10 Simple Steps to Reduce Mean Ticket Resolution Time

“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 is a vital customer service metric that directly correlates with customer satisfaction. In the age where one poor experience may cause your customer to switch to a competitor, how do you ensure your customers get timely support? Use these 10 simple steps to reduce your resolution time and help customers faster.

What is Mean Ticket Resolution Time?

Mean ticket resolution time (MTTR) is the time taken by a support agent to resolve a ticket once it’s opened. Businesses typically use SLAs to define the time within which a ticket needs to be resolved.

1. Minimize Waiting Time

Customers don’t like to wait, especially if it means wasting their leisure time glued to their screens or on a support call. 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. Find some of the common reasons that lead to delayed resolutions below:

Late assignment of tickets: Prevent late assignments by making sure that any new ticket that enters the ticketing system is immediately assigned to an agent. Employ good Auto-assignment algorithms that can assign tickets based on ticket priority and agent work timings.

Losing track of customer responses: 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 or service desk software should be able to send you real-time notifications for all ticket actions so that any response on the ticket is immediately notified to the assigned.

Poor internal collaboration: 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 use private notes to keep the internal discussions on the ticket page, thereby reducing the amount of time taken to switch between communication channels.

Delayed response from the customer: Customers may also delay their responses to staff queries. You can use SLAs to follow up with customers and understand if they still need resolution. If they don’t, you can close the ticket and move on.

Lack of data centralization: When providing multi-channel support, centralizing information about the customer is key in giving them a contextual and personalized customer experience. Besides, the lack of data centralization can hurt your mean time to resolution by making you constantly hover between channels to access information required to make decisions.

The perfect solution for this is a comprehensive customer relationship management interface that stores all your customer contacts and past ticket history and makes it accessible to you when needed.

2. Automate Repetitive Actions

Repeating the same set of processes for every incoming ticket can be time-consuming and inefficient. Automating recurring ticket actions could free your support staff to focus more on critical issues and thus reduce the total time to resolve tickets. You can automate several ticket actions such as:

You can automate more ticket actions with a feature-rich IT Process Automation tool, like changing the due date, changing ticket status, etc. Create conditions based on the actions to be triggered on various scenarios and reduce the average resolution time, improve productivity, and cut customer service costs.

3. Offer Self-service Options

Why just automate ticket actions when you can automate the whole ticket? Tickets become repetitive over time. Resolving the same password reset ticket on five different occasions is a clear sign of inefficiency.

Also, providing quick resolutions will be impossible if your support team fixates on addressing every customer issue instead of encouraging customers to find solutions on their own. And customers agree — they want quick, quality solutions without having to depend on call center agents all the time. Some common self-service tools you can use are: 

Knowledge Base:

Provide a good, on-premise knowledge base for your customers. Create articles on all common topics, categorize them with intuitive tags, and encourage customers to use this centralized repository of information about your products and services. With simple service requests dealt with by the knowledge base, your support agents can move to complex tickets where human intervention is key. 

AI-powered Chatbot:

Chatbots can provide quick answers to frequently asked questions and reduce the number of tickets you receive on a daily basis. Not getting tickets is the best way to reduce ticket resolution time, as you have fewer tickets to handle now. 

4. Organize Tickets Based on Priority

All tickets are equally important, but not equally urgent. Resolution times change based on the type and priority of a ticket. For example, a feature request ticket is not urgent whereas a downtime ticket is. Organizing and categorizing your tickets based on the nature and complexity of the request facilitates even workload distribution and realistic targets. In addition, you don’t have to worry about critical tickets being sidetracked.

Use 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 quickly grasp why a particular ticket is pending or abandoned. This also ensures that agents don’t step on each other toes. 

5. Use SLAs to Avoid Breaches

The difference between ten and a thousand tickets is the ease of tracking. When you receive a truckload of tickets every day, you may easily lose track of what is closed and what is pending. Luckily, you have service level agreements (SLAs) to help you keep track of the tickets.

With SLAs, you can monitor all vital KPI parameters that may lead to delayed ticket resolutions:

  • Time taken for the first response
  • 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

Set competitive SLAs for these parameters and get notified in real-time when a ticket nears escalation. When tickets are resolved well ahead of time, there is no room for customer dissatisfaction.

6. Use Canned Actions

Canned actions simplify your support effort with two important functions:

  • Auto-fills frequent or repetitive queries with canned responses.
  • Makes changes to ticket properties such as status and priority.

When your support team gets repetitive tickets, instead of writing the same replies over and over, they can use canned response templates to respond. This will eliminate the time taken to write new replies to an old question. Whenever a customer submits a ticket that could do with a templated response, all that your agent has to do is to select the answer from the list of canned responses and move the ticket to the next step or close the ticket. Canned responses are also useful tools to acknowledge customer emails or messages that you get outside business hours. In addition, you can use canned actions to automatically alter ticket status and properties when certain conditions are met.

Perfecting canned responses

Be it updating ticket progress or setting out of office, don’t write the same answers over and over. Download free canned response templates to use for your customer support emails. 

7. Route Tickets Intelligently

Most of the time, the delay in resolving the ticket is caused by the delay in routing the ticket to the right person or team. Ideally, you should get experts on board as soon as you open a ticket. Experts may have resolved a lot of similar tickets and are well-versed in specific domains or concepts. The time between you open the ticket and you assign the ticket should be next to none because you haven’t done any meaningful progress until the expert comes in. 

Create and fine-tune your routing algorithms to reach the right person at the right time. You will be surprised to find how much back and forth is saved.

8. Collaborate on Tickets

Even though it looks like only one agent is communicating with the user on a ticket, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes effort, collaboration with different stakeholders, and brainstorming that goes into resolving a ticket. This is where features like Private Notes can prove the most useful. Different teams coming together to collaborate right within the tickets, and not elsewhere, can save your support team a lot of time they spend manually bringing the teams together. 

9. Design Better Support Workflows

Maybe you are doing everything in your capacity to give quick resolutions but something is not working. Oftentimes, the problem is a poorly designed support workflow. A support workflow is the sequence of steps that you need to take to resolve a ticket. If the very workflow lacks efficiency or has room for error, you have no hopes of quicker ticket resolution. You can’t reach the right destination by going in the wrong direction.

For example, {Open ticket – Assign priority – Assign to agent – Close ticket} is a good workflow whereas {Open ticket – Assign to agent – Assign priority – Assign to agent – Close ticket} is inefficient because the agent has to manually assign the priority when it can be easily automated. Design airtight support workflows that help tickets flow seamlessly from one touchpoint to the other. 

Automating support workflows

Try HappyFox Workflows, a no-code platform that makes automation simpler than ever. Get started with our top 8 workflow examples.

10. Track Performance Using Reports

The final and the most important part of improving the 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 and faster ticket resolutions. There is a report for everything with HappyFox Business Intelligence! 

Timely Support is the Best Support

A good help desk software replete with the above features like HappyFox Help Desk will help you enhance your operations eventually resulting in faster resolutions. Sign up for a HappyFox Help Desk demo and learn how to use all the above tips to reduce your mean ticket resolution time and deliver your vision of superior customer support.