Our Help Desk: The Evolving Dispatcher Role

The role of Dispatcher is a new position to our service desk, and is a process that we’ve been refining over the last several months to better improve the efficiency of our help desk technicians. It was created to delegate the managing of open service tickets to one person to allow the other technicians to use their time working the open tickets rather than trying to keep up with the constant influx of new tickets that come in through our ticket managing software. All in all, the dispatcher is about making sure the help desk technicians can spend their time helping clients.

Help_Desk_DispatcherThe creation of the dispatcher role was critical to us evolving the standardization of processes that our help desk was based on. But carving out this position has been anything but standard. At first this just started with me categorizing the tickets and setting their priority based on how urgent the issue was and how many people it is affecting. Categorization ranges from classifying the ticket as an issue an individual is having with their computer to automated alerts telling us that a server is down at a location. It also includes making sure the technician knows who it is they are supposed to be assisting.

It didn’t take us long to evolve the responsibilities of the dispatcher to be able to combat some of the very common errors that come in with tickets that could take time away from technicians. An end user forgets to put their company on a ticket, they use a personal email instead of the one we have them assigned in the system, etc, are all examples of common mishaps that happen. The dispatcher is responsible for tracking down this information and putting it in the ticket so the technicians can jump into troubleshooting as quickly as possible.

In addition to supporting the true-up process with tickets, we also quickly realized that my role as the dispatcher needed to be one of Orion’s first lines of defense with ticket escalation. Our ticket escalation processes are all centered around an ITIL-based methodology. Whenever the dispatcher comes across high priority ticket comes through the web portal, it is the dispatcher’s job to put make sure it gets put in the hands of a technician as soon as possible, and make them aware of its criticality. This is to ensure it gets the quick response it requires to get the client’s issue resolved. Over time, this has also evolved into the managing of Problem tickets, or tickets that represent an issue that results in many users experiencing issues. Whether it is no one is able to print in an office or no one can check their email because there is an internet outage, any tickets that are sent in that have the same root cause get attached to the core Problem ticket. Because all new tickets that come in through the portal are seen by the dispatcher, I can recognize a potential Problem ticket when the same issue comes in from the same client. I then reach out to a technician to investigate to find out if there is an underline issue causing them. If there is, a Problem ticket is created.

Later, the dispatcher’s role progressed to me assigning each new ticket to a technician based on the number of active tickets they are working on, and then following up on those tickets to make sure they are being updated and resolved. I check to make sure these ticket get a status update every day. This helps ensure that each ticket is getting pushed forward, and that no ticket is left unattended to be forgotten.

Along with looking to make sure the technicians update the tickets, I also look at the responses and updates from the client. These range from them letting us know when they are available to troubleshoot their issue, to them asking what the current status is on their ticket, and letting us know that the issue is resolved. I take these responses and make sure the assigned technician is aware of these responses so we can make sure the needs of the client are met and so they can adapt to the client’s schedule.

Through this evolutionary process, the dispatch role has changed from being a point and click responsibility,to being a defacto liaison between the clients, the technicians, and the engineers to make sure everyone is aware of the issue and its current status. This has allowed our help desk and engineers to focus all of their time and energy on getting results for our clients, and delivering the highest levels of service. This has increased the overall efficiency of our operations, which has lead to fewer mistakes and faster ticket resolution rates than previously attained.

I will continue to document how the dispatcher role evolves and matures as our process continues to change. Until then, stay tuned.

By | 2017-03-24T13:47:38-04:00 March 31st, 2016|Inside Orion, Managed Services|

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