We’ve all heard the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to your help desk and your customers’ experience, this is so true. Some very simple reporting and analytics can show you what you need to do to help ensure your customers are happy. These can help you anticipate if things are going badly before they actually get bad.
But in the world customer support, the number of metrics you can pay attention to are roughly 10 billion, give or take a few. Focusing on everything from employee performance, issue resolution, average handle time, and more, it can be difficult to know what you should be tracking and what you don't need to measure.
To help you get started, we put together a list of the most important help desk metrics to measure the health of your help desk.
1. New tickets
One of the most important metrics deals with the volume of incoming requests for support. A ticket creation report shows you the volume of support requests your support team is managing. Once you get a sense of how many your support team can handle in a day, week, or month, this metric will be incredibly important to plan staffing.
2. Ticket volume by support channel
We now work in a world where customers are in charge of how they want to contact you, be it by phone, via chat, through a web form, via email, or even through social networks. Each of these channels requires different types of staffing and skills. Being able to track this is vitally important to optimize the efficiency of your help desk and where you may need to move, train, or hire staff.
3. Support tickets solved
Are you able to keep up with demand? In a healthy help desk, be it for external customers or ITSM requests, your new and solved ticket trend lines should be parallel. By looking at these metrics every week, you can recognize if you are becoming consistently behind, or if certain weeks are just anomalies.
4. Response time and wait time
First response time (or average response time) is the time between a support request being created and the first public comment from a support agent. The longer this is, the more you risk having dissatisfied customers. Customers want, at least, an acknowledgement that someone has started the help process as within a reasonable amount of time of submitting their request. Plus, this information is very important to track if you publish guaranteed response times to make sure you’re living up to your promises.
Requester wait time is the cumulative time that a support request is unresolved while issues are being worked on. The information below shows a week over week comparison as an example. (Hint: There are 1,440 minutes in a day)
5. Resolution time
Metrics dealing with resolution time help you understand how long you're making customers wait for their issue to be resolved. First resolution time is the time from when a ticket is created to when it is first solved. Full resolution time is the time from when a support request is created to when it is solved for the last time. A growing gap in these numbers may mean that additional training is required to eliminate having to revisit the same problem multiple times.
One of the most important things help desk managers care about is their backlog in their support queue. If more requests are coming than can be handled every week, you’re building a backlog. Providing a robust knowledge base or using business rules to automate tickets are great ways of dealing with backlog issues.
7. Predicted backlog
Looking at your predicted backlog can help you learn from the past and prepare for the future. Being able to see which teams or individuals are falling behind, as well as the expected increase or decrease of upcoming support request volume can help you effectively plan for the future.
8. Ticket distribution
An important thing for a support manager to look at is how support requests are distributed. This is where you can determine if there is any correlation between satisfaction scores and low first-time responses to support requests. Monitoring your distribution can alert you to a recurring problem with your product or service. If you see sudden spikes in the amount of support requests you are getting, a manager can investigate to see if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.
9. Satisfaction ratings
A very important business metric is whether its customers are satisfied. Once the evaluation has been received, comprehensive metrics are surfaced through reports and dashboards to help decide determine if there are problems with your customer support organization.
10. Individual performance
It is important to identify which customer support agents are top performers and which need additional training. It’s also a great way to see which agents may be ready to take on more challenging requests and which might need to stay put or require additional training and resources.
Without measuring support metrics, you'll never be able to improve. Zendesk Explore lets your track and manage your most important analtytics from a single location.
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