IT service desk agents have been managing a great deal of transition during the past few years. Not only have they supported remote employees during the COVID-19 lockdowns, they may now be supporting variations of remote, hybrid and in-house employees.
Maintaining service quality and end user productivity amid such change is no small feat, but we’ve compiled a list of service desk queue management strategies that support service delivery without sacrificing IT efficiency.
1. Decide How the Team Will Prioritize
It might seem straightforward to respond to support tickets in the order they appear, also known as first in, first out (FIFO). But that method doesn’t take into account the degree of disruption being experienced. FIFO limits efficiency.
It’s much more effective to look at tickets for common themes and prioritize them. Consider these questions when evaluating tickets:
- Which tickets can be resolved immediately?
- Which needs are most urgent?
- What additional information is needed to resolve the issue?
- Is this a recurring issue?
- Which tickets are duplicates?
- What is the business impact if this issue is not resolved?
Creating category buckets is the first step in prioritizing the service desk ticket queue. Once you have a sense of the common categories seen at the service desk, then you can triage them as they arrive.
2. Triage Incoming Tickets
Triaging tickets helps you organize the way tickets are addressed. For example, Level 1 support agents may handle password reset and other simple issues. Level 2 agents may address desktop and laptop issues, along with anything escalated from Level 1. Level 3 agents may work on configuration, database, server maintenance and networking issues.
This general approach to triage is commonly used by service desk teams. Microsoft 365 service desks, however, help you route tickets more specifically to specialized support groups, so that tickets can be addressed faster, conversationally, in Microsoft Teams.
3. Automate Service Desk Workflows
Automation can build a great deal of efficiency into the ticketing process. With the help of rules-based automation, for example, tickets can be automatically routed to specific specialists. But it’s also possible to leverage an AI-powered virtual agent and fully automate the ticketing lifecycle for common, repetitive requests—once the virtual agent is taught to recognize and process those requests.
4. Innovate Self-Service
Many experts expect artificial intelligence (AI) to continue to transform service desk queue management. That’s partially because many service desk agents lose valuable time addressing common requests. Backlogs can develop due to request volume, and end users with complex queries aren’t as easy to reach. A triage structure does help establish a priority process, but self-service plays a major role in addressing repetitive requests.
Tikit has an advantage: its self-service is dynamic and AI-driven. When an end user asks for help with a password issue, for example, an AI virtual agent can be taught to identify relevant knowledge base articles associated with the request and automatically serve it to the end user. It’s a remarkably efficient approach, appealing to both the end user and service desk agent. IT admins can train Tikit Virtual Agent by:
- Creating multiple KB responses to commonly asked requests.
- Clicking on the chat and selecting “Add QnA to KB in Tikit.”
Adding content to the KB via either method helps Tikit Virtual Agent learn and respond to requests automatically.
With self-service that leverages AI (in the form of a virtual agent), end users won’t have to wait. Their issue can be addressed in real-time, while the human agent works on more complicated requests. It’s a solution that works for everyone!
5. Draw from Contextual Data
The more transparent the data, the better. Back-and-forth exchanges are sometimes necessary to get information, but they can slow down response times. Tikit can connect to other Microsoft solutions and enable a seamless flow of data so that service desk agents have easy access to information they need. For example while in Tikit, service desk agents can click through to user device information in Intune, lessening the need to reach out to end users about various assets. Integrations like these can be powerful—and they can save a lot of time.
6. Gather End User Feedback
A little proactivity now can improve service desk queue management over the long term. By gathering feedback from end users as tickets are resolved (via surveys, for example) service desks can continue to affect continual improvement.
Simplifying Service Desk Queue Management
Service desk queue management doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s pretty simple using Tikit. Tikit can be installed in under 30 minutes, and it comes with a wide range of features that can help you actively (and automatically) manage support queues.