A good Service Desk bridges the gap between technician and end-user
A better Service Desk does the same while staying completely out of the way. So what makes a great Service Desk? One that saves you time and money? Now I know what you’re thinking,
It’s a cliché, one done to death for as long as anyone can remember; neither a new idea nor very unique. But in the rush to deliver services and coordinate support responses it’s easy to forget that everything we do, consumes both.
By the same token anything automated becomes one less thing to worry about, to think about, and to eat away at these very real resources. Everyone with skin in the Service Desk game guarantees to save you time, money or both. But different products deliver, differently, on this promise (if at all) and in my experience those that rise to the top lean on practical needs, intuitive processes, and common-sense logic to tie everything together.
So how does BOSSDesk fare? I’m glad you asked.
Here are five features of BOSSDesk that have saved me time, money, and a whole lot of work.
One of BOSSDesk’s strongest features is its workflow system. Think of them as a series of rules which integrate into the BOSSDesk ticketing system, governing system actions, based on criteria you define. In a practical sense they allow you to build "if - then" traps, based on a large number of triggers, then offer an even larger number of actions to be taken by the system itself.
Turnkey solutions tend to come with rule sets that are very limited, so while you won’t sacrifice much time upfront you won’t get any back in the long term either. Non-turnkey products suffer the opposite problem, being highly customizable but requiring a heavy investment of effort to configure, meaning that while they can save you over the long haul, your return on investment might be literally years away.
BOSSDesk is unique in that it strikes a great balance between the two, resulting in a robust toolset that’s easy to use but non-restrictive you once you get the hang of it.
Want to base actions around who submits a ticket, whether they’re agents or end-users, what keywords they used in the ticket subject, what form they filled out, what field values they selected, or even what time it is? You can.
Want to modify a ticket’s priority, assign it to a specific team or technician, create special tasks to divide up across multiple techs, add other users as watchers, add comments, send emails to recipients, request approval from the requester’s manager, or close the ticket automatically? Again, you can!
The irony is that the greatest difficulty in describing what makes BOSSDesk workflows so effective are the limitless ways you can apply them to your environment. There are too many approaches to cover them all, but perhaps I can dedicate a future post to workflows in much greater detail.
➡️2. CUSTOM FORMS
No service desk would be complete without having a strong form engine. I used forms exhaustively, handling product support, maintenance requests, account change requests, Windows updates, feedback forms, employee onboarding and off-boarding and more.
These forms use conditional logic, meaning that what you enter in one field can determine what other field(s) and options do or don’t appear later on. This allows you to streamline the user experience, allowing a form to grow and adapt in real time, as it's populated with data.
This is immensely useful because the friendlier the experience for the end-user the more likely they’ll be willing to use it in lieu of emailing technicians directly.
On top of that, the custom fields tie into the workflow engine mentioned above, allowing you to automate tasks based on what the user submits.
Want an example?
Let’s say a manager fills out an off-boarding request for terminated subordinate. One of the fields asks, "what to-do with the terminated user’s mailbox?"
The Options Are:
[A] Delete Mailbox
[B] Temporarily Forward Emails To Designated User
[C] Temporarily Give Designated User Full Access To Mailbox or
[D] N/A (employee has no mailbox)
In this case, if the user selects A or D, nothing more is asked. But if they select B or C, two additional fields appear.
The first is asking for the name of a target employee and the second is asking for how long we should leave the changes intact. And, these additional fields are required.
Being able to build customized forms is great, but BOSSDesk forms also tie into the workflow engine I mentioned above. This means that when options A, B, or C are selected above, a special task is created and assigned to me (as the email administrator) to go in and fulfill the email-related request; be it to delete the mailbox, give someone else access, or forward emails.
This approach is repeated over and over again, with user data which may need archiving, user phone extensions which may need redirection, and user PCs which must be turned in, data preserved and repurposed for someone else. The best part of it all is that with custom forms married to workflows allows you to create a series of tasks assigned to the right people in the right order with the requester not having to know who is doing what.
➡️3. CUSTOM FIELDS
Looking for a great example of something simple that saves me tons of time?
Look no further than custom fields. BOSSDesk allows you to create custom fields for assets, tickets, contracts, and more, depending on what you want to track. This makes putting information at your fingertips extremely easy.
For example, when a store in my environment opens a ticket, their ISP information is always included on the ticket itself. This is done automatically, without them having to enter it or me having to dig for it. So if they happen to be reporting internet issues, I can immediately determine who to call and what account information to provide.
Even better, these custom fields can pull from Active Directory. This means that when a user submits a ticket, all of their contact information can be pulled in automatically, including their office, address, telephone numbers, etc. Since we keep the info up to date in AD it’s always up to date in BOSSDesk.
In a practical sense the results are similar to the above example. If an employee at a distribution center submits a ticket but doesn’t bother telling us how to reach them, their phone number appears on the ticket itself as a custom value pulled from AD in real time.
➡️4. THE SCHEDULER
Some tasks must be done daily or weekly. They’re easy to remember. Others only have to be done once a month or once a year. These can easily be forgotten. So how do you remember to tackle those infrequent tasks when they’re due?
You don’t. You let BOSSDesk’s scheduler do it for you.
The scheduler is exactly what it sounds like: a way to schedule automatic ticket creations based on a schedule you define.
For me? I use it to remind me to set up next year’s call center holidays in our telephone system (every December), audit our anti-spam whitelists (every October), and audit our Exchange database growth rates (every month). You can also use them to send out reports and queries if you want to see all the tickets that haven’t been updated in XX days or the number of assets which are missing classifications.
For handling those items which have a habit of falling off the radar, there’s nothing quite like the scheduler to make things easy.
Picture this: You’re sitting in your cube sipping coffee when disaster strikes. Maybe the phone system goes down, or the company website, or the mail system. Whatever happens, you’re about to get clobbered from all sides and you know it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to proactively let people know that you’re aware of the situation and keep them updated on it?
With BOSSDesk announcements we can!
Announcements allow you to post clickable alert titles at the top of your BOSSDesk service portal. When clicked, they expand into a description of the problem and can include whatever information you wish, usually an overview of the problem, who is affected, and an assurance that it’s being addressed.
Then you can update the announcement as the situation progresses. In this way you can deter people from opening hundreds of tickets for something you’re already aware of.
On top of that you, can schedule announcements ahead of time, allowing you to anticipate issues related to vendor maintenance.
Would you rather post once and know that your users are being informed? Or juggle the tidal wave of requests as they come in?
I know what I’d prefer!
And there you have it: 5 features of BOSSDesk that have saved me time, money, and a whole lot of work!