Incident Management – How to make sure no ticket falls through the cracks

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The IT Admin at any company is the go-to-person for every employee seeking to solve a multitude of IT issues. And understandably, he spends all day racing to analyse and answer every ticket promptly and efficiently.

But even after your best efforts, a few do slip through the cracks. And in a system this complex, the cracks are everywhere.

The forgotten tickets are no laughing matter either. Because just one seemingly insignificant, a neglected ticket can come back to unravel everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Great incident management is not the unreachable paragon of perfection that you thought it was. With a dash of automation, a little bit of motivation and an easy to use UI, you can efficiently manage your incidents in no time.

Here are five things to look into when you manage your incidents:

1) Make yourself accessible

It might sound painfully obvious. But it’s the most fundamental thing you have to keep your eye out for. At the end of the day, if your end users can’t raise tickets with ease, you’re losing out by compromising on quality and satisfaction.

Ensure that users can raise tickets or post queries through multiple portals. Apart from raising tickets through emails, your users should also be able to raise tickets over the phone with an agent, or directly with the service desk software you use. Tailor your notification systems based on how often you want to receive alerts. Setting up a notification system to alert you whenever you or your group are assigned a ticket ensures that you never miss anything.

2) Delegate and Control your tickets

Use automation to your advantage. A lot of tickets fall through the cracks just because they’re assigned ineffectively. By setting pre-established parameters that guide the right tickets to the right agent, you can cut down on a lot of time wastage and prevent any ticket from staying unattended for too long. If you feel the need to put heads together and fix an issue, include other agents in the loop. Most importantly, give yourself deadlines to resolve each ticket and set reminders/timers that notify you if you don’t stick to them.

3) Catalog your issues

Quite often, you will receive tickets about issues that could be related to one another. Grouping similar issues and incidents together can save you and your fellow agents a lot of time and effort. If you find an incident similar to a pre-existing one, link them together and add a note summarising how you resolved it. This could go towards building a repertoire of solutions that other agents can turn to when they encounter similar issues. You could also make these solutions available to your users. This would enable your users to check if there are pre-existing solutions to their issues before they raise another ticket of their own. Needless to say, this sort of preemptive ticket resolution can be a godsend for customer support.

4) Keep your users in the loop

The daunting part about customer service is how exhausting it can get. And god forbid if it’s that one day when every WiFi router decides to go on a strike. Before you know it, you’re answering thirty-five identical, outrage filled emails in a row and it’s not even lunchtime yet.

A person can only type “Have you tried disconnecting and reconnecting your internet?” so many times, and not lose it. It’s a simple theory: When you receive identical tickets, you should be able to send identical responses without bothering with the copy+paste routine. So the easiest way to knock this down is to invest some time in creating message templates that can be dispatched at the click of a button. To minimize time wastage, create these template responses for every situation you think you might need them for.

As soon as you receive a ticket, automated emails could notify your requesters that their ticket is being taken care of, or send gentle reminders to requesters who’ve fallen out of correspondence. Make sure you get your customers to fill out surveys after the resolution of every ticket, so you can figure out exactly what you could do better.

5) Motivate your agents

Here’s the thing about Incident management. Even when you’ve been doing it all day, you never know if you’ve even made a dent with the constant influx of complaints and queries. Every ticket you receive requires instant resolution and the users you serve are quick to a fault. It becomes quite easy to lose all enthusiasm and get sucked into the monotony of it all. And nothing can make tickets fall through the gaps faster than unmotivated agents. To add a little pep to the humdrum routine, celebrate and reward the work your agents do. One idea would be to award points for every task done well: from early responses and successfully resolved tickets to the best customer surveys and cleaning up ticket backlogs. When every ticket is a potential step up the leaderboard, you’ll find your agents tackle every issue that comes their way with unparalleled enthusiasm.

When all is said and done, every user who raises a ticket just wants an issue to be heard and resolved promptly. So it goes a long way if you try your best to do just that. No ticket deserves to fall through the cracks. And the only way to make sure of that is with efficient incident management.

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