May 24, 2017

Customer Support Desk (Part 3): Request Workflow

help-iconI have introduced Support Requests as a means to create customer support cases, and also hinted that other teams use different request types to manage defect tracking, product feature requests, service and resource requests.

The Workflow Management application in the Changepoint System Manager module enables Administrators to configure workflow definitions to support your organization’s project management, request management, resource request management, and candidate management processes.

Changepoint Global Support use request workflow to control the routing and approval process and ensure the right people within our organization are assigned to the request at the right time during the request life cycle. The workflow also includes escalation procedures and email notifications to ensure requests are responded to and resolved in a timely manner.

Many of our customers use Changepoint to manage their Level One and Level Two support processes for their products and services. At Changepoint, we provide Level Two support to designated ‘named callers’ and prepare our contacts with an introduction to our services (see Preparing Customers for a Great Customer Care Experience). Therefore, it’s easy to include external customers (request Initiator) as workflow participants and then assign an action workflow step to that person. For instance, Support may require some specific information and will set the Request status to “Clarification required – Customer”. This will send an email notification to the request Initiator to let them know information is required. The request status is updated at every step in the workflow.

customer-support-request-workflow-diagram

Request status is updated at every step in the workflow

  1. The request is logged by a client or end-user.
  2. Depending on specified request information, the request is routed to a request queue or responsible approver.
  3. The request is validated. If approved, work is assigned to a resource.
  4. A reminder displays in the My Reminders portlet of the assigned resource.customer-support-my-reminders-screenshot
  5. The resource completes the work and enters the time spent on the work in the time sheet.
  6. The request is closed. If work spent on request is billable,the time logged by the resource may be cross charged to the client.
  7. A knowledge item can be created from the request and added to the knowledge base.
  8. If there has been no response or resolution to a request within the escalation time defined on the SLA, the request is escalated.

As the Request traverses through the workflow steps, rules ensure mandatory field values are correctly completed before moving to the next step. This ensures all requests are managed in a consistent way and sets very clear expectations for the person who has been assigned the request.

Users with authorization to view the request details can inspect the workflow history, which provides a clear sequence of process steps, state changes, and resource and queue assignments as the request moves through its life cycle.

Should a Support Request resolve to a defect, the workflow process automatically creates a Defect Request, which is then owned and managed by Product Development. Defect Requests are reviewed when planning and managing the development of product service packs and major releases.

Like many of our customers, we find Changepoint meets all the needs for our global customer support organization and for product planning and development management.

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