IT Helpdesk, often referred to in the context of IT service desk, is a key function within IT Service Management (ITSM) that supports the internal IT within organizations. Everybody who has been working within an IT Helpdesk understands the importance of having an optimized process in order to provide a resolution to a case as fast as possible with retained quality. 

Today’s world has changed a lot with ITSM solutions providing more automation and connecting an increased number of steps within the processes it supplies. 

At the same time, the way we communicate and work within organizations have drastically changed. Conversations are happening instantly today, where the usage of e-mail is decreasing while interactions over messaging platforms is increasing. 

The Natural Way of Communicating

This change is happening right now, some adopt slower and some have already gone all-in on using platforms like Slack for all their communication without any email. 

People want to interact closer to each other and processes need to be aligned to fit into this new world of conversations. When we built Suptask, it was based on interviews and years working with cumbersome processes that ended up with work-arounds within the platform that everyone was already using, Slack. 

Teams would create their own standards on messages within Slack in order to provide structure to a process that people should comply with inside of channels. 

Rarely was there a good fit for a ticketing system to work against several teams in order to support internal team-to-team ticketing. 

Custom solutions don't scale

Many companies try find approaches to deal with incoming requests directly on their communication platform. IT, Engineering, Helpdesk, Marketing, HR, Sales - they were all applying similar solutions to the problem in order to keep communication on Slack. 

They were using message threads and different emojis to triage and respond to issues, helping support other teams and communicate the status of the submitted message. Ending up in overusing features like Mark as unread, Remind me later and different emojis for different meanings.

They all shared the same reason for doing it like this - it was too heavy and negative to the productivity, wasting valuable time, when they were forced to use a ticketing process outside of their natural habitat on Slack. 

The common pattern was often that companies were pushing teams into the same system as their public support team was using to communicate with customers. 

All teams were already on Slack, why force them to start communicating and dealing with cases somewhere else? 

Why force users to adapt to a product when it should be the product who adopts to the users. It was simply the wrong way of attacking the problem.

The company Teem wrote a great article about this on Wxweekly where they explained their method of applying a 100% all-in strategy moving the Helpdesk to Slack

Moving Helpdesk Closer to Conversations

IT Helpdesk is the perfect use case for Suptask, where our solution to the problem really shines. 

According to the research done by atSpoke, 70% of the surveyed people would submit their request over Slack if they had the possibility to do so.

We re-invented helpdesk support, brought it back to a simple but yet powerful solution that is empowered by your conversations and messages. 

  • Users can write in a Helpdesk channel (e.g #it-helpdesk) for both questions and actions
  • Messages can be transformed to tickets where ticket communication is happening within the message thread
  • Helpdesk responders act on submitted case tickets with a slack-first ticketing system
  • The helpdesk team can discuss in a dedicated responder channel (helpdesk-respond) where tickets are managed and responses can be picked to be sent back to the user

The Real Value of Conversation Based Helpdesk

The helpdesk team and requesting users are benefiting from moving the helpdesk support closer to the conversations. Actions are more natural within the context of your messages and Suptask helps creating the structured processes inside of Slack.

  • Time to resolve tickets (TTR) decreases as actions and collection of information can be carried it faster
  • Team engagement improves as no barriers are created with disconnected processes.
  • Both users and the helpdesk team receive a better experience.
  • Users can stay on Slack and are not forced to another system to handle tickets.

Conversation based ticketing systems are here to stay as communication platforms such as Slack are becoming increasingly more popular. There is a clear trend that more organizations are adopting to a more modern service and help desk structure.

As they are growing, the requirements on scaling a structured process of tickets increases - at the same time making sure teams stay aligned and communication is instant across the organization.

The potential of having ticketing purely on Slack

When our first customers started to use Suptask, they were met with a solution that enabled them with a complete ticketing process in Slack that supported both requesters and responders (aka Agents) to work with tickets. 

Users could easily submit a request inside of Slack where responders could pick up the case, discuss privately with the team and provide a solution to the user’s request. 

We found out that working with emojis turned out to be extremely popular among our customers. Therefor Suptask got adopted to this, using emojis as a way to trigger, not only reactions, but also actions. Actions that were easy to understand and powerful to support a ticketing workflow inside of Slack channels. 

Every Slack user can easily filter among their tickets, all inside of Slack, to see what the status is, who is assigned on it and the latest progress. Responders have a flexible way of filtering tickets with an overview of what tickets that need attention and the status of their current active tickets. 

Search is available for all tickets wherever you are in Slack, powered by Slack’s own search engine which provides a great path to find the exact ticket you are looking for. 

Conversations were now happening between teams that were stunning to watch, where ticketing processes became a part of the messages that got sent between different colleagues from different teams within a company. 

Conversations and messages become the tickets

The conversation based ticketing system had landed and it was magic to hear how it optimized the way teams were now working. Barriers between teams were no longer there, instead teams were communicating closer to each other with the instant messaging powered by Slack together with the structured process for cases supported by Suptask. 

Ever since the first teams started to use Suptask we have seen new use cases popping up in teams we never thought would use it initially. 

Today we see adoptions of a ticket system on Slack among organizations that are of smaller and larger enterprise sizes. Where several different teams starting to use this as the organization grows - everything from HR and People operations to Engineering, IT Operations, DevOps, Marketing and Sales. It has even become a very popular way for 3rd line escalations from Support to other teams.

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