How to automate the chasing of users to confirm that their incident or service request can be closed

By ITIL® from Experience©

ITIL® states that the user should accept the closure of their incident or request and that the Service Desk should check to ensure "that the users are satisfied and willing to agree the incident / request can be closed."1 2 3

Contacting every user to ensure that their incident is resolved or that their service request was completed to their satisfaction is in theory, good customer service. In reality, getting a confirmation before closing anything is a considerable burden on I.T.. Many users do not reply to voice messages or emails since after all; they got what they needed and may not feel like spending more time to call back or to reply to another email.

The good news is that this procedure can be automated in most ITSM tools. Even though some tools may need to trigger an external script, the automated process can be as follows:

1. When the technician is done the status of the incident or service request is changed to "Pending-closure" or "Waiting Client Confirmation"

  • The Service Level Agreement (SLA) clock is stopped
  • An email4 is sent to the user containing:
  • The reference number
  • Subject of the incident or request
  • The question: “Has your issue or request been addressed to your satisfaction?”
  • Three hyperlinks to answer the above question:
    • Yes – The request can be closed
    • Yes - but I have another issue
    • No – I still have an issue

2. When the user clicks the “Yes” hyperlink a script:

  • Closes the record in the ITSM tool
  • Stops the SLA clock (if the above action did not do so)
  • Asks the user if they would like to complete a Client Satisfaction Survey which redirects them to the survey page or the script can simply send them a survey by email
  • Redirects them to a page thanking them for their service with a link to report additional issues

3. When the user clicks “No” hyperlink a script:

  • Changes the status to “Re-opened”
  • Records an action in the record that it was re-opened by the user
  • Restarts the SLA clock
  • Displays a message or page indicating that someone will be in touch with them shortly to follow up
  • Assigns the record to the service department/group that took the last action or to another group like the Service Desk (some organizations prefer to assign the record to a manager to determine if the incident or request should be reopened or a new one logged (see Should the incident be reopened or a new one logged and Should a service request be reopened or a new one logged).

Needless to say that some users will ignore these emails thus, leaving many records open in the ITSM tool in a pending or waiting state. To avoid these records from being discussed during regular operational meetings, filter out these outstanding records from reports and queries. Depending on the tool used, it may be wise to reassign these records to a shadow worklist/group/queue/Service Department so that they do not appear in everyone’s work-list to avoid unnecessary “noise” if they cannot be filtered out. In addition, periodically, these records could be bulk closed5 .

Of course, technology is only as good as the process it enables and the people doing it. Therefore, it must be clear to all that the user's email address is mandatory for anything that is logged. Thus, every time a user calls the Service Desk, the Agent must ask the user to confirm their email address. The email field must also be mandatory in the online logging form of the Service Catalogue.

This automation greatly improves I.T.’s efficiency. Not only does it improve the client’s customer service experience it also improves their efficiency since they do not have to call back when I.T.’s did not address their issue.

Last updated on: 2015-09-16

"There is no more valuable time to listen to your customers than when they disagree." https://hbr.org/2014/02/listening-to-your-customers-when-your-customers-disagree/

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Category: ITIL Process > Incident Management ITIL Process > Request Fulfillment

1 ITIL® Service Operation, 2011 Edition, Incident Closure p. 82
2 ITIL® Service Operation, 2011 Edition, Request Closure p.93
3 Service Support ITIL® v2, 2000, 5.6.5 Incident Closure p. 85
4 Some organizations may prefer to have two email templates, one for incidents and another for service requests.
5 Guidance on bulk closure is provided in ITIL® Service Operations, 2011 Edition, Section Incident Closure (p.83) and Section Request Closure (p. 94)


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