Updated Apr 6 2021 :: by Mercer Smith-Looper

Tagging is the bane of many support teams' existence. Do you do it manually? Use Zapier to build automated tagging? Use a dedicated tool to tag tickets based on customer sentiment? Set up daily reminders to make sure tagging actually happens? There are so many options—it can feel overwhelming!

As many questions as there may be around tagging, one thing is for sure: there's a ton of value to doing it. In this blog post, we'll break down how you can use tags to benefit your business and find even deeper value from your support team.

Understand the landscape

When you go on road trips, you map out the route you want to take and any sites you want to hit. You wouldn't just get in your car and drive with no understanding of where you were going to go. One of the best ways to make sure your trip is awesome is knowing a bit of information about what the place looks like: is it snowy, dry? Warm or cold? That way, you can make sure you’re prepared. The same goes for your support inbox.

When contacting customer support teams, 72% of consumers expect the agent to have information about prior conversations, running issues, and previous purchases. When you aggregate tagging data, you set your team up for success in that space. You can create tags for ongoing bugs, purchase levels, and product types. Beyond that, tracking tags can let you know of any ongoing trends for your support team: do more people reach out around certain times of day, are there many tickets around a specific feature? All of this information gives your agents a more holistic picture of what your customers need. You can get a sense of what the landscape looks like, and start planning ahead.

Get answers to common questions

About one in three customers say the most critical aspect of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent. One of the best ways to ensure that your team is knowledgeable is to provide them with ongoing education. Use tagging data to understand common questions and problems, and proactively educate your team around them.

You can also use your tagging data to make a useful jumping-off point for training. If a new support agent is answering tickets, for instance, they can use tags to find similar conversations to the ones they are working on. Reviewing responses to similar questions can help team members learn strategies that their colleagues use and diversify their approach moving forward.

Share insights with the rest of your company

It's not just your support team that impacts the customer experience—it takes the whole company's involvement to make it great. Beyond that, a great customer experience benefits the whole company, too: promoters have lifetime values 600 to 1,400% better than detractors.

Use your tagging data to provide customer insights to teams that might not regularly get them. You can use tags to aggregate data around the number of tickets associated with bugs or feature requests. Suppose you are also tracking information about pricing plans or tiers within your tags. In that case, you can use that to provide additional context: it can be useful to know how much MRR or ARR is associated with an active bug or ongoing feature request. Hard metrics can be much more compelling to external teams than just knowing that people are asking for something.

Loop in your customer success team

Customer success is on the rise. While traditionally, customer success was something only granted to high-level enterprise customers, companies are starting to see increasing value in the function across all customer tiers. 72% of companies have identified customer success as a critical target for improvement.

To improve customer success, give your team the tools they need to do their job well. By setting up a tag and using it to trigger automation, you can inform your customer success managers when one of their customers reaches out to support. Beyond that, they can gain historical data on what types of questions their customers are reaching out about most. Encourage them to use this information to impact their onboarding strategies. For instance, if lots of their customers, specifically, are reaching out about a particular feature, they probably need to draw more attention to it on their check-in calls.

You can also use tags to make a note of specifically helpful or fantastic customer stories. Your customer success and marketing teams can then use those tips to create testimonials or case studies and continue to drive customer excellence.

Increase the effectiveness of your self-service support

As much as you might love talking to your customers, they don't always love talking to you. Over 60% of customers prefer being able to use self-service functionality over anything else. When you have tagging data associated with your tickets, you can understand where your most common issues come from. For example, if you have tons of tickets coming in about your sign-up process and specific settings within it, it probably means you need better docs.

In that case, you could use the list of all the conversations with the "sign up flow" tag to view historical discussions and responses about the issue. See if there are any trends, pertinent saved replies, or even really excellent responses that you can pull into a doc. That way, you can know that the resources you are creating are 100% applicable and helpful to your target audience.

Use automation for triage

It's easy to send the right tickets where they need to go when using tagging data. If you associate your tagging heirarchy with specific dropdowns in your contact form, it makes it even easier. For instance, if you have a team responsible for all tickets around a particular feature, you can create an option for that feature in your contact form, associate it with a tag, and can automatically funnel it to the right team. You save yourself the time of the conversation being pushed into the main queue, and then bounced around a few times before ultimately ending up with the right team.

Create tags that reflect product features, technicality, or pricing tiers as your team needs to respond to them. Then, create automation in your inbox to take specific actions on tickets as they are tagged. You can assign, add notes, or even close out specific tickets based on their tagging data.

Tagging doesn't have to be rocket science

As much as it can seem like a super tool, tagging doesn't take much to implement. When figuring out your tagging structure, keep the following things in mind:

  • Keep tags simple
  • Review them regularly
  • Don't make tons of tags
  • Use hierarchies to keep them organized
  • Document them for everyone to use and understand

With tags, organization and consistency are key. Make sure that you have a well-ordered, straightforward process that is well-documented. That way, when you have new team members coming on board, you can quickly point them in the right direction. Be sure to review your tags regularly as well, and clean out any outdated or no-longer-useful ones. The fewer areas for error you have, the better.

Get going!

With tags in your future, everything looks bright. Get ready to supercharge your support team's value and your customer experience. Tagging gives you a more in-depth insight into your customer support team's overall landscape and lets you share those insights with the rest of your company. Beyond that, it boosts your customer success team's effectiveness and the tools used for self-service support. Lastly, tags can serve as an additional member of your support team: instead of having a support rep do triage and assignment, let your tags do the work for you. It's not rocket science, but it is super impactful and worth the effort.


'Use Ticket Tagging to Supercharge Your Team' was written by Mercer Smith-Looper
Mercer Smith-Looper
Mercer is the VP of Customer Experience at Appcues, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her on Twitter at @mercenator


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