A Key Performance Indicator or KPI as business folks like to call it, are quantifiers that measure the success of your help desk and customer support strategies. These metrics serve as a barometer for your business, providing a peak into customer opinions, satisfaction levels, and the effectiveness of your support processes.
Most importantly, understanding and monitoring these KPIs is critical to ensure that your help desk is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. Otherwise, poor customer support can significantly impact your customer engagement and retention rates, ultimately racking up potential losses for your business.
Why measure Help Desk KPIs?
Help desk KPIs are primarily used to track the help desk team’s performance in real time and predict the success of customer support initiatives. These numbers allow you to measure the performance of your help desk against your own strategic goals, ensuring that you are meeting, exceeding, or falling short of your ITSM (aka IT Service Management) targets.
By keeping an eye on these KPIs, you can continuously improve your business’s customer experience, improve customer satisfaction, and increase customer retention rates.
Help desk KPIs and Service Benchmarks
The main difference between help desk KPIs and service desk benchmarks is rooted in their purpose. On the one hand, benchmarks compare a process or performance with other companies or entities and work as a reference point for further improvement.
In contrast, help desk KPIs evaluate performance based on a company’s own strategic goals and objectives, allowing you to track whether your ITSM performance is meeting, exceeding, or failing to reach your expectations.
In this article, we’ll discuss several essential KPIs that every support team should be tracking to ensure the success of their efforts.
Help desk KPIs explained
Let’s check out 10 of the most important KPIs for support teams and what it means for your business.
Average Resolution Time
The average resolution time measures the length of time it takes for a help desk agent to resolve customer issues. This is a crucial KPI mostly because customer satisfaction is strongly correlated with the speed of resolution. A fast resolution time not only increases customer satisfaction but also helps to reduce the number of support requests efficiently. Not to mention it reduces the workload on help desk agents.
First-Contact Response Time
The first-contact response time tracks the length of time it takes for help desk agents to respond to customer queries. The goal of this KPI is to ensure that the majority of queries are resolved on the first go-around, without making customers come around for follow-ups. A fast response time can also significantly improve customer satisfaction and reduce the friction in your support desk.
Customer satisfaction aka CSAT is undoubtedly one of the most well known KPIs that help desks should be tracking. Unlike the previous metrics, CSAT can be tracked through various means such as customer feedback scores, surveys, and other feedback channels.
High customer satisfaction levels indicate that your customers are happy with the support they are receiving. This means they’re less likely to disengage with your business and seek alternative solutions.
Customer Retention Rate
The customer retention rate measures the number of customers who continue to use your products and services over an extended period. As opposed to customers that move away from your offerings. This is crucial for evaluating customer loyalty and helps to figure out the long-term success of your help desk operations.
Agent Utilization Rate
The agent utilization rate measures the average amount of time agents spend on customer queries and support requests. This KPI helps to ensure that help desk agents are working effectively and efficiently and helps to identify any areas for improvement.
Average Handle Time (AHT)
The average handling time measures the length of time it takes for help desk agents to complete a customer request, from start to finish. This KPI is especially handy for monitoring agent performance and distinguishes areas where processes can be improved to reduce the workload on help desk agents.
The abandoned calls metric measures the number of customer calls that are lost or unanswered by help desk agents. This KPI points to any bottlenecks in the support process and helps to ensure that customers are not left waiting for an extended period. This can also negatively impact the average handling time and response rates for your support desk.
The repeat calls metric measures the number of times a customer calls to get a solution to the same issue. This KPI helps to identify areas where customers may be having difficulty resolving their issues and helps to ensure that customers receive the support they need. This also means you should reevaluate your onboarding process and resources to make things simpler for customers.
This is the number of customer inquiries that are escalated to a higher level of support. A high escalation rate indicates that customer issues are not being resolved at the first point of contact and that the help desk team is not handling issues effectively.
Another important aspect of managing the escalation rate is ensuring that your customer complaints are escalated promptly and effectively. Delays in escalation can lead to longer resolution times, increased customer frustration, and decreased customer satisfaction.
Customer Effort Score
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric used to measure the amount of effort a customer has to put in to resolve their issue with a company. CES is usually measured similarly to CSAT. You’ll be asking customers to rate their experience on a scale, with higher scores indicating a lower level of effort required.
A high CES score tells you that customers are struggling to resolve their issues, which can lead to increased frustration and decreased customer satisfaction.
In addition to these KPIs, there are additional metrics that can provide valuable insights into the performance of your help desk. These may include metrics such as,
- Ticket volume
- Complexity level, and
- Call abandonment rate
By monitoring these KPIs, you can paint a broader picture for understanding the performance of your help desk. This allows you to identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions that ultimately drive customer satisfaction and success for your business.
While some of the metrics we talked about here are self-reported, such as Customer satisfaction. Others are much more easily measurable. Using these KPIs in combination provides the highest-resolution image of your support team.
So that’s help desk KPIs explained in detail for an accurate evaluation of your support system and strategy. A key factor in monitoring these KPIs is having the proper tools and reports at your disposal. Only when you have proper data on your help desk can you find actionable insight from your KPIs.