As a result, you don’t have to divert your attention to fixing IT issues when it’s not your actual job responsibility. When you work with a managed IT service provider (MSP), you have a team of experts on call to address these issues.
But when you do request support, it means you have a bit less control of when your problem receives attention.
So how long will it take to have your problem resolved?
This is one of the most common questions The KR Group’s managed IT services team receives. Unfortunately, because IT is so complex and there are many variables, we can’t tell you how many minutes or hours a given issue will take to resolve.
Instead, we can help you understand what you should keep in mind when you’re wondering how long until your service request is resolved.
Here are four contributing factors to think about:
- The three phases of ticket response
- Triage process for service requests
- Variables that can slow down response time
- Steps you can take before submitting a ticket
The information below will help you understand what goes on behind the scenes while you’re awaiting the resolution of an IT issue. However, if you’re reading this after already submitting a service ticket, you’ll want to contact your MSP to see what their queue currently looks like and where your request sits in it.
Phases of Ticket Response
Most managed IT service providers (MSP) follow the ITSM (IT service management) framework. This acronym refers to how IT teams handle the end-to-end delivery of their services to customers.
In other words, there is a process your service request goes through, which includes the following phases:
1. Time to respond and acknowledge
The first phase consists of your MSP receiving your service request and confirming they will address it.
At The KR Group, this is the only phase we assign a service level agreement (SLA) to.
If you email your problem to your MSP’s service team, you’ll receive a confirmation within 3 minutes that lists your ticket number and verifies it’s in the queue.
If you call the service desk, you can expect to receive a confirmation phone call within 30 minutes. It’s important to remember that a phone call is the preferred method for emergency or after-hours support.
2. Time from dispatch to work starts
Once your ticket is in the queue, it enters the next phase, where it awaits dispatch.
MSPs have a dispatcher who determines the severity of your issue, triages it, and passes it off to the engineering team. (You’ll learn more about this in the next section.)
3. Time to resolution
The final phase is when an engineer is working on resolving your issues. Again, it’s tricky to assign a set amount of minutes to this step; depending on the type of issue, it could take 30 minutes or 3 hours.
How Dispatch Triages Tickets
Once your ticket enters the queue, the dispatcher evaluates it and assigns it a priority by considering the below questions:
- What is the importance of the affected system(s)?
- How many users are affected by this problem?
- Are there possible workarounds for this issue?
- Does this problem pose a security risk?
The answers then help the dispatcher determine if your issue is a high, medium, or low priority.
As you likely guessed, the designated priority for your ticket correlates with how long until it is resolved. High-priority tickets receive attention before medium-priority issues, which are addressed before low-priority ones.
Steps to Take Before Submitting a Ticket
These include basic troubleshooting steps, such as double-checking the power supply, restarting the application or device, and checking for updates.
If your issue persists, submit your request and note what you did to attempt to resolve the problem on your own. This will save your engineer time by allowing them to dive right into the technical components.
You can also find more tips on how to submit a ticket in “How to Submit A Managed IT Services Ticket.”
Variables in Response Time
Even after checking for basic problems and submitting an informative ticket, a few variables can still affect response time.
For example, if the engineer can’t reach you, it will take longer for them to resolve your issue.
If you know you’re going to have a meeting for a couple of hours, include that information on your initial request. Then, your engineer can coordinate their schedule to help you when you’re available.
Another helpful tip is to include your direct contact information, so an engineer doesn’t have to find their way to your extension from the company number.
Keep in mind that variables outside of your control still affect how long it takes to address your issue.
If there is an outage or system-specific problem, multiple clients are likely reporting the same issue and requesting support.
And sometimes, MSPs simply get bogged down with service requests on days where everyone seems to be encountering IT issues.
Even if there isn’t a timer that starts counting down the minute you submit your service request, your MSP should confirm they’ve received your ticket within 30 minutes. And, you shouldn’t have to wait an unreasonably long time for an engineer to resolve your issue.
The way tickets are triaged means if your MSP doesn’t immediately resolve your problem, it’s because there are higher priority requests in the queue.
As frustrating as it can be to wait, keep in mind that at some point, everyone has an urgent IT need that receives high priority. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you likely will in the future.
Knowing this, you can go through a few basic troubleshooting steps. Still, the most important piece of getting a faster resolution is to clearly communicate the problem and how and when to reach you on your service ticket.
In the end, your MSP will get to your issue, and you still don’t have to attempt to resolve IT issues on your own when you should be focusing on your actual duties.
For more information about how service requests are incorporated into a managed IT services agreement, check out this free guide to The KR Group’s MSP contracts.