What is customer service ticketing, and should you outsource it?

Historically, businesses have relied solely on their brick-and-mortar store and increasingly, their website to generate sales. But today the average business is using many sales channels, diversifying their offering and maximising their reach across eBay, Amazon and new marketplaces such as OnBuy. Meanwhile, consumers increasingly expect an omnichannel nirvana of brand consistency across all of your sales channels, a unified approach to better serving your customers.

As a result, consumers expect to be able to contact a business via a broad range of channels, including the above, and social media, and receive the same tone of voice, branding and professionalism. Subsequently, today’s multichannel retailers and service providers have a requirement to centralise and track all customer interactions, such as product or service queries, complaints, feedback and technical difficulties. By integrating with a ticketing system, you can focus on delivering a consistent communication approach to your customers regardless of channel, and as detailed further on in this article, established businesses are choosing to outsource the management of their ticketing system to specialist customer service outsourcing companies.

What is a ticketing system?

Popularised by support software firms such as Freshdesk and ReplyManager, ‘ticketing’ is the process of acting upon a support ticket – a timestamped recording of an interaction between a business and its customers. Tickets can be identified and raised proactively by predictive software, but are most often raised by customer service teams in response to customers who have raised an issue that can not otherwise be solved by the company’s FAQ and Support sections of their website, or immediately by the contact centre representative.

How does customer service ticketing work?

Once a ticket is raised, it then appears on the customer service team’s helpdesk system, and from their contact centre they can respond to and help rectify the customer’s problem. Once the issue is resolved, the ticket can then be closed.

While your customer service team can have a conversation with one of your customers, that does not necessarily mean they will raise a ticket. A ticket is raised when a customer service representative can’t solve a customer’s query instantaneously and so it needs to be logged and tracked.

Why should I outsource my customer service?

In a recent Whistl study, we discovered that 46% of respondents stopped using a company due to a poor call centre experience. Furthermore, the most important quality consumers demand from a contact centre is the ability to resolve problems quickly, efficiently and responsively.

Furthermore, it is important that your company is utilising an appropriate technical infrastructure to facilitate fast and effective customer support and query resolution. At Whistl we help a wide range of businesses outsource customer service, and typically they will use a Customer Experience Management platform to harmonise all of their customer support channels into a single platform, such as Zendesk, Freshdesk or ReplyManager. Instead of, for example, managing your eBay, website, email and phone queries in disparate data silos, a CEM will empower you to orchestrate all of your customer contact via a single, unified platform, helping you become more omnichannel in your approach.

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Research by Zendesk found companies using their platform achieved 10% faster replies to customers and 17% faster ticket resolution. Taking a true omnichannel approach – integrating traditional support channels, self-service, live chat, phone support and marketplaces, clearly achieves results.

What do consumers want from your customer service team?

The expectation gap between consumers and businesses is ever-expanding, and in an ideal world customers want to be able to solve their problem, whichever it may be, in a single interaction, at any hour of the day. Consumers also love it when you make the effort instead of waiting for the consumer to get in touch, with 70% of customers thinking positively of businesses that contact them with proactive customer service notifications.

How do I choose which contact centre provider to work with?

At Whistl we help a wide range of online retailers and brands outsource their customer service. Ultimately it begins with your individual circumstances, such as:

  • Your growth aspirations
  • Your customers’ expectations
  • Where your current customers are based
  • Where your future ideal customers will be based
  • Your customers’ preferred communication channels
  • Your technical infrastructure, or ‘technology stack’

Whichever channels your customers communicate to you via, Whistl has the flexibility to manage your customer contact queries via separate, or unified channels, via your existing Customer Experience Management platform.

The benefits of outsourcing customer service ticketing

As your business grows, naturally you will need to invest in expanding your capacity and ability to facilitate business. However, predicting revenue and growth is not always an exact science and so investing in increasing your workforce and fixed capital assets is not always the most sensible way to increase your business’s capability.

Outsourcing customer service ticketing means you:

  • Can enjoy the benefits of having your own customer service team, without the need to train them.

  • Only need to pay for contact centre support when you actually need it.

  • Better respond to fluctuations in demand and be better prepared for future growth. Many businesses choose to retain their own customer service department, but outsource for less complex queries, and during spikes in demand, where extra capacity is required.

  • An additional benefit of a third party company handling your customer service tickets is that it will help you to better focus on your own core competencies.

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What is the future of customer service ticketing?

Self-service is becoming the norm, as customers increasingly expect an effortless experience at scale. For example, 91% of organisations are planning to deploy AI within the next three years, and by 2030, a billion service tickets will be raised automatically by customer-owned bots.

Gartner found: “The burden of managing and supporting self-services is being taken from today’s support staff and being pushed into customers’ hands. This level of delegation, from ‘DIY’ to customer-led AI, will be a major force shaping customer self-service.”

However, despite the experienced, and predicted rise and adoption of AI in customer service ticketing, 75% of customers would still rather solve support issues by speaking with a live agent. The same study found customers increasingly dread calling companies for support, fearing that they will encounter a bot instead of a human. Humans want empathy, and to feel valued, and AI-powered support simply can’t offer this right now, or for the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

Businesses across all sectors face a range of different challenges with expanding and optimising their customer service operations. When exploring whether to outsource elements of, or your entire customer service operations, you need to consider future trends, consumer demands and above all else, your business aspirations.

Regardless of whether you choose to outsource your customer service management, one thing is clear: It always makes sense to unify all of your customers’ communications channels and manage queries into a single platform. Furthermore, it should always be a focus to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see things from their perspective.

How Whistl has helped some of our customers outsource customer service

Ethical Superstore

With over 200,000 items in stock at Whistl’s warehouse, at any time, Whistl provides eCommerce fulfilment and contact centre services to support this health food retailer’s growing online and catalogue business. – Read More

Micro Scooters

In addition to order fulfilment, Whistl provides a full range of customer service solutions from within the bureau team, offering flexibility and pay as you go commercial rates. This works really well for ecommerce businesses who have peaks and troughs within their customer contacts.

 

Get in touch with Whistl to discuss how we can help enhance your customer experience. 

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