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How A Five Second Adjustment Saved Dyn 19 Days A Year…And Then Some

What would you do if you suddenly had 19 extra days in a year?

That’s the question our Client Services team is asking ourselves, thanks to some recent improvements in our ticketing system.

I won’t bore you with the details of the changes (mainly hardware upgrades and database optimization) but I will talk about what it means for us, as well as some other improvements we’ve made over the years to keep our Client Services crew fast and efficient.

This is how we took five seconds and converted it into a savings of 19 work days per year. There is some math ahead, but I’ll make it as painless as possible.

As I’ve already mentioned, our awesome engineering team has given our ticketing system a little bit of love. On average, it previously would take six seconds for a ticket to load in our browsers, which they managed to reduce to just one second. This doesn’t look significant until you consider:

Avg Load Time Saved (5 seconds)
Avg Emails Received Per Day (300)
25 Minutes/Day
365 Days (Yep, we’re 24 x 7 x 365)
152 Hours / 8 Hour Work Day
19 Work Days (See, painless math!)

As I mentioned in my last post about empowering your support staff, our team is involved in various projects that benefit our customers. So I can assure you that it won’t take us long to figure out what to do with the extra time.

Take a Message

When a customer calls our dojo (aka the support line), the average wait time is well under a minute. However, there are times when it takes a bit longer to get a Ninja on the phone. That’s why we give our customers the option of leaving a message with our answering service and one of our Ninjas will call them back.

Previously these calls would go directly to our voice mails and we’d manually transcribe the message before calling them back. Utilizing an answering service does a couple of things for us.

1) Our customer gets to speak to a human being and there’s something nice about that.

2) The answering service transcribes the message for us, saving us an average of two minutes per call. This saves us around 16 hours or two work days per year.

All Access

Another point I covered in my last post was giving your support staff access to systems so they can immediately help the customer instead of escalating to a manager and waiting for a response. Clearly this is a better experience for the customer, but it’s also a huge time saver for the company. When you consider the time it takes for the Ninja to put into writing what needs to be done, the time it takes for the manager to review the ticket and send it back down, the time for the Ninja to relay the message back to the customer and the time spent opening the ticket each time, it all adds up.

All in all, you’re looking at three minutes (at least) per incident that was being escalated. This would happen five times a day and those 15 minutes add up, in this case to the tune of 11.4 work days per year.

Department Specialists

Many support teams are comprised of people with the same job functions. There tend to be very few, if any, specialists. Each member of our Ninja Squad is a specialist in at least one area. Don’t worry: they’re good at documenting, so you’re safe if one of them is on vacation. This means that if a strange question comes in and the person who first sees it isn’t a specialist in that area, they can pass it along to someone who is. This saves them a ton of time and ensures the customer a much faster response. We also make sure that the specialist informs the original Ninja on what to do next time.

Time saved? That’s very tough to calculate. A very conservative number would be 10 minutes per incident with another very conservative number of 10 incidents per day. Over one year, that comes out to 76 work days.

Don’t Multitask

Yeah, I said it. I won’t get into all the reasons why I’m against forcing a support team to multitask or switchtask (read The Myth of Multitasking if you’re really interested) but I will explain what we do to avoid it.

Most of the questions we receive on the side tend to fall into one of five buckets. Utilizing our specialists, we allow people to take tickets that only relate to a particular bucket before moving onto the next one. We also have people assigned to answer the phones or answer tickets for a two-hour block and we don’t have them do both at the same time. This ensures that if a Ninja is working on an email ticket, they resolve it first before moving onto anything. They aren’t interrupted by the phones or anything else.

Previously, we were a multitasking machine. Since making the changes I described above, our efficiency has increased by 30%. It’s like we removed 90 tickets per day. On average, it takes a Ninja four minutes to review and respond to a ticket once they’ve taken it. Ready for the time savings? Almost 274 work days. Yes, I triple-checked the math.

Taking the totals from each item above, you have 382 work days saved each year and with each Ninja working 245 days per year, you can see how massive these savings are.

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