More than a number…

Published by Matt Setchell on

Throughout my career, I have spoken with many leaders who have not put much belief into the reliability of metrics to determine the quality of support being delivered by an IT Support team.

Many will override what they are being told by their gut feeling, or the experiences of others that have been reported to them.

And it’s true, an individual metric can’t tell you the full story. One metric can be misleading, and it’s very rare to get 100% on any metric target (because then your targets are too low)

However, what many don’t appreciate is that there are many metrics you should be monitoring to tell you the full picture of how your support is being delivered and received. How effective it is, and how happy – or not – customers are.

It’s an interesting position to be in – if your metrics show you are doing a good job, and you have reduced the amount of support you need to give by improving reliability of infrastructure and devices, offering self support and self help solutions – then you could be out of a job. If you don’t do enough – then you won’t be good enough and could be out of a job.

Of course, those who know the game, will recognise good support is more then volume – and impact is what matters.

Some key metrics are:

  • Resolution SLA – are you fixing things in the time you say you are? Your SLA will give you the time you have agreed with customers within a percentage of tickets
  • Response SLA – do you keep people waiting for a response? Does this indicate you don’t have the staffing levels right – or – do the customers not buy enough time?
  • First contact resolution – this is my favourite metric to get right, because fixing things instantly is a crowd pleaser – but it also shows the knowledge level of your staff – the tickets they solve with first time show they have the knowledge, those which constantly have more interactions can show poor knowledge. An important follow up to FCR is monitoring tickets that are reopened – because if you are getting it wrong – then that will undo the hard work.
  • Ticket age – just because a ticket is solved within its resolution time – doesn’t mean it’s fast. If it’s not in the right priority, which affects promised response times, then the resolution SLA means little. So monitoring the ticket age is really important to see how long it actually has been open.

These are just the beginning, in-depth monitoring is required based on ticket types, individual customers and agents performance and even when and how a ticket was logged are all important – for instance do tickets get resolved faster when logged through a portal, phone or email?

Additionally, customer satisfaction responses will help you understand that if, by hopefully meeting your SLA, you are also meeting customer expectations.

By having this level of detail and knowledge of your support, you can confidently use metrics to support when being challenged on your performance, or, when justifying investment into your support offerings by customers.

Categories: Blog