Helpful Techniques for Speeding Up IT Service Management
If you aren’t careful, support tickets can pile up quickly. The longer the list of tickets gets, the more stressed your team is likely to become.
In turn, the slower the work, the less happy everyone gets, and the longer it takes for tickets to be handled. It’s a dangerous cycle that must be broken.
The best thing you can do is increase your IT ticket management resolution time. This starts with a more intentional approach to IT service management (ITSM).
What’s Your Average Resolution Time?
Average resolution time, also known as mean ticket resolution time, is a key performance indicator (KPI) that tracks the average amount of time required for a customer issue to be resolved. In the case of IT support, it’s the average length of time to close an IT service ticket once it’s been opened.
Average resolution time can be calculated in various ways, such as:
- Average resolution time for the entire IT service department
- Average resolution time on a per-agent basis
- Average resolution time for each type of support ticket
- Average resolution time by day of the week
Fortunately, calculating your resolution time for IT service tickets is a fairly easy and straightforward process. The formula looks like this:
Total Resolution Time for All Tickets Solved Over a Period
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– = Average Resolution Time
Number of Tickets Solved Over the Same Period
For illustrative purposes: If your total resolution time was 1,000 minutes and you solved 100 tickets, that means the average resolution time is 10 minutes (1,000 minutes/100 tickets). You could drill down even further and calculate the average time per agent, ticket type, etc.
Average resolution time tells you several key things:
Efficiency: You learn a lot about how efficient your IT support is, based on the amount of time it takes for tickets to be resolved. And the more you track this statistic, the better you’ll be able to identify trends over time. Eventually, you’ll have a baseline to work from. The next step is to focus on continuously improving ITSM processes.
Problem Areas: Your average resolution time will tell you when there are problem areas that generate particular types of support tickets. If most tickets take an average of three hours to resolve, but one particular kind of ticket consumes nine hours, then something is out of alignment. You can place your focus on improving this area and bringing down service level agreements (SLAs) with team collaboration across service agents.
Customer Satisfaction: Generally speaking, the shorter your average resolution times are, the happier your customers will be. As resolution times increase, you can expect to see customer satisfaction deteriorate.
Employee Satisfaction: Interestingly, you’ll find your IT support staff is happier when resolution times are speedy. That indicates they’re doing their jobs well. It also means fewer tickets are piling up, which can be a major source of stress in this line of work.
These are just some of the basic takeaways that are tied to your resolution time. You can also infer dozens of other results and make projections based on where the numbers stand.
Five Tips for Speeding Up Your Ticket Resolution Time
You don’t have to settle for long IT ticket resolution times. With the correct approach to IT service management, your performance can become more swift (and accurate). Here are several helpful tips that should accomplish that.
1. Properly Train Agents
Your IT support agents are the key to making this work. Even with the correct cloud-based service desk ticketing system and processes, you must have properly trained people to support your customer interactions and support requests. Here are two vital focal points for training:
De-escalation techniques. The soft side of IT support is critical. Your staff must be trained on how to de-escalate emotional customers as they walk through support steps.
Never “going dark.” In customer service/IT support, we refer to any period of silence as “going dark.” Whether it’s a 20-second pause with a chatbot or being put on hold for 10 minutes, you must reduce dark periods by training agents on how to keep customers engaged during the process.
These are just a couple of examples. Make sure you keep your ear to the ground so you’re aware of any problem areas with your agents.
2. Save Templates
If certain IT support ticket requests keep turning up, create templated responses for them in the service portal. These might include password resets, basic user errors, or common system errors. The templates may be copied and pasted real-time into responses (or pre-loaded into a chatbot) to provide instant support without human involvement.
3. Create Predictable Workflows
Predictable IT support workflows can substantially reduce your average resolution time. Many of these workflows may be automated like ticket routing based on regions or assigning tickets based on an agent’s proficiency or the customer’s urgency. However, you can also create written workflows (also known as standard operating procedures) to encourage your IT support staff to follow highly specific steps for handling certain situations.
4. Host Regular Roundtables
You can only tell so much by studying the customer data. At some point, you have to get a feel for what’s happening with boots on the ground. This is why we recommend hosting a regular roundtable (weekly or monthly) with your IT support team.
During this meeting, ask for feedback on what’s working and what’s not. This helps you identify common problem areas. It also gives your team the opportunity to counsel one another and share advice on how to handle certain types of support tickets.
5. Leverage Available Technology
When so many different applications and automations are available, it’s foolish to approach IT tickets without a plan for how to integrate the appropriate technologies into your IT service management. The key is to take a less-is-more approach.
The more you layer on various tools, the more complicated your technology stack will become. If you can find one platform that does a dozen things, that’s better than having four or five tools, each of which performs only one or two functions.
Improve IT Service Management With Aisera
Aisera AI service desk for IT software is designed to help you scale employee support with streamlined IT service ticket systems. Our solution enables your company to:
- Propel service desk productivity
- Offer seamless, omnichannel support
- Empower agents to handle tickets efficiently
- Improve cross-departmental collaboration
- Close service gaps and reduce costs
- Increase both employee and customer satisfaction