Best Practices for Using ServiceDesk

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Use the tips on this page to use your ServiceDesk solution in the most advantageous ways.



1. Setting Up a B2B System

For a business-to-business system, you'll typically:
  • Have an Account record for each organization you serve, and Contact records for the individuals in those organizations.
  • Set up an Email channel so that Customers can use email to create a new case, but only if their email address matches an existing Contact record
  • Set up your Support Portal so that only registered users can access it, so your knowledge base and community support channels are available only to your customers.

2. Setting Up a B2C System

For a business that sells product to consumers--especially one that sells through indirect retail channels, rather than through direct contact, you'll typically:
  • Maintain Contact records for people that file cases or use your Support Portal. (Except in rare cases, you won't have Account records.)
  • Disable new case creation in the Email channel, to minimize the effect of spam.
  • Allow anonymous users to access your Support Portal, along with your knowledge base and community support channels.
  • Depending on the size and activity of the anonymous-user base, you may or may not allow anonymous users to create new cases in the Support Portal.

3. Use Case Status to Manage Workflow

You're free to use Case Status settings in any way you like. You can even __KB: modify the List of Case Status Values__. But the strategy outlined here is recommended, especially if this is your first encounter with a ServiceDesk management system.
Here is the way the status transitions are expected to work:
  1. When customer files a case, it's status is automatically set to New.
  2. When a Case Agent claims a case, or a Case Manager assigns it, or an automated Rule causes it to be assigned, the status of the case is automatically changed to Open.
  3. When the customer is asked for more information (in an email, for example), the Case Agent changes the status to Pending.
    This step is especially important when __KB: Service Level Agreements__ are in place, because there can be monetary penalties if a problem is not resolved in time. So it is important to halt the clock when additional information is needed from the customer--in effect, calling a "time out".
    A Case should not be placed into Pending status when waiting on information from a co-worker, or from some 3rd-party supplier because, from the customer perspective, the clock is still running.
  4. At times, the customer will indicate that the problem has been fixed. At that point, the case can be immediately Closed.
    When a case is closed, no survey is sent out. That's reasonable action to take here, because the customer has already responded.
    As an alternative, however, the case could be marked 'Resolved, which causes a satisfaction survey to be sent to the customer.
  5. When the customer supplies the required information, the Case Agent changes the status back to Open.
  6. When the customer's issue appears seems to be handled, the Case Agent changes the status to Resolved.
    This status is in effect a tentative closure, asking for confirmation from the customer.
    To get that confirmation, system rules cause a Satisfaction Survey to be sent whenever a Case is resolved.
  7. If it turns out that customer is not satisfied, the status automatically changes to Reopened.
  8. The status changes to Closed when:
    a. The customer indicates that they are satisfied, at which point the Case Agent makes the change.
    b. A Timer Rule automatically closes the case after several days have passed without a response from the customer.
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