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Minimum character settings?


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Hi. We are about to go live with our new Hornbill Service Desk and I wonder if anyone can advise on the following. We have always had difficulty with persuading users to enter details of pc service tags and similar into mandatory text fields, they get round the requirement by just entering a full stop or something like that. Is there a way to enforce a minimum character setting on these fields?


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Hi Derek,

 thanks for your post. It depends whether this information is captured in a custom progressive capture form or not. The custom forms have the ability for us to set a regular expression on the single or multi-line text input fields. This can help prevent the user from entering irrelevant information.

Alternatively, you could ensure all your assets exist in Service Manager and present them with the standard Pro Cap Asset form marked as mandatory. They can then search on Asset tag and easily link the asset in question.

Having said that, both my suggestions are not completely infallible, as in the first case the user could learn the format and put in random letters and numbers to satisfy the regex check. In the latter case they could just select the first asset returned in the search. Which arguably is worse because then it's harder to tell whether the information is accurate (at least you know a full stop is rubbish).

This then leaves us with the third option which is to play hardball. It's perfectly reasonable for you as an IT Service Desk to expect customers to provide information that will assist in the resolution or their issue or fulfilment of their request. In the event of them not providing the information simply send a stock response saying we are unable to progress your call until we have this information (of course that's the extreme).
Perhaps make it Service Desk policy, publicise a "Guide to logging IT calls", present this on your intranet or IT Services web site. Help your customer base understand why this information is important to you and emphasise how it can help you provide a quicker and better service to them. i.e. it's in their interests to do this.

I appreciate that this doesn't happen overnight, and customer engagement can be the most challenging aspect of Service Delivery, but customer education can be leveraged in the quest for continual Service Improvement.

I hope that helps,


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