ITIL (Complex) IT Service Desk Process vs. Tikit via Microsoft Teams

Tikit process improvements save time_image by ChenPG

The classic way of doing things may be optimal, or it may be a bit more detailed than you may like. But without steps and process stages laid out, it might not be easy to see the impact of a different approach—or how to even create improvements. Let’s explore the roots of IT service desk operations and how Tikit takes a different approach.

ITIL Ticket Process: a Detailed Method

IT service desks typically adhere to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) process flow, whether they know it or not. There are usually at least three layers involved:
The user: requests help
First-level support: performs intake as first point of contact and initial troubleshooting
Second-level support: analysts with specific expertise takes escalated tickets and maintains the knowledge base

This is the general sequence of events that service request management follows:

  1. The problem: the end user emails, calls or fills out a request in a service desk portal
  2. Level-1 support analyst:
    a. Assesses the user incident or service request and identifies the issue
    b. Creates a ticket, searches for a related knowledge base result that outlines resolution instructions
    c. Tickets should be classified once created, which involves selecting a category, priority, potential impact on business operations, urgency (or ETA) for resolution
    d. Attempts to resolve the issue
  3. Escalation: If unable to resolve, the ticket is escalated to a level-2 analyst
  4. Level-2 support analyst:
    a. Provides instruction on how to resolve the issue
    b. Documents process in the knowledge base for Level-1 future reference
  5. Validation and problem resolution:
    a. Level 1 support verifies the instruction will be followed to resolve the issue
    b. If not resolved, the ticket is routed back to the Level-2 analyst
    c. If resolved, the user is alerted that the issue is resolved, and the ticket is closed

One goal of this process is to empower the Level-1 analyst and reduce reliance on Level-2 analyst. But you can see how tickets bounce back and forth, particularly in larger environments.

Tikit Ticket Process: a Different Vision for Ticketing

Tikit, designed on Microsoft Teams architecture, takes a different approach to ticket processing. It relies on the conversational nature of Teams for a more fluid process. The condensed process gives users an easy way to submit requests via email or Teams chats, and analysts a streamlined way to resolve tickets.

In this example, you can see that the process gets a bit of a lift:

  1. The problem: The user asks for Outlook help via Microsoft Teams chat (also possible via email).
    a. The virtual agent instantly informs the end user and analyst of ticket number.
  2. Analyst sees ticket in the “triage” channel:
    a. The analyst sees the request in triage before they engage the user in conversation. The priority and description info can be filled in now, later or even automatically through templates and automations.
    b. The analyst can take the ticket or assign it, modify or tag the ticket or chat with the end user.
  3. Analyst replies to ticket, suggests action item for user:
    a. Example: to address common causes for Outlook issues, the analyst may respond to the ticket with, “make sure Outlook is in online mode.” The user could potentially resolve the issue via this instruction.
    b. On the ticket, the analyst selects “send reply and add to knowledge base.” This is how you train your virtual agent to respond to common requests. When another request is made related to Outlook or email issues, the virtual agent will step in to suggest this solution.
  4. End-user action: follows instructions, responds if the suggestion didn’t resolve the issue or submits another request further training the virtual agent.

A few things become apparent with Tikit’s process:
• One level of analyst is engaged, helping you better allocate analyst talent.
• Analysts at every level have the opportunity to improve the knowledge base
• The virtual agent steps in to serve as first line support—especially for common or repetitive requests. This frees up the help desk analyst’s time.
• The virtual agent is undergoing constant training. It will better respond to more requests as they are submitted, further freeing up help desk analysts’ time.
• The user is empowered, being fed information that could potentially easily resolve the issue—lessening wait time.
• Tickets collect activity history for all to reference.

How many times have you jumped in to help with an issue off the cuff? How many times do you get requests for the same issue? Tikit provides time savings for these types of situations and more.

Consolidate The Ticketing Process Further with Templates and Custom Forms

You can tighten the process and further automate it using “templates,” a dynamic we lay out in our Ticket Template Blog Series:
Part 1: Reduce Paperwork in Your Ticketing Process with Tikit Templates
Part 2: How to Create and Apply Tikit Templates
Part 3: How to Train Tikit and Automate the Help Desk Ticketing Process

We recommend “templates” to further reduce analysts’ manual work and fully automate the entire ticketing process.

Bypass Triage Queue Using Groups, Routing to Specified Talent/Expertise

Tikit makes another aspect of the ticketing process more efficient: routing. By incorporating “support groups” into your ticketing process, you can further streamline service desk operations.

Initially, all tickets amass in a general “triage” channel. But by configuring “support groups,” you can organize and direct tickets to buckets based on technology, issue category, internal departments or other delineations valuable to your organization. Groups aren’t hierarchies. They are about putting the right tickets in front of the right people (often with specialized skill sets), speeding up the queue.

Best practice: When the ticket is created, the analyst selects the group (along with category, priority, status, requestor) and assign the ticket to a specific group member if desired.

Analysts can find tickets in the “support group” associated channel. You can see the process in action here.

Groups provide a few added benefits:
Less manual work. Groups reduce ticket bouncing between analysts and support tier levels. Instead, password requests go to a permissions group or laptop requests to go the hardware group. There is efficiency at play—efficiency created by a process you created. This is efficiency you realize in addition to the efficiency created via artificial intelligence (your virtual agent).

Improved resolution times. When the right people are working on the right issues, tickets are resolved faster and with greater accountability. It isn’t as easy to cherry pick tickets you want to work when they are assigned directly to you, or they are in a group queue managed by a few specialized analysts.

Even workflow. Groups prevent the “triage” channel from overflooding. You can set up a smooth, even flow of tickets, because they are actively in motion instead of sitting in a queue waiting to be reviewed. For this reason, we recommend always selecting a group when creating tickets so that you can benefit from more efficient ticket routing.

As Tikit evolves, it continues to refine the ticketing process and IT service desk operations. You can hear more about Tikit’s story and see how you benefit from its future during our upcoming webinar on March 29. We’ll explore the cumbersome nature of traditional ticketing, how Tikit came onto the scene and upcoming advancements we have planned. Register now!

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