Earlier this year my colleague Peter and I audited the support calls our team received in the first six months of 2015. We wanted to see if there were any particular areas where issues were reoccurring, using the results to help us work proactively to reduce those issues. Over those six months we received around 600 calls and discovered that a large percentage were calls requesting content edits to our web site.
Now that the first six months of 2016 have passed we thought it would a good idea to audit the support calls that we received during this period and compare the results with the previous audit.
In the first six months of 2016 we received and resolved 825 support calls, which is a 28% increase on the previous year. At first glance, this doesn’t look too good but it wasn’t unexpected. Our team has been better at directing users to submit support calls through UniDesk, our support call management system, rather than emailing individual team members directly. UniDesk provides benefits such as call tracking and auditing. Calls are also visible to all team members so that they can be dealt with by the most appropriate person.
As we can see in the chart above, the monthly breakdown of support calls has been slightly different this year. We had a larger number of calls between January and March with a dip in April and May and had our busiest month in June. This compares with the steady month on month increase that we saw in 2015.
Part of our audit process involved categorising every call so that we could pinpoint the specific areas where issues were reoccurring, our categories were:
- access rights,
- broken links,
- information architecture,
- Google Search Appliance,
- general, and
We can see on the chart above that a large number (just over 50%) of our calls are related to content. Examples of these calls are updating text on a web page, adding an image or document to the media library, and fixing typos.
The chart also shows that content calls have increased by 42% from the previous year. This increase has been partially caused by our effort to direct more users to use UniDesk. Another reason for the increase is that we’re currently restricting editing access on our external facing pages, which allows us to maintain the consistency of these pages. This means that any updates on these pages will need to be done by a member of our team.
How can we reduce our calls
As we mention above, the category with the most calls is content so this is the area that we need to focus on to proactively reduce our support calls. We’re able to use the data from this audit to highlight departments and individuals that have a high number of calls requesting these updates. We can offer these users T4 refresher training so that they can make these updates themselves, since most of them are minor changes.
Another proactive action we can take is to find out about any regular content updates, such as graduation and orientation information. We can then plan these updates in advance and make all the changes at once instead of having update requests trickle through to us as individual support calls.
We are also working on reducing calls in other category areas. We are using software to monitor our site for broken links, helping us to identify and fix these links before users find them. We’re also planning to move our WordPress installation to an external host, which will help to reduce the amount of time we spend on supporting our WordPress sites.
We’ll do this audit again next year to see if we’ve managed to reduce our support calls using the proactive methods mentioned above.