Wouldn’t it be great if we could click our fingers and have IT issues fixed in an instant, without having to log helpdesk tickets or wait for support? What a dream that would be!
As Managed IT support providers, we would love to be able to provide instantaneous solutions for our clients through our IT help desk. Although we continue to improve our services and processes to provide the most effective and efficient solutions, and we consider all helpdesk requests are important (you don’t call the helpdesk just for a chat, do you?), an immediate resolution of issues is not always possible.
So, why can’t a whole team of IT experts with years of experience manage to solve IT problems immediately?
The answer to that is customer experience. It is important that we prioritize all IT helpdesk tickets correctly so that we can provide the best possible experience for each and every client. Every IT helpdesk ticket logged into our system is assigned a priority level to make sure that the needs of our clients are met and that issues are resolved in the most efficient manner for everyone.
To better understand how these priority levels work, here is a rundown on the four priority levels that we use, and how our team assigns a priority to each helpdesk ticket.
Grassroots IT Helpdesk Ticket Priority Levels:
Priority 4 (P4) – Service Request
Priority 4 is the lowest priority and doesn’t require immediate attention. Examples of tickets that would fall into the P4 category include requests to move, add, delete or change the name user, email account or file, or any other IT issue that doesn’t necessarily disrupt the user’s work or the business operation.
Priority 3 (P3) – Normal Issues
Priority 3 is a slightly more urgent IT service request. Tickets that fall into this category include IT problems that cause inconvenience to a user but do not prevent them from doing their work or disrupt the business operation.
Priority 2 (P2) – Priority
Priority 2 is where higher urgency or higher impact IT issues fall. These can be security issues, inaccessible email accounts or systems, or anything that causes a more significant disruption to business operations. These tickets require prompt action to prevent further issues or disruption escalating within the business.
Level 1 (P1) – Immediate
Priority 1 is reserved for issues causing significant disruption to business operations. It could be that the internet is down, a server is inaccessible or there has been a high-risk security breach detected. Priority 1 issues receive immediate attention from IT help desk support to isolate the issues, prevent further damage and return the business to normal operations as quickly as possible.
Our Triage Process
In order to assign an initial priority level to each ticket, we follow a structured triage process. As we discover more about the issue at hand, the priority level may be changed in response to the new information.
A new helpdesk ticket is created by a client either sending us an email, phoning the help desk, or through the Grassroots IT web portal.
Our IT help desk support engineers will assess the details provided in the ticket to identify whether the matter is an ‘Incident’ (something that was working is now not working) or a ‘Request’ (requesting information or a change to an existing system)
All new Requests are considered P4 by default.
Once identified as an ‘Incident’, we then assess the impact (or potential impact) of the issue on the user and the business. Questions like ‘is the entire company unable to operate?’ are answered. Tickets with a larger impact may be marked as P2, otherwise they will be marked as P3.
The IT help desk support engineer initially assigned to the ticket will assess additional details and information provided in the ticket to identify any other factors or specific requests from the client which may influence the assigned priority.
Once a ticket has been assessed and given its appropriate priority level, IT support engineers can easily identify which tickets require the most urgent attention and address each issue accordingly in order of priority.
Ticket priority can be further changed if additional information reveals a bigger issue that requires higher priority (for example, an Incident thought to have only impacted one user is in fact impacting multiple departments).
Some tips for better ticket prioritization
Although we have our process for prioritizing tickets, it’s quite possible that there is important information regarding your situation that we aren’t aware of, and without which the priority that we assign your ticket may not match your own expectations of urgency.
For example, a printer that services a single person being offline would not necessarily be assigned a high priority based on our triage process. However, if that printer is vital to prepare documents for a board meeting starting in an hour, there obviously is a greater urgency to get it back online. By sharing this additional information in the initial helpdesk ticket, our team can better assign priorities to help meet expectations.