With regard to customer service, ticketing systems have greatly evolved into what they are today.
As the demands of customers have changed with respect to the level of service quality, so have the tools to meet those demands. And a customer service ticketing system is one such tool that has been a boon to companies by helping them efficiently service their customers, leading to improved customer satisfaction.
What is a Customer Service Ticketing System?
It is a system that takes in a customer service request or complaint, assigns a specific number to it, and automatically generates a ticket in the system. It enables the closure of the ticket only upon the request/complaint being resolved. Since the request is in the system, its history and status can be tracked anytime.
It also facilitates faster and easier follow-ups by users, as they don’t have to repeat the entire issue, even if the service agent is different; all the information relating to that request shows up in the system upon entering the ticket number. Overall, it is an efficient system for logging, tracking, and resolving customer grievances.
Evolution of the Customer Service Ticketing System
The evolution of the modern-day customer service ticketing system is a lesson in customer service, showing us that while companies might have their goals in the right direction, their efforts may not be successful to the degree expected. Its roots can be traced back to IT troubleshooting of the 1980s.
The Help Desk Institute, a professional association founded by Ron Muns in 1989 was meant to assist the IT industry by coming out with innovative solutions for tech support. This was the birth of the IT troubleshooting help desk. The idea was to create a specific place where employees could get help with respect to their organization’s IT issues, by submitting requests. Though the system was radical at that time, the process was slow and cumbersome.
An improvement over this system were the call centers of the 1990s, wherein customers could speak to service agents in real time, leading to faster ticket resolution. But, service agents couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming number of calls, and hiring more staff was expensive. Thus, outsourcing to countries where labor was cheaper became the norm. However, costs were still on the higher side. 25% - 40% of calls to call centers were found to be either unnecessary or avoidable, as per research by Sabio and the Customer Contact Association. In order to address this issue, live chats came about in the 2000s. But, this too had its own disadvantages, as customers detested the standard responses given by service agents, and often couldn’t tell if it was an actual agent or a bot.
Flash forward to the current situation. With customers choosing social media to air their grievances, and expecting swift responses on Twitter and Facebook, companies are unable to keep up. A 2013 study found that “67% of consumers have used a company's social media site for servicing”. The number has definitely multiplied over the past 4 years.
This is where Help Desk Software comes into the picture. Apart from offering the standard ticketing system, these products help in integrating requests raised on multiple channels like email, instant messaging, websites, and social media; they offer automation and analytics, create resources for self-help, and much more. A consistent and omni-channel approach is a win-win for both the company and its customers.
How to make the most of your Customer Service Ticketing System?
If one considers the ultimate goal of a Customer Service Ticketing System to be superior customer experience, then these pointers will help you achieve just that.
- Customer Follow-up – Providing customers with the tools to track their requests creates an environment of transparency. Additionally, customers don’t have to follow-up with service agents constantly. They receive regular updates on the status of their requests, leading to a higher level of trust between the parties.
- FAQs – Create a knowledge-base which addresses common issues that keep cropping up. This reduces the burden on your service staff, while also answering the queries of customers at their convenience. It allows you to be available to them 24/7, leading to faster problem resolution.
- Enhancing Loyalty – Your help desk ticketing system can identify repeat customers, and using the knowledge of their history with your company, you can better serve them through personalized service. In a world where customers shift loyalties, you may not want to miss out on the opportunity to build a loyal relationship with a customer. Your excellent customer service might just be what sets you apart from your competition.
- Sorting Tickets – As tickets arise, sorting them into categories by department, type, level of urgency and so on, can improve the resolution process. The right person who can actually help them can be assigned to their request, instead of them being moved from one department to another, which just increases their agitation. Effective sorting will greatly improve customer experience due to smoother and faster problem resolution.
- Constant Improvement – Many help desk ticketing systems provide data analytics and also act on those insights to improve your performance. The best customer service is one that is never needed. If you can predict, preempt, and prevent issues before they even arise.
From Here, Where?
While the merits of a customer service ticketing system render it crucial to a company’s customer service efforts, there may come a time to retire it, in the near future. For all the efficiency it provides, a customer is still a ticket number, and as customers demand more personalized interactions, a ticketing system might not be able to measure up.
Customers want to be heard, they want to feel like they matter, and are loyal to companies that give them that assurance. A hundred happy incidents will be forgotten in an instant, one slip is all it takes for customers to take their business elsewhere to more willing competitors, apart from posting about their bad experience online, where it stays to haunt you forever.
To go beyond customer satisfaction, and get to customer delight, your customer service strategy has to be phenomenal. And personalized service is the start. Technology is a great aid, but how well it can replace a personal human interaction is debatable.
AI is reshaping customer service !
Businesses today are striving to create a highly personalized, seamless, and interactive experience for their customers, across the spectrum of digital touchpoints. A Virtual Customer Assistant (VCAs), powered by Artificial Intelligence, is a groundbreaking solution that is transforming the customer service space. Per Gartner, VCAs yield phenomenal results of 70% reduction in call and/or email inquiries, increased customer satisfaction, and a 33% saving per voice engagement.
CSS Corp’s Cognitive Customer Experience Platform, is an AI platform where human and machine intelligence converge to provide a sophisticated, automated solution.