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February 28, 2023

Help Desk and Customer Support Metrics to Measure and Improve

Help desk and customer support metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) that help organizations track the performance of their customer support team. These metrics are important because they provide insight into the effectiveness and efficiency of support operations and measure their effectiveness in resolving customer issues.

Help desk metrics also enable managers to track performance over time, identify trends, and make strategic decisions to improve customer service and increase productivity. Ultimately, these metrics can help support teams deliver better experiences for customers, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

8 help desk and customer support metrics

1. First Response Time

First response time is the time it takes for a customer support representative to respond to a customer inquiry. It is important for customer support because it sets the tone for the entire customer experience. A quick and timely response shows the customer that their needs are a top priority and helps to build trust and confidence in the support team. It also helps to prevent customer frustration and anxiety that can arise when they feel ignored or left waiting for a response. In addition, a fast response time can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers are more likely to feel valued and appreciated when their concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

2. Time to Resolution

Time to resolution (also known as resolution time) is the time it takes for a customer issue to be resolved, from the time it is first reported until it is fully resolved. Time to resolution is important because it directly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty. When a customer has a problem or issue, they expect a timely resolution. If their issue is not resolved quickly, it can lead to frustration and a negative perception of the company.

In addition to customer satisfaction, time to resolution can also impact the efficiency of your support team. If it takes too long to resolve customer issues, it can lead to a backlog of unresolved cases and longer wait times for other customers. This can create a negative cycle where customer satisfaction continues to decrease and support team productivity suffers.

3. Ticket Volume

Ticket volume is the number of customer inquiries received by the help desk over a given period. Ticket volume is important for customer support because it can help to identify trends and areas for improvement in the customer experience. A high volume of tickets may indicate a problem with a product or service that needs to be addressed, or a lack of self-service options that could be implemented to reduce the number of incoming requests. Tracking ticket volume can also help support teams to forecast staffing needs and adjust resources as necessary to ensure that customer requests are being handled in a timely manner. Additionally, monitoring ticket volume can help organizations to set realistic expectations for response times and identify opportunities for automation and process improvements to streamline support operations.

4. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction is a measure of how satisfied customers are with the support they received. Customer satisfaction is important for customer support because it directly impacts customer loyalty and retention. If a customer is satisfied with the support they receive, they are more likely to continue doing business with the company and recommend it to others. On the other hand, if a customer is dissatisfied with their support experience, they may choose to take their business elsewhere and even leave negative reviews, which can harm the company's reputation. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, companies can foster long-term relationships with their customers and drive revenue growth through positive word-of-mouth marketing.

5. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer effort score (CES) is a metric used to measure the level of effort a customer had to put forth to resolve an issue with a company. It is typically measured through a survey that asks the customer to rate the ease of their experience on a scale of 1-10. A high CES score indicates that customers found it difficult to resolve their issue, while a low CES score indicates that the experience was easy and straightforward. The goal of measuring CES is to identify areas where the customer experience can be improved and reduce customer effort in resolving issues.

6. First Contact Resolution Rate

First contact resolution rate is the percentage of customer inquiries that are resolved on the first contact. First contact resolution rate is important for customer support because it measures the ability of the support team to resolve a customer's issue on the first contact without requiring any additional follow-up. This metric is important for customer satisfaction because it reduces the amount of effort that the customer has to put into resolving their issue, and it demonstrates that the support team is efficient and knowledgeable. It also reduces the workload for the support team by minimizing the number of follow-up interactions required for each customer issue. Ultimately, a high first contact resolution rate is a key indicator of a well-functioning customer support team that is able to meet the needs of its customers efficiently and effectively.

7. Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average handle time is the total time it takes for a customer support representative to handle a customer inquiry, including time spent on hold or transferring the call. Average Handle Time (AHT) is an important metric for customer support because it measures the amount of time it takes for a representative to handle a customer's issue from start to finish. AHT is important for several reasons:

  • Efficiency: AHT helps measure how efficiently representatives are handling customer issues. A low AHT means representatives are able to handle customer issues quickly and effectively, which helps improve overall productivity and efficiency.
  • Customer satisfaction: AHT can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Customers don't want to spend a lot of time on hold or waiting for a representative to resolve their issue. By reducing AHT, representatives can improve the customer experience and increase satisfaction.
  • Cost savings: AHT can also have an impact on cost savings. The longer it takes to resolve a customer issue, the more it costs the company in terms of representative time and resources. By reducing AHT, companies can reduce costs and improve their bottom line.

8. Service Level Agreement (SLA) Compliance

Service level agreement compliance refers to the percentage of customer inquiries that are resolved within the agreed-upon SLA. SLA compliance is important for customer support because it sets clear expectations with customers regarding the response time and resolution time for their support requests. By adhering to SLAs, businesses can ensure that they meet customer expectations and build trust. SLAs also help support teams prioritize their work and allocate resources more efficiently. By ensuring that high-priority issues are addressed first, businesses can improve their overall productivity and efficiency. Overall, SLA compliance is an important metric for customer support because it ensures that customers receive timely and effective support, which leads to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

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How can you improve help desk and customer support metrics?

By tracking these metrics support teams can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize their processes. There are several ways to improve help desk metrics:

Optimize processes

Review and optimize the support process to ensure that it is efficient and streamlined. This includes assessing ticket routing and escalation procedures, establishing clear service level agreements (SLAs), and implementing automated workflows where possible.

Invest in training

Ensure that your support staff have the necessary training and resources to provide high-quality support. This includes training on products and services, soft skills, and customer service best practices.

Measure and monitor

Continuously measure and monitor your help desk metrics to identify areas for improvement. Regularly review customer feedback and ticket data to identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize processes.

Leverage technology

Use help desk software to automate and streamline support processes, and to gain insights into customer behavior and support team performance. This can include features such as automated ticket routing, knowledge bases, and analytics dashboards.

Prioritize customer service

Place a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer service. This includes responding promptly to customer inquiries, being transparent and communicative throughout the support process, and providing solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, help desk metrics are an essential component of effective customer support. By measuring and analyzing various aspects of support performance, organizations can identify areas of improvement and optimize their customer support operations to deliver a better experience. Whether it's reducing first response time, improving ticket volume management, or boosting customer satisfaction, there are many ways to use help desk metrics to achieve better results. Ultimately, by prioritizing metrics and continually monitoring and improving support performance, organizations can build stronger customer relationships and drive business success.

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Guido Bartolacci

Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.


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