IT pros face a near-constant deluge of trouble tickets every day, which leaves very little time to analyze where the workday actually goes. This post gives you a glimpse into a critical part of a day in the life of a support professional, where service request management and resolution take place.
I JUST FIX. I DON’T FORMULATE.
There are small organizations where ticketing management is pretty much nonexistent. In this instance, the IT admin ends up juggling multiple requests received through various disparate channels (phone, email, chat, in-person requests, etc.), trying to multitask and solve them all. This may sound superhuman, but everyone who’s been there and done that knows it’s extremely time-consuming and difficult. Without a system in place for managing and tracking these service requests, it takes a ridiculous amount of time to simply prioritize and tackle all the tickets at hand. At the end of the day, it’s just grappling with SLA delays, incomplete service fulfilment, dealing with irate customers, and being that overly-stretched IT pro who is lost in a maze of uncategorized ticket anarchy. This, of course, leads to technician and customer dissatisfaction in most cases.
Without proper IT service management processes and techniques in place, hiring additional staff to assist won’t help much. They will still get swamped with tickets and end up having to put out fires all over the place, too.
Where time is lost:
- Incident management
- Service request tracking
- Ticket prioritization and categorization
- Technician assignment and escalation
- Communication and follow-up with end-users via multiple channels
VISIT-AND-ASSIST SUPPORT IS PRETTY MUCH MY DAY
Even if you have proper ticketing management practices in place, you could still be wasting time on actual problem resolution if there isn’t technology assistance for the support staff. When handling Level 2 and Level 3 support, all while attending to desktop support requests, IT pros usually lose a lot of time visiting end-user workstations and resolving issues there. This has been the traditional IT way, and it’s fairly simple in small companies with few employees. But, as your network and user base grows, your visit-and-assist method will prove less productive. When support agents aren’t equipped with the right tools for remote troubleshooting, you can definitely expect less productivity, specifically with the number of tickets closed per day.
Instead, consider implementing a self-service system to reduce the more frustrating requests to unlock end-user’s accounts, or reset their passwords. In these cases, even the least tech-savvy user can access and use a centralized knowledge management and self-service portal that empowers him to help himself, freeing the IT pro to spend time on more important tickets.
Where time is lost:
- Physically visiting end-user desks to resolve issues.
- Repeatedly fixing simple and recurring tickets.
Time is definitely of the essence for the support department. Until we understand the value of process and technology, and implement steps to enhance both, we will continue to be burdened with productivity issues (for technicians), satisfaction issues (for customers), or worse, end up wasting time.
Help desk and remote support tools address both these challenges. For smaller organizations where budgetary constraints supplement the issues of time management, simple and cost-effective help desk and remote support tools could help you save deep pocket burns, and optimize time for both effective service management and efficient resolution.