Picture this: Janet joins a new company as an IT service desk team manager. Despite having a service desk software tool, she finds that the support team is consistently failing at keeping up with priority requests. The service desk agents are spending a lot of time looking for information on ticket requests and not enough time resolving them. There is no mechanism to know which service desk agent is suited to handle what ticket.
The outcome of all this is that users/customers are unsatisfied with the IT service desk and often complain about it.
Upon further investigation, Janet realizes that the IT service desk tool is being underutilized. Though the team uses the tool to record all the ticket requests, they don’t categorize those based on priority and issue type. So they are unable to track tickets properly or assign them to the right agent.
While Janet finds her way through trial and error, we’d like you to do better and save some time. We’ve compiled this article to offer you all the information about different service desk ticket types that will help you manage your IT service desk in a more organized and efficient way.
Service desk software is a ticket management platform that acts as a single point of contact between IT users and IT service providers. These IT users can either be customers or in-house employees who reach out for IT support.
The tool helps service desk agents address different kinds of queries (categorized as incidents, problems, and service requests) from the customers/users. It also allows them to curate and manage departmental knowledge in the form of articles. These articles can be accessed by anyone via a self-service portal to solve simpler or common queries.
The tool also offers some productivity features to boost the efficiency of IT service desks. It offers reporting and analytics on how fast and successfully the IT service desk tickets are being resolved. The insights can be used to improve the performance of service desks.
The tool also offers workflow management features that automate parts of the ticket management process.
Users might reach out to your IT service department via phone, email, or self-service portal. If they create a support ticket on their own using the self-service portal, then the ticket goes straight into the queue of your service desk team. But if they reach out via phone or email, your service desk support agent needs to create a ticket on the user’s behalf.
Either way, the tickets go to a central dashboard and are assigned to suitable and available service desk agents for resolution.
Regardless of its type, each service desk ticket is a document containing detailed information about the customer inquiry/end-user issue. These tickets are classified into several categories so that your service desk can manage, handle, and resolve them efficiently.
Let’s look at each service desk ticket type in detail.
A ticket is classified as a service request when it contains an inquiry for information about a product/service or request for new hardware/software, password resets, software licenses, etc.
Some service requests need approval from business units or departments before they can be fulfilled. And multiple users can send in similar requests, so the process of service request fulfillment needs to be standardized.
A standard service request fulfillment process would have the following steps:
A service request is logged or a ticket is generated
Approvals are sought (if needed)
The ticket is assigned to a service desk agent
Further information from the customer/end user is sought
The request is fulfilled or resolved
An incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in the service quality of an IT product. The intent of a service desk in such a scenario is to resolve the issue quickly and restore productivity and operational efficiency.
Incidents are usually unique and each one needs special attention and a customized approach. But there are certain common steps involved in the incident management process:
An incident is reported by a customer, employee, or any other end user via phone, email, or chat
The incident is logged in the service desk with details about the incident such as its reporter, handler, time, and date of reporting
It’s tagged with a category (the type of incident—security, hardware, software, etc.) and urgency (low, medium, high, etc.)
The service provider diagnoses the cause and determines the fastest way for incident resolution
The incident is either resolved at this step or further escalated
Once the incident is finally resolved, the ticket is closed, and it is formally conveyed to the requestor
The process owners or managers conduct incident review to understand what went wrong
Problems are the root cause behind incidents. Problems can become major incidents that affect multiple users simultaneously.
Problem management involves identifying, understanding, and finding methods to eliminate the root cause of an incident. There are two ways to approach problem management.
The first is reactive problem management, which is responding to problems that have caused incidents for current users. Next is proactive problem management, which involves addressing problems that could cause potential incidents.
A problem ticket is usually raised internally by a technical staff member who first discovers/suspects that a problem exists.
Problems are unique but having a standard problem management process helps reduce the influx of incident tickets. You can use any service desk tool to manage problem tickets but a standard process could look like this:
Problem detection and problem ticket logging: In reactive problem management, the service desk staff identifies a problem based on a repeated or increased number of incidents and raises a problem ticket to eliminate the root cause. In proactive problem management, incident trend analysis is conducted using diagnostic software to detect potential incidents. A problem ticket is then raised to prevent the incidents.
Problem and error control: The problem ticket is evaluated and prioritized depending on its impact and urgency. The known solutions and new workarounds are documented and analyzed. A cost-benefit analysis is also done at this stage to check the feasibility of solutions. If a problem persists longer, incident resolution is recommended until the problem is eliminated completely. The problem is regularly reassessed for its potential impact.
Any change, modification, or replacement in the product/service needs to be managed and supported.
Changes can be standard, with pre-approved processes (such as replacing a Wi-Fi router) or they can be non-standard, with higher risks (such as data center migration or emergency changes in case of security threats). These are handled via change advisory boards (CAB).
An IT service desk can support an organization or an end user through technical changes. A user can raise a change request to seek a change in a product or service. These tickets contain technical descriptions of the product/service needing a change and the reasons for it.
Usually, a non-standard change request lifecycle would look like this:
A change request ticket is created with the necessary information
The change request is reviewed and assessed for the risks and rewards involved
A change plan is created and outcomes, resources, timelines, etc. are documented and change approval is sought by CAB
The change is implemented and the procedure is documented along the way
The change ticket is closed and is reviewed by the change manager to gauge its success
Apart from streamlining the ticketing process, you need to make sure that your IT service desk is sufficiently staffed, trained, and optimally equipped. Consider building an internal knowledge base for your service desk agents to help them handle tickets more efficiently.
To boost the process further and improve the service desk experience for users, you must collect feedback about your IT service desk operations.
Don’t forget to check out different service desk software and go through user reviews to finalize one for your business.