May 13, 2019

OSTicket Best Practices

Department/Room:

Selecting the correct department and listing the correct room not only helps our full-time tech staff assist, but aids our Sub-Casual employees in finding you.
Department should identify the School or Site that the problem is occurring at. And the room should list the room that the tech should respond too.

Proper Prioritization:

Not all help desk requests are equal. Some will be more urgent than others. Categorizing a ticket under the correct prioritization helps the tech team determine what issues need to be dealt with in what order. Below is a guide to each priority level.

  • Low: Has minimal impact to work. (Ex. Need larger display monitor)
  • Normal: Has some work impact. (Ex. Need DropBox installed)
  • High: Has significant individual work impact, meaning you or another user cannot work.
  • Emergency: Total site outage (no internet), server outage (access to critical school related resources), time sensitive work or project hampered by non working technology, and assistive technology no longer working. Will be addressed immediately .

Ticket Subject lines:

A support ticket subject line should set expectations, and if possible, enable the helpdesk agent to glance at the subject line and immediately know the issue (without being too wordy).

When your helpdesk is inundated with requests, a clear subject line can lead to a quicker resolution–and even help IT solve future tickets featuring similar issues.

Lastly, when you write the ticket subject line, use relevant keywords that make it easier to find when searching/sorting. This will lead to faster problem solving and will be instrumental if your helpdesk ever does any sort of ticketing system data analysis.

  • Poor Subject Line: Need Password Reset

This subject line is too vague. How many devices and applications do you use that require passwords? You can’t assume that IT will know which device or application you’re referring to.

  • Better Subject Line: Need O365 Password Reset (locked out of account)

This subject line provides more context and explains exactly what is needed. It even provides additional details (e.g. locked out of account) that may come in handy when IT needs help prioritizing tickets.

Provide a Concise, Relevant, and Detailed Description:

The difference between a good ticket and a poor ticket can usually be in the details. You can never give too many details about a problem. If you put the time in up front, it will assist the tech team in resolving the issue. We will have the problem resolved much faster, if we are given the information we need up front, rather than asking for it as we go. This will also ensure that we do not have to disrupt your day to day as much.
Some examples of helpful information include:

Technical information about the device:

  • The device being used (iPhone, PC, Mac, etc.)
  • Operating system and version (Windows, MacOS 10.12, etc.)
  • Browser type and version (Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
  • URL where the error occurred.

When did it happen:

  • Always provide the time when your issue first occurred. A good IT organization has tons of logs, so the more exact time you can provide, the easier it will be for them to find the issue in their logs.
  • Also, including the time when the error occurred helps IT see if any similar issues occurred within the same timeframe. Many modern technology hiccups don’t happen in isolation, meaning the helpdesk can link events together and take appropriate action, such as sending a company-wide email announcement.

Visual Evidence or Exact Wording:

  • A screenshot, or the exact wording of a issue or error message could mean the difference between hours of diagnostics, and a simple fix. A lot of the time, problems show specific codes that help us in identifying the issue. If at all possible, provide some sort of visual representation of a problem.