While ITIL recommends a specific set of metrics to be monitored, which are discussed in detail in the ITIL metrics series of articles, below are a complementary set of metrics that go beyond the recommended ITIL service desk metrics that must also be monitored to support ITIL’s objective of either lowering the cost of operation or improving customer service.
- Average Speed to Answer (ASA)
- Abandoned Call Rate
- Agent Satisfaction
- Agent Utilization
- Cost per Contact
- First Call Resolution (FCR)
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
- SLA Compliance
The Average Speed to Answer is a service desk metric defined as the average amount of time it takes for calls to be answered, not including the time it takes for callers to navigate through the IVR, this metric serves as an indicator for customer service. At the point when a customer feels they need to contact the Service Desk, they need to be able to reach an agent in a reasonable amount of time, so they can resume normal business activity quickly. Especially in an incident support situation, long wait times will frustrate callers.
The Abandoned Call Rate is a service desk metric that has a direct correlation to ASA. The Abandoned Call Rate is a measure of customer service as it tracks the rate of which customers are no longer willing to wait for an agent to answer the phone once they have navigated through the IVR. When calls are usually abandoned when the caller is frustrated from waiting for an agent response resulting in lower Customer Satisfaction.
The Agent Satisfaction service desk metric, sometimes known as Employee Engagement, impacts both Service Desk efficiency and the customer experience. The more efficient an agent is, the less time they spend resolving incidents or fulfilling requests which increases Customer Satisfaction and reduces operational costs of labor per ticket. Agents satisfied with their jobs are innately more effective and efficient.
The Agent Utilization service desk metric is a measure of the workload carried by service desk agents and is indirectly related to customer service. It is important to watch this metric and keep utilization at optimal levels because when agents are over worked they tend to become less productive and mistakes happen when interacting with customers. Over time, the agent will leave the service desk and a new agent will need to be hired and caught up to speed before performing at the level of the agent they are replacing.
This Cost per Contact service desk metric is the total monthly cost of operation divided by the number of contacts. It is a foundational metric because providing the best service and at the lowest cost is what drives every business.
High First Call Resolution rates correlate with both high customer satisfaction and lowering cost to resolve incidents. Incidents resolved on the first call require less time in the support operation, thus reducing the Cost per Contact. When callers can resolve incidents on their first call rather than having to wait for a callback, a positive impression is left on the caller about the efficiency and competency of the service desk. Further, the cost of resolving the call is lower because it wasn’t escalated to a higher tier of support where the labor is more expensive.
Monitoring service desk metrics and acting upon them to increase service desk performance will increase the quality of service delivered to customers. Although, it is important to hear directly from your customers what they are saying about your service desk. This can be done through customer feedback surveys after incidents have been closed or requests have been fulfilled.
This Key Performance Indicator (KPI) alerts you to the level of compliance with your established SLAs. Failing to meet SLA targets may occur due to new agents lacking experience, inadequate training or other issues.
How to Monitor ITIL service desk metrics
Identifying performance issues related to the efficiency and effectiveness of the service desk as they develop rather than after they become problems should be the goal of every service desk. The increased amount of data produced by ACDs and Ticketing Systems serve as an opportunity for IT management to take control of operations and make informed decisions backed by metrics. Although, aging reports do not fill the needs of today’s fast-moving service desk operation.
The right service desk monitoring tool will serve as an early warning system consolidating metrics from siloed technologies and display relevant metrics, as opposed to all metrics, on one dashboard. Data consolidation increases management’s ability to proactively manage the support environment while increasing operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction. The right tool will serve as an early warning system that enables the service desk to provide increased value to the business, customers and end-users.
Contact us to learn how you can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your service desk.