In the early days, when you said you worked in IT, everyone thought you only fixed PCs. Most would never have guessed it would become the massive ecosystem it is today.
Today, saying you work in IT is like trying to describe where you live, then saying, ‘North America’.
Still, with IT support, there really is a finite range of issues we face, and with that, finite ways to fix them. So why is it then, that when we ask two people from the same business about the same issue, they almost certainly give us different solutions? Why is that – and more importantly, must it be this way? Are we accepting the status quo because the alternative is too hard?
There are two sides to this fence, and I believe most people sit on the easier side and accept it as ‘normal’. I don’t.
I started our MSP business back in 2001, and after 18 successful years, I can confidently say that no, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s the challenge: up until recently, there were no tools available to fix this issue. Those that were even remotely workable were so time-consuming and cumbersome to maintain that any thoughts of adopting them were killed off during the product analysis phase.
Those who know me also know I never let a problem beat me; I find a way to solve it.
When it comes to technical support, there’s a very clear and defined support process, one that really hasn’t changed in the last decade.
The procedure for fixing one issue might be different to another, but the overall process is the same. And in a lot of cases, the procedure is the same between many different software issues – even across different vendors.
So how do you simplify support delivery for your business and your internal or external customers? You build question trees. A question tree isn’t just a one-dimensional script to follow; it’s a comprehensive, interactive knowledge base to work through any issue.
The fact is, most organizations will generally have a ‘go-to guy’ for each type of issue the tech team faces. Some call them their subject matter expert or SME. Unfortunately, this person is often used for every issue related to the topic instead of just the curly, difficult ones. This creates silos of knowledge within specific people instead of a cohesive team of knowledge sources to draw upon.
Question trees empower the whole team.
Here’s how you do it. Instead of relying on a small collection of SMEs, work with each of them to build question trees the whole team can use. That way, every technician can be your ‘go-to guy’.
ServiceTree takes this step one step further. Every ticket is processed through question trees, and the list of question trees presented to the user is updated dynamically based on many factors. But the important part is this. It’s very easy and efficient to maintain and update the question trees when a new procedure is created. Here are just a handful of benefits:
• The workload is more evenly distributed
• No user is a bottleneck
• Knowledge stays within the organisation – not in people’s heads
• It’s much easier to onboard new team members
• It’s easier to have a tech team in another geographical location
There will always be a need for creative, experience-based problem-solvers. However, the vast majority of support issues are routine in nature – even the seemingly complicated ones – and can be handled far more efficiently and consistently than they are today.
The way to achieve it is through question trees.
Free example Question Trees
Download these free question tree examples we’ve created for you. Just click on each one to download.
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To learn more about how ServiceTree can automate your knowledge and processes, click here.
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