How to optimize your Zendesk workflows to handle high ticket volumes


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When tickets keep pinging into their inbox, it’s easy for customer service teams to feel overwhelmed. At times when demand is at its highest — for example, in the run-up to the holidays — this can lead to stressed employees and a sub-par customer experience.

If you’re regularly handling a large volume of tickets, you’ll already know that customer support is expensive and time-consuming. It also diverts your customer service team away from more complex tasks.

So how do we mitigate this problem?

By taking the time to optimize your Zendesk workflows now, you support your helpdesk to cope with high ticket volumes whenever the next busy season rolls around.

Let’s take a closer look at why that’s important for your business — and what you can do to make it happen.

Why should you optimize your Zendesk ticket workflows?

Optimizing your Zendesk ticket workflows requires an initial investment of time, money, and effort. So is it worth it?

Here are some of the valuable benefits you get from helpdesk optimization:

Improves response times

When you have a Zendesk ticket workflow that runs smoothly, you are able to respond to tickets quickly and efficiently. This is good for customers — and great for your bottom line too.

Frees up agents to work on more complex tasks

When your agents experience less friction in the ticket workflow, they have more time. This is time they can spend dealing with more complex tasks.

Allows customers to self-serve

Customers want self-serve options. Supporting them to find answers to their questions without involving an agent (via a chatbot or knowledge base), is good for the customer experience.

Cuts costs long-term

When your Zendesk workflow is seamless and efficient, you spend less time dealing with customer queries. This allows you to spend less money running and managing your customer support service.

Automation is a great way to slash the time and money you spend on customer support. Check out this article to find out more.

How to optimize your Zendesk workflows to handle high ticket volumes

Ready to perfect your Zendesk workflow? Then these optimization strategies will help you to achieve your goal.

Set up a tier system

To achieve an optimal Zendesk workflow, you have to organize incoming tickets into different tiers. We’d suggest the following categories:

  • Simple tickets that can be handled in less than 10 minutes
  • More complex tickets that can be handled by experienced reps in less than 10 minutes
  • Tickets from VIPs that need special attention
  • Issues that require a specialist (and are too complicated for you to be able to specify a resolution timeframe)

With your tickets separated into these tiers, you can prioritize them logically, creating streamlined workflows that are suited to the urgency of each query type.

Want to make your system more efficient? Take a look at this article to see how a tier system fits into your Zendesk workflow strategy.

Use Zendesk apps to optimize workflows

Zendesk is a great solution. But you can make it even more effective with the help of integrated Zendesk apps. Apps will help you to automate some tasks, streamline others, and all around optimize your ticketing workflow.

You can find apps like FlowEQ that help you to build decision trees. And apps like ChannelReply, which allows you to respond to customer messages on a range of eCommerce sites from just one interface.

Another great app example is the Merge Duplicate Tickets App. Implement this solution, and when a customer sends multiple requests about the same issue they are automatically merged, so your team sees just one ticket.

This reduces the chance of agent confusion and prevents your inbox from becoming clogged with repetitive requests.

You can use a range of Zendesk apps to add functionality to your helpdesk, making it easier for agents to respond quickly and efficiently to customers.

Want to discover more excellent Zendesk apps? Then check out this article: 7 Zendesk Apps to Automate and Optimize your eCommerce Support Workflows

Help customers to help themselves

Customers are happy to seek out answers for themselves. But it’s up to you to make those answers available to them. You can do this by incorporating AI and automation into your Zendesk workflow. Chatbots are the perfect example.

Chatbots can handle simple customer queries from beginning to end, they can help you to categorize your tickets, and they know when they should bring a query to the attention of a real-life customer service agent.

By leaving your bots to do some of the early-stage ticket response, your agents get to focus on higher-level support issues.

Less techy but no less useful is a knowledge base. This is a resource filled with articles that answer your most frequently asked questions. It’s useful for customers — because they can type in a query and find an article that helps them to resolve their issue without having to contact customer services directly.

And it’s also useful for your customer service team. They can access the knowledge base, finding the info they need to support customers as best they can.

Still getting swamped by tickets? Then you need this article: 13 ways to effectively manage high volume in Customer Support

Use analytic tools to constantly refine your approach

Your website and helpdesk software are great sources of data. And when you have the tools to analyze that data, you get to see where your process is working well and where it requires improvement.

By looking at:

  • Customer searches
  • Customer feedback
  • Knowledge base metrics
  • User flow analysis
  • Helpdesk performance data

you can shine a light on the recurring problems and bottlenecks that are slowing your workflow down.

Analyzing your data on a regular basis helps you to refine and optimize your approach moving forward.

Get more tips on using data analytics to support your help center here.

Sorin Alupoaie
Sorin Alupoaie is the founder of Swifteq, a company developing intelligent assist apps for customer service agents. An experienced software technologist and entrepreneur, he loves shipping products that solve painful customer problems. Sorin strongly believes that any Customer Service interaction represents a huge opportunity for a business to listen and improve how they deliver value to customers. Insights and automations enabled by Artificial Intelligence should be used to remove friction from these interactions and provide a better and faster service.


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