Guest author, Jeff Rumburg, is managing partner and co-founder of MetricNet. MetricNet is is the leading source of benchmarks, scorecards, and performance metrics for information technology and call center professionals worldwide.
When your IT service desk begins a discussion about customer satisfaction, that discussion must take place in the context of cost. Customer satisfaction and cost per contact are two critical metrics in constant tension, and every IT service organization has and will grapple with how to strike an appropriate balance between the two. Removing budget constraints is a relatively easy way for a service desk to “spend its way” to high customer satisfaction. Conversely, if customer satisfaction is not an issue, a service desk can reduce its costs almost indefinitely.
With that in mind, you can begin to see that the IT service desk is a point of authority in an organization and a driver of real economic value. But, the question is “is your service desk achieving its potential?” Service desk benchmarking enables you to quantify the performance of your service desk, compare your service desk to others in your industry, identify performance gaps, and define the actions necessary to close the gaps. Unfortunately, not everyone has had the opportunity to benchmark their service desk due to budget, time constraints, or simply a of lack of data.
To help you get started on your quest to world-class service performance, here are a few tips.
5 Tips for Improving Customer Satisfaction
- Tip 1: Increase First Contact Resolution (FCR) Rate
- The biggest driver of customer satisfaction is first contact resolution and the biggest driver of FCR is agent training hours. Agent training pays off in terms of improved FCR, and that, in turn, yields improvements in customer satisfaction.
- Tip 2: Measure Service Quality
- Recording four calls per agent per month and reviewing these calls or chat logs with the each agent provides an opportunity to coach and train staff. Criteria to measure would include timeliness, agent attitude, technical skills, and the ability to resolve the issue.
- Tip 3: Measure Agent Job Satisfaction
- A high level of agent job satisfaction is directly correlated with a high level of customer satisfaction. Agent job satisfaction is usually measured through annual or semi-annual satisfaction surveys. These surveys typically contain ten or fewer questions, and can be automated using simple online tools such as Survey Monkey. Here is a sample.
- Tip 4: Invest in Technology
- Tools such as effective service desk software, knowledge management systems, and remote diagnostic capabilities enable agents to resolve more than 90% of eligible contacts on the first interaction with the customer.
- Tip 5: Provide Agent Training Opportunities
- Information Technology is an industry that is everchanging. Every organization acknowledges the importance of training, but few take the responsibility seriously. Agent training hours are inversely correlated with agent turnover and absenteeism.
Cost per contact and customer satisfaction are often referred to as the foundation metrics in support because everything boils down to these two metrics. This insight is both enlightening and liberating. Viewed through the twin lenses of “will it reduce cost” and “will it improve customer satisfaction,” management decisions are often greatly simplified by answering these two questions.
Samanage has entered into a strategic partnership with MetricNet that combines the expertise of the two businesses to create the industry’s first truly automated service desk benchmark. Samanage Benchmarking automatically collects the data needed to benchmark your service desk and provide you with real time benchmarking reports, diagnostics, and action items designed to enable your service desk to achieve world-class performance in the shortest possible timeframe.