How To Beat Customer Service Ticket Backlog Buildup

McKay Borbon | Content Marketing Manager

Picture this: your brand is experiencing a high volume of incoming support tickets and your agents are working hard to respond to every customer and resolve their problems. The tickets continue to come in, but there’s not enough bandwidth and a backlog of tickets start to build. Wait times increase; resulting in undesirable SLAs and even more impatient customers. 


Some customers proceed to contact you multiple times - wondering why their problem hasn’t been resolved and threatening to never do business with you again all while adding even more support tickets to your backlog. Customers are stressed, agents are stressed, and you might feel stressed just reading this.


A customer service backlog is a major pain point for support teams. It is often challenging to manage, especially during peak seasons and periods of hypergrowth. And once the backlog begins to build, it becomes more and more difficult to break down. 


In order to clear their backlog, many service organizations may opt to offer agents overtime, have non-agent employees help handle tickets, or establish a “task force” to tackle the backlog. These tactics may reduce the number of backlogged tickets, but they will impact the consistency and quality of your service, are likely to lead to agent burnout, and aren’t exactly a cost-effective solution. 


To beat backlog buildup, businesses need a preventative and long-term solution that won’t sacrifice the quality of their support. 


The answer? AI. 


Get Ahead With AI

When it comes to backlog management, a preventative approach is most effective. While you can prepare for peak season and forecast how ticket volumes will be impacted by promotions, there’s only so much your team can do when there is not enough bandwidth or resources - especially during unexpected or extreme ticket spikes. That’s why many companies are implementing AI. 


Here are three ways AI can help your support team tackle ticket buildup before it occurs:



1. Scale Your Service

Set your team up for success with an AI technology that has autoscaling capabilities. Unlike humans, AI automation does not have a ticket capacity. It can fully resolve high volumes of tickets at high speeds. So even during spikes in ticket volume and exponential growth, businesses can continue to deliver high-quality support with quick response times. 



2. Save Your Team Time

When your agents are able to quickly resolve customers’ problems, tickets are less likely to pile up. Leveraging a tool that delivers AI intuition to your agents can save them time and effort. Thankful’s Agent Assist collates all relevant information, flags alerts, and even suggests responses and next actions. 


With AI on their side, support teams won't need to scramble. It empowers them to provide fast service without sacrificing accuracy and consistency.  giphy-Nov-02-2021-06-32-54-25-PM


3. 24/7 Support

Mornings are hard enough as is, but that backlog of unanswered tickets from the night before adds insult to injury. And let’s not even get started on Mondays. Make mornings, Mondays, and coming back from the holidays easier on your support staff and better for your customers with around-the-clock service.


AI can handle incoming issues at all times, enabling brands to provide customers with support as soon as they need it. It will keep wait times low, customers happy, and reduce the burden of a backlog. 


Breaking Down The Ticket Backlog

If you’ve already got a ticket backlog, never fear - AI can help with that too! 


Towards the end of 2019, a highly successful men’s skincare brand was experiencing rapid growth and subsequent ticket spikes. With a backlog to clear and customer service response times to reduce, they sought out an AI automation solution. After partnering with Thankful, Lumin was able to entirely clear their backlog and reduce their time to first response by nearly 17 hours


With an AI Agent fully resolving incoming service queries, your support team can focus on clearing your backlog without the pressure of tickets continuing to pile up. The best part is that it ensures your customers are still able to receive support when they need it. 


Backlog and Beyond

When your support team doesn’t have the burden of a ticket backlog weighing on them, they can focus on providing customers with quick and high-quality service. Not only does AI automation alleviate the pressure of backlog buildup, but it also reduces the day-to-day stress agents face. AI can get to tickets within seconds and is optimal for time-sensitive service queries, especially when ticket queues are high and human support staff is unable to get to them in time. It keeps wait times low - reducing both customer frustration and agent strain.


By leveraging AI automation, support teams can beat backlog buildup and maintain quick, consistent, and exceptional service - even during peak season. 


Learn more about how Lumin cleared 100% of its backlog with Thankful's AI. 


Additional Resources:

AI in Customer Service | AI Ecommerce Platform | AI Email Automation | Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service | Customer Service and Support Automation | Customer Service Platform | Customer Service and Automation | Ecommerce Customer Service Automation | Ecommerce Customer Service Outsourcing | Future of Customer Service | ChatGPT for Customer Service

McKay Borbon | Content Marketing Manager

Share this article