Results_9361_image010Here are the results from the Helpdesk Survey that we conducted last week. (sorry it is quite long)

  1. It looks like most people have logged into the helpdesk system, if for some reason your school doesn’t have a helpdesk username and password please contact me: and I will set this up for you, please note that there is only one account per school (typically the front office uses it to report issues)
  2. In terms of whether people found the helpdesk system easy to use it looks like most people found it quite easy.
  3. In terms of the response time it seems that it is mostly good, but there are obviously some areas of improvement, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve it.
    • Results_9361_image002To help us be able to respond as quickly as possible make sure when you submit a ticket to include all the information, we often get tickets that are incomplete or not specific enough resulting in us having to ask for more information from your school. (ie. an example is “My English class is missing marks on the report card”, this type of ticket is hard to respond to because we don’t know which English class, or which report card, and is it for all students or just one. It is better if the ticket is more like “My MEN-10 class taught by Ms. Jones, is missing Term 2 marks on the Secondary report card, for Suzy Smith”).
    • In terms of response time there are times when it is just a lot busier than other times and it is hard to respond quickly due to the volume. For instance in September this year 33% of tickets were responded to within 1 hour, compare with the last three months which are slower where almost 60% of ticket were responded to in one hour.Results_9361_image003
    • One of the big areas which slows down our response time is when we have to take tickets up to the Provincial team. The average response time from the Provincial Team from when we report an issue to them to when it is closed is almost 10 days. Furthermore we have more than 45 tickets that are still open with the Provincial were reported more than a month ago. When things go to the Provincial Team we have very little control over it them.
  4. In terms of quality of response again it looks like most people are happy, but again there are improvements that could be made.
    • The number one area that people identified for improvement is including more details and step-by-step in our answers. We often assume that people have a certain level of comfort with the system and know where particular screens are. If you are newer to the system, or just confused by our answer or if the answer is not specific enough please feel free to askResults_9361_image004 for more specific’s and details or clarification, we are here to help you solve the issue so if an answer is not clear let us know and we will add more info to the ticket.
    • If you are really having an issue with a particular issue or one of our support people please feel free to contact me (Andrew Smit – Project Manager – and I would be more than willing to look into it and see how we can help you better.
  5. Here are some of the responses we got about what you like best about the Helpdesk Ticket System
    • It is easy to use.”, “I dont have to hold on a phone line. I can refer to my tickets at any time”, “The interface is extremely simple”, “fast responses”, “The helpfulness of the responses!” , “It is available anytime, anywhere”, “They are patient with me!”, “That I can respond back and have input”, “Quick response, very professional, and ensures all questioned have been answered” 
      • – We appreciate these kind words and we continue to try provide the best service we can to all our schools.
  6. However here are a few of the responses about things that we could improve with the Helpdesk Ticket System.
    • “A better log of problems that all users are having and not just my own. A better tutorial system. A better search for related problems. ” 
      • I totally agree that this would be useful. In fact we are trying to get something like this from the Provincial Team so that we can see Province wide what all the issues are that schools are having. But there are couple of reasons this is hard, firstly privacy we need to make sure that anything we publish about other schools issues cannot be traced back to that school or to a specific student, secondly it is another list of things that we have to manage and keep up to date which takes us away from the answering tickets. (which is why we are looking for the Provincial Team to manage this for us on a province-wide basis). Typically we do try and send out emails about things that are affecting all schools. If your school is not getting these emails please make sure that you have a staff type of “Admin” or “Secretary” setup.
    •  “Ability to reply back to helpdesk via email” 
      • I again agree this would be very nice to be able to do. However this is not possible due to Canadian Privacy laws, email is very unsecure and as such sending student data or passwords via wouldn’t be safe. The Helpdesk is secured with SSL to help protect student data.
    • Adding a question or comment to the answer given – seems like sometimes they don’t get picked up” 
      • If you scroll to the bottom of the ticket and type your response as a comment we see all of those and can carry on a conversation back and forth.
    • Would like to be able to add more than one document and would like to see the words resolved not used until the issue has actually been resolved. I find that very confusing.”
      • You can definitely add more than one document. If you add a document, then click submit, and then if you go back into the ticket you can go and add another document, then click submit again. (repeat as needed)
      • In terms of the word resolved we use this in two ways. Firstly when we have answered a ticket and think that it is done then we will set it to resolved. At this point point you can make a comment that it is either resolved and we can close it or that it is not resolved and then we will continue to look at it. Secondly we often set a ticket to resolved when we have requested more information from a school or if it sent to the Provincial Team, the reason for doing this is that then the system flags us every few days that a ticket is set to resolve and needs to be reviewed to see if it should be closed or if there is a response waiting for us and this also reminds us to follow up with the Provincial team. If we haven’t got a response from a school after 5 days we will close the ticket. Please note that if you have responded to a resolved ticket and we haven’t got back to you we will not close it until it is fixed. (only tickets that are marked as Closed will not be looked at, all other tickets, including resolved ticket, will continue to be reviewed and followed up on, they will not be lost or closed before it is fixed).
    • A way to say ticket resolved and remove from client end” 
      • We are looking at a way that we can code the helpdesk to be able to do this.
    • An email to inform that the ticket has been attended to and to check for updates by logging in”
      • You should be getting these emails whenever we assign a ticket, or whenever we make a comment. If you are not, then login to the Helpdesk, then go to My Details on the left side, and check the email address that is entered there. You can have multiple emails if you want just separate them by a comma.
    • There were a number of comments around the topic of being able to talk on the phone and more details in our answers.
      • In terms of the phone, I will get into that issue below.
      • In terms of the detail of our answer it is a balancing act, because often times people just need to be reminded of where to go to solve the issue and as such a quick answer is fine, but if on the other hand we typed out long detailed answers for everyone our response time would go way down. As such we try balance this by giving a fairly detailed but brief answer. If this does not work for you that is not a problem, just type back into the ticket that you need more specific details (or if there is a step you are confused about) and we will try get you more detailed information. The other area to look at is some of the manuals and training resources.
  7. Results_9361_image001Now for the phone system. It looks like the majority of people have tried to use our 1-800 number. If not our help phone line is: 1-877-620-5673
  8. The number one result that we got from this survey is that people liked talking to us on the phone and secondly that they wished that we could answer the phone more often. And I would agree with both of these, and I have a few comments, suggestions, and requests for how we can make it better.
    • Firstly we try to answer as many phone calls as possible, but it is often a balancing act between answering helpdesk tickets, answering the phone, working on resolving hard issues that take hours to figure out and need uniterrupted concentration, dealing with the provincial team and doing training for schools. In terms of our actual stats on answering the phone since we started tracking phone calls since Sept 2014 we typically answer over 40% of all calls that come into our office. I did notice that this Fall the that the numbers were slipping a little and we have made a more deliberate effort to answer calls, January we answered over 50% of calls, and this month we on track for 65% of calls answered.
    • Results_9361_image005Typically phone calls take longer to resolve than helpdesk tickets so we prefer helpdesk tickets because we can respond to more of them more quickly, however I do understand that talking with somebody is often easier. With that said if you do call and don’t get an answer I would ask a favour, please don’t repeatedly call back right away (typically we cannot answer because we are already on the phone or we are training, or dealing with an issue) it just results in frustration on both sides with the phone just ringing. The best is to just submit a helpdesk ticket outlining your issue and often we can respond right in the ticket, or if needed we can just call you back once we are free. This will result in your issue being resolved and not just lost.
    • FurthermoreResults_9361_image006 there are some times of the day that are better to call than others. In analysis of our call response time the best time to call our office are between 11am – 2 ish. The reason is that typically training is for schools is scheduled in either the morning or afternoon so at least one of our staff is tied up with that, furthermore all our Provincial Level conference calls and training that we need to attend are typically early morning or later afternoon.
  9. In terms of overall satisfaction with our support it seems that most people are happy, but obviously there are many areas that we can improve the support. So we continue to work to improve it, and always welcome the feedback.
  10. There were a few specific comments that I would like to take some time to answer
    • Results_9361_image007More support is needed. There are not enough support people working with Independent schools”
      • I would love to have a larger team, but then we would need to raise rates that we charge schools for the support. The other issue is that the volume goes through highs and lows, so for instance Sept we just try and survive, but then the late fall time can often we really really slow. So it is a balance. With that said as we try add more schools over the next year or two we will be looking to add more support people to our team
    • More open elluminate sessions for general questions and issues. especially during the submission and report card times.”, “More training sessions”, “We need more actual training. We are left to be too independent when not confident on system.”
      • We do a number of online training sessions throughout the year, you can find the upcoming events here:
      • We are also going to be doing a number open session which schools can come to and do one-on-one in person question and answer with our team, upcoming dates are posted here:
      • We are going to try as well to do a few more of the open elluminate sessions which schools can attend. (dates to follow once we have them confirmed)
      • Furthermore if you do get new staff at your school (ie. new front desk person) please do contact us so that we can setup “new” school training session with your school so that your new person is trained by our team.
    • “student and staff user accounts – to be reset at the school level.” 
      • We totally agree, it is actually our #1 change request that our team has submitted for changing in the system.
    • “bcsupportonline website needs work, how it is organized it confusing and it doesn’t seem to be updated consistently.”
      • I totally agree we tried over the summer to simplify things and organize it better, but it is a constant work in progress, and remembering to check and keep things up to date is quite time consuming, this summer we are going to review it again and see what further improvements we can make.

I tried to address all the comments and questions in the survey. If there is anything that I missed or need more information on, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to follow up.


— Independent School Project Manager —