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Good practices closing tickets

Posted on 2013-01-22
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Last Modified: 2013-01-23
Hello experts!

What´s your opinion about closing tickets according to best practices?
We are an IT Provider and one of our services is offering support and management to users.
One of our differentials is that we only close the tickets opened by users with their formal authorization (by email, by adding their authorization in the service desk tool, by printscreen if they authorize via IM etc).
The problem with this practice is when the user doesnt answer our requests to close the tickets (ie: forgetfulness, lack of time, etc...) and they are already solved.
What do you guys do? I was thinking about close after some period or after requesting the authorization three times and closing it in case we dont have an answer.

Thanky very much,
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Question by:HicSunt
5 Comments
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:usslindstrom
usslindstrom earned 55 total points
ID: 38808524
Here's how we handle our ticket structure:

1.  User opens a ticket.
2.  The Tier I support staff attempts to resolve it.
    A.  They are able to resolve it, and customer confirms.  They close the ticket after documenting fix.
    B.  They aren't able to fix the issue, and elevate it to Tier II.
3.  Tier II attempts to resolve the ticket.
    A.  They're able to fix the issue, and pass the ticket back to Tier I for customer confirmation after documenting fix.
    B.  They're not able to fix the issue, and elevate it to Mfg, etc.  (Time here on EE too.  :) )

Point being, is that tickets are never allowed to be closed without end-user confirmation in all cases.  - So, we're alot like you guys in how you have business.  The main difference being, is that our end-users are always handled via phone / in person.  Handling tickets via E-mail, I would imagine that having a disclaimer that the tickets will be automatically closed after x # of attempts at reaching the customer, etc. would be the best approach here.

You'll have to have that in writing, or verbally explained to your users / customers.  Some of this may be in direct conflict with SLAs you may have defined as well, so it may not be just cut & dry here.
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:alatechsolutions
alatechsolutions earned 40 total points
ID: 38808528
We always had a Service Manager that took care of closing all tickets. We had a receptionist that put in all the tickets as she received the calls, even if it was just for one of our technicians to call someone that had a question, she would log a ticket. The Service Manager had a meeting with the Tech's every morning to go over the open tickets set to the tech's name. The manager would only close the tickets if the technician had confirmed that they had called the customer, or was turning in a 3 part ticket because it was billable.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:Kailash Aghera
Kailash Aghera earned 65 total points
ID: 38808672
Most helpdesk systems (ticket systems) send an automated email after 48 or 72 hours (whatever you set) stating that your issue has been resolved and your ticket will be closed automatically after 24 hours. If your issue has not resolved, you can simply reply to this email. And daily cron job automatically close such tickets.

I think this a best practice to deal with resolved tickets. If you have low ticket volume, you can manage to closing tickets manually but if you have large volume, it consumes lots of time.

- Kailash
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
jennynover earned 90 total points
ID: 38808738
I both a) run a ticket system for my users, and b) I am a user of ticket systems from my vendors.  In my customer role I know I"m terrible at responding to close ticket requests from my support company. Even though I know what open tickets mean behind the scenes - once MY problem is solved, it is oh so easy to ignor those email prompts to close my case.  On the other hand I HATE support systems that try and close tickets automatically in just a few short days; often not giving me time to establish for example if an intermittant problem is resolved, or maybe just accounting for a day I was too busy to respond.

So with my users I like to have an automatic time-out, as kailashaghera recommends, but I usually give them a full week to respond before automatic ticket closing.  

My SLA's are never tied to time-to-close on tickets.  SLA's based on time-to-close invariably lead to end users being pushed out of the system just to get good SLA stats.  

So when you think good practice from a user/client centric perspective, ask yourselves  what best serves your clients and their support needs.
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Author Closing Comment

by:HicSunt
ID: 38809915
Thank for all the replies. Everyone will get points for helping me with excelent arguments.
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