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Devin Kelly

By: Devin Kelly on September 7th, 2021

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Why Does It Take So Long To Get IT Support? (5 Things Every IT Support Ticket Needs)

IT Support

You come in to work bright and early, ready to tackle the day, but you can’t connect to the internet. Or you open Excel to update your company’s Very Important Spreadsheet and find it missing. 

You know the importance of filling out a support ticket, but may not give much thought to the information you provide. You may be in a hurry to connect to the internet for a meeting or to tackle your next assignment.

Whether your IT support comes from a Managed Services Provider (MSP) like Kelser, or your own in-house tech wizard, it is not always easy to figure out what information to include in a ticket, but I can help! 

When a client emails or calls, the Help Desk is the first point of contact for every ticket that enters our system. For four years, I've been involved with Kelser Corporation's Help Desk as dispatcher and team manager. I also worked closely with customers to make sure we are getting the right details on each ticket so we can solve their issues efficiently. I know what information is helpful and will share my tips for success.

By the end of this article, you will know exactly what information to provide to your IT support when submitting a ticket. This will eliminate most of the questions dispatch or the engineers have, giving you quicker and more efficient support. While my knowledge applies specifically to Kelser, this guidance will be applicable regardless of who provides your IT support. 

Important Information to Include in a Ticket

Most of the time, the information to include in a ticket is straightforward: 

Extent of Issue

Who is affected by the issue? Is it the entire office, just one person or multiple people? What is the role of that person/people in the organization? 

Detailed Description

Describe what is happening and, if possible, provide a screenshot of any error messages. This one small step can make a huge difference and is essential in getting timely and efficient support.

Urgency

How critical is the issue? Can the affected person/people perform job duties while waiting for a fix? Is the entire company unable to work? Are customers unable to connect to your business?

Contact information

What is the quickest way for the service provider to reach the person/people affected? Is there a cell or office phone that will be monitored? Is email best? Think about where you will be when? Where can you be reached after hours? home? office? cell? Without a clear way to contact the user, the level of support will suffer.

Providing only an email address as a form of contact may not be the best way to get optimal support.

Error Messages

A good rule of thumb is to do whatever you can to capture error messages associated with the issue:  take a screenshot or a picture on your phone to send to yourself – or us! Every little bit of information is invaluable when troubleshooting.

These are, by far, the most important criteria for a support ticket. In a stressful situation that requires support, you may not think to collect the details, or you may be in a hurry and it may seem easier to send through a generic request and let the IT experts figure it out. While we understand the sense of urgency, it is always in your best interest to provide as much information as possible so we can get you up and running quickly. 

It’s human nature to get frustrated when nothing is going right on your work computer. That frustration understandably grows when the people you call for help ask more questions. We know it can be stressful to act as the middleman between your support team and your coworker.  Providing accurate contact information in the ticket allows the engineer to reach out directly to the affected user/s, get you out of the middle, and remedy the situation fast.

Think of this experience like going to the doctor when you are sick; if you only tell the doctor you feel crummy, a lot of different things could be wrong. The doctor likely will need to ask questions and perform tests. If you provide a detailed list of symptoms, you may get a quicker, more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Computer problems and support requests are similar:   accurate and specific information will yield a quicker and more accurate fix. In today’s market, time is a luxury most businesses can’t afford. 

What Else Should I Put in a Ticket Before I Press “Send”?

Details Matter. When it comes to support requests, a good rule of thumb is “the more information the better.” If you aren’t sure whether to include something, put it into the ticket.

Name of the affected workstation

If you know the name of the affected workstation, including it can help if the technician needs to establish a remote connection. Alerts and system checks can be run behind the scenes once the name of the workstation is identified. 

Name of an engineer who previously helped

If you remember the name of the engineer who helped solve a similar issue for you in the past, that is also a great tidbit to throw into the ticket. Recurring issues can often be fixed more quickly when the same engineer responds (since they worked on it before, their familiarity may help troubleshoot the issue more quickly).

Additional details

The more details the dispatcher and engineers have, the more effectively they can address the problem at hand.  Details that may seem unimportant can make a huge difference in turnaround time; I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times in my role as a Dispatcher. 

Example of a good and bad support ticket

For example: if your printer is not working, there can be many different explanations. The printer could be jammed or out of paper. Your computer could have the wrong printer set as its default. Your computer might need to install an update to communicate with the printer. The printer could have gone into “sleep” mode. BUT, if your ticket includes that simple statement that the printer is on and your coworker just successfully printed a report, that tells us: 

1) This is not a networking issue

2) The printer is likely still on

3) This problem is isolated to your machine

This is a perfect example of how one detail on the ticket can narrow the scope of our investigation significantly. 

Now You Know How To Help IT Support Expedite Service!

You now have the power to influence the speed and accuracy of response to your issue (minimizing your down time and frustration) simply by knowing which information to include on a ticket and why it is important. By putting as much information as possible into your ticket, you can directly affect how efficiently your ticket is handled. Now that you know what information to include in a ticket, you may be wondering how to measure the effectiveness of your MSP's help desk response.

About Devin Kelly

Devin is vice president of relationships at Kelser. He brings valuable hands-on experience from his many roles over the years at Kelser. Putting himself in the the place of our clients, he knows the importance of a timely response.

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