Summary: Help Desk and Desktop Support reps don’t have the right tools to troubleshoot, and ticket escalations become a game of hot potato.

If you’ve been following this series, you probably recognize that all stories lead to one conclusion: Switching IT’s focus from reactive to proactive is an incredibly powerful cost savings approach, while also improving your quality of service and strengthening your security and governance posture at the same time. Better service with reduced costs. It’s real.

You also know that in a previous role as a Desktop Engineering strategist, I was tasked with traveling to many of our field offices around the US to get a better understanding of issues that were causing productivity loss and user dissatisfaction. I have written about many different themes that I found along the way, and while we were aware of this one, we didn’t really understand the frequency or the impact to the end users. We called it Ticket Bounce.

Ticket Bounce is when the Help Desk or other IT Support group tasked with troubleshooting a given issue but doesn’t have the tools to effectively diagnose the problem, and they bounce the ticket to someone else. There are other contributors also to ticket bounce, like Help Desk metrics that reward call speed and call volume per day, vs quality fixes. It takes time to troubleshoot and find the root cause, and if you are worried about time spent on one call, it impacts how many calls you can take, and you will more quickly bounce it to someone else.

In this case, the help desk is tasked with answering the phone no matter who calls, and troubleshooting whatever issue they have. Their target is an 85% fix-on-first-call rate. Often times for expediency, prior experience, or urban legend, reps will follow the exact same steps for every problem. Reboot and call me in the morning. Uninstall the last set of patches. Remove and reinstall your application. Delete your profile. All of these are impactful to the user, and none of them are based on facts and data. So the problem is masked, the call is closed, and the user’s problem happens again.

But this isn’t the bounce. The bounce happens when the user calls and the Help Desk rep realizes he can’t fix the problem, and has no idea what is causing it. So like the troubleshooting methods, he guesses. Slow PC – must be the network. App crash, maybe it’s the app team. Can’t find your file, must be the storage team. So each of these teams get a ticket (many tickets) that have not been screened at all, and they have to also apply their own troubleshooting, but now the goal isn’t to fix the problem – It’s only to prove it’s not MY problem, and then I transfer it to the next likely team. Only by luck does the ticket eventually make it to someone who can fix it.

But there’s a solution. Nexthink End User Analytics gives your helpdesk the data, analytics, and capability to actually troubleshoot on the spot, removing the trial and error approach. Drive more actual first call resolutions, with much shorter fix times. Get your users up and running more quickly for a productivity boost at the business level as well as IT. And for those issues that can’t be resolved at the Help Desk, give your reps the information that points to probable root cause so they can escalate to the proper team the first time, and remove the bouncing ticket once and for all. Nexthink can do this for your IT operation. I’ve seen it in action, and it’s no longer a pipe dream. It’s why I left my 20-year career to come here and spread the word. Find out for yourself with an on-line demo.