October Support Review

October proved to be a little busier than predicted. The team solved 241 tickets, up two thirds from Sep and 3 times the level we solved in August. This is not a surprise and really just tracks the growth in the business over the last quarter. The higher level of tickets placed a greater strain on the first-response time which dropped slightly to 7hrs – still well inside our 15hr target.

What did get better was the solving rate, possibly driven by a need to deal with tickets quickly and efficiently. The team cleared a hundred more support events in fewer touches than the previous month – that’s impressive and needs some investigation as we’re a little bit puzzled how we can deliver an extra 100 support resolutions in fewer work cycles.

Even more impressive is the solve rate, 90% of support requests were solved in less than 48hrs, versus 75% the previous month.

October was also a pivotal month as we made the largest number of internal and process changes. This was due to us restructuring how and who supported clients following client feedback and a need to address the burgeoning demand on support time. So far, mostly, clients haven’t really noticed the changes and I trust we got most of them right – generally, clients are very complimentary of our support infrastructure and applications so we must be getting most of it right.

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Tickets with priority = Urgent: Must be assigned to an agent immediately and must be solved within 8 hours. Tickets with priority > Low: Must be assigned to an agent within 8 hours and must be solved within 120 hours
  • Addition of a dedicated IVR phone route for in-hours support
  • Changes to how our support portal communicates, increasing the frequency of client updates
  • Automating the first-responders functions
  • Consolidating our support logins into a single sign-on, removing the risk of support tickets getting lost in personal lists
  • A shift in the focus to solving rather than responding
  • Addition of client satisfaction survey – our clients can now directly rate how support is doing
  • Installation of an anti-spam filter to reduce the occurrence of fake support request, this sometimes distorted response/solve times
  • Integration of inbound Twitter support requests into the heart of our support infrastructure
  • Publication of our support guidelines, How to get the most our of us.
  • Addition of an SLA alerting process, highlighting when client support issues go critical (see right)
  • Additional resource is being recruited now to speed up the resolution of 2nd line, technical, issues
  • A new initiative that sees everyone in the company rotating through support at least once per month
  • The introduction of a training plan, to start before the end of the year, focussing on the core support skills we need to provide a better service – we’ll keep you updated on progress during November and December.

As part of the changes above, we updated our Zendesk support platform to the latest and greatest, and whilst a good deal more expensive the level of support requests we now deal with has grown threefold during 2013 so we think its well worth the investment.

Below is the rolling solve rate for support over the last 2 weeks of October. As you can see, its only ever a couple of support ticket per day that take more than 48hrs to resolve, most are cleared well inside this period.

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