It can feel like there’s a never-ending pile of IT tickets to get through. While you and your team have to keep digging through the daily volume, it’s just as important to spend time finding a long-term solution that gives everyone a bit of breathing room.
Start by thinking through the best organizational strategy for your tickets. You can:
1. Use AI to group like tickets together.
As your company gets bigger and bigger, the size of your IT department might not scale proportionally alongside it. That means you have to find tools that not only help your team do their jobs, but which also are uniquely made to deal with volume.
Using artificially intelligent tools to help you sort is one of the best ways to deal with a growing number of tickets. Autonomous sorting and solvency features can handle the bulk of the busy work while their human counterparts do the more conceptually difficult work.
For example, AI can be the first tier of response. If they register certain keywords, they can send form responses with the most likely solutions. They can also independently request confirm and maintain communication so more tickets get archived without reaching human eyes.
For tickets that reach a second tier of difficulty, AI can still help. Here’s how:
Send them to the team with the answer.
Even if the size of your IT team doesn’t keep pace with the size of the rest of the company, it will eventually be composed of different, smaller teams that specialize in different areas of support. Your department may also have dedicated employees to respond to different departments or who are the experts in different areas. Train your AI tools to send out tickets to the person who can answer them best. Use criteria such as:
- keywords. Simple keywords can filter software and hardware problems into different categories. In turn, hardware queries can be filtered to the onsite specialist in different locations. As your AI gets smarter and smarter, it will build a database of terms that point to a specific issue even if the ticket creator doesn’t understand the problems themselves. In order to enable better keyword-based results, focus on:
- history of final edits. Tickets may pass through multiple hands before their finally solved. Sometimes that’s part of the process: approvals or “standard operating checklists” have to be maintained. But many times, it’s because the previous ticket owners didn’t know what to do. Train your system to reference who solved for previous like-minded tickets.
- department and location. If your company has different branches, geography needs to be part of the system. But your company might also have dedicated team members for different problems, especially in the main office. This could be because some departments have specialized software (Finance) or they need to have stricter clearance for taking over screens or seeing in-progress work (Legal).
If you don’t have a sorting AI or everyone on the team shares equal responsibility, get a randomized assigning tool that can sort out everyone’s daily tasks. Random isn’t always fair, but it’s a solid baseline. The manager can resort or shuffle the tickets based on workload and employee strengths from there.
Gauge priority level by volume.
Tickets won’t be solved immediately, and that’s usually okay. If a ticket is in the queue and it’s incredibly vital to closing a deal or meeting a deadline, the department head can email the right person to bump ahead in the queue. But one-off emergency problems aren’t the real threat.
Make sure you have a mechanism for catching all of the potentially smaller but much more frequent tickets. This can help your team catch trends or issues before they grow to catastrophic proportions. Here are small examples:
- The website is out. If your company website is down, then the business is down. Outages have huge costs, especially if you have a B2C company or your services run through your site. But usually, the news of a downed site or malfunctioning page comes through dozens or internal tickets or thousands of customer tickets. If you get a flood of the exact same alert, that needs to become your first priority.
- Signs of malware, phishing, or ransomware. Unfortunately, the rest of your company won’t be as well trained as your IT department or your AI on the signs that someone is trying to launch a cyber attack. But they will eventually submit a help ticket with the signs that impede their job. One glitch or manifestation of something that might be a phishing scheme is a problem, but it’s not necessarily an emergency. If several similar tickets start coming into the queue before someone reaches the first one, however, the whole group needs to be pushed forward and assigned.
AI can do the sorting work that takes too long for your employees to do. Even better, many AI-enabled programs are sophisticated enough to frame new tickets against the current inbox, not just the rules they learn from completed tickets.
2. Use automated context, not just input fields.
Once your tickets are in order, someone has to have the job or going out to the other cubicles for problems that can’t be solved remotely.
Whether your IT team has access to artificially intelligent tools are not, they need a lot of information to complete requests. If your company handles IT tickets through an informal email-based system, there’s going to be a lot of back and forth just through the initial troubleshooting portion of completing the ticket. That means lag time, angry emails, and lots of lost revenue.
So invest in ticket systems that require a minimum of conversation. Ticket systems that have drop-down category selections help employees explain their problem and help the assigned employee understand the problem.
But you can go beyond that, too. Enable your ticketing system with programs that automatically sweep the requester’s computer and send a completed report with the initial ticket. Depending on how smart that additional software is, it can suggest the most likely problem for further investigation.
More information about the problem is helpful, but more information about the querier can be even better. Give your IT team tablets, especially if they spend most of their day going from desk to desk. Next, if it isn’t already, route your ticketing software through your intranet. Then your team can find the employee’s desk through the floor plan, see what hardware they’re using, and check in on the history of there past tickets to see if it’s a recurring user issue.
Building a solid management strategy is the first step in resolving a growing mountain of IT tickets. Getting the software to match is the second step. Go to Vision Helpdesk to get what you need.