Typical incident Process

Most organizations have a formal procedure that technicians follow for any incident. One incident commonly starts through a user reporting an issue and ends with a aid desk technician closing the after the worry is resolved. However, there are countless steps in between the an initial and last step.

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Steps in a common Incident Process

While not every organization offers the same process to control incidents, there are numerous similarities between different processes. Organizations define the procedure internally and also might integrate or omit steps based upon their needs. However, through reviewing a common incident process, you are able to identify numerous of the usual elements. Together an introduction, figure 1-4 shows the steps in a typical incident process and the adhering to sections explain them in an ext depth.


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FIGURE 1-4 common steps in an event process.


Receiving Incidents

In the very first step, the aid desk receives the occurrence from a user report it. The an approach of reporting might be in human or via telephone, email, a chat page, or a web-based reporting tool.

When users report the incident via telephone, many organizations document the entire conversation. From a legitimate perspective, the organization generally has a need to inform users that the conversation is gift recorded, and many automated assist desk phone call systems notify users before connecting them with technicians. Many electronic approaches such as chat pages and also web pages encompass a legal statement with a requirement for the user to examine a box agreeing come the process.

One that the many important aspects of success once receiving an event is come respond accordingly and begin to establish rapport. Users regularly don’t have actually the right words to report the issue, therefore they might need to be coaxed into providing all the pertinent information. Developing a friendly, valuable atmosphere will aid the technician during the process.

Consider if you referred to as your ISP for help and a technician responded with one of the adhering to two phrases:

“What do you want?”“Hello. My surname is Sally. How can I can help you?”

Many people would likely respond through anger indigenous the an initial greeting while the second greeting is warm and indicates a sincere desire to help. When this is apparent when you read it, it isn’t so evident to all aid desk technicians ~ above the job. Establishments often provide help workdesk professionals with a script when starting a conversation, providing them the words come let the customer understand they space there come help. Because that example, at the very least one ISP has actually their technicians answer the phone through these words: “Hello. My surname is ____ and also I can help you.” assist desk technicians will frequently memorize the greeting after repeating it a few times therefore they don’t need to keep analysis it.

Similarly, when interacting with customers via email or chat pages, technicians regularly have pre-created scripts that they can cut and also paste right into the email or chat pages. These scripts commonly include a greeting such together hello, an introduction including the technician’s name, and also an sell to help. In the technician’s an initial response, lock will commonly include indigenous expressing empathy together with confirmation the they can help. Because that example, they might say, “I’m i m really sorry you’re having actually problems yet I can help you fix this.”

Validating Incidents

After the initial greeting, the customer reports the problem they are having. In this step of the call, the technician attempts come verify the is a valid incident that the aid desk need to address, or if the contact should it is in referred elsewhere.

Many organizations encompass an authentication procedure in this phase to ensure that the assist desk is authorized to help the user. Because that example, an ISP assist desk assists ISP client so one of the an initial things that the technician walk is to verify the customer’s to know number. Automated call systems often verify the customer’s identification number prior to forwarding the call to a technician.

Organizations require to have actually clear accuse in place on what support aid desk technicians have to provide. Because that example, if the help desk technicians room providing assist to inner employees, they generally assist users v any type of problem with their computer or other IT resources.

In contrast, ISP aid desk technicians only assist customers with IT troubles related come the services detailed by the ISP. Because that example, ISP technicians would aid customers having difficulties accessing the web through the ISP. However, individuals calling v a difficulty related to your printer would certainly be told the the ISP go not administer that form of assistance.

Many organizations encompass a listing the items the the help desk will not support. Because that example, the complying with list might be used within an company to ensure help desk personnel emphasis on supported incidents:

The assist desk walk not provide support for employee’s an individual computing devices. This consists of home computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.The aid desk go not administer support for any kind of software commodities that were no approved by and also purchased by ours company.

On the Side:

Organizations often have very strict rules governing the acquisition of software. While this does assist control acquisition costs, a bigger worry is support of the software. Authorized software calls for support and this regularly requires maintain of the personnel to ensure lock know how to install, configure, troubleshoot, and also maintain it.


Telling a client “no” deserve to be sensitive, and pre-defined scripts are helpful to offer technicians phrases that respectfully connect the firm policy to the customer. While technicians might think it’s funny the an ISP client would call for help with your printer, it wouldn’t be proper to laugh. Instead, technicians would generally express empathy and then explain why they are unable to assist with words such together this: “I’m sorry you’re having problems with her printer yet we deserve to only carry out assistance regarded the services we provide. I’d indicate you contact the printer manufacturer.”

Logging Incidents

Once technicians validate calls together actual incidents, they start the process of logging them. A logged event is also known as a ticket, or service ticket. Most organizations have actually applications to open, track, and also close tickets with front end data entrance screens, with all the data save on computer in a back-end database. These applications ensure suitable data is entered and also make it straightforward to track the incident through that lifetime.

Organizations using assist desk software program decide what info is compelled when logging the event prior come deploying it. Some typical customer data is name, email address, phone, and a client ID if used. Next, a subject or category an option categorizes the incident. Because that example, technicians can categorize occurrences as operating mechanism problems, hardware problems, or network access problems.


Author’s Note:

Some organizations host web website where individuals can create the ticket themselves. This is very popular among organizations that assistance products and also services marketed over the Internet. The user logs ~ above the website and creates the ticket. In these situations, technicians receive and validate ticket after customers log in them.


A ticket also has a comment or remarks ar where the technician can enter notes about the problem, and some ticket solution include secondary section to get in the initial symptoms. It’s feasible for symptom to change while troubleshooting and plainly logging the initial symptoms helps store technicians top top track. The technician’s ability to write plainly and concisely is extremely vital in this step.

Some ticket systems enable the technicians to go into the data in any kind of order. For example, number 1-5 shows an example web-based ticket system. Assist desk technicians access this mechanism with a internet browser and also are may be to get in the information as the user is talking. In the figure, you deserve to see the the technician is able to enter symptoms from the client first, but can later enter the customer ID and other customer information. This allows the technician to listen to the customer and gather some details without forcing the user to answer a series of questions. This is especially useful if a customer has been wait on the phone for a while and also finally is may be to speak to a technician. After ~ the user explains the problem, the technician can say something like, “I understand, and also we can help you with this. In situation we get cut off, I desire to make certain I have actually all your information. Have the right to I ask you a couple of questions?” The technician then fills in the other necessary data such together the client ID.


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FIGURE 1-5 example of web-based ticket producing system.


In contrast, part systems force customers to get in an account number through the automated voice mail system, however the account number is simply used to authenticate the user and isn’t offered for additional reference. ~ the client waits 15 minutes or therefore to talk to a live person, the technician starts asking a series of inquiries such as account number, customer name, client email, and so on. This often just frustrates the client further.

When plan the procedure for a help desk, it’s necessary to think around the customer’s perspective. The immediate concern for the client is the trouble at hand. As soon as the client is forced to repeat customer data lot of times, the becomes really tedious and also frustrating. Because that example, some help desk procedures force the customer to go into identifying data such together an account number when very first calling one automated phone call system. Then as soon as a technician bring away the call, the technician asks because that this info again to verify the caller is a customer. Later, after the technician realizes the incident should be logged, the technician when again asks the customer for this details to get in it right into a ticket. Customers can get so frustrated they desire to reach through the computer and also take out their frustration on the technician, as shown in figure 1-6.


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FIGURE 1-6 Ineffective logging systems deserve to frustrate customers.


One of the most reliable methods of utilizing a ticket system combined with an automated phone device is come ensure the they are integrated with one or more databases. The phone system prompts the caller to carry out a customer number, and also it validates the customer number versus a client database. The phone mechanism only forwards calls come the assist desk that are from precious customers. Once the phone mechanism forwards a call to the technician, the populates the ticket through the client ID, along with the customer’s name, email, phone number, and so on. Spring at number 1-5, the technician would view the ticket with many of the information filled in and can then focus on the problem.

In part cases, the user has a basic question that the technician can conveniently answer in much less than a minute. Must the technician develop a ticket for this? that depends. Many ticket applications include analysis capabilities. Management have the right to review them periodically to extract quantifiable data and also measure the performance of the assist desk. However, if technicians space not developing tickets consistently, this data is no reliable. Consider these 2 scenarios:

First, imagine a star technician that easily resolves user worries without taking much time at all. Without clear guidance indigenous management, this gifted technician can not log most of this incidents, thinking that they are trivial and not precious logging. In contrast, one more technician without the exact same level of field of expertise might help customers with the same species of problems, yet take much longer prior to he have the right to resolve them. Once management later analyzes the occurrence logs, it might look as if the gifted technician is doing substantially less occupational than various other technicians are, also though the is solving more customer problems.

In the second scenario, imagine that a specific user has actually extremely limited IT knowledge and also is calling the aid desk almost daily asking for help. The difficulties are basic to resolve so technicians do not log them, but it still takes time because that technicians to help this user developing an overall help desk backlog. Help desk management might ask senior leadership for a budget increase to rental a brand-new help workdesk technician. However, if this logs room analyzed, it would suggest that the aid desk has enough technicians, however the technicians room not clearing countless tickets.

Organizations need to make it clear to technicians as soon as to develop a ticket and when tickets shouldn’t be created. Junior technicians don’t constantly understand the large picture of an organization, or even how budgets work, and also without clean guidance, technicians will log ticket inconsistently. It does take time to log all problems, and technicians might think they space helping the company by helping more customers without logging the incidents.

There aren’t any kind of rules that job-related for all establishments on what incidents to log. However, the key is that management needs to do a decision and communicate it come the technicians. If technicians don’t have guidelines top top what occurrences to log, every technician will certainly make their own decisions and these decisions could not match the goals of the organization.

Screening Incidents

Once the technician starts logging the incident, the screening phase begins. During this phase, the technician asks a collection of questions around the problem. Both reliable questioning methods and energetic listening approaches go a long way in this step (Chapter 2 goes right into these approaches in much more depth).

When screening the incident, the goal is to get the actual symptoms. Based on the symptoms, technicians determine if this is a difficulty they should be help the client with, or if they should escalate it. Below are some instances of complaints from a customer and responses through the help desk technician:

Customer: “The internet is down.”Technician: “What space you trying to do that isn’t working?”Customer: “Why doesn’t my press work?”Technician: “I’m not sure. What is happening once you shot to print?”Customer: “My computer system keeps crashing.”Technician: “That doesn’t sound good. Can you define what the does when it crashes?”Customer: “My account is locked and I can’t log in on. Deserve to you help?”Technician: “I’m i m really sorry you’re having problems. Ns cannot unlock it, but I can connect you v technicians that have permissions to carry out so.”

In the an initial three issues, the trouble is really likely one the the aid desk technician can aid the customer fix so the technician start asking an ext questions about the problem. However, in the fourth example, the technician doesn’t have adequate privileges to deal with the problem and also must escalate it.

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Prioritizing Incidents

Some cases are extremely vital while others space not. Many ticketing systems incorporate the capability to assign a priority come an incident and organizations plainly define the various priorities. Over there isn’t a universal meaning that uses to every organizations, but many use straightforward low, medium, and high priorities.