What Can We Do with All This Issue Data?
So you've got a few months' worth of data.
All those calls and responses. What can be done with it? In one word
trending. Most, if not all,
of the latest help desk software programs have a built-in reporting feature. Generally, this feature
allows you to make inquiries to your database and generate output that can depict your call desk
environment. Reports can be produced which provide information on issues in summary, detailed, or
statistical formats. You can filter the data by specifying a query. Most help desk software query
programs give you the ability to print routine and custom reports.
- Routine Reports. Help desk
software programs should be able to produce reports that present data for everyday questions.
Most systems have a variety of pre-defined reports to give you output on such questions as:
- What departments, customers, billing
areas, etc., call?
- Do selected departments or customers
call more frequently?
- What is our average number of customers
in the queue?
- How long does it take for the average
call to be resolved?
- Are certain technical support
individuals overutilized, underutilized, or never utilized?
- Are certain pieces of equipment
breaking down more often than others?
- Custom Reports. Although help
desk software programs have various reports to deal with the most common queries, no system can do
it all. Senior management is bound to want SOMETHING that the canned reports cannot produce!
But don't fret. Lots of problem management software enable custom report creation. Some help
desk software systems allow this via coding within the program's language, such as C, C++, SQL,
etc. Others allow you to create your customized reports in report program such as Seagate's
Crystal Reports® and then transfer it to the help desk software programs reporting structure.
Naturally, custom report generation may require the skills of a programmer to code these specialized
programs. Costs notwithstanding, you will be able to create the kind of reports that all facets of
your organization demands for doing trending analysis.
Naturally, the answers to the questions that
drive these reports will inevitably save you money. For example, looking at a trend of which printers
break down more frequently may persuade your management to buy more cost-effective printers, lessen
calls about those devices, and reallocate staff for other problems. However, it's not always about
sometimes it's customer satisfaction. If view trends that show a high rate of calls on Mondays
between 9-11 am, customers may smile more if more personnel are hired to respond to issues at that time.
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