What is Ticket Backlog?

Ticket Backlog refers to the number of customer tickets that haven’t yet been addressed by support staff within a period. Often it’s associated with a high volume of tickets. This is a ‘negative’ KPI you want to minimize, if not eliminate altogether – but it’s still a vital one to keep track of regardless.

The industry standard for tickets to remain unresolved is no longer than 30 days – although, of course, it’s much better to resolve all tickets well before this point. Industry benchmarks for unresolved tickets within this 30-day period are as follows:

  • Healthcare: 20 unresolved tickets
  • Software: 50 unresolved tickets
  • E-commerce: 100 unresolved tickets
  • Financial services: 150 unresolved tickets

Ticket Backlog is an important KPI for your support team to monitor.

Why is Ticket Backlog important?

Ticket Backlog is important because it indicates not only how busy your support team is and if they require backup, but also because a heavy backup can severely threaten your customer satisfaction. Failure to address customer concerns, even if already busy, will inevitably result in failure to retain your customers.

How to calculate Ticket Backlog

In calculating Ticket Backlog, the X variable refers to the threshold of acceptable time for a ticket to remain unresolved. In absence of a personal company standard, substitute the general industry benchmark of 30 days.

ticket backlog formula.png

How to decrease Ticket Backlog

There are several strategies your support team can use to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, Ticket Backlog.

  • Optimize your ticket organization: organize tickets by date submitted, type of issue, and any other category, and prioritize addressing them based on urgency.
  • Practice ticket cleaning: set aside time for your team to address backlogged tickets without taking on new ones.
  • Utilize automation, installing a chatbot or other form of self-service so customers can have simple problems addressed immediately. This will free up time and energy for your support staff to handle more complex requests.
  • Allocate additional support staff if needed. This might prove especially useful if you’re busier at certain times of the year.
  • Finally, ensure your product or service meets high standards of industry quality, which will reduce customer problems on the back end.

Other KPIs similar to Ticket Backlog include:

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