Friday, February 2, 2018

How to Write A Good Help Desk Ticket

Productivity will be affected by the quality of a helpdesk request. A ticket with concise, useful information can be the difference between an instant solution and one that takes hours or days. 
Not every problem is the same, which means that not every ticket requires the same level of detail.

Here are four common troubleshooting steps you can easily take before you submit a ticket:
  1. Quit and restart the application where the issue occurred.
  2. Reboot your device.
  3. Ask around to see if the issue is unique to you; someone else might already have a solution. If the problem is widespread, report that to the helpdesk.
  4. Check the knowledge base for a solution, the solution to common problems may be available in a knowledge base article.
Always tell your helpdesk team what troubleshooting steps you’ve taken and the results.

Try to Replicate the Issue - Provide information on how to recreate the problem in your ticket. Often times, the technician must recreate the error to solve it.

Proper Request Type
Categorizing a ticket correctly is important, without proper categorization, support requests lack even the most basic context. Improper categorization can mislead the helpdesk or even funnel the support request to the wrong person.

Proper Prioritization
Not all helpdesk requests are created equal. Always correctly prioritize your ticket to take some of the decision making off of the shoulders of IT. And again, the prioritization of a support request may determine who is responsible for resolving the ticket and even how the helpdesk is made aware of the issue 

Proper Ticket Subject Line
A support ticket subject line should set expectations, and if possible, enable the helpdesk agent to glance at the subject line and immediately know the issue (without being too wordy). Use relevant keywords that make it easier to find when searching/sorting. When your helpdesk is inundated with requests, a clear subject line can lead to a quicker resolution – and even help IT solve future tickets featuring similar issues.

The Importance of a Concise, Relevant, and Detailed Description
This can’t be said enough.

Usually, the difference between a poor support ticket and a great one is the details. The more detailed the ticket, the more likely it will be solved quickly and without much heavy lifting on your end.

Note: The helpdesk doesn’t need every detail, just the right ones. However, don’t be afraid to ask questions in your ticket. Your helpdesk would much rather you ask than guess and make an issue worse. If you put the work in upfront to include the right details, the rest of the process will be much more seamless. As an added bonus, the helpdesk will love you and will likely place priority on solving your tickets because they know it will include all the necessary information.

Below are some examples of helpful details you can include:

Provide Baseline Technical Details
  • When in doubt, a helpdesk ticket should include the following technical details:
  • What were you trying to do?
  • Whay happened instead?
  • When was the last time this worked (if ever)?
  • If there was an error message, what did it say?
  • Does this happen every time you try?
  • When did you first notice this?
  • Where is the computer/device located?
  • What type of computer/device (Mac, PC, Chromebook, etc.)

Please don’t assume we know what you’re talking about. Be descriptive.

Providing this level of detail will go a long way with your helpdesk. Every ticket may not need this information, but it is a great starting point.

Share a Screenshot or the Exact Text of the Error Message
Your helpdesk team will be grateful if you provide a screenshot, gif, or video of your issue. If you can’t include an image, add the exact text of the error message.

A Complete and Honest Picture
Many people won’t tell the whole story when they ask for help. This only makes a resolution harder to come by. A great help desk isn’t there to judge, but rather to help. A smooth and swift resolution is critical to managing the chaos of dozens of systems and different types of equipment. The performance of the helpdesk is likely being graded on the speed and quality of ticket resolutions.

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