Managing Customer Satisfaction: The Help Desk Metrics Best Practices that You Need to Know

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With many technological advancements in the service support industry regarding analytics and metrics, help desk managers can now monitor, measure, and track nearly any metric imaginable. Therefore, it is important to understand some help desk metrics best practices. Just because we now have unlimited capabilities to track everything from the support operation and beyond does not necessarily mean that we should. With the leading business objective of a help desk being to lower the cost of operations and increase customer service, tracking too many metrics can make it easy to lose focus.

When developing and implementing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it is important to set the right performance parameters that reinforce the company objectives regarding profitability, productivity, and excellent customer service. This is where it is important to understand help desk metrics best practices.

While service support operations come in different forms whether they are call centers, help desks or service desks, there are certain KPIs and defining metrics that successful organizations consistently measure and evaluate. This leads to the question, which KPIs and metrics are less monitored that could yield an immediate increase in customer satisfaction?

Managing Customer Satisfaction and Monitoring it with Help Desk Metrics Best Practices
Often managers forget why a company has a help desk in the first place. They spend a lot of time monitoring agents and their productivity but often they forget about the customer. Customer satisfaction ratings are essential in determining how efficient and effective the collaborative support team is at serving customers. Operational metrics that serve as indicators of customer satisfaction may look good and be improving each period, but it is important to know what your customers are saying about your operation. Feedback is traditionally obtained in the form of surveys after tickets are closed, but what about contacting select customer types such as VIPs directly? From a customer’s perspective, hearing directly from the help desk manager who is merely following up on the service delivered goes a long way in how the support operation is perceived.

– It takes about 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one.
– For each customer who takes the time to register a complaint, there are approximately 26 others who remain silent.
– The typical customer who takes the time to lodge a formal complaint will also share those negative feelings with 8-10 of their closest friends and family members–20% of customers will tell 20 people or more.

Mistakes happen but help desk managers should avoid dismissing customer complaints as lost causes or missed opportunities. Following up and offering additional support repairs customer relationships. Additionally, it is important that a customer remembers that they were contacted to resolve customer support issues when they begin discussing your company with their 8-20 friends.

Measuring Multi-Channel Response Times Utilizing Help Desk Metrics Best Practices
The smartphone and mobile apps have forever changed the way we do business. With the world of information at our fingertips, today’s customers have either a conscious or unconscious need for instant gratification. Where self-service portals, chats, support forums and social media support are available as a means of contacting the help desk with incidents or requests, it is not just best practice but also necessary to provide quick initial responses acknowledging customer contact.

– About 53% of customers consider 3-minutes to be an appropriate amount of wait time when contacting a help desk for support.
– Oracle declared in 2011 that it takes about 7-days of non-response or non-resolution to a customer’s complaint before they give up on the company entirely. Today, that timeframe is closer to 24 to 48 hours.
– 42% of customers using social media for help desk services expect a response within the first 60-minutes–32% expect a response in less than 30-minutes.

The term “response” means different things to different people. Help desk agents must be diligent in managing customer expectations without making promises that they can’t keep. Therefore, that first response can take many forms.

In self-service situations when the customer contacts the help desk through an online portal, it is best practice to give a response message immediately when the incident or request is received. This response can typically be configured as an automated message in the ITSM ticketing system.

For issues that require more extensive resolution times, most customers appreciate periodic updates to ensure that their issue has not been forgotten.

It is also a help desk metrics best practice to monitor additional metrics to increase customer satisfaction to include Average Resolution Times, Average Speed of Answer (ASA) and First Call Resolution (FCR).

Monitoring metrics manually through spreadsheets is not a help desk metrics best practice. Errors in calculations can occur, the labor cost to produce reports is too high and most importantly, the lack of automation means that you are looking at a number that is no longer accurate by the time the report is reviewed because several events could have occurred changing the metric score several times over. Managers who embrace an automated approach to see metrics in real-time will be able to make proactive operations decisions to increase both the help desk efficiency and its customer satisfaction.

This article was originally published on the RDT blog and was reprinted with permission.

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