Have you ever wondered: if there were a Service Desk Olympics, which companies around the world would win medals?
Benchmarking provider MetricNet recently launched the “Service Desk 100” project to recognize the top 100 service desks in the world. Using their own proprietary benchmarking technology, MetricNet plans to compare service desks to peer groups based on a number of factors, including service levels, quality, and cost.
According to Jeff Rumberg, Managing Partner at MetricNet, “We will be adding to the list as we complete benchmarks, and will be inducting past clients onto the list with their permission. We expect to have the first list of the top 100 service desks worldwide completed by early 2014.”
In the meantime, here are some ways you can gain better understanding of how well your organization’s service desk is meeting needs and where it could improve.
Key Performance Indicators for Service Desks
If you know the role that key performance indicators (KPIs) play in quantifying how effective your service desk is, you can track performance, recognize trends, and even identify and correct problems in their earliest stages. There are dozens of things your service desk can track, but just because you can track an indicator doesn’t mean it’s that valuable to your organization. Themost important things to track are usually the following:
- Cost per service desk contact
- End-user satisfaction
- Rate of first contact resolution
- Rate of first level resolution
- Overall service desk performance (“Do we and our end users believe we’re doing a good job?”)
- Service desk agent satisfaction
- Service desk agent utilization
For most service desks, cost per contact is avery effective cost metric, and end-user satisfaction affects this cost. When it comes to improving end-user satisfaction, a better first contact resolution rate almost always works to this end. The first level resolution rate is a good indicator of total cost of ownership (TCO) and efficiency. If you’re not measuring first level resolution, your service desk could appear efficient, but could also be driving a higher TCO due to transferring and escalating calls, which increases cost per contact.
Overall service desk performance is an aggregate measure based on factors like cost per contact, call abandonment rate, and average speed of answer. Service desk agent satisfaction means lower turnover and absenteeism, and in turn, higher rates of first contact resolution. Finally, with most service desks, the majority of costs are labor-related, and agent utilization is a good measure of labor efficiency. Higher agent utilization leads to lower cost per contact.
… and fewer stern looks at performance review time.
What Other Organizations Are Doing
The UK Service Desk Benchmarking Report 2011 by the Service Desk Institute was distributed to more than 12,000 IT professionals from September to November 2011. Here are some of their findings.
- 85% of responding organizations measured average speed to answer (in seconds), and the average range was 10 to 20 seconds.
- 83% of organizations measured call abandonment rate, with an average abandonment rate of under 5%.
- Only 25% of organizations measured average cost per call. For these, the cost averaged around $6 to $8.
- Only 16% measured cost per email, and this figure averaged around $4.50 to $8.
- 87% of responding organizations measured first contact resolution rate, with the average running 61 to 70%
- 98% of organizations logged incidents on a monthly basis, and these ranged from 1000 to 2000 incidents per month, on average.
- 87% of organizations measured percentage of incidents fixed at first level, and the average was 71-80%
- 76% of responding organizations said they measured the percentage of incidents escalated beyond first level, with an average of under 10%
While every organization’s needs and performance levels are unique, these numbers can give some ballpark estimates to consider.
Making Your Service Desk World Class
Having a world-class IT service desk requires that you objectively measure how you’re doing in terms of first call resolution, end-user satisfaction, and other important metrics. It also requires tracking those metrics over time and taking an honest look at trends. These trends and benchmarks can tell you where your service desk excels and where there is room for improvement. Having superior IT services requires honesty and long-term commitment.
You can’t have a world class service desk without reliable, powerful, flexible IT service desk software. Samanage is a leading provider of IT service management software that stays at the leading edge of service desk, asset management, and change management provision. Quick to deploy and customizable for your organization’s unique needs, Samanage gives you the tools you need to have the service desk that can rival any other.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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