What is customer support volume?

Customer support volume, also known as ticket volume, measures the total number of conversations support staff have with customers.

This is a key metric for customer support teams, as it helps provide insight into the team’s workload and how changes to products or processes affect the customer experience. For instance, an uptick in volume could mean that there’s a broader issue to look into.

In addition, customer support volume can also help teams identify their optimal productivity. It can be used to inform decisions such as hiring additional support staff or adopting new tools that promote efficiency.

How do you measure customer support volume?

Customer support volume is measured with a simple count of all the interactions had between customer support staff and customers in a given time period. For teams with an omnichannel support strategy, this should account for communications in each channel, including email, chat, phone calls, and SMS.

How can you use customer support volume?

Customer support volume is a useful metric for customer support teams in a couple of ways. First, it helps plan workload distribution among support staff. With support volume details, team leads can determine time frames when they might need more agents available, and also identify any gaps in coverage (e.g. a specific channel or topic area).

This metric is also useful for identifying patterns in customer support requests. For instance, tracking customer support volume over a quarter can help a team identify what day of the week gets the most support requests, or how new releases impact the number of support requests. This data can help teams plan accordingly and mitigate any surprises.

What are customer support-volume mitigation strategies?

A high support volume can put a lot of strain on a customer support team, especially if it doesn’t have enough people or resources. As such, teams often have mitigation strategies in place to help reduce the number of support requests from customers. These include the following:

  • Offering self-service. By providing tools like a knowledge base or automated chat bot, support teams can empower customers to help themselves and reduce the need for a conversation with support staff.
  • Identify issues before they arise. Once a team knows what changes might cause spikes in customer support requests, they can use that information to partner with other departments (e.g. marketing or product) and mitigate the issue before it impacts customers directly.
  • Have a clear vision of the customer journey. Teams that do the work of identifying their customer personas and documenting their behaviors at each touchpoint can better anticipate any issues that might arise. This proactive approach can help reduce support volume, while also acting as the foundation for many marketing and sales initiatives.
  • Create a triage system. A layered customer support system, with agents dedicated to addressing specific topics and solving specific challenges, can help introduce efficiency into the customer support experience.
  • Upskill agents. Well-trained support agents who can address an issue when it first arises potentially reduces the number of repeat calls that add to the team’s customer support volume.

Customer support volume is a useful metric for most customer support teams. Leveraging the data that comes from measuring this simple performance indicator can set teams up to be more efficient and effective.

Intercom Support