Serving an overwhelming number of customers is great...until it’s not. Your business will eventually find itself in that awkward situation where customer support tickets start to get out of control. From emails to social media, your customers start to vent their disappointments and overwhelm you with a lot of new queries, forcing you to spend more on your customer support than you ever imagined. But, is adding more agents to your team the only way to scale your customer support? Or is there something else you can do to handle a landslide of customer inquiries?
What causes a ticket backlog?
When a product or a service is successful, customer support becomes busy with an overwhelming number of tickets. Even the most efficient customer support teams are plagued with a backlog. Company’s inability to respond to customer queries is not due to the lack of wanting or trying. The issue is that the model for scaling customer support is outdated. Hiring, onboarding, training and supporting customer service agents are still stuck in the past. It requires a great deal of time and money.
When a business doesn't respond within a few minutes of getting a question from its customers, it's at risk of customer churn, loss of business, negative PR, and unhappy support agents. A new study conducted by Zendesk revealed that 52 percent of B2C customers stopped purchasing because of a single disappointing customer support interaction. The same study also goes to claim that 42 percent of them showed more interest in purchasing after receiving a quick resolution of their issue. This study clearly shows that responding to customer's urgent request for password reset, parts ordering, changed address, appointment setting, status update, and more after several hours is as good as not responding at all. A company's success rests on the speed and quality of the customer experience it provides.
Get out of ticket backlog nightmare with AI-powered customer support
With the advancement in technology, there are new solutions on the market to level up your customer support. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, like those offered by AnswerIQ, are one of the hottest technologies in the digital world today. This cutting-edge technology can automate the process of triaging customer inquiries, recommending responses, and even responding to customer emails and onboarding new customer support agents. According to a report released by Oracle, nearly eight out of 10 companies today have already integrated or are planning to integrate A.I. into their existing customer support system by 2020.
AI-powered customer support streamlines onboarding by providing your new customer support agents valuable ticket context. New agents no longer have to depend on outdated videos. They can directly handle customer queries and use AI features, such as recommended responses, as a safety net (agents see an average 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in handle time due to recommended responses). Automation uses history to provide your new agents with curated responses. With every ticket, the AI-powered customer support system learns how to resolve tickets more efficiently and passes that knowledge on to your agents.
Integrating A.I. into your current ticket management system also helps you respond to and resolve customer issues at a fraction of the cost without compromising quality. For example, if Company A handles about 10,000 tickets every month without the help of A.I., and each ticket costs around $7, it will spend about $70,000 in customer support per month. Now, consider Company B, which also handles 10,000 tickets per month, at the same $7 per ticket cost, but automates 30 percent of its customer queries (meaning 3,000 tickets are auto-responded). Company B will only spend around $49,000 on customer support—saving about $21,000 each month.
Your annual savings can range in millions if you handle more than 100,000 tickets every month. And that will go up as your ticket frequency increases. All of this is possible by integrating A.I. into your customer support.
For companies like Republic Wireless, an American mobile virtual network operator, which sells low-cost mobile phone service and handles a large volume of support tickets per month, saving a meager two minutes per ticket actually resulted into significant cost savings and procedural advancements. After using AnswerIQ machine learning technology, Republic Wireless was able to significantly accelerate their ticket routing and automate responses, thereby decreasing average handle time by about 50 percent. Reducing triage time due to AI integration, paired with automating thousands of tickets per month, enabled Republic Wireless to refocus its customer agent efforts on more pressing issues and improved the overall customer experience.
The Era of AI-powered customer engagement
A.I.-powered customer support solutions, like those offered by AnswerIQ, empower businesses to provide real-time assistance 24/7 and with more personalization. In the modern age where customer satisfaction is the key to a successful business, this can serve as a boon for companies, helping them engage their customers and satisfy them in a much better way. A.I.-powered customer support can quickly resolve customer issues as soon as they are reported, ensuring a quick response, establishing credibility for the companies.
The first step toward reducing customer ticket backlog is to make your customer support process faster and more intuitive through AI technology. Sign up for AnswerIQ’s 30-day trial and see for yourself how AI is transforming customer support systems.