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Help Desk 101 - 4 Essential Automations for Email Support

05/07/2012 by: The SunView Team

After writing about things to consider if your company is using email-only support, we decided that there is more to it than good old fashioned customer service. Support provided by email is a tactical approach allowing small teams to handle a much larger volume of tickets. If done correctly, your team will easily surpass the typical intake of the average phone-only help desk.

Given the above, email support can be very effective and much easier process for the customer. Customers can bypass the use of long forms full of mandatory fields and stay confined in the safety of their inbox. Using a competent incident management tool your team will be able to offer a simplified support option for your customers, adding to your already robust forms of communication.

There is a downside of course, and that tends to relate to increased volume or points of contact. The lack of structured forms, gives more freedom, but results in users that might simply report issues like, "the system is slow" or "I forgot my password." Luckily, with the right IT Service Management solution, you can develop simple automations in a short amount of time. These will speed up both backend and frontend processes, keeping a consistent experience for your customer no matter which method they choose to report an incident.
Listed below are the four essential areas we recommend you automate. If you find your current ITSM tool doesn't allow this kind of flexibility, why not use our ITSM solution guide to see what features you are missing.

Automatic Ticket Creation and Updates

When the first email comes in from the customer be sure your solution automatically creates a new ticket. On the same note, when you respond or receive a response they also append to the ticket

Customized Email Templates

Email templates not only brand your company's help desk, but allow you to send out answers based on the most common questions. As an added benefit, they can route a user to a self-service option.

Automatic Notifications/Alerts

The main notification to setup is a response saying that a ticket has been created. Other things to consider include reminders if the user is taking too long to respond, or automatic emails that are sent when an issue is resolved.

Automatic Escalation

A help desk can automate the escalation of tickets through a variety of factors, including linking them to SLA defined thresholds. However, the most general route is to escalate based on a specific user or group. This will allow your team to prioritize tickets which would otherwise come in with the same priority, across the board.
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Image: Flickr, .reid.