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Tim Colby

By: Tim Colby on March 19, 2022

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What's The Fastest Way To Resolve My IT Issues?

IT Support

You are in the middle of an important project (on deadline, of course); that’s when your computer decides to act up. It’s the last thing you need. We’ve all been there.

You know there’s a process:  fill out an IT service ticket and wait for the IT support folks to call you. Then you remember that you have the business card of the person your IT provider sent out last time. Maybe it would be faster to call that person directly. 

I’ve worked in the IT industry for years. In my current role as manager of Kelser’s IT service desk, I understand that it can be tempting to reach out to someone you know personally within your IT provider directly for help

In this article, I’ll explain the service ticket process and share some real-life stories about how reaching out directly to an individual rather (than through a service ticket) has resulted in delays and frustration for users.

How Are IT Service Tickets Prioritized?

The IT service ticket process is designed to expedite service and make sure that all requests for service are tracked and resolved. 

When a user fills out a service ticket, it sets in motion the resolution process that is similar to medical triage. 

When you go to an emergency room or urgent care facility, the first person you meet asks questions to determine the severity of your situation and prioritizes which medical situation needs attention first. People with chest pain or trouble breathing are typically prioritized over people who may have a cut that needs stitches. 

The IT service ticketing process is similar. Your IT provider needs as much information as you can possibly provide about your computer’s “symptoms.” It is understandably tough to keep this in mind when you are in the heat of the moment and just want service. 

Maybe it will help to realize that the three minutes or so that you spend providing information on your service ticket will help your IT provider decide who needs help first. 

While computer issues are never convenient, the IT provider’s job is to resolve each situation efficiently and effectively. We understand that computer issues are never a good thing, but part of our job is to evaluate all of our service requests and determine which are an inconvenience and which are a true emergency. 

If one of our users is experiencing an issue with one of their apps, for example, that’s important, but not an emergency. If another customer is unable to access their network and business is halted as a result, that is an emergency and it goes to the top of the priority list. 

Allow me one more medical analogy. 

We’ve all had to wait in a doctor’s waiting room. While it is frustrating when you are the person in the waiting room, it is reassuring when you have questions about a medical issue and your provider takes all of the time necessary to make sure you understand your condition and options. 

When you are the one who needs the extra time and attention, you are happy to have a provider who cares. 

The same is true for IT issues. When you have an emergency, you are happy that your provider handles it with the urgency it demands. 

IT providers take every user’s issue seriously and try to resolve it as quickly as possible, but part of the service users pay for is the expertise of the IT service folks to prioritize which situations are critical and need immediate attention. 

Why Is It Important To Use The IT Service Ticketing System?

Users sometimes assume that a personal connection will guarantee them faster service, so they call someone they know within the IT provider’s organization rather than using the service ticketing system. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with frustrated users who have contacted one of our service or sales employees for help only to find out (often hours or even days later) that the person they called or emailed is in meetings or is out on vacation or medical leave. 

There are two issues with this approach

  1. The service ticketing system is monitored and issues are typically seen and assigned for help within 30 minutes of being reported.

  2. All customer interactions on the issue, are tracked within the ticketing system so that everyone on the IT provider service team has access to all of the information about the issue and knows exactly what action has been taken to resolve it. That makes it possible for anyone on the provider’s service team to pick up and run with any issue for any customer at a moment’s notice. 

When all correspondence goes through the ticketing system, your issue is tracked and resolved in the quickest way possible

Tips For Submitting An IT Service Ticket

Providers usually offer customers a variety of options ranging from calling the service desk to email or via a customer portal. (The customer portal often provides customers with a way to check the status of the service ticket as well.)

Here are a few tips for submitting an IT service ticket: 

  1. If your IT issue has shut down your ability to do business, call your IT provider immediately to report the severity of the issue.
  2. Be sure that all of your users know how to submit a ticket to your IT provider. This knowledge will streamline the ability of your provider to resolve issues as they arrive.

  3. When submitting a ticket via email, make sure that your subject line provides as much information as possible. The IT service team will be able to quickly route a ticket that says  “Help - my email won’t download” than one that simply says “Help.”
  4. Submit different tickets for each IT issue and submit them as soon as you know there is an issue. When users wait and let issues pile up and submit multiple problems on a service ticket, there is a chance that a service ticket is closed out as “resolved” when one of the issues is resolved, leaving the others unresolved and no longer tracked.

  5. If possible, provide a window of time that you’ll be available at a certain telephone number. (Consider providing an “after hours” number as well.)

    The reality is that your IT provider will try to contact you (some actually will provide a window of time when they will call you). If they can’t reach you, they will likely move on to the next person in the service cue, which means you automatically fall to the bottom of the cue.

Communicating as much information as possible helps get your issue resolved quickly and efficiently. Provide screenshots and details. 

What Happens After I Submit A Ticket?

Users get an email when the ticket is submitted, another when it’s been assigned, any time a service engineer works on the ticket and enters notes about it, and after the issue is resolved.

Once the user receives an email from the service desk, all communications about that issue should be made to the service ticket email address. (At Kelser, our service ticket email address is servicecases@kelsercorp.com.) As long as your ticket number is in the email, the ticketing system knows to add the notes to the service ticket

The process is important and it’s what allows your IT provider to make sure that your issues are seen and resolved. 

So What’s The Fastest Way To Resolve IT Issues?

Whether you have an internal IT support organization or work with an IT provider, the information you include in an IT service ticket can make a difference in the way your request is prioritized. 

In this article, you’ve learned how IT service tickets are prioritized, why it’s important to use the service ticket system, tips for submitting IT service tickets, and what happens after you submit a ticket.  

The ultimate goal of IT providers is to take care of everyone as quickly and efficiently as possible. Users play a role in how well that process works.

Now that you know how the service ticketing system works and that the information you provide is important, we can work together to resolve your IT issues in the best and most efficient way possible

If your IT organization’s response time is suffering, you have options. Outside IT providers can supplement your internal IT organization or they can provide complete IT support. To find out more about your options, read this article:  Break/Fix Vs. Managed Services: Which Is Right For My Business?

About Tim Colby

Tim Colby manages Kelser Corporation's service desk. He has over 13 years of managed service experience working mainly in industries such as healthcare, finance, and defense. Tim specializes in server and virtualization infrastructure, audit and compliance readiness, and Microsoft 365 messaging and collaboration services.

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