Calls are not all created equal.  Read how Basic IT Request Fulfillment can help you  stop ‘taking tickets’ and start actively managing excellence in  customer service.

Basic IT Request Fulfillment

Life is like a box of chocolates

Every Service Desk analyst can tell you; answering the phone is a bit like the box-of-chocolate effect – you can get a call about anything. You literally have no idea what will come in next.

It’s a lot to keep track of. And while everyone is tracking calls as tickets, many handle them all together in one big bucket, and work really hard to make sure everything gets done.

It’s not hard to recognize that not all tickets are created equal, and the ability to make sense of them – from the vantage point of business impact and business value is key to success.

The Big Bucket

The Big Bucket helps ensure nothing gets lost, and it’s worked pretty well when we were all in the same building and knew our customers personally.

Unfortunately, resolution time can vary greatly depending on work volume and staffing. You know the old saying:

Better to have consistently bad service than inconsistent service.

Inconsistent translates to bad service from the customer perspective.

It comes down to this: not all calls are created equal. Some have higher business impact and urgency.

Without active management, some issues will be resolved immediately, while others sit for days, weeks, or months. It’s a model that doesn’t scale well, and at the pace of business today, it’s a customer service nightmare.

OK, Sparky, here’s the deal

Business is under tremendous pressure to deliver. IT must be laser-focused on their top priorities.

Handling every call the same just won’t cut it. Some are just more critical than others, and we need to make sure we’re responding accordingly.

Separating Service Requests from Incidents helps give us this focus. By having clarity in business expectations, and the ability to measure performance, we can know we’re delivering what the business needs.

Incidents versus Requests

Let’s start at the beginning. For each call, we must determine if it’s an Incident or a Request.

How do we know?

Keeping it simple, it boils down to this – an Incident is when something is broken. Something used to work and isn’t now. Take a look at What is Basic IT Incident Management for a more complete explanation.

A Service Request is when a user needs something they don’t currently have. (Which includes changes to existing services.) I cover this more in  What is Basic IT Request Fulfillment.

Once identified, the two follow separate process paths. Each optimized to deliver the agreed-upon level of service.

It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. And it will dramatically improve customer service.

Basic Request Fulfillment process

We’re looking at  Service Requests here, and the basic steps are pretty straight forward:

  1. —Gather basic customer information
  2. —Understand needs & assist selecting appropriate Service
  3. —Establish priority, and set customer expectation for fulfillment time frame
  4. —Track requests
  5. —Coordinate service delivery
  6. —Follow up

By separating Requests from Incidents, you can better focus your support staff on meeting the needs of the business. You can make sure you respond rapidly to high business priorities, and less on lower priorities.

Active management of Request and Incidents is essential to excellent customer service.

Photo Credit: John Picken via Compfight cc