Top Tricks for Taming Call Center Tickets - Part 1
February 06, 2018

Tim Flower
Nexthink

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"We can't fix it if they don't call."

I can't count how many times I've said those words in my IT career. Users suffering with technology issues often suffer in silence. However, IT teams have struggled for decades with help desk call volumes and ticket counts that are just too high.

So we have competing priorities — We need users to call in their issues, while conversely we need our ticket volumes to decrease. And ironically, despite the myriad of technology advances, the only real tool available to business end users when they have an IT problem is the old-fashioned telephone. It's no wonder call center tickets are on the rise, incidents are escalated to higher and more complex service levels, and both end users and IT support staff are frustrated.

End users lose an average of 20 minutes each day because of device failures

The problem is that technology has simply grown too complex and too quickly for mere humans to effectively monitor and manage it all. Aside from the impact to technology teams and their expenses related to call center tickets, business user productivity is sorely impacted. After all, the mission of IT needs to be completely focused on enabling the user. Even in the most sophisticated IT organization, end users lose an average of 20 minutes each day because of device failures. That's over two weeks per year per user.

So, how can IT lower the amount of call center tickets, quickly resolve those incidents that can't be avoided, and reduce their own costs in the process? Below are three key strategies:

1. Don't wait – Investigate

Waiting for business end users to "call in" their computer issues is old-school. Progressive companies are turning to cognitive or AI-based solutions to analyze and uncover issues that are impacting productivity, prioritize them, and fix them before end users are even aware of the issue.

This strategy represents a major difference in approach, shifting methodologies from reactionary, ticket-based processes to a system that is proactive and fact-based. Leveraging data analytics to uncover issues and trends will allow for improved response times and will also help uncover hidden insights.

2. Don't hope - Get the full scope

If you wait for business end users to call for help, your only option is to hope they actually call. Many end users either try to resolve issues on their own, or wait for the problem to go away. Through experience, users have learned that calling the help desk results in a very lengthy and frustrating process, or having to deal with new issues that surface when trying to fix the first one. And when end users take matters into their own hands, IT is left in the dark and have a very difficult time defining the true scope of the problem.

Identifying issues without user dependency means you can find everyone impacted for a proper response. When coupled with a proactive investigation, finding the full scope of a given issue allows for real prioritization and a full understanding of enterprise health.

3. Don't just remediate - Automate

Even with the full scope of the problem, and its associated business impact identified, it takes human effort to apply the fix. Much like software delivery, an incremental business benefit is achieved when you can automate the fix and apply it to everyone who might be impacted, whether or not they called the Help Desk.

Engaging directly with the end users at the time of the event will let them know that IT is watching out for them and fixing their issues without the need to call the help desk.

IT departments that shift from reactionary fire fighters to becoming proactive business partners find their ticket counts reduced from 20 to 50 percent or more

IT departments that shift from reactionary fire fighters to becoming proactive business partners find their ticket counts reduced from 20 to 50 percent or more. These reductions can help IT with improved Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and significantly reduce their costs. The bigger benefit to the enterprise as a whole is that the IT environment is stabilized, users are productive, and IT is now seen as a strategic business partner.

Read Top Tricks for Taming Call Center Tickets - Part 2

Tim Flower is VP of DEX Strategy at Nexthink
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