More Volume, No Problem: Tips for Dealing with Increased Ticket Volume

Verena Jacob

April 19, 2018


The support landscape is changing. Last year, the latest HDI Technical Support Practices & Salary Report revealed that 55% of organizations saw an increase in their ticket volume.  Which isn’t much of a surprise – it’s been the trend now for nearly a decade.

But why is that? What’s causing incidents and issues to increase so consistently? It comes down to three factors.

  • The technology environment is more complex. The Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced a new world of scanning, measuring and reporting devices that must be on the network. Nearly half of organizations are supporting IoT devices now, and that number’s ticking up.

  • Technology dependency is greater. Every company is a technology company now. Even the small family-owned business on main street needs at least a payment processing device with Internet connectivity. They likely have an online presence as well through marketing, social media or their own website.

  • People have more devices. Walk through any airport and you’ll see just how much technology people are eager to carry with them. From cell phones, laptops and tablets to portable printers, projectors and wearables, there are more and more devices where something can go wrong.

With complex technology taking over nearly every facet of our lives, good support is in more demand than ever.  Unfortunately, for those companies providing support – ticket volumes are increasing and budgets are staying the same, or worse, decreasing.  According to that same HDI report, only 29% of support organizations expect to expand their hiring in 2018 with the majority instead planning to only backfill or freeze hiring entirely.

These pressures have put the squeeze on many support teams, forcing them to figure out new ways to handle increasing demand and complexity without spending more money. One of the more popular and successful solutions has been an approach called, Shift Left.

We’ve talked about this before, but as a refresher – Shift Left allows more complex tasks and incidents that were traditionally handled at higher tiers pushed “left” into Levels 1 or 0. Because escalating issues takes time that developers or network administrators may not have, the goal is to empower frontline support technicians and users themselves to resolve as many requests as possible.

Bar graph showing the what and why of Shift-Left.

Getting these solutions closer to the customer saves a lot of time and support costs. But to make Shift Left possible, there is some work that needs to be done upfront. Here are three ways to get started:

  1. Get your knowledge base in good shape. It should be up to date, easy to access and quick to search so your users and technicians can handle complex issues. Even if the knowledge base is internal-facing only, it must be current and well maintained.

  2. Grant broader authorization to Level 1 technicians. If it’s always been Level 2’s responsibility to assign people to Active Directory groups, for example, that access should be handed down to Level 1. Otherwise they’ll be locked out the systems they need to solve the bigger requests.

  3. Give your team access to remote support tools. Through built-in roles and permissions, remote support tools can route specific requests to the right technicians. The tools also result in less deskside travel and greater first-contact resolution, which matches the goals of Shift Left.

For more insight on Shift Left and tips on how to handle your growing support queue, check out the HDI webinar: More Volume, No Problem.

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