How to Measure Help Desk Performance [Top 10 Metrics]

Setting up a help desk is an excellent decision for your business. Establishing a specific department to assist customers can make your customers’ lives easier while boosting loyalty.

But a help desk is only as good as the service provided. To create the ultimate help desk, you need to set some goals for peak performance. But you may wonder how to measure help desk performance and what information to use when setting those goals.

Keep reading to learn about the different metrics you can use to measure your help desk performance.

Setting Help Desk Key Performance Indicators

It’s important to determine key performance indicators (KPIs) when setting goals. Your business and customer service will improve as you meet the help desk KPIs.

These goals can also ensure you keep your current customers while gaining new ones. Keeping customers is critical because getting new customers costs five times as much as keeping the ones you have.

How to Measure Help Desk Performance in 10 Ways

There are plenty of ways to measure your help desk performance. These range from your help desk systems to how your employees interact with customers. Review 10 metrics to consider as you set goals for your help desk’s performance.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is probably the most important metric on this list. Without customers, you don’t have a business. This metric also affects all the following metrics because it highlights potential issues within your help desk.

Are customers happy with your service? Do they feel their questions are getting answered? Are you quick enough? Friendly enough?

Customers can answer these questions through the surveys you send after they receive service. It’s always helpful to get direct feedback from customers so you can change and improve as quickly as possible.

2. Ticket Volume

Keeping track of how many tickets go through your help desk is a good way to see how your business is doing. A ticket represents a customer need a help desk representative can resolve.

  • When assessing the ticket volume, consider these factors:
  • What channel receives the most tickets?
  • How many tickets do employees handle each day?
  • Are there any seasonal trends to look for?
  • Is there a spike after introducing a new product or service?

If you have a high number of tickets, customers are experiencing issues with the ‌products or services. Depending on where and when you get the most tickets, ‌focus on making a particular channel more accessible or change how you advertise or deliver your product.

3. Number of Outstanding Issues

Along with ticket volume, it’s important to consider how many tickets aren’t resolved right away. Think about these questions:

  • How many are still open at the end of the day? At the end of the week?
  • Are there a lot of tickets because the issues are complex or are there not enough employees?

Unresolved tickets at the end of the day can indicate a need for more staff, ticket complexity, or poor service.

4. Average Agent Interaction Time

Providing a high level of customer service is essential, but you should also know how long a help agent spends with a customer. Figuring out an agent’s average time with a customer can help you determine if the team needs additional training or help with their efficiency. This metric also shows how an issue’s complexity affects an agent’s average time.

Be cautious of focusing too much on this ‌metric. You don’t want to encourage employees to go too fast, leading to a decline in their service level.

woman on help desk headset

5. First Response Time

First response time refers to how long it takes for a help desk employee to respond to a customer that left a voicemail or sent an email. You don’t want to keep customers waiting too long, even if you just respond that you’ve gotten their message and are looking into it.

Three factors affect this metric:

  • The number of help desk employees available
  • Ticket volume
  • Resolution time

Depending on how quickly you can respond to customers, you may consider hiring more employees, implementing a better ticketing system, or providing enhanced training.

6. Resolution Time

Resolution time is the time between when a ticket opens and closes. This differs from how much time an agent spends with a customer because it only focuses on the problem and solution.

The complexity of a problem, number of employees, and ticket volume can all affect resolution times. But customers don’t want to experience long waits, so the faster your team can respond, the higher the customer satisfaction rating.

7. The Type of Customers Who Contact Your Help Desk

What kind of customer is requesting help the most? Are there any common demographics like age or location? Why are these customers contacting you? Is there a problem that comes up often, like damaged products or delivery problems?

By keeping track of this metric, you can learn how to improve your business by packing your products differently or being more communicative with how long it takes to get a product to the customer. You can also use your finding to determine whether you want to offer any other resources, such as a detailed FAQ for members of a particular demographic who often ask similar questions.

8. Cost per Contact

The cost-per-contact metric measures the total cost of each customer contacting the help desk. The cost can include labor, running the ticket system, and building and utility costs.

It’s important to keep these costs low so you can maximize profits.

9. Lost Service Hours

Service hours refer to how many hours employees are available to help customers. You lose service hours when employees are out sick or have the day off.

You can calculate how many service hours you should have and subtract how many hours you actually have. Depending on the number of lost hours, you may need to hire more employees.

10. Transfer Rate

This metric refers to how often you have to transfer customers to different departments (if you have any). A high transfer rate may indicate that customers are contacting the wrong department first or that your internal system isn’t working.

Overwhelmed? Pick a Few Metrics to Focus On

These are a lot of metrics to keep track of, and you may feel overwhelmed. It’s best to start with one or two and then slowly add more when you feel confident with each.

Regardless of what metrics you choose, ‌focus on customer service first, because without customers, there is no business.

Best Practices for Help Desks

Here are some easy ways to improve your help desk as you track metrics and implement changes:

Use the Right Ticket System

Without the right ticket system, your whole operation can fall apart. A good ticket system is easy to use, reliable, and trackable.

Offer FAQ or Self-Service Portal/Chatbots

If you offer a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) with answers on your website, your customers may help themselves instead of contacting you. This eases the burden on your help desk employees, allowing them to focus on more complex issues.

You can offer a self-service portal or chatbots as well. These options give customers more control, help them get answers faster, and make them happier.

Focus on Helping

With all these metrics and KPIs to consider, it’s easy to focus on numbers instead of people. But if you only focus on profits, you’ll lose customers fast.

Instead, focus on how your processes are helping people. Instill the importance of solutions and a high level of service in your help desk employees.

Hire Good People

Part of focusing on helping people involves hiring the right employees. Look for applicants with customer service skills who will find ways to help.

Having the right people working for you will not only improve your business, but also help customers recognize that the support staff members provide genuine concern and care for their needs.

Build a Clear Workflow

There’s nothing more frustrating than constantly being confused and unsure of what to do. You can avoid these feelings by creating an organized workflow.

Customers and employees should be able to see the status of tickets with ease. Employees should also be able to see where a ticket can go depending on the problem and its complexity. Being organized will make the entire help desk process smoother and make everyone happier.

Improve Service with ROI Solutions

Running a business keeps you busy. Wouldn’t it be nice to free up the time spent on managing your help desk?

That’s where ROI Solutions comes in. We specialize in providing excellent customer service and technical support on calls and online chats. Our help desk service will take care of your customers with as much care as you would, and we’ll handle all the details on our end.

Contact us today to partner with us and improve your customer service metrics!

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About the Author: Han Butler

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Over the course of his tenure at ROI Solutions, Han Butler has led the charge on creating a company that is truly a leader in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. His drive, and enthusiasm for creating a culture of inclusion, and camaraderie from the top down within ROI is only exceeded by his love for his family, and his ever-growing collection of LEGOs. Through his keen eye for creating value and opportunity, Han has been able to help usher in an unprecedented era of revenue and growth for ROI Solutions.

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