Priorities act as triggers that set both the importance and the associated service levels of any tickets raised across your help desks. You may find that on initial deployment of your company instance that some have been set up for you.
For each priority you add or edit you will need to establish its severity (level), the time to fix according to your business service level strategy and the allowed response time to the opening event of a new ticket.
You may have as many, or as few as your business needs. By default most businesses would operate with at least 4 priorities;
Obviously, a ticket raised as Critical is going to have a severe or significant impact on your customer/client/user and has the potential to impact your business, brand, goodwill or customer loyalty. Set up your priorities in accordance with your business objectives and strategy. At least one of the priorities should be set as the default. Customers tend to ‘increase’ the assigned priority because to them the issue is the most important thing in their Universe. We do not recommend setting your P1 highest level priority as a default; otherwise all help desk tickets you receive will be measured at the highest service level! It is possible for your help desk members to change the priority; but it is good practice to do this in conjunction with a discussion with the client so that they agree the change in scope of their ticket or complaint.
Try and make your priorities readable and undestandable to a layman. Using ‘vanity’ priorities like the names of animal species may seem fun but won’t help your customers pick the relevant category when submitting a ticket.
The fix time is the time you allow yourself to fix a reported issue or bring it to a natural resolved status once the ticket has been ‘accepted’ by a member of your staff. The response time is the time you allow yourself to even begin the process of looking at the tickets waiting in the queue to be dealt with. Your teams performance against these objectives is monitored on your real-time dashboards as a ‘service level’ (last hour) and the overall ‘service desk quality’ too.
The response and the fix times are notified to your complainants when they raise trouble tickets to your help desks based on the working days established in your company default calendar! For example, assume your company default calendar has working times configured as 9am to 5pm on Mondays through Fridays with no available working times scheduled on a Saturday or Sunday. You set your helpdesk so that tickets always arrive with a medium priority. Let’s further assume that you set a 24 hours response time and a 6 hour time to fix for a ticket with that severity. A complainant raises a ticket with you at 9pm on a Sunday evening. They will receive an email auto-response indicating that their ticket will be looked at by 9am on Thursday morning! This is correct! Why? It covers 3 x 8 hour days leading to the time when the service level for a response will be breached. Remember, your default calendar is set to 8 working hours per day, so Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will have to completely elapse before you would be in breach of your response Service Level. Thinking about this a little more, if you want a single working day to elapse for a medium priority ticket then the response time should be set to 8 hours; not 24! The time to fix begins at the end of the respnose time.
Some helpdesk templates across the platform will present a time to fix in email notifications to complainants based on these variables; others do not do so. If your company works shifts then your calendar should contain the starting time of the morning shift and end when the late shift completes work. This would give your default calendar a working day, for example, from 8am to 10pm each day; a span of 14 hours. Set your priorities accordingly!
Customised Priorities by Company
This is a frequently asked question. Yes, it is possible to set up priorities that reflect various available service levels in your business. If you have VIP clients that will receive a different service level then you may set them up on an individual company basis.
To do this, please ensure the company is in your CRM system as a company and that you have the ‘is customer’ radio-button selected. If you want a custom service level for an individual in your CRM system then you can do this too; but you’ll have to add them to their own dummy company in order to do so. Just use the persons surname with an underscore and a term that makes them easily filterable, for example, Ttidwell_VIP, or Claxton_VIP as their company name and add the ‘individual’ to that ‘holding company’.
Ticking the ‘is customer’ option if important alongside the Account Type = Customer
Again, in recap, if setting up a CRM Company record as a Company that should receive a custom service level on your help desks you need to tick the ‘Is Customer’ radio-check box. If you want a custom service level for a CRM Contact then you can do this too by adding a dummy CRM company that they can be a member of that you do the same thing with. This methodology ensures that a trouble ticket raised by any complainant who is recorded in your CRM as being a member of a company will receive the service levels associated with that company. It is failsafe!
Once you have added the underlying company then return to the Company List View.
Note the pencil icon to edit has a drop-down field next to it? Click on this dropdown as this will expose the option to edit the Company Preferences.
- Working Calendar – which calendar should be used to determine response time and fix time? You can use the company default calendar or a customised one. This is where you can get very clever, by defining a Bronze Calendar, a Silver Calendar and a Gold Calendar each with different working times established in them. This allows you to easily tier your customer service and its service levels. Create as many of these calendars as you need to represent your service levels
- Priorities – you can enable or disable the available service levels so that your own staff cannot downgrade a ticket, for example, to P4 – Low as you have disabled this tier for this type of customer
- Default – You can set which priority is assigned on the creation of a ticket by a customer by default. Set the level which represents your service level commitment to the client based on time to respond
- Alerts – if you have persons to be notified when a ticket is opened by any member of the customer company (as per your CRM records) then the people added here will be notified in addition to existing members that man the target help desk itself. You may add CONTACTS or USERS; so both internal or external entities may be added to the alerts function. This is useful, for example, if you want to alert the sales team boss of a new ticket from this VIP customer, or indeed, even notifying the target company Supplier Manager that one of their company has just opened up a new ticket
The ability to customise the priorities and the underlying calendar used to determine the working hours allows your business to setup very customised help desk service levels; indeed; at a company by company level if you want to. You can do this by having 3 tiers; representing 3 underlying calendars; or you can have a custom calendar and custom priorities (defaults) for any particular company in your CRM. Either way you have a very flexible and easy to manage help desk solution that satisfies both internal users as well as external customers.
How to Users and Customers create new requests / service desk tickets?
Users can be employees as full users in the system with a user login. They can also be self-service users (externally invited entities like contractors, clients, suppliers or even your customers if you provide them a log in). Amend these users permissions groups so that they can access the helpdesk to submit new tickets. User may submit new tickets through the native service desk application with the PLUS BUTTON to add a new ticket; or they can access the list help desk tickets (which they will see as being empty if they aren’t a helpdesk user member!) and then click on the yellow ADD NEW Button. They can also use My World, My Requests and Add a new request and review all their own open/archived tickets.
Or, you can setup the monitoring of an email inbox which the solution will poll regularly (every 5 minutes or so) for new emails. Any new emails found in that inbox will be targetted to your chosen help desk, automatically creating a new helpdesk ticket once the Email has been harvested by the platform. (See Email Requests further down this page).