A quick read with a big impact.

5 Reasons You’re Not Resolving IT Help Desk Tickets

5 Reasons You’re Not Resolving IT Help Desk Tickets

Pilots like to joke that the number of landings in a pilot’s logbook should always match the number of takeoffs.

Your internal help desk likely follows a similar maxim: You always want the number of tickets that you close successfully to match the number of tickets you open.

If you are falling short in this area, if you have too many tickets going unresolved, here is some help.

Read on to discover the top-five reasons that your internal help desk isn’t resolving more tickets—and what to do to improve your performance.

1. Lack of Expertise

Some companies that lack the budget and resources to staff a dedicated internal help desk assign the function to someone in another role.

Ultra small businesses, for example, will often hand the role of help desk agent to an executive assistant or someone in the company who is tech-savvy.

Naturally, this only works if all support issues are easily resolved. The greater the complexity of your support issues, and the less experienced and knowledgeable your help desk person is, the more likely you are to have support tickets that never get resolved quickly enough—if at all.

2. Poor Knowledge base Best Practices

Your knowledge base is there to give your internal help desk agents quick and comprehensive ways to resolve both common and uncommon technical support issues.

But the problem with some help desks is that agents only follow what’s in the knowledge base. If a solution isn’t in the knowledge base, they don’t implement it. To avoid this issue, give your help desk agents careful authority to seek out solutions elsewhere.

Why the caution? Internal help desk agents who offer callers the first solution they find online often compound problems. For example, they offer a patch that they find in the first Google search result, missing search results two, three, and four that discuss the vulnerabilities this patch creates for certain systems and configurations.

The solution is threefold:

  1. Maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date knowledgebase that is easy, intuitive and rewarding to use.
  2. Give your agents authority to seek solutions outside of the knowledgebase when needed.
  3. BUT, always spell out in writing the procedures agents must follow when seeking resolutions on third-party websites.

3. Support Role Fiefdoms

“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” isn’t just one of the most iconic lines ever spoken in movie history (Paul Newman, by the way, in Cool Hand Luke). It’s also a problem many internal help desks face with other support groups within the company.

Some support staff in other departments feel obligated to protect their role, their influence, their reputation and their place in the world. So, they delay providing information or resources which hampers open communication. If your help desk team always seems to be waiting for an internal support group to get back to them, that’s a situation to run up the ladder.

4. Inadequate Leadership Communication with Agents

Your internal help desk agents operate at ground level, fielding calls and resolving issues. Your senior managers operate at 50,000 feet.

This creates problems if there is insufficient communication between agents and leadership.

For example, are your agents forced to escalate tickets because they lack access, or knowledge, or permissions or approval to fix these issues themselves? Find out by having your leaders sit and listen to your agents. This will help you discover how leadership – at any level – might be preventing your team from resolving more tickets.

5. High Turnover

The final cause of not enough tickets getting resolved is high turnover. And this doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on your internal help desk.

For some agents, the help desk is simply their steppingstone to bigger and better positions within the organization. They join the help desk team with a clear exit plan, and once they hit their tenure point, they move out. This leads to gaps in coverage and costly help desk downtime.

What’s even worse? When these people move on, they take their skills and knowledge with them. This hinders your internal help desk’s ability to resolve tickets quickly. You are forced to spend more time training new agents and bringing them up to standard … only to see them leave.

Soften the blow of high turnover with a robust onboarding and training program that gets new hires up to speed and competent as quickly as possible. Focus on call scripts so that your agents, old and new, deliver a consistent customer experience. And if you have a problem with help desk agent retention, read some tips on turning that around.

Resolving More IT Help Desk Tickets Is Within Your Reach

If you want the number of support tickets you open to equal the number of tickets you resolve, look carefully at these top-five causes of poor ticket resolution. Tackle each one that applies to your internal help desk and you will soon be on your way to delivering outstanding help desk support—with no unexpected crashes.

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