If you think you don’t need to reduce the open tickets number in your Service Desk, ask your Service Desk Manager how many they are. Take care that Open Tickets are all those not closed (in all queues), no cheating!
Did you do it? Did the answer surprise you? Then keep reading because this article will help you to reduce the number of open tickets.
Have you ever heard about Biofeedback?
I heard about it for the first time in the 1980s on “Beyond 2000”, an Australian TV program focused on technological innovations.
At the time I didn’t think for a moment that one day Biofeedback would come back to my mind while thinking about the age-old problem of open tickets.
First of all, what is biofeedback? Biofeedback is a method used to teach people to control certain functions of their body.
I’ll give you the example I saw on the television broadcast. A patient suffering from hypotension was shown his arterial pressure on a screen represented by a horizontal line. The patient visualizes the data and concentrates on the height of the horizontal line. In this way he learns to move the line and thus to change his pressure.
If the patient had seen his own blood pressure data just once a week, he would never have been able to figure out how to increase it.
Whenever I come across a service desk with a very high number of open/suspended tickets, I remember that biofeedback broadcast. I think that it is possible to monitor and control the open tickets number as long as you have the correct tools that show significant indicators to operators in real time. It is also possible to prevent the slow and inexorable increase of open tickets with this kind of monitoring.
What are the 5 fundamental steps we need to take to remedy a situation where the open tickets number is very high?
Count all the open and the suspended tickets. Don’t be afraid to hide anything. It’s better to have the situation clear from the start even if it is ‘uncomfortable’. Knowing the total number of open tickets is useful because, by implementing a few initial rules, the subsequent improvement will give more satisfaction.
Make an average of opened and closed tickets during the week. On specific days, keep track of the number of daily opened and closed tickets. The difference between open and closed tickets daily will be one of the main requirements to keep under control. Even if you currently have a large number of open tickets, you will find you have sufficient operators to close all the tickets opened each day.
Most of the time, very old tickets are problems that have already been solved, or for which it is no longer necessary to intervene. If you have open tickets that haven’t been updated for 3 months, close them. It’s best to send an email when you close the ticket. In that email, indicate that it is an automatic email and that the closure has taken place because of a time constraint. You can also ask the user to reopen the ticket if the request is still current.
Set up a monitor at a point visible to all service desk operators. Show the number of open tickets for each area of competence. Set and show the threshold number beyond which you need to alert yourself and request external help or corrective actions.
Make all the operators of the same area of competence (represented on the monitor) team up and feel responsible for the team’s result. Increasing resources and assigning more specialized tasks will be useful in complex situations.
Once you’ve finished these 5 steps, relax and enjoy the results you’ve achieved. What do you say? Did the pressure just increase at the thought of your in-laws visiting you next weekend? I don’t have the solution to that, but maybe you can use biofeedback techniques for that too ☺