How to measure the effectiveness of your helpdesk

Hoe meet je de effectiviteit van je helpdesk

Effective technical customer support is critical for your business. Your customers want immediate answers whenever they have an issue or problem. If your helpdesk makes their interaction with you speedy, positive and efficient, it’ll boost their loyalty and retain them as customers. A negative technical support experience may lose you that customer.

So what are the goals, standards or KPIs (key performance indicators) you should set for your helpdesk to ensure your customers get the outstanding technical support they deserve? Here are some of the most crucial tech support metrics:

Ticket volume

It is crucial that both you monitor the number of incoming helpdesk calls and support tickets generated. Knowing how many tickets your teams have to handle on a daily, weekly or monthly basis will affect the number of staff members you need to employ and where you allocate them.

Ticket volume per different support channel

Your customers want to be in control of how they interact with you. You need to track how they use the different channels, the efficiency and effectiveness of your response, and whether you need more staff. The different channels will need different skills, so you may need to hire and train more staff, or switch staff members around.

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How many support tickets are generally resolved?

Healthy technical support should show tickets opened and tickets solved as pretty much in line. If your ticket resolution rate lags, you may need more staff or increase efficiency. A sudden sharp increase in new tickets opened could pinpoint a developing issue that needs proactive attention.

What is your average response time?

Average or first-response time is the time between a ticket being created and the first action taken to address it. The longer customers are kept waiting, the greater the risk they’ll become dissatisfied. At the very least, customers want to know that their issue is receiving attention. Always be upfront with your customers about possible delays.

Ticket distribution

Adding category tags to your tickets will help you pin down products or areas that generate high ticket volumes. It’ll also help you to establish if there’s any link between customer satisfaction scores and factors like low initial response rates. It’ll also highlight any problems with a product, service or the content of your knowledge base.

How good is your ticket resolution time?

Also referred to as average ‘handle time’, ticket resolution time is an important KPI (key performance indicator) for your helpdesk. There is a definite correlation between how long customers must wait and customer satisfaction/loyalty. Unduly long handle times will lose you customers!

How good is your first-contact resolution?

Excellent first-contact resolution should be a premier aim in your customer technical support provision. First-contact resolution means the customer’s problem is sorted out the first time they contact you. They don’t have to come back to you a second, a third or (or heaven forfend!) even more times. By which time you will assuredly have an unhappy customer.

Are there backlogs in your support queue?

Backlogs in ticket handling indicate that more support requests are coming in than your team can handle effectively. Encourage your customer support agents to adopt a proactive approach to this problem. Utilise automated workflows and make sure you have a powerful knowledge base.

Take a good look at your transfer rate

Your transfer rate refers to the number of tickets customer support agents pass on to other agents for resolution. A high transfer rate could mean that your helpdesk’s internal routing system isn’t doing its job properly and tickets are routed to the wrong agents. Full automation may be the key here so that tickets reach the right agents. Chatbots are useful to collect important customer details and route the ticket to the best agent.

Are your customer satisfaction ratings healthy?

Customer satisfaction is a prime helpdesk metric. To establish your customer satisfaction ratings you need to conduct customer satisfaction surveys, or CSAT surveys. These are best conducted when tickets have been resolved. If customers aren’t happy, analyse the ticket handling to find out why. Net promoter scores, referred to as NPSs, will also help you establish your customer satisfaction levels.

Are your customer effort scores high?

Customer effort scores show how much effort it takes your customers to have a problem resolved by you, or get an answer to a query. CES ratings are based on surveys asking your customers to rate their interaction with you on a scale ranging from ‘Very Easy’ to ‘Very Difficult’. They can provide you with valuable insights to improve your interactions with customers.

Assess and boost the performance of your technical support agents

The performance of your technical support agents is crucial to the success of your customer support function. It’s vital, therefore, that you track the performance of your agents. Ensure they’re well-trained and motivated by providing recognition and incentives. Make sure they’re allocated where their individual skills and strengths are most needed.

What is your cost per contact?

This important metric establishes the total cost of each customer interaction with your helpdesk. To maximise profits, you have to keep these costs as low as possible.

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