A quick read with a big impact.

5 IT Help Desk KPIs That Most Accurately Measure Success

5 IT Help Desk KPIs That Most Accurately Measure Success

Your IT help desk Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) reveal the success or failure of your IT support operations. Without them, you never know for sure what’s working—and what’s not.

The question is: Are your KPIs the right ones to focus upon?

The most important priority for any IT help desk should be its customers and their success. After all, if your customers aren’t happy, your help desk isn’t meeting its primary purpose. With that in mind, there are five specific KPIs that will tell you clearly if you’re on the right track.

The 5 IT Help Desk KPIs to Focus On

  1. Customer Satisfaction Score
  2. First Contact Resolution Rate
  3. Average Response Time (and Average Wait Time)
  4. Cost per Ticket
  5. Contacts Received

Let’s look more closely at each of these.

1. Customer Satisfaction Score

Customer satisfaction is the entire reason for maintaining a help desk support team. So, that’s why your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the ultimate help desk KPI. All other KPIs impact this goal, but the most direct means of measurement is through customer surveys. Be sure to calculate the ratio of completed surveys to the number sent out so you gain an accurate perspective.

Need help improving your IT help desk’s customer satisfaction scores? Don’t miss reading 2 Simple Ways to 10X Your IT Help Desk Customer Experience.

2. First Contact Resolution Rate

How efficiently does your help desk support team handle requests? Do they resolve them during the first contact, or do tickets remain open for unspecified amounts of time? According to a report by Harvard Business Review, the number-one factor in establishing customer loyalty is reducing customer effort. A high First Contact Resolution Rate indicates your agents are knowledgeable and effective enough to resolve issues quickly, which goes a long way toward creating happy customers.

3. Average Response Time (and Average Wait Time)

Time is money for both you and your customers. You know how frustrating it is to sit at the other end of a phone call or online chat session, wondering if anything is being accomplished. Response Time is the period elapsed between initial request and first contact, while Wait Time is the “down” period while the agent works on the request. The shorter these times are, the greater your customers’ level of satisfaction will be. If you’re struggling to reduce these times, you may need to reexamine your IT help desk agent workloads.

4. Cost Per Ticket

In today's hyper-competitive environment, companies must make the most cost-effective use of their resources. Help desk support is no exception. To calculate your Cost Per Ticket, divide service desk operating expenses by total ticket volume during a given time period.

You can lower your Cost Per Ticket in one of two ways: spend less or handle more tickets for the same cost. Of course, either method improves your metric, but you could end up paying a high price for stretching your IT help desk team too thin. Remember your original goal—to support your business—as you evaluate the Cost Per Ticket metric of your help desk.

5. Contacts Received

Since the purpose of your help desk support team is to solve problems and provide customer service, you need to know your volume of incoming requests. This information gives you a guide to the overall workload of your team, and guides you in managing IT help desk staffing levels.

To understand this metric even better, segment your number of Contacts Received into meaningful time frames, such as per hour, per week or per season, as well as by channels (phone, chat, email, social media). Analyze the data to find patterns that help you anticipate ebbs and flows of incoming requests.

Smarter IT Help Desk KPIs = Happier Customers

Your help desk support team should always be striving to improve. Measuring these five help desk KPIs should give you a sound foundation to keep your team on track for success. If you're looking for help in determining the best IT help desk performance metrics to measure the performance of your help desk support team, read our Help Desk ROI e-book, or speak with our team of help desk experts today.

Ebook: Help Desk ROI: It's Not Just Financial