Ticket routing

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What is ticket routing?

Ticket routing is the process of assigning support tickets to departments or even individual support agents. Tickets can be routed on the basis of topic, language, channel, urgency, and several other criteria.

Earlier, ticket routing was majorly a manual process, with help desk agents sorting through tickets that flowed in from multiple channels and assigning them to the department or agent best suited to handle them. Now, automated systems are heavily used for that purpose.

Ticket routing systems are generally used to determine the order in which tickets are to be assigned to agents and departments, and which agents they are to be assigned to.

How to optimize ticket routing?

If your ticket routing processes are not up to the mark, you would essentially be sending your customers through a maze. You don’t want your customers to spend an hour hopping across seven agents before they finally reach someone who is capable of resolving their issue.

Routing tickets to the right agent the very first time reduces the effort that your customers have to make to find answers to their questions. It increases customer satisfaction and could even improve metrics like your First Contact Resolution Rate.

What are the advantages of effective ticket routing?

Here are the most significant advantages of optimizing your ticket routing process:

1. Speed

Since cases are assigned automatically, your agents don’t have to spend time picking their next ticket. 

2. Balanced workloads

You don’t need to worry about some agents picking only the easy tickets and dumping the complex ones on the other agents.

3. Increased agent productivity

Agents are assigned tickets that they can handle and resolve. They don’t need to waste time only tickets that they cannot resolve, only to end up transferring the conversation to another agent.

4. Reduced customer effort

Customers do not have to spend time and energy explaining their problems to multiple agents, only to be passed on to the next agent. Sending them directly to an agent that can help them would minimize customer effort and frustration.

5. Higher customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction rates climb when you optimize your ticket routing because your customers can get immediate answers, without having to navigate through multiple support agents.

What are the types of automated ticket routing?

1. Round-robin ticket routing

This technique involves assigning tickets in a circular fashion to the agents who are online. It balances the workload by assigning tickets equally among agents

2. Skill-based routing

Support tickets are routed to agents who have the necessary skills to handle them. A billing-related query will go to an agent that specializes in that, not one that specializes in debugging. Similarly, it can be used to route queries in particular languages to agents who speak those languages.

3. Contextual routing

This is similar to skill-based routing, but here the system understands the context of the query, thereby routing it to a skilled agent. Engati Live Chat supports contextual routing.

4. Location-based routing

This involves setting rules to define that tickets from specific locations are routed to particular agents.

5. Priority-based routing

You can define certain kinds of tickets (like requests from CEOs) to be of higher priority and route them to a special team of agents.

How to categorize tickets?

There are various ways in which you could categorize your tickets. Here are some of them:


According to the type of issue the customer is facing

This is the most widely used way to categorize customer support tickets. It’s also considered by the best way to categorize tickets because classifying your tickets according to the issue type will make the customer experience more streamlined and seamless since the ticket would be routed to the agents that deal with those issues anyways.

If you are running a software company and are categorizing tickets by issue type, the issue types would include bugs, feature requests, sales questions, ‘how to’ questions, technical issues, cancellations, etc.

The issue types of an online store would include pre-sales questions, order questions, returns, shipping and tracking questions, vendor-related questions, affiliate inquiries, and questions about product availability.

For an enterprise IT company, your issue types could be questions about desktop hardware, queries regarding desktop software, server issues, networking queries, questions from new employees, website queries, and change requests.


According to the department that handles them

This type of support categorization is done by organizations in which certain issues are dealt with only by a specific department. You could categorize tickets based on whether they would be handled by your sales department, your product department, your human resources department, your operations team, your mailroom team, or even your shipping and logistics team.


According to the product that the customer support query pertains to

When your organization has separate, well-defined teams that work for separate product lines, it would make sense to categorize your support tickets according to the product that the issue is about. 

When you categorize tickets based on the product that they pertain to, mere knowledge of the product might not be enough to handle every query. You might need to add another layer of classification based on the type of issue that the query is about. An example could be - a sales query regarding lead generation software.


According to the customer who raises that query

Categorizing your support queries according to the customer who raised the query would work well for you if your company focuses very heavily (or completely) on personalized and custom-made orders. But if you’re doing business with a very large number of customers, this type of support ticket categorization would not work too well for you at all.

You could categorize them by customers to some extent, but it might not be the best idea to make that the only way in which you are going to categorize your tickets. If you’ve got more than a few customers, and you want to classify your tickets based on customers, you would need to add another level of categorization to the mix as well, otherwise, this just would not be scalable for you at all.

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