Zombie tickets

Published August 14, 2013
Last modified August 14, 2013

Some tickets just won'’t die.

Six months ago, I was working the graveyard shift when I got an email that I assumed was an open and shut case from a new customer. She wanted to know a little bit about Triggers. Easy enough. I gave her a quick explanation and sent her a link to the relevant forum article for her reference.

Then she followed up by reopening the same ticket with a question about macros. No problem. I sent her a similar response, and link to a forum article.

Just moments later, I received an email notifying me of the ticket being reopened again. She wanted me to make sure she had set up her Macros and Triggers properly.

Then she wanted to know how she could put a link to a photo of her cat in her macros.

And the final blow was when she asked me if I liked the picture of her cat.

My head was spinning; when would responding with the correct answer, or any answer, be enough to put this ticket down for good?

The answer, as it turned out, was never: this was a Zombie ticket

Zombie tickets, or undead tickets, refuse to die. No matter how perfectly you answer the question, the ticket just keeps getting back up for more.

Zombie tickets aren’t like normal tickets. You can’t just solve them with a simple answer, no matter how accurate your answer is. You need a headshot, and that means getting on the phone. By its very nature, email fosters a back and forth dynamic. Phone calls are finite and are sometimes necessary to put a ticket down once and for all.

I set up a call, answered all of her questions, and asked if it would be ok to close the ticket. It took all of five minutes.

In this crazy world we live in, Zombie tickets are a fact of life. But if you listen to these customer service tips, you'll  make sure they don’t turn into full on outbreaks, threatening to  break down the walls of your company and eat everyone’s brains:

  • Tie in documentation and training into your dashboard so new customers can get a handle on your product or service
  • Foster a healthy FAQ and forums so customers can find answers on their own
  • Provide a related topics widget
  • Proactive support for better feature adoption

Discover other monster tickets (if you dare):
Poseidon’s revenge
When customers go werewolf on you
Curse of the mummy ticket
Permanent daylight: the cure for vampire tickets
Taking on the dreaded hydra

And for the truly brave, The Mysterious Case of Ticket X: the book!