Trouble Ticket Software
Computer failures are inevitable, and organizations whose managers recognize that their systems are subject to inexplicable errors, crashes and other problems will set up protocols for servicing trouble calls quickly and efficiently.
How does your organization deal with requests from employees for help with software and hardware issues? Do you call the IT department or send them an email that details the problem? If so, who in IT manages these incoming messages? What do you do if the person responsible for checking these incoming emails is out sick? How does the IT department sort out which issues are the most pressing and which can be deferred to the next day?
Some companies can get by with their employees contacting the IT department by mail or by phone when they are still small startups, but as an organization grows, there are more computers to manage and more opportunities for problems to arise. At a certain point in a company’s development, it’s prudent to start using trouble ticket software, also referred to as help desk software.
Trouble Ticket Software Manages Incidents
Traditionally, trouble ticket software has been used for managing incidents and not long-term requests. Today, however, while the term trouble ticket software still implies the management of incidents, it is also a part of a larger help desk software solution that can also handle long-term requests or non-urgent procurement needs.
For example, while an employee might typically enter a trouble ticket if their laptop won’t turn on, or their printer won’t print, modules such as Change Management can also be helpful in requesting and managing longer term requests, such as hardware procurement, or an enhancement to another application.
Write down the rules for submitting trouble tickets and distribute them to all employees to avoid bogging down the system with non-urgent requests. Explain to employees that the help desk system needs to use tickets to document all requests and to make sure everyone is treated fairly and efficiently.
Establish Better Accountability
Help desk software is ideal for establishing a system of accountability in your IT department. The head of your IT group can review how long it takes for staffers to respond to and fix hardware and software problems, which should encourage them to use their time wisely in response to repair calls. If technicians fail to investigate a problem quickly enough too many times in a row, their boss can take this information into account during the next employee review.
Accountability is a two-way street with trouble tickets. If the IT staff notices a pattern where an employee from the sales department keeps putting in help requests to fix problems that he has caused by installing unauthorized and unsupported software, for example, they may decide to have a talk with the employee about following protocol.
If multiple employees enter similar requests for help that would be remedied by a basic understanding of how to use a particular application, management may determine that it’s time to have workers take a software refresher course.
When the IT department relies on phone calls, emails and text messages from people who need their assistance, how are they going to prioritize which works needs attention first? By using software to process trouble tickets, users can designate what kind of issue they are experiencing and note the degree of severity, such as “sound not playing through speakers,” “cannot get files off of USB flash drive” or “computer will not start up.”
Instead of dealing with issues on a first-come, first-served basis, the IT department can make rational decisions by filtering and prioritizing the tickets.
Priorities can shift rapidly, of course, such as when the president’s computer fails or if a star salesperson’s laptop and projector have a problem one hour before an important presentation that stands to win the company a huge contract.
One indispensable feature of trouble ticket software is its ability to generate confirmation messages. An employee who needs someone to sort out a software issue will get a ticket number assigned to his request.
The system will send him confirmation that someone in the IT department has received the message and will be responding to it shortly. Employees don’t have to waste time wondering when they will get help or feel that they have to call to see when an IT staffer is going to arrive.
Trouble Ticket Software Summary
Companies that want to get the most out of their IT staff will eventually realize the many benefits of using trouble ticket software to prioritize and manage incidents. Automating the help desk helps make a company more responsive and nimble and provides a competitive advantage.