The faster you solve users’ problems, the happier they’re likely to be. That’s why tracking time to resolution is one of the best ways to gauge how well your service desk team performs. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of business hours that pass between the time a ticket is initiated and the time you close it out, divided by the total number of tickets you work on, all within a given time period.
Your efforts to improve resolution time can touch almost every aspect of your operations, from agent and technician performance to identifying deeper application, system and network issues. For now, here are three quick tips for lowering time to resolution and improving customer service.
1. Speedier Diagnoses
How accurately and quickly problems are diagnosed depends on your agents’ skills and experience. There are ways you can support your agents, no matter how long they’ve been on the job, so they become better troubleshooters and make better triage judgments.
- Build a great knowledge management system, and update it consistently. Your knowledge bank isn’t a one-time creation. It should be a living resource that you’re constantly updating. When agents encounter new problems or come up with new solutions to known problems, have them write detailed reports and upload them into your knowledge management system.
- Make it easy to search ticket history. Your service desk solution should make it easy to create custom queries regarding users and ticket history. When a history of similar symptoms and a list of solutions that weren’t completely effective is easily accessible, less time is spent on intake and the ticket can quickly be assigned to a higher-level technician.
- Be collaborative. Encourage your agents to talk to each other and ask each other questions. The hive mind tends to be faster and more accurate than one agent working in a silo.
2. Prioritized Tickets
Ticket prioritization is one of the best use cases for automation, particularly if your service desk solution automatically creates tickets triggered by system events. You can write scripts to send tickets related to major incidents to the top of your priorities list, and you can automatically assign certain tickets to your most experienced techs.
Also, it’s way past time to get your agents out of the password reset business. A good service desk solution can create a robust self-service portal that not only guides users step by step through routine issues but also provides articles and even quick tutorial videos so they can troubleshoot low-priority issues on their own, according to their level of expertise.
3. Intelligent Escalation
Too often, repeat tickets bounce from agent to agent when they need to be escalated to L2 or L3 for in-depth troubleshooting. Alternatively, sometimes higher-level techs get tasked with problems that junior analysts should be able to solve, and when major problems arise, this creates chaos.
Develop clear guidelines about when it’s appropriate to escalate a ticket and when it’s right to assign a higher-level tech initially. For instance, problems that present a major risk to your organization need your best technicians, and problems that have presented themselves over and over are ripe for a more experienced analyst.
Toward Resolution Time
As you track this vital metric over time, you’ll learn which incidents have the most drag on your resolution time. You’ll also get a lot of insight into the efficiency of your agents, which means better identification of your training and staffing shortfalls.
The best service desks track the metrics that matter, and they work tirelessly to improve them. Download our white paper: How World-Class Service Desks Use Benchmarking for Continuous Improvement.
About Laura Miller
Laura Miller is the Director of Sales in North America for Samanage. She works one-on-one with customers ranging from SMB to Fortune 500, providing them with a modern way to look at service management. Laura's ITIL experience and ITIL v3 Foundations certification provides her with a unique understanding of the service management industry. Her guilty pleasures are anything chocolate, ice coffee, and reality TV.
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