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BRAVE SUPPORT SERVICE TEAM AGAINST MONSTER TICKETS

Intro
Working in customer service may become a nightmare.

Horrible tickets fly around like the ghosts in the night, waiting for a moment to hit your customer support in the very heart. Some of them suck time and energy out of your team. The bites of others are poisonous: if they bite one agent, the whole team is at risk of being infected.

Those, who have been honored to follow the path of working in customer service, can face the supernatural tickets. Do not be afraid! Get armed to be protected against these dark forces, and fight them over.

We collected some stories about the most common evil tickets that we have seen. We hope that if you know them and know our secret weapons, you'll be ready to fight face to face with almost any monstrous ticket. After the fight is over, you will hear well deserved - "Yes, I'm satisfied!" from a customer who submitted the ticket.
Zombie Ticket
Zombie Ticket Profile

Caution:
They want to eat your brain.
Superpower:
Never gets tired.
Weaknesses:
Has difficulties with reading the documents (hates reading in general).

Agent Ben's profile

Favorite Weapon:

Cell phone.
Superpower:
High level of patience to fight the immortal horde.

Symptoms
Some tickets are just not going to die.
Six months ago, I was working the night shift when a request came from a new customer. I believed that was quite a simple ticket: open-and-close. She just wanted to know a little bit more about the triggers. Simple enough. I gave her a brief explanation and sent a link to the relevant forum article. She did not make me wait for long and opened a similar ticket, this time she wanted to know more about the macros. No problem! Yes, a bit uncommon but it's not a big deal. I sent her a similar response and a link to another helpful forum article.

Just a few minutes later, I received a notification saying the ticket was reopened. She asked me to confirm she had set up the macros and triggers correctly. Hmm, that is very strange. I got a little nervous. Then she wanted to know how to insert a link to a photo of her cat in a macro - I really got scared. The last blow was when she asked if I liked her cat. Horror! Total nightmare! My head was spinning. Are we going to get to the point when she would consult with me in choosing her husband? When, finally, would my answer be complete enough to close the ticket for sure?
Diagnosis
A complete answer, as it turned out, was never: it was a Zombie Ticket.

Zombie tickets, or immortal tickets, refuse to die in general. No matter how full and complete was your answer; the zombie rises from the grave again and again.
Cure
The main difference between Zombie Tickets and regular ones is that it cannot be solved with an answer, and it does not matter how accurate it is.

The only way to shut it is a headshot. That means you need to switch to phone line. E-mail, by its nature, contributes to the active "revival" of zombies. Fortunately, phone calls are finite and are necessary if you want to say goodbye to the ticket once and for all.

I made a call, answered all of her questions, and asked if she has any other questions, and whether the request could be closed. It took me just five minutes.
Conclusion
Zombies tickets have became a part of our crazy life. Use the following tips to make sure they do not destroy the walls of your company and eat brains of each agent:
  • Place the instructions and documentation into the dashboard so that every new customer can get any information needed to use your products and services
  • Create FAQs and forums for customers to be able to find information on their own
  • Build in the "related topics" widget
  • • Provide proactive support
Hydra Ticket
Hydra Ticket Profile

Caution:

One customer, multiple tickets.
Superpower:
Bad breath odor, very difficult to kill.
Weakness:
Hydra is the most vulnerable when it is young, so find it and kill it as early as possible.

Agent Hercules's Profile

Favorite Weapon:

Golden sword of merging.
Superpowers:
Sexy muscles, always looking for potentially problematic tickets.

Symptoms
I was on the side of the mountain where I could see only the darkness and the mysterious swamps. I was responding to tickets, occasionally running my fingers through my beautiful hair. Suddenly, I noticed a ticket from a potential customer: she asked if it would be interesting for us to publish one of her posts in our blog. This type of requests is not a problem in general; we get them all the time. I forwarded the request to marketing and I was sure that my work was done.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the message had returned multiplied: I received one from the requestor and three more from the marketing department. The customer received three answers to the same question from three different people and wanted to know what to do now.

All three were confused: how could this happen? Fortunately, my beautiful and well-known force have helped me to fight this type of horrors before, and I already knew which beast we were dealing with.
Diagnosis
That was a Hydra. For a long time it was considered to be a myth, the Hydra raised its ugly head and returned for revenge. With this monster, an answer to one ticket results in the creation of two more. The customer thinks that he would get a quicker response if he sends three tickets at once with the same question using three different channels:

1. E-mail:
Can I add my post to your blog?

2. Twitter:
How do I publish my post on your blog?

3. Support Portal:
I would like to publish my post on your blog. Here is the link to the post.

Of course, the following things happen: one ticket is submitted to a support, another one – to PR manager, and the third one - to a marketing manager.
Cure
In the short term, it is best to provide each employee at your company with access to the requests, so that everyone is aware of what is happening and can choose one person to respond. I would suggest you choose the person with the nicest biceps. Then you need to merge all three tickets into one. If necessary, you can contact the customer by phone, apologize for the confusion, and make sure her question is answered. In that case, it was "thank you, but no, thank you."
Conclusion
In the long term, think about giving the customer only one email or phone number to contact. Availability of every department's contact details on your website can provoke a Hydra. If this method does not fit you, just be vigilant. Keep track of the number of tickets from one requester, so that he does not send a bunch of the same tickets. If he has sent, merge them. Alternatively, cut their heads and cure the wounds with silver. Both suggestions work great.
Poseidon Ticket
Poseidon Ticket Profile

Caution:

Tidal wave (you will understand it when you see it).
Superpower:
Controls 75% of the Earth's surface. Including sharks.
Weaknesses:
Climate change, oil spills, spring holidays.

Agent Odyssey's profile

Favorite Weapon:
A huge shield and a sharp tongue.
Superpowers:
The ability to think strategically under the flood of tickets.

Symptoms
Rule to remember: never provoke Poseidon to raise the ire. This guy has no sense of humor. Once, I mentioned that the Pacific Ocean was "not such a big deal", and the next day we were flooded with tickets, calls, tweets, Facebook posts and chats. All of them were about one thing: an unseen mistake. Apparently, the Pacific Ocean has many friends.
Diagnosis
It was no less than a flood: a storm of customer requests. They all came at the time and on the same topic. The only thing that could cause it was a revenge of Poseidon. As I said: no sense of humor on this guy.
Cure
The first thing to do is to get out of water. Social media managers should answer on all fronts: "We know about the problem and we do everything we can to fix it." At the same time, respond to all calls with the same message and forward them to the appropriate department. This would give you enough time to solve the problem effectively. If you have an extra minute, eat a piece of cheese.
Conclusion
The best thing you can do is build a lifeboat. Once you have learned about the problem that might flood your contact center, add it to the menu of canned replies.
Vampire Ticket
Vampire Ticket Profile

Caution:

Vitamin D deficiency.
Superpowers:
Night vision.
Weakness:
The first rays of the sun.

Agent Van Helsing's Profile

Favorite Weapon:
A wooden stake named Trigger.
Superpowers:
He always knows what time it is.

Symptoms
Diary of agent Van Helsing, May 3, Pennsylvania

It started one morning, just after dawn. We received a negative comment from a customer in far off lands, who was still waiting for an answer to his question. The next morning, with the first rays of the sun, there was a negative rating from a customer on the other end of the world, whose question was answered, though not quickly enough. This lasted for two weeks: frustrated customers and bad ratings, always the first thing in the morning, and always from distant lands.
Diagnosis
Finally, wise mentor spoke. "You are fully trained now," he said. "We are dealing with nothing less than Vampire Tickets."

He began to tell us that vampire tickets prowl the night, after the working day ends, and become visible to us the next morning. Customers from different time zones send us questions, and they are forced to wait for the start of our working day to get an answer.
Cure
Vampire tickets should be dealt with quickly; otherwise, they can get out of control.

Solving them should be a top priority. Set up an automatic reminders to employees so that they respond as soon as human capabilities allow.
Conclusion
Overall, you want to end the vampire tickets once and for all. Since they really hate sunlight, use the "follow the sun" model - provide 24/7 support if possible. The healing rays of the sun will prevent a ticket from turning into a vampire. If this is not possible, create an automatic trigger: inform customers that they have reached out outside of working hours and they will surely get an answer as quickly as possible.
Mummy Ticket
Mummy Ticket Profile

Caution:

Incredibly obsolete requests.
Superpower:
Can summon ancient spells.
Weakness:
Ball of Macro.

Agent Alex's Profile

Favorite Weapon:
Feather: stronger than a sword and ideal for customer communicating.
Superpower:
Unfazed by meaningless questions.

Symptoms
My friend, have you ever gotten a ticket covered by the dust and felt like you were cursed? They say that if you work long enough in support, eventually you will come across such a complicated ticket that it seems that you are reading hieroglyphs. The customer will ask you about a feature you've never heard of, an unfamiliar pricing, people who don't work at your company anymore, or special offerings that the company has offered centuries ago.
Diagnosis
I must admit, it is a terrible situation. However, it may happen: Mummy Tickets! Those who became the customers in the early days of your company, long before you started working here, will send these tickets. It's not uncommon that they remember and ask about plans, functions or promotions that no longer exist.
Cure
You can assign the tickets to your grandfather but it's better to set up macros for requests, where things that are obsolete are mentioned. An automatic response will help settle the symptoms but only the communication can really cure the Mummy.
Conclusion
If you find yourself getting too many Mummy Tickets, this is a sign that it's time for you to communicate with customers. Newsletters, blogs, regular updates on social networks - all of these will ensure that even the oldest customers are aware of the changes, for example, the pricing updates.
Werewolf Ticket
Werewolf Ticket Profile

Caution:

Fangs that appear from out of nowhere, hair on the back.
Superpowers:
Insatiable thirst for blood.
Weakness:
Kindness of beautiful young girls.

Agent Belle's profile

Favorite Weapon:

Silver bullets. In addition, advice from the local shaman.
Superpower:
A quick mind and a strong character.

Symptoms
The customer notified up about a bug. He was friendly and warm, like an old good neighbor. We tried to reproduce the bug, but could not. When we told him about this, he got angry. He began barking, growling and howling at the moon scary. Any attempt to solve this problem or lower his anger seemed to only enrage him more. I looked out the window and noticed that today is the full moon...
Diagnosis
When a customer attacks, there can be only one explanation: Werewolf Ticket.

Sweet and friendly – just in a moment he turns into a howling mad man. There seems to be no way to calm him down or talk in this hideous state.
Cure
In this case, take a bigger weapon: call a shaman to help mitigate and cure the thirst for blood. A senior manager or director would do this, they are well trained in the art of taming the wild beast. It should be noted that quite often customers share their frustration with the public. If a negative post or tweet appears, your silver bullet should be an equal-measured answer. Respond in the same media where the customer posted the complaint, and try to solve the problem publicly. Demonstrate the customers that your company is doing everything to help. It is very important not to allow him to bite the others and create new werewolves.
Conclusion
You cannot fight them all. We could not, in particular, win this particular werewolf. It happens. We tried our best, but he is still somewhere out there. Get used to the fact that some situations may get out of hand. Especially with werewolves. The main thing is to learn, improve and move on. And do not let him bite yourself, otherwise you will also turn into a werewolf.
Epilogue
Perhaps, the customer service lands seem a bit scary. Even the best support service faces the tickets that do not seem to fit into the normal workflow. Stop being afraid! Let the best of your agent to enter the battle, accumulate experience and do everything possible to get ready for the next fight with even more difficult tickets. Sometimes, they are back...
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