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Jira Service Management: A guide for support teams

Improve your customer support efficiency while tracking performance metrics by adding Jira Service Management software to your care team’s process.
From Team '23

Tempo Team

Customer satisfaction depends more on the service team than any other organizational group. The support team must provide anything the client needs — and when something goes wrong, an agent should quickly provide a solution. A service desk with the right tools and training is vital to maintain and enhance customer satisfaction.

That’s where Jira Service Management (JSM) comes in. JSM is an end-to-end customer service management platform for IT and business teams handling client or employee service requests.

This guide helps you understand what an effective service desk looks like and how to optimize JSM for above-and-beyond customer service. You’ll also learn how the system can elevate your support team from good to outstanding. 

What’s Jira Service Management?

JSM is a customer support platform that creates and tracks service tickets from initial request to resolution. The software leverages Jira, a project management tool, to sort queries into three categories: incidents, problems, or changes. It then organizes and prioritizes them for the care team. 

Atlassian originally called the platform the Jira Service Desk. After upgrading it with multiple enhancements, Atlassian brought functionality in line with the needs of support teams working in the post-2020 environment and relaunched it under its new name.

By managing these processes through a single tool, JSM enables support providers to live up to service-level agreements (SLAs) and remain on track to achieve customer satisfaction goals. Ultimately, this Jira software provides clients with an exemplary customer support experience.

Going beyond IT service management

Atlassian originally created Jira Service Desk as a support platform for IT service management (ITSM) teams offering hardware and software support to an organization’s internal and external clients. Customers would use this ITSM tool to create a service ticket for a specific request like a password reset, a new laptop/phone, or something more general — such as help for a system that won’t reboot. 

Over time, other non-ITSM business teams began adopting service desks similar to those of IT groups to support their clients. For example, an HR department might use a platform similar to an ITSM tool to on or off-board employees and manage requests from new hires. And the facilities team can adapt the software to track and prioritize maintenance issues, desk relocation, or equipment requests. 

Upon recognizing Jira Service Desk’s versatility, Atlassian redesigned it with features for non-IT business teams, adding capabilities like developing project templates for facilities, legal, and general service management teams. Traditional IT support software evolved into Jira — an enterprise service management (ESM) tool to service multiple departments company-wide.

Jira Service Management's best features

JSM comes with a suite of features that make problem management a breeze. Arriving fully functional, the software lets you hit the ground running to achieve your customer service goals. Here are a few advanced features and automation options you’ll want to use to get the most value from the platform.

Simplified ITSM

The biggest complaint about ITSM service desks is that they’re complex and unwieldy, incorporating most or all of the 26 processes described in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). JSM opts for simplicity, incorporating only four core ITIL processes:

  • Request fulfillment

  • Incident management

  • Problem management

  • Change management

Because JSM doesn’t rigidly adhere to ITIL, the system is more agile, incorporating various methodologies into its processes, including:

  • Agile incident management

  • Cross-team collaborative capabilities

  • Improved reporting

The result is a customer support platform that’s flexible enough for any management framework.

SLA creation

SLAs help support teams stay on track to deliver impeccable customer service. But configuring, changing, and tracking SLAs within traditional service desk platforms can be challenging, making it hard to generate accurate reports. 

With JSM, you can generate the SLAs you need in minutes using existing report templates or creating your own. This flexibility allows you to track meaningful performance metrics to monitor compliance with the obligations outlined in the agreements. 

Reporting management

JSM allows you to generate standard reports like Customer Satisfaction and Workload, with functionality pre-loaded in the software or through the Custom Charts for Jira add-on. These reports help you track key performance indicators (KPIs) and other vital metrics to identify where the support team is succeeding and reveal improvement opportunities.

Analytics

The above reports are a good springboard for deeper data analysis to identify potential problems, trends, and improvement opportunities. You can generate customized reports to spotlight key ITSM metrics or create a personalized dashboard to showcase indicators like average customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings for each service agent, the number of breached or un-breached SLAs per assignee, and service requests per component. 

Task system

For service desks, Jira Service Management allows you to further improve support by taking a deeper dive into your SLA data. The platform enables you to calculate four key SLA metrics:

  1. Average Time to First Response by Request Type

  2. Time Remaining on an SLA by Assignee

  3. Average Time to Resolution by Assignee

  4. SLA Breached Versus Not Breached

You can then filter those reports by custom fields like assignee and request type, making it easy to track activities and offer support to any over-burdened team members. 

Scalability

JSM adjusts seamlessly as the customer support team or service capacity grows or shrinks. It also offers smooth integration with other software platforms to accommodate increased demand. 

Collaboration

Because it’s a Jira-enabled software, JSM can integrate with other Atlassian tools like Jira Software and Confluence, letting teams share information seamlessly and collaborate on resolving customer issues.

The importance of Jira Service Management reporting

You’ve probably heard the expression, “What gets measured gets managed.” When you take the time to assess an aspect of your work, you tend to pay greater attention to it. For service desks and support teams, tracking key metrics encourages better team performance and improved client outcomes, all resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

To help monitor your team’s work and identify trends in their processes, JSM supports three different reporting options: default reports, custom reports, and custom charts.

Default reports

The four report templates pre-loaded into the software include:

  1. Workload: Lists the number of tickets assigned to each agent.

  2. Customer satisfaction: Tracks your team’s average custom service rating.

  3. Requests deflected: Notes how often clients accessed the customer portal’s knowledge base articles and found them useful.

  4. Requests resolved: Reports the total requests the customer support team or knowledge base resources have successfully closed.

These items are only available as they come, and you won’t be able to edit or customize them.

Custom reports

JSM also offers customizable reports right out of the box to help you better manage your team’s workflows and outcomes. Reports include:

  • Created versus resolved: Pins the number of requests generated against the total resolved over a specific period.

  • Time to resolution: Reports the length of time it takes to resolve a ticket.

  • SLA met versus breached: Compares the number of requests that satisfy the service level agreement to those that fail.

  • SLA success rate: Illustrates the team’s progress toward achieving SLA goals.

You can modify or edit these by adding a customized data set, called a series, to generate the report. Introducing label names for each series and a custom color makes the information easily searchable. If you need to add a filter, there are fields like issue type, status, and component or Jira Query Language (JQL).

Custom Charts

Custom Charts takes custom reports one step further, allowing greater flexibility and customizability. To access this functionality, you’ll need to install the Custom Charts for Jira application, which is available on the Atlassian Marketplace. Here are the most notable reports and functions you’ll use with Custom Charts.

Created versus resolved reports

The created versus resolved report offers an at-a-glance view of your support team’s queue, helping gauge whether they’re keeping up with incoming work. This report leverages a line graph to compare the number of new tickets against the total resolved tickets over a chosen time period. You can apply custom colors, labels, and filters to the data, helping visualize the information. 

Workload reports

Prevent team burnout by better managing assignment distribution using the workload reporting function, which visualizes the number of tickets each member is responsible for. With a pie chart format, you can gain insight into each assignee’s workload and apply filters to identify precise issues, like bottlenecks or task dependencies.

Organizations function

The organization function allows you to visualize who’s generating support tickets. When you integrate this feature with Custom Charts, you can easily share information to identify common issues and trends. The support team can then use this data to reconsider customer needs and find ways to enhance performance.

Customer satisfaction reporting

Improving the service management team’s CSAT rates is an essential goal for any organization. Using Custom Charts lets you go beyond a simple table displaying a star ranking for each agent. Instead, you can display data from multiple service projects and apply filters to spotlight assignees, initiatives, and any other custom field. Using a unique color palette to highlight information can also improve readability.

Dashboards

The Custom Charts software also helps you create personalized dashboards to display vital information using add-ons called gadgets. Gadgets are configurable boxes designed to give users access to real-time Jira data and statistics in one convenient location. 

JQL

Those using JQL can search for specific issues and apply data filters based on any field within your service request. Once a request is complete, ZQL can export the results into a CSV or Excel file.

Create a suite of Jira-enabled service management tools

JSM plays well with other platforms, like Tempo Timesheets. Timesheets monitors the time spent on each ticket or task, providing vital data and visibility around your team’s activities. And because it’s Jira-enabled, Timesheets can automatically report on average time to resolution and workload levels. 

Add on Tempo’s Strategic Roadmaps, a project roadmapping application, and you’re well-equipped to reach your customer satisfaction goals.