How to get in control of open tickets in Autotask

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Struggling with too many open tickets piling up?

Of course, your dream as an MSP is to cater to your customers’ every need. But the reality is that every MSP is finding it increasingly difficult to stay “in control”.

Naturally, you respond to your customers’ concerns right away. But to solve the problem, sometimes you need assistance from the customer. It might be that you’ll require more information, access, etc. But what if they don’t reply promptly?

 

Create an Autotask workflow for “Awaiting customer”

Out first step for getting in control of open tickets is to create a workflow to notify the customer we’re working on a ticket:

Autotask Workflow Rules

  1. Go to Autotask.
  2. Find the tickets with the status “awaiting customer”, or your equivalent.
  3. Go Admin – workflow rules.
  4. Then, remove the “awaiting customer” category from other workflow rules which apply to “awaiting customer” as well as other statuses. So “awaiting customer” is never targeted along with other statuses.
  5. Next, make a new workflow rule saying: “if status changed to “awaiting customer”, send a notification to customer saying you’re working on it.
  6. This can be made in Admin – Notification Templates.

 

That was the first step towards automating customer support. Next, you’d want the customer to automatically get a reminder about this.

Create a reminder flow for the customer response

Make the workflow rule recurring for “Awaiting Customer” Ticket status:

Autotask Workflow Rule Notification Recurrence

  1. Go to Autotask
  2. Go to your existing workflow rules.
  3. Select the workflow rule for “awaiting customer”.
  4. Select “edit”.
  5. Go to the tab “notification”.
  6. Scroll down to “notification recurrence”
  7. Decide your recurrence frequency.

Please be mindful not to spam your customer with too many notifications. Once a week should be enough for most tickets.

Auto-Resolve

Lastly, the step you would want to automate is to automatically close the ticket, or “Auto-resolve” it. This isn’t the case for every ticket, but for instances like RMM notifications this is very handy.

After a few reminders without feedback from the customer, you’ll want to close the ticket automatically and you’ll want to know which ticket was closed. So, make sure you have a user-defined field, for instance, “RMM Notifications”, which you can re-use for other purposes like “auto-resolve” (Because RMMs tend to throw quite a lot of notifications, not all of them need a resolution).

You then make a workflow rule that when the notification sequence has come to an end, the ticket is auto-completed. Autotask should then update the user-defined field as well.

How to Auto-complete a Ticket if you don’t get feedback from the client:

Autotask Idle for 24 Hours

  1. Go to Autotask
  2. Go to the “Admin” section or “Setup” area.
  3. Look for “Workflow Rules” or “Automation”. Click on it to proceed.
  4. Within the Workflow Rules section, locate the option to create a new rule. Click on it to start creating your rule.
  5. In the new rule creation interface, you’ll see options to define trigger conditions. Under General, Select Idle for “24 hours”
  6. Set the conditions for the user-defined field. For example:
    1. Condition 1: Created from RMM Alert
  7. After defining trigger conditions, locate the section for setting actions. Click on “Add Action” or similar.
  8. Choose the action to be performed when the trigger conditions are met. In this case:
    1. Mark the ticket as completed.

 

How to properly auto-close a ticket created by a customer

We would recommend auto closing the customer ticket as some point.

Please take note of the frequency and the number of Notifications you send, as you don’t want to annoy your customers. You could even include, with or without formatting, the ticket history.

For advanced users who want to go the extra mile, you could even create a separate workflow rule for each notification you send the client. This way you can customize each message for each notification. In the final notification you could then say something like:

 “Please note, we’ve been waiting for x days for your reaction (the x can be populated by the field “days in current state”). This is the final notification; we assume your issue has been solved. If not, please respond to this message.” 

Create a workflow to to remind you to send a customized email:

  1. Go to Autotask
  2. Go to the “Admin” section or “Setup” area.
  3. Look for “Workflow Rules” or “Automation”. Click on it to proceed.
  4. Within the Workflow Rules section, locate the option to create a new rule. Click on it to start creating your rule.
  5. In the new rule creation interface, you’ll see options to define trigger conditions. Under General, Select Idle for “24 hours”
  6. Set the conditions to detect the absence of notifications and changes to the user-defined field. For example:
    1. Condition 1: Created from customer email
  7. After defining trigger conditions, go to the “Notifications” Tab
    1. Select recipients
    2. Add a Notification Template

A response can then trigger to reopen the ticket.

Conclusion: Never let a ticket slide through the cracks

With the aforementioned workflow rules, there are multiple ways to handle a bloated unresolved ticket queue wherein the customer is the bottleneck.

The basic principle is to get control over the situation with the user-defined fields and notifications, so you can always look at the history of the tickets.

So if the customer ever complains about how you auto-resolve tickets, you can show them the notification history.

Another idea which requires some programming skills, is to put a multiple-choice item in the notification emails.

The choices could be things like: “my issue is resolved” and “I still need help”.

Whatever you decide, it is important that your workflow rules capture all tickets that come in. Once that’s done, the more granular you go with workflow rules, the more complex your Autotask setup becomes. However, when it comes to customer communication, that complexity may be worth it. Because your customer’s interaction with your IT department is the greatest sales tool you have. That’s when the rubber meets the road and the customer finds out if they like you as their IT support. So writing a few extra email flows couldn’t hurt, could it?

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