A help desk typically uses a ticket management system to field support requests. But even the best-managed support staff can struggle to provide timely and effective responses. With SLAs driving performance targets, support staff must constantly improve efficiency while providing quality service.
At the same time, ticket backlogs can occur in any customer service department. Tickets could accumulate over time, or a specific event could have resulted in a sudden influx.
Here’s the thing: a ticket backlog isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because your customers are interacting with you for one reason or another. But there is a difference between staying afloat and drowning in tickets. The good news is that support teams can employ a variety of methods to better manage and reduce ticket backlogs.
How to do it best?
Prioritize the Tickets
Your ticket management system should allow you to prioritize tickets as they arrive, whether by automation or delegation. After prioritizing, you can assign them to specific agents and distribute the work accordingly.
Whether you group tickets by date, type of issue or any other criterion, organization is essential. Instituting structure and organization within ticket management will help your team to process and resolve them as efficiently as possible.
After evaluation, you can establish priorities and response timelines for each incident. With the help of this model, your support team can categorize tickets and prioritize based on the time remaining to address them. This allows for improved organization and allocation of support resources.
Address Root Cause
Help desk team members will troubleshoot and resolve problems that may be symptoms of a larger problem. While these incidents may appear unrelated on the surface, a Root Cause Analysis may reveal an underlying connection.
According to Masterclass, “RCA is a methodical technique for identifying root causes of issues or events and a response approach. RCA is based on the premise that effective management requires more than just putting out fires,” but also preventing them.
Every support ticket should be handled with an RCA in mind. This entails including as much relevant detail as possible in each incident log with the ultimate goal of identifying patterns and trends.
Many support desk software platforms include RCA capability, because it facilitates proper data collection and analysis. Identifying and resolving a root cause problem will eliminate all associated issues and reduce ticket volume.
All automated customer service options involve varying levels of human interaction that can reduce or minimize IT support tickets.
Platforms using automation could:
- Set up a system for prioritizing and categorizing support tickets
- Resolve simple problems automatically
- Perform automatic follow-ups
- Provide self-service resolution
Consider how to best integrate automation into your support desk. It’s well worth doing, because it increases efficiency, reduces generated support requests and can support time savers, like reminders for on-hold or paused tickets.
Managing third parties and contractors can also be smoothed out using automation. For example, if a particular type of ticket is raised, an automated flow can be triggered to engage the contractor.
Ticket Clearing: Work With the Team
If your ticket backlog is too large, you may need to go all-hands-on-deck. Take a couple of hours and focus solely on ticket clearing.
With customizable ticket management software, you can sort:
- The types of issues
- The priority of a specific issue
- The date the ticket was created
This effort gains even more momentum when you operate your help desk using Microsoft Teams. Now your organization as a whole can collaborate more effectively.
Introducing Conversational Ticketing
Conversational ticketing is dynamic support that takes place in real-time between an analyst and a Microsoft Teams user. First, the user chats with the virtual assistant to establish the problem and attempt a solution. If not resolved, the user is directed to a human support analyst who will now have all the information at hand.
Because Teams is conversation-oriented, we can create a seamless dialogue throughout the support process resulting in happier employees and analysts.
Using Microsoft Teams to Do All of This
The Microsoft 365 platform offers a tremendous opportunity to support a ticket management system. That’s why we chose Microsoft Teams as the foundation for Tikit:
- It facilitates conversational ticketing: connecting users and support analysts, speeds dialogue and problem solving.
- It provides a system to streamline ticket management: centralizing requests and provides audit trail, ROI reporting, AI deflection, integrations, sophisticated triaging and aggregation of productivity tools.
Getting feedback from the users is easier than ever before. You can set up a system of requesting feedback using automation for complex issues or third-party engagements.
Why not contact us if you need a ticketing system. For Microsoft-first clients, we develop Microsoft-first ticketing solutions!