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K-12 Workflow Management Blog

Top 3 Essentials for Standardized K-12 Help Tickets

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Help desk software is an essential part of today’s K-12 IT support. For any newbies to the K-12 IT scene, a help desk refers to the portal where end users (students, staff, parents, et cetera) request help support. As Capterra points out, “help desk software can make [technicians’] jobs easier … It lets you resolve your teammates’ and customers’ support requests faster and in an efficient manner.”

There are a few things to consider when implementing your district’s first help desk solution, but there is a key component of help desks that cannot be overlooked—the support workflow process itself. K-12 IT teams are able to standardize this process by creating a comprehensive support procedure that gets relevant information to technicians, while still being easy-to-use for the end user.

What Is a Help Ticket?

To boil it down to its simplest definition, a help ticket is what an end user submits when they’re facing a support issue. For the world of K-12, help tickets can cover anything from a forgotten username to a broken laptop screen.

Implementing a help ticketing system gives users a common place to ask for technical assistance, and it also creates a simple, streamlined workflow for back-end technicians. This is K-12 IT we’re talking about, so districts need tools that work smarter and faster.

Why Do We Need Standardized Help Tickets?

Standardization is the key to getting everyone in your district on the same page. And we do mean everyone—students, staff, teachers, parents, guardians. Having the same process to ask for help makes it easy to both submit and work tickets, as everyone will go to the same place to request support, no matter what kind of problem they’re experiencing or who the user is within the school district.

Structured data within standardized tickets is an added advantage for K-12 IT support teams. In this case, structured data would include the information needed so agents can begin working on a ticket immediately. Your district should have standards for gathering data within help tickets, as well as a standard for submitting help tickets.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get specific. Read on to see what your help ticket workflows need to create better K-12 IT support workflows.

3 Essentials for Standardized Help Tickets

1. Integrate with your district’s MDM and SIS for better data visibility.

Integrating with your MDM and SIS is invaluable for K-12 IT teams. API-driven integrations give technicians immediate information about the device in question, without going back-and-forth between systems and playing Sherlock to gather all the data you need to know about a device. With properly integrated data, technicians can see system specs, login data, user information, device location and more—all from a help ticket.

Furthermore, MDM and SIS integrations help end users by minimizing the amount of manual data entry required to submit a help request. For example, teachers looking to submit an SIS request to update a student’s grade can select from a drop-down list of course codes provided by an SIS integration, rather than having to manually input the course code themselves.

Having MDM and SIS integrations help close tickets faster by giving technicians every clue they need to solve the technical problem, and reducing the effort required from those looking for help.

2. Customize support workflows so IT teams receive the necessary data to work a ticket.

Tailoring support workflows is a great way to ensure that end users provide the relevant data that support teams need. Technicians can create custom fields that require information about cause of damage, location of the incident, and more. The purpose of customized support workflows is to provide enough information about the user, the affected device, and the technical problem being experienced so the IT agent can get to work tackling the issue as soon as the ticket is received.

Another critical component of help tickets are tailored issue categories. Issue categories eliminate those long lists of issues users have to scroll through—instead, a modern help ticketing system will have structured issue categories tailored to the device or service that users are submitting a help request for.

Custom fields and tailored issue categories within the self-service portal get technicians one step further to resolving help tickets quickly and efficiently. Tailored issue categories also help provide key decision-makers with structured data and reliable roll-up analytics to see what issues are most commonly being faced by students and staff.

3. Use structured data to route tickets effectively.

Now that you have a clear and concise help ticket, you have to ask—where are those tickets going? Are they being sent to the subject matter experts on the IT team, or are critical issues simply filling up a general inbox?

Automations give meaningful time back to K-12 IT departments. Instead of sorting through a host of tickets in a central inbox, automations within your help desk system can route support requests, elevate by priority, and automatically add key stakeholders as followers on critical requests.

Implementing automations will help your IT team focus on the important matter—resolving help requests—instead of spinning your wheels, spending time on administrative tasks.

Standardize Processes to Streamline Workflows

Standardizing processes helps establish expectations for submitting help desk tickets and receiving technical assistance. It gives a clear idea of what end users (students, staff, parents, and guardians) can expect from the technician and the technical support system as a whole.

With all of the aforementioned structural components in your district’s help ticket, your IT team will be able to tackle the problem as soon as the help ticket is submitted—no matter who submits it.

Ready for the next phase of your district’s help ticketing? Reach out to us and we’ll chat about better workflows for K-12 IT.