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.
Cost per contact and customer satisfaction are the Yin and Yang of service and support. Cost is a measure of efficiency and customer satisfaction is a measure of effectiveness, and together they are called the foundation metrics. They are driven primarily by agent utilization and first contact resolution rate. So, what else drives costs, and what can we do to contain or reduce costs over time? And, what else drives quality, and what we can do enhance and maximize the quality of the customer experience over time?
Costs in the IT service desk are driven by:
- Agent Utilization
- The service desk is a labor intensive function, so the more productively you utilize your agents the lower your costs are going to be.
- Ratio of agents to total headcount
- This is a measure of managerial efficiency. A higher ratio means greater management efficiencies, and lower costs.
- Service Levels
- These indirectly drive your costs. The more aggressive you are onspeed of response, turnaround time, mean time to resolve, and call abandonment rate, the higher your costs will be.
- Agent Absenteeism
- Think of absenteeism as a metric that tells you how much overstaffing you need to make up for those agent absent days. Higher absenteeism means higher costs.
- Scheduling Efficiency
- Do you really need to staff that backshift? Some support organizations simply have too much headcount because they schedule their resources poorly.
Quality in the IT service desk is driven by:
- First contact resolution rate
- As first contact resolution (FCR) improves, so does customer satisfaction.
- Call quality
- Call quality should ideally reflect what matters to the customer. If call quality is high, customer satisfaction should also be high.
- Technician Job satisfaction
- Low morale and low job satisfaction are at epidemic levels in IT service and support. You can build loyalty, reduce absenteeism, reduce turnover, and improve job satisfaction by investing in training, coaching, and career pathing.
- Technology enablement
- Knowledge management and remote control technologies, such as those provided by Bomgar, LogMeIn, and GoToAssist, can dramatically improve first contact resolution rates.
- Training is not just motherhood and apple pie. The more hours of new agent training delivered, the higher the FCR will go. If organizations did as much training as they claimed they were going to, service and support would be a far better performing industry. In short, training pays.
By understanding the cause and effect relationship between the major key performance indicators (KPIs) for an IT service desk, one can gain insight into what can be done to improve customer satisfaction and contain costs. This KPI “linkage” gives you the power to pull the levers you need to achieve your desired outcomes.
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 Benchmark, coming in Spring 2015, will automatically collect 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.
About Jeff Rumburg
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