Automatic Triaging and Assignment of Tickets - Zoho Desk | Online Help

Automatic Triaging and Assignment of Tickets

As a B2C, your customer support team may be directly involved with resolving customer questions, or you may be bound by the contract to extend support services to other businesses as a service provider. In either case, the key factors that determine the quality of the service are:
  1. Efficiency with which you manage the support tickets
  2. Ability to adhere to service-level agreements
  3. Turnaround time for complex or custom requirements
  4. Customer satisfaction
  5. Ability to scale with the expanding needs of the other businesses and your own customers.
Most businesses can achieve the above milestones with effective ticket triage. It allows them to classify tickets into different groups based on several factors and assign them to the appropriate support teams or agents. The process ensures a streamlined approach.
However, sorting and assigning tickets manually brings potential challenges that can compromise the quality of service and impact the resolution time. This is where automatic ticket triage and assignment can be useful for the businesses in improving the quality of support services. 

Importance of ticket triaging and ways to do it

Ticket triaging is the process of tagging or classifying the tickets to route them to the right teams. It should be done at the ticket creation stage to prevent delays and also when the ticket details are edited or updated. Tickets can be classified automatically or manually.

Manual triaging - Businesses can ensure that the ticket creation form includes all the necessary details needed for them to classify the tickets. For example, tickets can be classified by the product name, service type, and validity period fields. These fields must be marked as mandatory so that customers and agents enter an appropriate value before submitting the ticket. Tool tips and field validation will further ensure that the values entered are correct. 

Automatic triaging - Tickets that are classified based on the severity, priority, agent skill sets, or status can be triaged automatically through workflows or assignment rules. By setting field values as criteria, the system can automatically group the tickets into relevant categories and assign them to predefined agents or teams.

Workflows can also let you ensure that if a field is modified, the ticket will be reclassified to match the set criteria. For example, if the severity at the time of ticket creation was "L1" and it changes to "L3" as the resolution progresses, then the ticket will be reclassified based on the latest status and assigned to the appropriate team. 

Best practices for effective triaging

While every business is unique, there are some common ways that customer questions can be categorized and routed:

Priority ticketing

This is the process of grouping tickets based on the level of urgency and their over impact business. Service outages that prevent users from using the product are a critical/Tier 3 issue that needs immediate attention. These tickets require an urgent response and should be the team’s top priority. Thus, "ticket category" or "issue type" are important fields that can be used to identify and group the tickets. 

Status based grouping

Tickets that are "on hold" must be evaluated from time to time to rule out unintentional delays. Sometimes, a ticket may remain on hold for a significant amount of time due to dependency on other teams. Grouping based on the created time and response due date can help identify the tickets that have prolonged closure. Such tickets can be routed to a dedicated team of members from the debug team, support and product leads, and Subject Matter Experts who can troubleshoot and provide quick, effective solutions.

Channel-level classification

Customers send tickets from multiple channels; an effective way to handle them within the stipulated time is to distribute the tickets to different teams. Channels that receive the most tickets can be routed to a small team of agents and product experts who will be equipped to provide quick solutions.

Agent's expertise

Agents who are highly skilled in a particular language or product, or have experience managing critical issues, must be assigned those specific tickets to save time and provide faster resolution. Once agents' skill sets are identified, businesses must include fields within the tickets that can help map them to the right person or team, for example product type, region, language, issue type, etc.

Role based

Implementation requests, onboarding assistance, and industry-based customized demos are usually handled by specialized teams or people. Identifying such requests and routing them directly to the appropriate role, such as product trainer, support lead, or presales executive, can help in effective ticket management. 

Three ways to automate ticket assignment

Ticket triaging plays a crucial role in the distribution of tickets to the right agents and teams. Assigning tickets soon after they enter the system ensures quick resolution and reduces chances of overlook. While tickets can be assigned manually by the support manager or senior agents, it takes up a lot of productive time and increases the chance of errors. Moreover, when customers submit requests from various channels, the volume of tickets received in a day can be overwhelming to manage manually.

In order to follow a standard approach that saves time and effort, and ensures effective results, businesses follow automated mechanisms for ticket assignment. There are three ways in which ticket assignment can be automated in Zoho Desk:

Workflow rule

Using workflows, you can set various criteria and select the agent or team that should have the tickets assigned when the given condition is satisfied.
Let's say you want billing-related tickets to be sent to the payments department; then you can set criteria as "When a ticket is created" with the field "Problem Type" as "Billing related", assign the ticket to the "Payments Team".
Likewise, more granular criteria can be created using the edit or field update options. If the record is edited or the field "Problem Type" is modified or updated to "Billing related", then the ticket should automatically be assigned to the "Payments Team". 

Assignment rule

A ticket can be assigned to an appropriate person or team when it is created or a field is updated. Similar to the above example, the ticket will be auto-assigned to the "Payments Team" whenever the "Problem Type" is "Billing related". The records can be assigned in a round-robin manner, sequentially, or based on skills. Even load balancing can be ensured by setting a cap on the number of tickets an agent should handle. 

AI-based assignment

Zia can be trained to predict field values of tickets. Once the values are entered based on the assignment rule or workflow, the ticket will be assigned to an agent or team. For example, if Zia predicts and auto-fills the field "Problem Type" as "Billing related", the ticket will be assigned to the "Payments Team" for further action. 

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