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AI-powered ticketing automation: A complete guide for 2024

Read our guide to learn how AI-powered ticketing automation can save agents time and reduce costs by helping your business do more with less.

著者: Hannah Wren, Staff Writer

更新日: April 5, 2024

What is AI-powered ticketing?

AI-powered ticketing refers to using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate and enhance various aspects of the ticketing process.

AI help desks use AI algorithms to streamline workflows, making ticket management smoother and more efficient. With AI-powered ticketing systems, tasks like sorting tickets and prioritizing conversations happen automatically. These systems can even suggest solutions and spot trends in customer questions, enhancing the customer and employee experience (EX).

Ticketing systems have long been the standard for efficiently categorizing, routing, and handling customer service requests. With the evolution of AI, ticketing systems are becoming much more dynamic and powerful.

In conjunction with your customer service software, AI-powered ticket automation uses artificial intelligence to make handling support tickets smoother and faster, increasing both agent and customer satisfaction. In this guide, we’ll dive into artificial intelligence tickets, what AI ticketing is all about, why it’s better than traditional methods, how it works, and the perks it brings to businesses of all sizes.

More in this guide:

Why is AI ticketing automation important?

AI ticketing automation provides advantages over traditional ticketing systems. It automates tasks so businesses can do more with less, boosting efficiency and reducing costs. AI improves customer satisfaction through fast response times, quick ticket resolution, and personalized support. It also improves over time by learning from each interaction.

How an AI ticketing system works

Let’s peek behind the curtain and learn how AI ticketing systems work. Natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) enable your AI-powered ticketing system to automate and optimize various tasks throughout the ticketing process.

By analyzing the text, NLP helps AI systems interpret and understand what customers mean in their inquiries and ticket descriptions. It identifies keywords and understands customer sentiment to intelligently route and triage tickets.

Machine learning algorithms analyze past ticketing data to become more efficient. These algorithms help AI prioritize tickets based on urgency or customer history, suggest solutions tailored to each case, and predict future trends to help teams allocate resources more effectively.

AI ticketing systems combine these technologies to understand customer needs and automate processes for a more efficient and personalized ticketing experience.

Challenges of ticket systems without AI ticketing

An illustration is accompanied by a list of traditional ticketing system challenges.

Conventional ticketing systems without AI add extra challenges to ticket management. Here are a few drawbacks associated with a manual ticketing process.

Difficulty classifying and assigning tickets to the right agent

Classifying and assigning support tickets to the right agent is tough without AI. With traditional ticketing systems, agents must read each ticket and manually classify and assign it. This process can be time-consuming, especially when there are a lot of tickets. Agents can also misread or misinterpret the meaning of ticket requests, which can lead to mistakes, delays, and frustration.

Plus, traditional systems aren’t necessarily equipped to provide helpful information during ticket resolution, so agents waste time looking for answers, and customers don’t always get the help they need. Without AI, this process is slow, mistake-prone, and can lead to bad customer service.

How AI ticketing helps: AI uses intent detection, language detection, and sentiment analysis to automatically classify incoming requests, prioritize them, and route them to the best-suited agent or department.

Lack of personalization

Without AI, traditional ticketing systems may struggle—or find it nearly impossible—to personalize customer conversations at scale. Integrating bots with your tech stack can help deliver highly personalized customer responses. AI can recognize past customer interactions and preferences, providing agents with insights to personalize the experience. For example, AI can summarize tickets and surface the intent and sentiment of an interaction to get agents up to speed faster.

How AI ticketing helps: AI ticketing systems can analyze customer sentiment within conversations, giving agents the insight and context necessary to tailor their responses and proactively adapt their approach.

Repetitive tickets

Support agents often find themselves handling the same common problems. Repetitive tickets can slow down issue resolutions, frustrating both agents and customers. Traditional systems may have ways for customers to find answers independently, but they don’t offer digital agents to handle these recurring requests.

AI chatbots, on the other hand, can provide 24/7 support, answer frequently asked questions, and resolve common issues. Chatbots can also pull consistent and accurate information from your knowledge base to help customers solve their problems independently. This means fewer repetitive tickets for your agents and quicker resolutions for your customers.

How AI ticketing helps: AI can speed up agent reply times by providing recommended responses based on the context of the conversation.

Limited insights

Every day, support desk requests create a massive amount of data. Traditional ticketing systems might struggle to analyze information efficiently, extract meaningful data, or identify trends or patterns.

Without AI-powered insights, management teams can miss opportunities to proactively address potential issues, optimize processes, and personalize future interactions based on customer preferences. As a result, support teams take a reactive approach, waiting for issues to arise before taking action.

How AI ticketing helps: AI-generated insights can power intelligent workflows and enable management teams to discover new ways to optimize operations.

Inconsistent brand voice

New agents might use different tones or communication styles as they learn your brand voice. Without AI, delivering that consistent brand tone and voice may be a slower process. AI-powered tools help agents by providing suggested replies and enabling them to adjust the tone, resulting in faster responses that align with the brand personality.

How AI ticketing helps: Agents can also use generative AI tools, like Tone Shift from Zendesk, to adapt their messages and maintain a consistent brand voice.

Unlock the power of AI ticketing with Zendesk AI

Welcome to the future of CX. See how businesses are scaling customer service operations with an intelligent system that’s easy to deploy.

Benefits of AI ticketing systems

Seven icons accompany a list of the top AI ticketing system benefits.

AI-powered tools aren’t just a passing fad—they’re becoming the standard in customer service. Here are a few key benefits businesses can enjoy with AI ticketing systems.

Reduce operational costs

With AI, you can deliver high-quality customer service without increasing headcount. For example, instead of hiring more agents for the holiday season, you can use a bot to handle the surge of ticket requests. AI chatbots can also serve customers around the clock with conversational AI, so businesses don’t need to staff a late-night support team.

Phone channels are more costly than digital channels because agents can only serve one customer at a time. However, by utilizing AI technology, you can offer support over digital channels, allowing agents to serve multiple customers simultaneously. This leads to lower operational costs.

Boost agent productivity and efficiency

AI can handle repetitive tasks so support agents can focus on more important tickets that need a human touch. It efficiently sorts and routes tickets to the appropriate agents based on expertise, availability, and capacity. AI can also suggest knowledge base content to agents within the ticket to help them resolve issues quickly.

Plus, AI can offer helpful tips and suggestions, like prompts on what to say or how to navigate tricky situations. With AI, agents can respond faster and keep customers happy, all while staying on brand. For example, with Zendesk AI, support teams save an average of 45 seconds per ticket compared to manual triage.

Improve scalability

AI systems allow businesses to meet higher support volumes and scale up or down as needed. For example, you can use an AI bot during busy seasons to handle the extra tickets rather than hiring a temporary support team. These bots keep ticket volumes manageable without sacrificing quality.

Additionally, AI-powered knowledge management systems can help customers self-serve at scale. For example, a bot can surface help center articles when a customer is on a checkout page and may need assistance. You can also use generative AI to streamline content creation, helping you meet the growing demand for self-service content.

Increase customer satisfaction

According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, 51 percent of consumers prefer interacting with bots over humans for immediate assistance. With the help of AI-powered bots, agents can focus on providing a personalized, immersive customer experience to meet consumer expectations.

Ticketing systems with advanced AI capabilities, like Zendesk, facilitate faster customer service. With intelligent routing and triage, customer requests are quickly routed to the appropriate agents or departments based on customer needs, language, and sentiment. This quick and effective service can result in higher customer satisfaction.

Accelerate agent onboarding

AI streamlines the agent onboarding process by suggesting similar tickets and summarizing ticket information, which helps new hires find solutions faster. Additionally, generative AI can instantly change their tone and expand their responses from a few words to complete messages, reducing the learning curve and accelerating onboarding time.

AI ticketing systems can source knowledge base articles and troubleshooting guides, ensuring new agents can immediately access resources and efficiently address customer queries. Plus, AI-powered Zendesk QA and workforce management (WFM) tools automate processes that help pinpoint customer service training and coaching opportunities.

Forecast staffing needs

AI leverages historical data and predictive analytics to anticipate peak periods and forecast future ticket volumes. These real-time insights into agent workload and ticket volume enable managers and decision-makers to make data-driven decisions to proactively adjust staffing levels and reallocate resources to optimize customer support. With help from AI, managers can ensure agents are working where and when they’re needed most.

Implementing AI ticketing systems with WFM software, like Zendesk WFM, enables automated scheduling, forecasting, and reporting, all of which can optimize agent productivity and service speed. The WFM software provides insights into agent utilization and schedule adherence, facilitating quick adjustments for faster service. With AI forecasting, businesses can accurately predict staffing needs, while custom dashboards offer real-time visibility into agent activity and attendance. This helps you improve scheduling processes, analyze WFM data, and optimize support operations for scalability.

Improve quality assurance

Automating the quality assurance (QA) process ensures consistent service quality as businesses grow. By automating QA, businesses can identify conversations that must be reviewed for quality and significantly reduce manual admin work. This approach engages agents in continuous feedback and provides visibility into support quality, enabling consistently better answers and fostering agent improvement. With AI issue tracking software pinpointing problematic cases, businesses can prioritize areas that require attention.

Examples of AI ticketing system use cases

Five illustrations represent industries that use AI ticketing systems.

AI ticketing systems are used by businesses of all sizes across various industries. Here are some industries that can significantly benefit from AI ticketing systems.

Travel and hospitality

AI ticketing systems make the ticketing process smoother for customers in the travel and hospitality industry. AI-powered travel chatbots act as personal assistants, offering personalized recommendations and suggesting upgrades or add-ons based on customer preferences. Beyond simplifying the booking process, AI-powered chatbots provide 24/7 support in multiple languages.

Baleària, a maritime transportation company, implemented a Zendesk travel chatbot to answer common customer questions, preventing ticket creation. This resulted in a 96 percent customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry uses AI ticketing automation to simplify scheduling appointments, which can benefit patients and staff. AI chatbots can help patients book or change doctor’s visits anytime, day or night, freeing up administrative staff for other important tasks. Additionally, automated appointment reminders sent via text or email reduce missed appointments and improve clinic efficiency.

Medline, a medical product distributor, uses Zendesk to help agents manage more than 800,000 tickets per year across numerous channels. Medline deploys bots to increase employee productivity and plans to implement Zendesk Advanced AI to help existing agents be more thoughtful about problem-solving.

“The insights coming in through AI give us the chance to be better customer service agents and provide a better customer experience,” says Billy Abrams, executive vice president of distribution at Medline.

Education

The education industry can use AI-powered tools to improve the teacher and student experience. AI chatbots can answer questions about courses, scheduling, and professor availability for students, simplifying the registration process and deflecting tickets from support teams. Bots can also analyze student data to suggest courses based on strengths, interests, and focus.

Khan Academy, an online education platform, leverages automated triage within the Zendesk ticketing system. This intelligent process helps teams prioritize support requests and assign the right agent to help. Thanks to Zendesk, Khan Academy has achieved a 92 percent customer satisfaction score.

Retail and e-commerce

AI ticketing benefits shoppers as well as businesses in the retail and e-commerce industry. It enhances the shopping experience for the customer by making it more personalized and seamless. AI acts as a virtual assistant, helping shoppers find what they need and suggesting new items based on their preferences.

Businesses like Grove Collaborative use Zendesk AI for intelligent triage to streamline ticket requests. It captures request types and automatically assigns tickets to agents, eliminating the need for manual assignment and boosting efficiency.

Recruitment and human resources

Businesses are using AI to improve recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes. Smart assistants can automate communications, keeping candidates updated and informed throughout the process, improving their experience, and deflecting tickets to keep workflows manageable. Additionally, AI can be used as a workforce management tool to help manage staffing needs.

Peek uses Zendesk WFM to ensure staffing resources are allocated properly for seasonal support. With help from Zendesk, manual processes that previously took four to five hours to complete now take just five minutes.

Frequently asked questions

Punch your ticket to a better CX

AI-powered ticket automation can set your business up for success. With Zendesk AI, tickets are sorted and routed faster, customers receive personalized help, and businesses can resolve issues before they become significant problems. By using AI for ticketing, businesses can keep customers happy, help employees work better, and boost their overall success.

As more businesses benefit from AI in customer service, integrating an innovative technology like Zendesk AI into your help desk ticketing system is an intelligent choice to keep up with the competition, now and in the future.

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