How to manage your case/ticket queues

Case loads can get out of control really quickly for anyone directly handing customer service requests.  Here are some tips to help you better manage your case load.

Set aside time every day

Setting aside time to clean your queues is a great opportunity to go through your cases and close any that are close-able, update case details, or review them.  Don’t think about this time as time to work on your cases, but more like doing house chores.  The more you leave your house in a mess, the harder it is to clean, organize and find what you are looking for.  

Follow up with customers

While you are doing you daily queue cleanup, make sure you contact customers that need some followup.  Following-up will buy yourself some time and set the customers expectations by letting them know that you are still working on their case.  A solution is not always necessary right away but the letting them know that you are still working on it actively is.

Find your routine

It doesn’t matter what product you are using to manage your cases or tickets, find a routine that works for you and stick with it. The simplest path is usually the right one, try not to over complicate your routine and focus on your customers needs.

Prioritize your cases

Hopefully your case management system can help you prioritize your cases by SLA, but if it can’t, then you need to make sure you know who to respond to next.  Always follow this simple path to case prioritization:

  1. Respond to new cases first and set their expectations based on the priority of the case.  If you can’t look at the new case until the next day then let them know they will hear from you tomorrow.
  2. Hit the highest priority cases first.  These are issues that have a direct and severe business impact for the customer.
  3. Knock of the easiest questions and issues.  Customers that have easy questions for you should be responded to quickly and will give you the best bang for your buck in terms of customer happiness and your queue loads. 
  4. Next, get those cases done that have a business impact but still need some troubleshooting , these issues will have a workaround or customers can still continue to work.

Speak up

Case loads creep up fast.  If you are starting to have problems keeping up, don’t be a hero and let your manager know ASAP. Managers are happy to help and give managers an opportunity to figure out why its happening and get you the help you need.  By not speaking up about your ever increasing case load, it could drive you to jump off that cliff you were dreaming about when that last case came in.  No one wants you to jump off that cliff, always ask for help if you need it.