, customers may change, but not their need for speedy resolutions.
Customers regard the timeliness of support as high as the quality of resolution itself. At a point where one poor experience can likely cause your customer to switch to a competitor, how to ensure a good experience with reduced mean resolution time? Here are 7 simple steps that will help you reduce your resolution time.
7 Steps to Reduce Mean Ticket Resolution Time
- Minimizing Waiting Time
- Automating Repetitive Processes
- Offering Self-service Options
- Categorizing Tickets for Better Organization
- SLA Management to Avoid Breaches
- Using Canned Actions for Frequent Replies
- Analytics and Reports to Track Performance
Waiting on hold can be tiring for customers. If frustrated, their frame of mind will likely get carried over to the rest of the conversation. Likewise, an impressive waiting time will leave a positive first impression on your customer. There are a whole range of reasons that could increase waiting time on your ticket, that if you assess and eliminate, can reduce your resolution time significantly.
Late assignment of a new ticket: Prevent late assignments by making sure that any new ticket that enters the ticketing system is immediately assigned to an agent. In fact, a good Auto-assignment rule that is predefined to assign tickets based on agent work timings would work best.
Ignorance about a customer response: When a customer responds to a query from your support staff, the staff may not notice the response and the ticket may stay pending. Your help desk software requires real-time notifications for all ticket actions so that any response on the ticket is immediately notified to the assigned.
Poor internal communication: When a ticket requires expert advice from either a technical staff or a subject matter expert from another department, there should be a means for efficient collaboration within a single interface. Tag additional team members and keep the internal discussions on the ticket page, thereby reducing the time taken to switch between communication channels.
Delayed response from the customer: Customers may also delay their responses to staff queries. This requires a robust SLA Management feature that will let you set SLAs even for your customer responses to ensure that customers respond on time and enable faster resolution of issues.
Lack of data centralization: When providing multi-channel support, integrating information about the customer is highly useful in giving a contextual and personalized support experience. It also lets you understand the value and importance of a customer and accelerate the resolution process. Besides, the lack of data centralization can hurt your mean resolution time by making you constantly hover between channels to access information pertaining to the resolution.
The perfect solution for this is a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management interface where you can store all your customer contacts and past ticket history. This will help you understand customer ticket trends and provide a suitable solution.
Repeating the same set of processes for every incoming ticket can be very time-consuming and tedious. Automating certain processes could release time for your support staff to concentrate more on critical issues and thus reduce the overall ticket resolution time.
There are various tasks that you can automate with a highly customizable service portal, like ticket assignment, escalation, change due date and priority, to name a few. Create conditions based on which these actions should be triggered, set ticketing solutions for a specific category of tickets, and let Help Desk Automation reduce resolution time, effort, and customer service cost.
No matter how equipped your agents are at communication, no ticket will be resolved on time without them having access to necessary information about the issues. Further, providing faster resolution will only be a distant goal if your support team fixates on addressing every customer issue instead of encouraging customers to find solutions on their own for simple issues. Self-service is on the rise, and customers want quick, quality solutions without having to depend on call center agents all the time.
A good, on-premise Knowledge base and FAQ system is an internal library for your customers and support staff. Create articles on all common topics, categorize them under intuitive tags and let your customers use the knowledge base as a centralized repository for accessing the information on various topics regarding your products and services. With frequently asked questions and simple service requests dealt with by the knowledge base, your support agents will only have to focus on providing faster resolutions for the few issues left.
A couple of commonly used self-service tools are as follows.
Updated knowledge base: As your company expands, various new processes and features will be added to your company and the product. Create and update your knowledge base with up-to-date information so that your effort in collating knowledge base benefits your end-users and your support team.
Forums for community discussions: Apart from ticket resolution, you can also enable your customers/staff to post topics regarding issues and have customers help each other out on queries while also allowing your support staff to pitch in whenever required.
Resolution times are not standard for all types of tickets and it changes depending on the type and priority of a ticket. Ticket management can be tricky. You would need a different target for a critical issue when compared to a regular issue and a different target for a feature request when compared to a service query. Categorizing your ticket based on the nature and complexity of the request facilitates even workload distribution and realistic targets.
Similarly, create custom statuses to maintain complete transparency on all support tickets for your team to track. For example, a ticket status could be set ‘On hold’ or ‘Sidetracked’ for your admin to immediately understand the reason why the ticket is pending and do the needful to facilitate quick resolution.
Customer support is not just about meeting customer expectations. It is about constantly improving on goals to always stay a step ahead of customer expectations. Therefore, you need to take a consistent effort to reduce resolution times and provide an enriching customer experience throughout the customer lifecycle.
A good Service Level Agreement (SLA) Management feature lets you set SLAs for your support requests not just to improve your resolution time but also to rectify various other parameters that can cause a delay in ticket resolution. These parameters include:
- Time taken for first response to a ticket
- Time taken for a ticket to get assigned to an agent
- Time elapsed between each response
- Time taken by the customer to respond to a staff query
- Time taken for the ticket to be resolved
In areas like IT service management, you need advanced asset management tools to proactively find situations indicative of such breaches. Set competitive SLAs for all the above and take action on SLA breaches. A ticket system where tickets are resolved well ahead of time never leads to customer dissatisfaction.
There are times when your staff will encounter similar queries from various customers. These queries might warrant the same reply and it will be redundant manual work for your staff.
Your service desk should allow you to create canned responses and feed them to the ticket software. Whenever a customer submits a ticket that fits a templated response, all that your agent has to do is to select the answer from the list of canned responses and resolve the ticket.
Canned actions simplify support effort by also letting you automate the change in ticket properties. For example, you can set a canned action such that when you reply to a customer, the help desk will automatically mark the ticket as resolved, add time spent on the ticket and also move it to the appropriate category.
The final and the most important part of improving resolution time is a tracking system to track the performance of your staff and streamline operations. A multi-channel report of your support performance and incoming request nature gives you insightful details on all parameters like resolution time, first response time, etc. Besides issue tracking, HappyFox BI helps you track individual agent performance, view problem areas, and fix them from time to time, resulting in more efficient use of time.
Having the best help desk ticketing software will help you enhance your overall business processes which will eventually result in faster resolutions. Sign up for a HappyFox demo and learn how to use all the above tips to reduce your mean ticket resolution time and deliver your vision of a superior customer support experience.