In the IT world, you will find issues/problems reported and identified as “work orders” or “tickets”. These are terms representative of experiences impacting IT’s customers. Catalogued and prioritized for resolution, they are referenced by the customers and the assigned technicians as a matter of regular course of business. These very terms are a reflection of the culture in the IT world – and neither of those terms should be the ones we use.
“Tickets” gives reference to standing in a queue, much like at the deli, and being assigned a number – not a name. The interaction is not personable and the ordered number of the line operating as a FIFO (First In, First Out) rule is unrealistic if IT is assigning true priorities. The customer should be appreciated and understood as more than just a number.
Similarly, “Work Orders” gives reference to being ordered to perform the work – only handling the situation due to being told to do so. This also results in scenarios where help is not even remotely offered until the customer completes a “work order” and that further places IT at a distance from business needs.
Instead, I offer the term “Case”. This term personalizes the issue/problem as most “cases” we hear about today are in the social work and legal professions and often involve procedures, active listening, addressing the issue, following-up and generally providing a better experience. “Cases” do not reference you as numbers but as contributing members of the business community and thus offer a better experience from the beginning.
In IT, it can be difficult to remember that the needs of the business come first – and how important customer service is to maintaining that relationship. While terminology seems like such a small component to pick on, I assure you that the way IT positions itself to others in these small ways can have massive ripple effects on the perception of IT performance and on the actual performance by IT technicians.