Calling for support can go from being a necessary evil that is dreaded by customers to an experience that enhances your relationship and saves you money, but it’s an evolutionary process that builds off of data.

So what do a lot of IT organizations track when it comes to their service desk?

  • Number of Tickets Opened
  • Number of Tickets Closed

Support professional

What do those two metrics really tell you about your service desk?  Can they tell me if my Tier I helpdesk is kicking all the problems upstairs and sucking up my developers’ time?  Can I infer customer satisfaction ratings from them?  How about repeat issues caused by systemic flaws or training gaps?  Is the best support technician the one with the most tickets closed or the one who handled the most complicated tickets?  Long story short, if you’re only tracking ticket counts you’ve overlooked a lot of important data that can provide deep insight into improving IT service delivery.

Your service desk, whether it is dealing directly with your external customers or addressing internal IT issues, is a critical part of the business and it should be treated as such.  This is the front line for the IT department and a chance to build a valuable working relationship instead of falling prey to the stereotypical bad support department characterized by your local cable company or cell phone provider. 

Let’s face it, you need to inspect what you expect. If you expect excellence you better know how to track it. Think about these metrics and how your service desk stacks up:

1. Mean First Response Time

  • A short reply window gives the user confidence.  No one wants to be left in the lurch wondering if their ticket went into a black hole.

2. Mean Resolution Time

  • There will always be outliers but the quicker you’re solving problems, the happier your customers are going to be.

3. Ticket Backlog

  • How many unresolved tickets are out there?  If each one is an unhappy user then that’s something you definitely need to know about.  Maybe you’ve got a capacity issue?

4. Satisfaction Ratings

  • Are tickets being resolved to the customer’s satisfaction?  Customers need to be able to give feedback.  Don’t be afraid of negative feedback either - you can learn a lot from the complainers.

5. First Tier Resolution Rate

  • The service desk should be solving issues.  Knowing how many issues they solve can tell you a lot about where you need to focus for training and problem management.

6. Ticket Cost By Support Tier

  • Do you know how much each ticket costs?  What’s the difference between a Tier I and a Tier II ticket to your bottom line?

7. Number of Tickets Opened & Number of Tickets Closed

  • Yes it’s a bad metric in a vacuum but with a wealth of knowledge to provide nuance these actually become useful again for understanding ticket volume and flow.

So where did you stack up? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about changing your metrics to develop actionable trends and measure performance against actual business objectives. 

Not sure if your organization design and delivery processes are where you want them to be? Check out our CIO Advisory and Organizational Design and Development services and get in touch