Delegation Tools for a Service Desk that Never Sleeps

Smiling girl in front of other help desk agents wearing a headset

Supporting clients 24 x 7 x 365 doesn’t mean IT professionals never sleep, get sick, or take time off, but it does mean the team can never fall asleep on the job. It takes a concerted group effort to ensure uninterrupted service desk support with no responsibilities falling through the cracks. So when staff members are temporarily unavailable, there must be tools and processes in place to ensure ownership of all IT tasks in the interim including the ability to delegate those tasks to the next available agent, technician, or engineer backfilling those positions. As with network availability, no organization would go without some degree of redundant systems, so why not expect the same from support personnel?

As the first point of contact, the service desk handles Level 1 task delegation through the ACD. Inbound calls, emails, and chat sessions are offered only to agents who have set their status to available in the queue. So, if for some reason, one of the agents is not logged in and available, they will not be offered that inbound contact.

Though not a direct delegation in the strictest sense, when an agent is either not logged in to the ACD or sets the status to anything other than available (i.e. on another call, in a meeting, in training, etc.), their Level 1 troubleshooting and resolution tasks will by default be assigned to their available teammates. Also, within the phone system itself, callers are directed via IVR prompts (i.e. options for support) can also serve as a delegation tool. Depending on the selection, the call will be routed to the appropriate group and the available agent within that group.

Examples of direct delegations happen more frequently on ticket escalations to desktop technicians and network engineers when an on-site presence or high-level access is required for problem resolution.  Since the service desk and IT Management won’t always know if those individuals are unavailable, having a robust ITSM platform with delegation tools within the IT user portal that prevents agents and staff from assigning tickets to unavailable technicians and having tickets remain open indefinitely. A high-functioning delegation tool enables the engineer or technician to select another recipient to handle those tickets in their absence and even specify the date and times those tickets will automatically be rerouted. In addition, these systems can include more complex workflows and rules so it’s not a case of all tasks assigned to Technician A being delegated to Technician B. The capabilities are more granular.

If for some reason, the service desk doesn’t have the option to manage agent availability within the ACD queue, specific incident management tasks such as Wi-Fi set up can be delegated to one individual, application “how to’s” to another, and AD administration to yet another agent in the ticketing system. But more importantly, for Level 2 teams receiving escalations, tasks such as replacing a hard drive or fixing a printer can likewise be disseminated to various recipients. The possibilities are endless.

Applying the same principle to service requests that often kick off a multitude of tasks with the submission of forms such as a new hire request, each recipient may set their own delegation for HR, account activation, new device provisioning,  set up, security access, as well as the approvals associated with each step in the service request fulfillment process.  “That’s how you minimize ticket aging and deliver on service quality expectations,” says Brian Nunziato, ABS’s Manager of Information Technology. “If you’re leveraging delegation tools effectively, you’re not prone to leaving incidents open without prompt follow up to the user, and ownership through resolution is never put on hold regardless of the time of day. As a result, IT Managers can sleep better knowing the support professionals currently handling each ticket aren’t.”