3 Troubles to Tackle for Accelerated Ticket Resolution

Service desks succeed by resolving as many tickets as quickly as possible. IT service management (ITSM) and customer service management (CSM) team leaders understand and accept this reality, but while the concept is simple, there's another reality to take into consideration: tickets don't stop pouring in, ever. It's easy for management to hand down ticket reduction initiatives, but it's easier said than done when you're buried under an avalanche of service tickets and the SLA clocks are ticking.

Teams are facing increased pressure to perform with limited resources while managing the day-to-day, and the extra productivity has to come from somewhere. The solution stems from complete transparency into ticket resolution processes. Once ITSM and CSM leaders can actually see where processes are encountering bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and noncompliance, they can drive change within their organizations and improve key performance indicators. The good news for service desks is that there are intelligent solutions to achieve exactly that type of transparency.

Imagine if, in the scenarios below, you had technology that attaches to all the event logs in your call center or service tech system, like ServiceNow. By visualizing the processes in your system you can see where things are actually getting held up, for how long, and how often in aggregate. This approach allows you to target process change and optimize productivity in your organization rather than using siloed data that does not tell the whole story.

In working with global Fortune 500 companies to improve their IT and customer service initiative,s we found these three situations most often pinpointed for improvement.

Multi-Hop Tickets

The dreaded multi-hop ticket is the top culprit that slows down ticket resolution time. If a ticket gets assigned to a team that is unable or unwilling to solve the issue, it ends up assigned to another team (or teams). The problem starts to become more expensive when tickets are escalated from low-cost units to high-cost units, as throughput times and financial costs rise with each ticket reassignment. An overabundance of multi-hop tickets signals the need for deeper investigation, and knowing where to look can be tricky.

In most cases, the solution to multi-hops tends to be additional training and education, but the difficulty is knowing which teams need training on which issues. Pinpointing the use cases that make the hops happen is the best way to boost productivity with a more frictionless path.

High Manual Effort

If a service team is averaging 30 minutes to resolve a ticket, but repetitive manual tasks like data entry are taking up 10 of those minutes, there's a clear case for reducing the workload with automation to speed up ticket resolution. An initial warning sign of high manual effort could be a surplus of multi-hop tickets or an abnormally high average ticket resolution time.

Implementing automation to cut down on manual effort means that human workers can focus on more complex tasks that require creativity or strategic thinking. By being able to see where to best focus, companies can identify areas of high manual work that are ripe for automation.

High Average Ticket Resolution Cost

Imagine a company wants to cut the total customer interactions that result in service tickets from 3 percent to 2 percent. Hypothetically, if the average cost to resolve a certain category of ticket via the CSM team is $7, but the average cost to simply refund a customer is $5, then the company could actually remove the need to service that category and still save money, all while improving customer satisfaction.

The term shift left means empowering people to solve problems earlier in the resolution process, and it's not limited to service desk team members. If the financial cost of resolving high-priority tickets is too high, it could mean that a shift left is in order. In addition to self-service options, lower level teams could be trained up to handle more complex problems if certain categories of ticket turn out to be common. The key is to identify areas best suited for a shift left and make the requisite process changes intelligently instead of haphazardly.

ITSM and CSM teams are discovering that the fastest and easiest approach to service desk improvement comes from a category of intelligent business systems that creates total transparency into how service desk processes are functioning. The underlying technology that powers these systems is called process mining, which uses the event logs that exist within all IT systems to visually recreate and analyze how processes are really running. Using this technology, some of the world's most respected businesses are leading the way toward efficient and effective ticket resolution, boosting productivity, and transforming their organizations.

If your help desk needs help, there's no need to file a ticket, but it just mighty be time to turn to a digital solution to drive meaningful change within your organization.

Stephan Rossbauer, Ph.D., is vice president of solution engineering at Celonis.