How Ticket Triage AI Can Revolutionize Customer Service

Written by Amy Wallace  on   Apr 26, 2022

Customer support tickets come in various shapes and forms, and from multiple channels – webforms, email, messaging and live chat. When a ticket enters a support team’s inbox, many companies triage it, tagging it based on the topic or urgency, and route it to the appropriate agent or team. This process helps streamline workflows, ensuring the right eyes are on the right ticket, and issues are resolved as quickly and accurately as possible.

A query related to a warranty on a recently purchased laptop computer may be tagged ‘warranty’, while a ticket received in French would be sent to a team member who speaks that language and is able to translate. Historically, this was a fairly manual and time-consuming process, but companies are now leveraging technologies such as AI to streamline ticket triaging.

In this article, we’ll share a bit of insider scoop on the technological transformation that is occurring behind-the-scenes including:

What is Ticket Triage AI?

In the world of AI, ticket triage refers to the automatic pre-processing of tickets by AI-powered virtual assistants. With a little help from this dynamic technology, tickets can be enriched with actionable insights, such as urgency/severity, and the category of the issue. By leveraging Natural Language Processing, these virtual assistants can grasp a customer’s true intent in order to properly prioritize tickets and route them to the right agent.

How Does Ticket Triage AI Work? 

However, modern AI platforms such as Netomi’s, are taking ticket triaging one step further. They can identify if there is information needed from a customer that has not yet been provided, and request that information before looping in a human agent. If a customer is inquiring about upgrades on an upcoming flight but hasn’t yet provided their flight confirmation number, for instance, an AI agent can ask for this background information. This ultimately means the human agent doesn’t need to spend as much time closing the ticket.

A second form of ticket triaging occurs when AI agents gather information and contextual data from back-end systems such as order management or CRM platforms on behalf of an agent. So, even if a virtual agent is not completely resolving a ticket, it can significantly reduce resolution time by doing a lot of the groundwork for agents. Like an investigative journalist, AI is first conducting research and gathering evidence prior to composing the story. This will all be collected prior to passing the ticket to a human agent, so that the agent will have the required information to make an informed decision.

A robust, well-trained AI can figure out what a customer is looking for when they first engage with the customer service department of a business, playing a key role in live human handoff, to dramatically accelerate response times. This is a critical step in the process – when it is not confident in its ability to understand a user’s intent, the Netomi AI takes the best course of action, escalating a customer to a human agent to minimize their frustration, rather than offer them an incorrect or irrelevant response.

With native integration into agent desks such as Zendesk and Gladly, the Netomi chatbot sits right within the platform to transfer chats to specific departments or agents. Once the intent is understood, the ticket would then be tagged for tracking purposes (such as refund or delivery status). The ticket may be prioritized based on certain customer attributes, such as the length of time for which the customer has been with a business, and the class to which they belong (if a customer is considered part of a VIP category, for instance, they would escalated directly to a human agent to receive specialized treatment).

Also on the agent side, as a fourth type of triage, AI offers support to preserve their overall sanity with sentiment routing. By monitoring agent conversations, AI agents are able to identify which human agent is having more difficult customers based on customer sentiment as well as the nature of the issue, while also taking into account factors such as the conversation length – is it dragging on for too long? The AI can then anticipate agent stress level and the micro-impact that closing a specific ticket will have on their immediate well-being, and reroute the ticket to a different agent if needed. This avoids situations in which one agent is consecutively assigned exasperated customers, which takes a great toll on their job satisfaction. Potential crisis, averted!

Additionally, with ‘Agent Assist’ or ‘Co-Pilot’ mode, suitable replies are recommended by the AI and help agents work faster, taking a bit of work off their plate. For instance, a customer reaches out to a support team via email to inquire about her order status. This request is then sent to an agent for review, along with a suggested response, which the agent could then accept and send, edit, or reject and compose their own response. This ‘review mode’ is like ‘semi-auto pilot mode,’ one in which the AI and the agent work in tandem.

Not all tickets are suited for automation, however – begin with automating the right kind of queries – those that are basic and repeatable, such as ‘what is your refund policy?’ A complicated issue such as ‘software failure’ might be classified as a ‘high priority issue,’ as it has a large impact on a large customer base, and would likely require some advanced technical expertise and assistance from a human agent with knowledge in this area.

What are the Benefits of Ticket Triaging?

A tremendous time saver, the ticket triage AI process is beneficial for both:

Customers, by offering speedy resolution times, for superior customer service.

Businesses, by enabling them to help their customer support teams. According to a 2022 report from Freshworks, 1 in 3 leaders believe that building new generation digital platforms to help customer-facing teams work better stands as a top priority, when it comes to digital investments. What’s more, features that allow for greater efficiency, like AI-based ticket classification and the automatic routing of incoming customer contacts to the right agent, can save agents up to 1.2 hours per day. That’s a lot of valuable time that can be saved!

Ticket Triage for Customer Support - Harry Rosen

Agents, by enabling them to work on more interesting and high-value tickets. Agents today are overworked, and many are feeling undervalued and a lack of empowerment – 74% of call center agents are at risk for burnout, and turnover rates sit between 30% and 45%, among the highest of any industry.

A 2022 Zendesk report revealed that only 15% of agents are extremely satisfied with their overall workloads. With AI helping to sift through, categorize and disperse tickets, agents are free to tackle other challenges and concentrate on tasks that require more creativity and critical thinking – skills and competencies which only a human can provide, and are oh-so-essential to hone.

How Can My Business Implement AI-based Ticket Triage?

AI-based ticket triage is a joint effort – it is a combination of people, tools and processes. By working with a trusted partner to automate a large part of the process, businesses can bring AI into the equation.

Ticket Triage Demo

As ticket volumes continue to increase, the answer lies in AI-powered solutions. With the right tools and processes in place, customer service departments can operate like well-oiled machines, streamlining their workflows while also improving the agent experience, and, in turn, the overall experience for their customers.  

Zendesk vs. Freshdesk: Which Is Better?

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Oct 25, 2021

Service desk platforms – also called agent desks – help companies enhance the customer experience, scale conversations across multiple channels and reduce customer service costs. Two of the most established ticket management software platforms – and often compared platforms, too – in this space are Zendesk vs Freshdesk. Both are used by hundreds of thousands of companies around the world as customer support software and help desk software service solutions.

Both offer a suite of sophisticated features, some are the same and some different, that help agents resolve issues faster and also make support easier and more convenient for customers. The platforms are highly reviewed and rated on G2: Freshdesk rates 4.4/5 stars with 2,482 reviews and Zendesk Support Suite rates 4.3/5 stars with 3,267 reviews (at the time of publishing). So, what’s right for you: Zendesk or Freshdesk? 

In this post we’re diving into everything you need to know about Zendesk vs Freshdesk including features, pricing, customers, customization and more. After reading this post, you’ll be able to figure out if Zendesk or Freshdesk would work better for your company. 

Zendesk: Everything you need to know 

Zendesk is one of the most well-known and established help desk platforms. It has over 160,000 customers, including some of the largest enterprise brands in the world such as Siemens, Uber, Instacart and Polaris. It’s targeted at high-growth and enterprise companies that need sophisticated features, and because of this, is the more expensive option.  More than just a help desk, Zendesk can help companies manage the entire customer experience – bringing marketing and support together into one platform. 

Zendesk enables customers to deliver a consistent experience across multiple channels and provide agents with a unified workspace to manage and even collaborate on conversations. The platform gives agents a 360-degree view of customer data so context can be carried forward (similar capabilities are available on Freshdesk). This has a major impact on the customer service KPIs: on average, Zendesk increases customer satisfaction by 25% and agent productivity by 30%1.

Key Features of Zendesk

Zendesk Ticket Management

The ticketing system on Zendesk consolidates all of your tickets into a single platform – including from social media, email, chat, in-app support, phone, and the web. It boasts features including ticket routing and assigning tickets to the right agent. According to one review, this feature makes an impact: “the built-in intelligent routing ensures appropriate customer-to-agent fit and automates ticketing queues to reduce resolution time2..

Leveraging the Zendesk platform, you will never lose a request as each ticket, regardless of channel, is entered into a queue for agents to pick up. 

Zendesk Knowledge Base

Zendesk is one of the best knowledge base software platforms that is self-service via customizable and user-friendly. This lets your customers find the answers to their questions via an online help center without needing to interact with an agent, and essentially deflecting tickets. These intuitive help centers can be deployed on mobile or Web via a simple SDK. 

Apps and Integrations 

The Zendesk marketplace has over 1,250 apps and out-of-the-box integrations including Zendesk chatbots to automate conversations,  productivity tools, time tracking, collaboration and customer surveys. These Zendesk apps amplify the power of the platform and many can be implemented with a single click. 

Zendesk Pricing

Zendesk offers a variety of pricing plans based on the number of agent seats you need, channels, and access to features like the self-service Zendesk Knowledge Base. At the time of this post, the most basic plan starts at $49 / month / agent and this increases to $215 / month / agent for the most robust enterprise plans. Though Zendesk does not offer a free tier, it does have a free trial.

Zendesk Customization

Zendesk allows you to customize all reports and graphs, as well as chat colors, text, logos, and branding. Views within the Zendesk dashboard can be “extensively customized to your preferences as well—an area in which Freshdesk tried to do something similar, but we preferred the way Zendesk Support shows the information, including ticket expiration times.” 

Zendesk Reports and Data Analysis

Zendesk offers a suite of beautifully-designed reports to help you measure the success of your customer support operations. You can quickly identify areas that require improvement, and areas of development for your agents. The best part?  You can track your performance against best practice metrics so you can see how you’re performing.

Zendesk Security

Security is core to the Zendesk platform. The company is SOC 2 Type II, ISO and FedRAMP LI-SaaS compliant.


Hear how AI can improve the customer experience in this webinar featuring Greg Dreyfus from Zendesk.


A complete guide to Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a top Zendesk alternative and might be the better option if you’re looking for a simple, more affordable option. Over half of the reviews on G2 come from small companies, but that’s not to say that larger companies don’t also use Freshdesk.

The platform is used by over 50,000 brands, including Bridgestone, HP, Harvard University and DHL to improve customer service. While Zendesk has a broader lens of the entire customer experience, Freshdesk is more narrowly focused on customer support (although it can be integrated with other Freshworks products). 

The platform is touted for its usability and you can get set up in just a few minutes. According to one review, “Freshdesk is easy to set up and get started. It has the quickest go-to-market deployment, even when considering novice users3.”

Key Features of Freshdesk

Freshdesk Ticket Management

The Freshdesk ticketing system lets you close tickets faster with a centralized inbox that brings in tickets from multiple channels (email, phone, web, chat and social) Tickets are assigned to agents in a few ways – skill-based, load balancing and round robin – and agents can collaborate on tickets in real-time. It is the only platform to provide in-app notifications to agents if a ticket status changes or a customer responds, and canned responses help to provide consistent responses to common questions. The platform has unique tools like a “Thank you detector” which prevents reopening of tickets when customers respond with a thank you. 

Freshdesk Knowledge Base and Self Service 

Sometimes customers want to help themselves and Freshdesk boasts a suite of self-help tools. One such tool is a fully-customizable Knowledge Base (or help center) which can be accessed on your website, mobile app or even chat. Another form of customer self service is community forums, which allows your users to ask each other. 

Freshdesk Integrations

While not as robust as the Zendesk marketplace, Freshdesk has an app store with over 800 pre-built integrations including productivity, remote work, file sharing and collaboration tools. 

Freshdesk Reports and Data Analysis

Freshdesk users can make data-based decisions by accessing a variety of reports, including ticket volume trends, agent performance, group performance, satisfaction surveys, customer sentiment, etc. 

Freshdesk Pricing

Freshdesk offers a variety of pricing plans from FREE (Yes, free!) to high-growth companies ($15 month / agent) all the way up to enterprise plans starting at $79 / month / agent (pricing at the time of publication). Plans vary based on features, channels and integrations available, but they have done a good job of providing tremendous value in every tier based specifically on the stage of your business. According to one review, “Even on the [basic and free] plan, there aren’t many restrictions [when it comes to features4.”

Freshdesk Customization

Freshdesk offers a large number of ways you can customize your experience. You can brand your entire help desk to align with your company’s branding, choosing the style or color of elements of your portal, or selecting from a library of plug-and-play “FreshThemes.” You can also have your portal built in over 40 languages and even map your Freshdesk domain to your own support URL. 

Freshdesk Security

Like Zendesk, Freshdesk has rigorous security controls and is GDPR, HIPPA, SOC and ISO compliant. 


Get 5 strategies for successful customer service automation
in this webinar featuring Rajiv Ramanan from Freshworks.


Zendesk vs Freshdesk Feature Comparison

Feature 

Zendesk 

Freshdesk 

Pricing 

Five Tiers: 

  • Suite Team ($49/agent/month)
  • Suite Growth ($79/agent/month) 
  • Suite Professional ($99/agent/month)
  • Suite Enterprise  ($150/agent/month)
  • Suite Enterprise Customization ($215/agent/month)

Four Tiers: 

  • Free 
  • Growth ($15/agent/month)
  • Pro ($49/agent/month)
  • Enterprise ($79/agent/month)

Free option 

N/A

Free plan with unlimited agents which includes: 

  • Email & Social Ticketing 
  • Ticket Dispatch 
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Ticket Trend Report 
  • Datacenter Location 
  • Team Collaboration

Self-help

  • Knowledge Base 
  • Community
  • Answer Bot
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Community Forums 
  • Chatbot

App Store 

  • 1,250 apps
  • 800+ apps 

Channels 

  • Email 
  • Chat 
  • Help Center
    Messaging 
  • Social Messaging 
  • Voice 
  • Text
  • Web Widget 
  • Mobile SDK 
  • Email 
  • Phone 
  • Chat 
  • Website 
  • Social Media 
  • WhatsApp
  • Mobile SDK

Ticket Management 

  • Centralized Inbox
  • Customer context – Agents get access to order history, web activity and loyalty status
  • SLA Management
  • Alerts/Escalation 
  • Macros
  • Conditional and Custom Ticket Fields
  • Agent Collision Detection
  • Help desk automation
  • Triggers that initiate a workflow based on changes in a ticket
  • Team Inbox 
  • Agent Collision Detection
  • SLA Management
  • Ticket Field Suggester
  • Custom Ticket Status
  • Thank You Detector
  • Scenario Automation
  • Canned Responses
  • Help desk automation

Agent Collaboration

  • Light agents: Give limited permissions to certain agents who can provide subject matter expertise and advice via private comments.
  • Side conversations: Enable agents to bring in other people from internal and external teams to collaborate. 
  • CCs and followers: Include both Carbon Copy (CCs) and Followers fields.
  • Team Huddle: Discuss specific parts of tickets with experts from across your company.
  • Shared Ownership: Share ownership of tickets with other teams. 
  • Linked Tickets: Link related tickets together to keep track of widespread issues.
  • Parent-child Ticketing: Resolve complex issues by splitting them into smaller child tickets.

How to leverage AI to get even more value from Zendesk and Freshdesk 

Companies using chatbots for customer service can further enhance the CX experience. While ticket management platforms like Zendesk and Freshdesk streamline the agent experience tremendously and decrease resolution time, AI chatbots like Netomi are now acting as the first line of defense when tickets come in. Netomi’s virtual agents sit alongside human agents to supplement and enhance live chat support teams.

Once you get clarity on this decision comparing Zendesk vs Freshdesk, the Netomi AI takes the best course of action with every incoming ticket:

  • For highly repeatable tickets, the AI can automatically resolve it without having to loop in a human agent 
  • For more complex tickets, the AI can gather information from the customer or back-end systems, and even draft a response for review, before handing off to a human agent 
  • For the most complex tickets, the AI can summarize and route tickets to the right agent 

By leveraging the out-of-the-box Netomi virtual agent integration, companies enhance both the agent and customer experience while also reducing costs. Most other chatbots don’t sit natively within the agent desk, but with Netomi, virtual and human agents work alongside each other, creating the most efficient customer service team that we’ve ever seen. 

Interested in learning more about how Netomi integrates with two of the leading helpdesk AI platforms? Take a look at how we can integrate with Zendesk and how we can help you connect your Freshdesk implementation to Netomi.

References we used for this Zendesk vs Freshdesk comparison

  1. https://www.capterra.com/p/164283/Zendesk/
  2. https://www.trustradius.com/products/zendesk-support-suite/reviews
  3. https://www.g2.com/products/freshdesk/reviews/freshdesk-review-5036680 
  4. https://www.g2.com/survey_responses/freshdesk-review-5036680