What is Ticket Volume?
Ticket Volume or Total Tickets tracks all tickets in your support queue over a period of time. A variation of this metric is Total Conversations, which counts all engagement with customers whether through an official support ticket, a tweet, or another social channel.
Tickets versus conversations usually vary on the support software you use. Some automatically log every conversation as a ticket while may others only show tickets created from your help center or website. For example, you can track email support tickets, help center tickets, Facebook tickets and Twitter tickets all from Zendesk, but conversations via Intercom’s “Chat” are only available in Intercom.
Regardless of which version you track, these metrics indicate the current demand on your support team.
Advice from Customer Support Experts
“One of the simplest but most powerful metrics is a count of every single interaction your team has had with your customers over a given period. Tracking this over time can give you a 360 degree view of support trends.” - Jeff Gardner, Director of Customer Support, Intercom
“Total Conversations helps give you a sense for the entirety of support. Tracking this over time can help understand when to hire someone new for the support team, and to give a macro-level view of support trends.” - Micah Bennett, Support Lead at Zapier
“In some ways, more support tickets can feel good. It means your support network of collection forms, live chat, etc. are accessible and that customers are invested enough to get in touch instead of jump ship. But being that support tickets are direct feedback for instances where your product fell short or was confusing, we should always aim to minimize the number of support tickets.” - Tim Woo, Marketing Director for Framed Data
“Tracking the total number of conversations helps you know whether your company has enough agents to cover demand per channel.” - Jamie Edwards, COO and Co-founder of Kayako
“Overall, the ticket volume analysis provides a general pulse to the health of your support organization and product.” - Luis Hernandez, VP of Customer Success at Geckoboard
How to calculate Ticket Volume
[ Sum of all (#) tickets ] = (#) Ticket Volume
[ Sum of all (#) conversations ] = (#) Total Conversations
Ticket Volume and Total Conversations are simply the sum of each (either tickets or conversations). While you can calculate the total manually, customer support software (such as Zendesk, Freshdesk, TalkDesk, etc.) will usually add this up for you.
Below are a couple examples of how you might view Ticket Volume on your customer support dashboard.
Ticket Volume or Total Conversations gives you a high-level view of the workload for your customer support team. If you track one of these metrics as a trend, you can also spot patterns in volume and identify when you’re most likely to have an increase in tickets or conversations.
These overview insights are important for two main reasons. First, you’re able to manage staffing needs and know when you need to add team members. Second, you get an early warning sign if something is broken. For example, if you have an unusual spike in tickets, a feature might not be working or perhaps the marketing team sent the wrong link in a campaign email.
This customer support metric can easily become very noisy, especially if you’re tracking all conversations (i.e. pulling in tweets to your company that may not need a response). Also, Ticket Volume and Total Conversations are primarily valuable when tracked alongside other metrics such as Customer Satisfaction, First Response Time, and Customer Growth.
For example, if the number of tickets increases, it might be caused by a broken feature or it could be the Sales Team is running a promotion and you just have an influx of total customers thus increasing support tickets overall.
Ticket Volume and Total Conversations are helpful first indicators that something has changed, but you’ll need to dig deeper to figure out the cause. It’s also worth noting that not all tickets or conversations are equal. Some will require more time than others.
Relevant Customer Support Metrics and KPIs:
If you’re adding Ticket Volume to your support dashboard, you might want to also consider tracking these related customer support metrics for context.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
- Customer Growth (trend of the total number of customers)
- Ticket Backlog
- First Response Time
The number of tickets or conversations will vary drastically based on the company size, type and size of support center (documentation), and product. It’s best to track this metric over time and establish internal benchmarks for what ‘normal’ looks like for your company.
Want to create a customer support dashboard using this metric? Check out this example Support Dashboard.