We operate a 24x7 support service for any critical issues that our customers experience and UK 9am-5:30pm for anything non-critical. Since we receive a low volume of support and an even lower volume of critical issues, we have elected to have an agent available on-call 24x7 rather than establish a shift pattern and having support agents working around the clock. In order to invoke this on-call service, we ask our customers to firstly raise a ZenDesk ticket (ensuring that we have a record and can report against it at a later date) and then to make a telephone call to our on-call agent. This means the agent is not required to monitor his/her incoming e-mails when not technically working.
This process generally works, but there are times when we have seen problems. If the process fails, it tends to be because of one of the following:
- The customer does not know that they need to telephone the on-call agent for out of hours support, so just raises a ticket and waits.
- The customer is operating in a different time zone to us and is confused about when they are within UK working hours and when not. When this happens, it tends to be for US East coast based customers, for problems that occur in their afternoons.
- The customer knows that they need to call us, but are unable to locate the correct telephone number.
We saw that much of this could be addressed by changing the wording in the initial e-mail that would be sent to the customer via the trigger “Notify requester of received request”, however we did not want to overly complicate the message to a customer. We did not want to encourage them to call us outside of our business hours if the problem was not critical in nature and we wanted to try to make our operating hours clearer in their time zone.
We decided that we would have three separate versions of this message:
We use the Within business hours and the priority values to make the decision as to which e-mail to send.
Finally, here is how we have setup our business hours:
Since making this change, we have completely eliminated all of the problems that we had seen around this!
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