KPIs in Help Desk Organizations

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There are three key performance indicators (KPIs) with which all help-desk personnel are probably concerned at any given moment: customer satisfaction, response time and escalation.



Without these important metrics, there almost certainly would be many more crabby end-users staring at computer screens that flash those annoying, productivity-sucking error messages.



“Customer satisfaction is our No. 1 KPI,” said Anne Palmer, senior manager of user services at Baker Hostetler, a global law firm. “Currently, we do that through closed-ticket surveys that go out to all of our callers. We’re working on enhancing that because we’re not doing a random survey. “We do it on every ticket, and people have become blasé, and they’re not really paying attention to it. Plus, I think it gets to be annoying if you get a survey on every closed ticket.



“So, we’re changing our format to every third or fourth time that you may call. That way, it’s a more random selection. We’ve just completed an upgrade of our help-desk ticketing system, so they’ll see a new look, as well. We’re helping this helps to attract more responses.”



Palmer’s second KPI of note is response time. This is measured through the Baker Hostetler ACD (automated call distribution) system, which allows all calls to come through a central repository, and then it distributes them to analysts based on their availability or area of expertise.



This enables Palmer to create reports to track the live-answer call rate.



“We average between 2,700 and 3,000 calls per month,” Palmer said. “We want our customers to have someone answer the phone live, and it’s important to us to track those metrics through reports from our ACD system.”



Last, Palmer said escalation is a KPI of help desk efficiency and customer service. Escalation is similar to response time, but it refers specifically to situations in which calls cannot be resolved at the help desk, must be escalated to another technician and might require a desk-side visit.



“We also track the response time to escalate a ticket,” Palmer said. “The help desk receives the ticket. They determine they’re not able to solve it, and then they escalate it to the appropriate department, like our PC operations department, who can make a desk-side visit.



“It’s important to us that they respond within 30 minutes. They have to acknowledge the ticket and then, hopefully within another 30 minutes, resolve the caller’s problem.”



Palmer said KPIs are important metrics to use because the help desk should be a place where callers feel reassured that no matter the issue that prompted the call, it will be taken care of.



“Even if we can’t solve it or it gets handed off, we’re going to see it through,” she said. “Callers can rest assured that their problem will be resolved, no matter who ends up taking that ticket. That’s what we strive for. We want them to feel like they can call us with anything, and we’ll get an answer for them.”

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