Help Desk Metrics: Using Data for Exceptional Customer Service

How do you know if your help desk is running at peak performance and providing the best possible customer service? There are ways to assess and measure customer service performance that will keep you in the loop so you always know where changes need to me made. Here is a rundown on some useful help desk metrics that your business can take advantage of to improve your customer support team.

Levels of Customer Service Metrics

There are three main levels of help desk metrics. Each one is useful in its own right and in combination they can tell you a lot about your customers and your customer service team.

  • Metrics by case level: by locale – by topic – by time created
  • Metric by individual level: customer interactions – customer satisfaction – handling time – resolved cases
  • Metrics by team level: rate of customer contact – time to first response – interactions per resolution – handling time –customer satisfaction

If you are not sure which metric is most relevant to your company, consider why you are creating a report, who you are reporting to and what outcome you are aiming for.

What You Should Be Measuring

These metrics are tried and tested fundamentals when it comes to examining your customer service capabilities.

  • Response times: Customers don’t like to be kept waiting. On the other hand, they don’t want to feel rushed, so you need to maintain a balance between response and handling times. Most customers holding on the phone find a wait time of more than three minutes to be too long. Customers who are seeking help via email find a wait of more than 24 hours to be unacceptable. When it comes to social media, customers expect a response within 30 minutes to 1 hour. Your first response should be as speedy as possible. You should minimize the time between replies and try to have the problem resolved with as few tickets as possible. Using a software solution like SysAid’s Helpdesk can help improve this and many other help desk features.
  • Ticket volume: The good side of having a high ticket volume is that you can rest assured that customers are easily able to access your help desk. However, a high ticket volume may also indicate that you are having a lot of issues with your products or services. For this reason, it’s important to know which tickets are for general queries, which are for specific issues and which are for complaints. Aim to minimize frequently recurring tickets.
  • Customer experience ratings: This is simply the best way to measure your customer support team’s effectiveness. Make sure you give your customers plenty of opportunities to share feedback, in the form of social media, surveys, email polls etc.

Make Your Metrics Meaningful

Pretty charts and graphics are useless if they have no meaning. Your metrics should always tie back to your company and offer insight into its processes and services. Remember to measure things which your team can influence. If your metrics aren’t changing then drop them. Always keep your metrics in the proper context; if you lose this you will strip them of their meaning. Keep a look out for trends. Over time these can prove to be more informative than isolated incidents of specific data, and they can give you valuable insights and future projections.

Check Your Channel Attribution

Channel attribution refers to which routes your customers are taking to talk to you about their issues, and these metrics may vary considerably. For example, your help desk may be strong for phone and email queries but weaker when it comes to a live chat experience. This can cause your customer satisfaction to drop considerably. Make sure you break down your customer service by channel so you can see where there’s room for improvement.

Assess Your Self-service Usage

Many customer service teams forget to keep track of this metric, but it is an important one to watch because it can decrease your number of incoming tickets. A self-service portal is great because it allows customers to find what they need at their own pace. If you start to notice an increase in tickets on a certain topic, it may be because your self-service option is not meeting all the needs it could be.

Assess your help desk success today to find out where you can make improvements. Use these tips on help desk metrics to increase the quality of your customer service and boost your customer satisfaction.