How we manage support calls

Peter Woodbridge
Thursday 12 March 2015

All of our help and support requests are handled through a system called UniDesk, which logs information on who spoke to who and distributes email notifications to the relevant people. UniDesk calls these requests ‘support calls’.

Our old way of working

In the past the whole team would each spend a few hours a day, sometimes more, on support calls. Our days would be segmented into a mix of support calls and project work, so it was always a struggle to get any real development work done. If we did manage to get a break from support calls and get to work on a project, it would only be for a very brief time.

My new role within the team

Since July 2014 the digital communications team have been handling their support calls in a new and more productive manner.


In the new world I am solely responsible for the management, and in the majority of cases, the resolving of our support calls.

When a call is submitted I will first of all gain a quick understanding of what the work involves. In most instances I will then assign it to myself and resolve the problem as soon as possible. We also have a strict rule that calls shouldn’t be left as ‘New’, so after I’ve read it I will set it to ‘Open’.

Involving other team members

I sometimes have to assign a support call to another member of the team.
I may assign a call to someone else for a number of reasons:

  • I have never come across the site in question and don’t have the required rights to access the admin back-end.
  • A member of the team was directly involved with the support call previously and the time it would take to get me up to scratch would be much greater than he/she resolving the issue themselves.
  • The work involved requires more specialist knowledge (e.g. a particular third party program).

Other members of the team dedicate an amount of time each Friday to resolve these calls. We have named this ‘Fix it Friday’. This frees up the rest of their week to work on project and development work.

All in all I believe our new way of working is much more effective and we get a lot more done! As time goes on we hope to expand our support side of the team and become even more efficient.

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