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Updating the category when logged via portal


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When a call is logged via the Portal it is really easy for the analyst to select the Priority and assign although it is more tricky to then select the category as it is hidden in the details form. It would be great if the category could be applied in a similar way as the above.

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Hi Adam,

Thanks for your post. I can see that there would be an advantage to having an Action Item for setting the categories.

I'm always interested in how categories are used by our customers. Categories seems to be one of those necessities for for reporting, statistics, and possibly for just for grouping together similar types of requests in your lists. They also tend to be a challenge when making changes to the Service Desk which may also result in changes to the category tree which always has potential for creating issues with historical statistics. From a support person's perspective it is always that being faced with a massive tree that you are never quite sure where the correct category is so you find yourself opening and closing different branches and selecting in the end what you think may be a close match but never too sure. What happens to requests associated to a category that you now wish to delete or move? There are always lots of questions and challenges with categories.

Even the initial creation of your category structure is a challenge. Where do you begin? Feedback that I have had in the past is that the category structure often ends up being a replication of information that we possibly already have associated to a request such as site, service, asset, type of asset, type of request, department, source, and I'm sure there are a few more.

I would be interested to hear back what types of things that our customers put into their category trees. This may help us find a better and more manageable approach to how categories are constructed and used in the future.

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Hi James

Interestingly enough we had this debate last week and the use of categories seems so old fashioned however they are still key to reporting and problem management.  Maybe we should put our heads together and come up with an innovative replacement!!

We managed to get our categories down from 750 to 300 when we moved to Service Manager and try to find a balance between 2 or 4 levels.  The most important thing with categories is consistency so I am regularly talking to the team ensuring we use the same ones for the right requests.

Cheers

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I think that's the exact reason that reason categories are surviving, Adam - I've seen all sorts of other methods discussed, but all the benefits that apply elsewhere; fluidity, simplicity, personalisation etc. become problems when it comes to reporting, which is fundamentally structured.
I've wondered if tags might work, but if you're not selecting them from a list even simple differences like "Laptop" and "Lap top" can become an issue.

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The tags we use in Document Manage require someone with rights to add the possible Tags to a list. 

This prevents users from adding "Laptop" and "Lap top".

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 10.30.40.png

I think tags could work really well against requests and allow you to specify multiple tags instead of having to have very specific lists of categories which can easily become un manageable. 

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That's the kind of thing I was thinking of, I think this might work well as an option for tags. The only thing missing is specifying a number of levels, which wouldn't be practical with tags, and in my organisation at least, would probably lead to either everything being dumped under a pretty generic tag, or a secondary tag being picked almost at random from the available selection.

This is a procedural issue, however, not a systemic one, and can be managed. It's just a pity that you can't lock offenders in a gibbet for a week as a training measure ...

Could a tagging system be designed so that inappropriate secondary tags were disabled? e.g. Having selected "Desktop" the tag "Battery" is no longer available. Or is that just going back to categories again?

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It would be fairly easy to require n number of tags before a request could be logged or updated. 

If you started putting tags into categories then you just re introduced categories with a different UI. 

When i used to log calls in Supportworks as a day job everything was under Other->Other->Other if i couldn't quickly find the right category, tags wouldn't necessary stop this.

One usability improvement might be to add searching the category selector so you do not have to go looking for the one you are after.

 

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Searching categories would be good; "Network" could return:

  • Desktop->Wireless->No Network Connection
  • Desktop->Wired->No Network Connection
  • Laptop->Wireless->No Network Connection
  • Laptop->Wired->No Network Connection

for example - which would both make the selection easier and help to educate end users at the same time.

I can't help feeling there's a better way, though!

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