Does your multisite church have a help desk ticketing system?

If you live in a multisite church you know that each of your campuses has a lot of open issues that need help.  The kids ministry in one location needs more goggly eyes . . . there is a bass amp at one campus that’s blown . . . at a third location there is a sign in the lobby that’s ripped and needs replacement.

How do you capture and track all those items? 

According to a 2010 Leadership Network study, only 15% of multisite churches get beyond 3 locations.  I’m convinced one of the reasons this happens is because they don’t truly restructure their internal systems to accommodate multiple locations.  Having a way to capture and respond to small issues with a centralized help ticketing system is one of those important systems that enables you to move to lots of locations.  We have a system like this at Liquid and here are some lessons we’ve learned in rolling it out to our people:

  • Make it Easy to Enter Items // You want to reduce the friction in collecting the items that need to be fixed.  People can enter items into our system through emails, a mobile web page, a normal web page and a voice mail box.  We have a VA transcribe the voice mails and enter them through a web interface.
  • Respond Weekly // At our weekly 30 minute “service programming” check in meeting we go through all the open tickets and get an update on them.  I notice that people are working to close or at least respond to those tickets before that meeting. 😉
  • Track Costs // With each ticket we track both the financial and time cost to solve that item.  This gives us a quick way to look up which campuses are “costing” to solve these small issues.
  • Think Frictionless System // We use ZenDesk as the back end to our system.  I like it because it’s totally web based, has a suite of mobile apps and is crazy simple to us.  However, you could use a google spreadsheet to do that same thing . . . people would enter the items into a form and they’d show up in the spreadsheet.  The important thing is that the technology at the core of the ticket system is easy to use for the agents . . . you don’t want people dreading to solve items!
  • It’s about Customer Service // Having a system like this in your leadership community won’t make your people “customer service” oriented all of the sudden.  You need to work on the people issues and their willingness to help solve items before starting a system like this.  If your central staff talks about “their problems” when referring to your campuses . . . you need to work on your central teams attitude before rolling out a system like this.
What about your church?  How do you track issues that spring up at your multiple campuses?  [I’d love to hear your feedback!]

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