How to Answer, Categorize, Prioritize, Track & Reduce IT Support Tickets

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Handling IT support tickets in an efficient manner is vital. If you spend more time than necessary in resolving tickets, you’ll see your inbox explode with unanswered requests.

This leads to stress, both for IT support staff and employees. That’s why it’s pivotal to handle support tickets efficiently.

The best method to categorize IT support tickets is by a first in, first out manner. It’s the most effective approach to scheduling tickets as well as resolving IT incidents.

When you schedule out the resolution, you eliminate all the missed correspondence and frustrations from having to connect to someone’s machine without their authorization or approval.

IT support tickets are inherently a negative interaction, so it’s crucial that you make it a positive experience and remove all user’s frustration. While you should tackle most tickets with a first in, first out manner, there’s a possibility that mission-critical tickets will arise. Those will take priority and might go upstream i.e., allocated to third or fourth tier technicians.

Get your first or second tier technicians to handle standard tickets. In turn, leave critical tickets to third or fourth tier technicians.

The three typical buckets which handle service tickets are:

  • critical;
  • monitored; and,
  • to be scheduled.

Remote teams can manage tickets that don’t require user interaction, such as easy break-fix solutions. Your escalation team (i.e., third or fourth tier) will handle critical tickets.

The ones to be scheduled are the remaining 90%, which require one on one interaction with the user.

This approach is proven — it’s the best experience for the user, and it’s also the best opportunity to build on your relationship.

Further Reading

How Do I Reduce IT Tickets?

Deploy a Net Admin

The easiest way to reduce IT tickets is via proactive maintenance. This approach is called net admin, where a team actively visits client sites and proactively maintains the equipment. Net admin helps address problems before they arise.

Net admin teams schedule maintenance and firmware updates and engage in inventory reporting. They help in establishing IT liaisons with users — the liaison can filter out ticket requests and ensures only relevant ones reach the MSP team. Others, which can be resolved in-house such as a malfunctioning keyboard, are tackled by the liaison.

Establish a NOC

It’s also possible to reduce IT tickets with an offshore network operation center (NOC). This assists with remote monitoring and maintenance tasks — helping curtail both tickets and expenses.

Build a Self-Service Portal or FAQ

Establishing a self-service knowledge base or a FAQ guide addresses common questions and reasons to ask for tech support. This reduces the number of support tickets as users can search for answers through an internal wiki.

Train Your Users in Cyber Security Best Practices

Cyber breaches can easily consume hours or even days of IT time and effort, and the resolution of a breach cannot be pushed off for later. Employee training, such as guarding against cyberattacks, will limit the vulnerability of a breach by up to 90% – an easy approach to cut down unwanted and costly tickets..

Automate Scripting for Issue Resolution

Scripting & automation processes also assist with tickets around slow machines. Once the system generates a request, the automatic script goes into that machine overnight and spruces up your device.

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How do I Handle Ticket Workflows?

Use Dedicated Tools for Ticket Workflows

Ticket workflows shouldn’t be tackled in an ad-hoc manner or via a non-specialized tool such as Excel. Dedicated MSP PSA tools take the load off your shoulders and make it far easier to track workflows.

Enable Support Teams with Technology & Governance Standards

Support agents are a critical part of the workflow — you should empower them with appropriate tools, such as a dedicated workstation, support phone, and requisite training. You should clearly define escalation levels and assign contact personnel in each department.

Create Checklists as Part of Support SLAs (service level agreements) for Users

Before logging tickets, agents should always have a guide for users to perform. This is a step-by-step guide, sort of like a checklist which can result in lower tickets. For example, have you rebooted your PC and done other maintenance checks to resolve the problem?

Standardize Support Ticket Request Forms

At the same time, service agents should try to add as much information as possible in each ticket. This helps tech support — they’re able to resolve the problem without additional time for research.

Sending support tickets via email is another method to add more details about a specific problem. It enables users to provide more information about the problem and, in turn, better equips tech support to understand the user’s experience.

Dealing With Unresolved Service Tickets – Set & Monitor KPIs

The average service ticket should take a resolution time of approximately 30 minutes. If it takes longer, then the ticket should be escalated to the help desk manager. Sometimes, it’s best to wipe the machine in question rather than attempting to fix the problem.

You should also build service ticket monitoring KPIs and turnaround times into your SLA. A service level agreement should incorporate the following metrics:

  • Average resolution time
  • Number of unresolved tickets each month
  • Ticket close rate
  • Network health status
  • Quarterly business reviews
  • Amount of support categories that require the most staff

These are just some of the many processes that Power Consulting deploys to reduce support tickets and cut IT costs for our clients. It’s often possible to cut IT servicing costs in half with the right approach, but getting there is a journey. If you’re already blowing the IT budget, give us a call and we can help you trim the wasted spending in 90 days.

Power Consulting has decades of experience in helping businesses of all sizes with their IT needs. Speak to us today for a free consultation on how we can assist your firm.