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Exception Management in Action

In our final post of this series, we discuss the importance of Exception Management with actual stories of it in action.

There are many exceptions in each of our businesses, and while not everyone faces the same ones, here are a few of my favorites:

Tickets Missing Data: Have you ever had a ticket missing a phone number or an email address? Do you require all tickets on your helpdesk to have an active agreement? Although ConnectWise, for example, doesn’t allow required fields in a ticket, you can have a ConnectSMART gadget showing you any ticket missing a field that YOU require!

Orphaned Tickets: The ability to leverage child tickets can be very useful, but it can negatively affect your SLA numbers if you don’t put them into a ‘waiting’ status. We recommend that people create a status called Child Ticket and make sure that it is marked as ‘Do Not Escalate’. But what if someone doesn’t put a child ticket into that status or puts a ticket into that status that doesn’t have a parent ticket? The ConnectSMART Orphaned Tickets gadget makes sure you do not, further ensuring your SLA metrics are accurate.

Customer Responded: We have found over the years that the most important element of great service is great communication. We have also found that while it can be quite difficult, the quicker we respond to a customer request or follow up, the happier they are. For that reason, we flag any ticket updated via email or web portal as ‘Customer Responded’. That flag gets cleared whenever a ticket is opened up or manually unchecked. This sends an email notification, but we also use a workflow to change the status as long as it is not a child ticket. This workflow can also reopen a ticket, or we can have a very simple Exception gadget in ConnectSMART allowing us to drilldown on every ticket that was last updated by the customer to give a response. We have a rule that no engineer can leave the office if that number isn’t at zero. The result of this rule is that as soon as a ticket gets electronically updated, someone will respond back as quickly as possible. No one wants to have to wade through twenty or thirty tickets before they can go home.

When we first implemented this process it revealed several critical things. First, there were a lot of things slipping through this particular crack. Whether it was lack of response to child tickets that were never seen (there is no resource to send an email to), closed tickets that didn’t re-open, or tickets that were too old, they all could be explained but lead to dissatisfaction none-the-less. Second, as we increased our speed to electronic responses, many customers increased their electronic communication. This immediately shifted about 20% of the ticket load from voice calls to electronic and we found that customers were calling less because they could get their answer the way they wanted – which was electronically.

While much has been written regarding the metrics that drive a successful service provider, most of it focuses on individual metrics and leaves out a number of critical factors relating to dependencies and the combined process. When overlooked, you risk having what you believe to be accurate metric data actually masking problems and giving you a false sense of confidence. After 30 years of leveraging these technologies and realizing these problems first hand, we hope this series is just the start to us sharing what we’ve learned with you so that you can jumpstart success and bypass these core metric issues altogether.

If you are now feeling the stress of not having a locked down corporate score card that aligns all employees to success each day, don’t worry! Sign up for your FREE TRIAL of ConnectSMART and you can be well on your way in only 30 minutes! Questions or comments? We are always available to help you at (954) 624-9566.

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