When you decide to outsource help desk support, defining IT KPIs can help you develop a firm understanding of the terms and help you feel more aligned with your provider. Or, if you’re beginning your search for an MSP and know the definitions and what they track, you can feel empowered to make a data-driven decision. This post provides an insider’s look at some of the most important metrics and how they can benefit your team. 

What are Help Desk Metrics and KPIs?

All MSPs should include metrics and KPIs within their help desk environment. If an MSP isn’t, that’s a red flag, and you should avoid working with that vendor. For better understanding, let’s define metrics vs. KPIs, why metrics are essential, and some of the benefits associated with tracking KPIs.

First, the difference between Metrics and KPIs. When defining help desk metrics, metrics are specific and measurable parameters contributing to overall KPIs. On the other hand, KPIs are broader measures linked to a business’s goals and objectives. Help Desk KPIs will focus on an MSP’s overall success, not just team performance.

Why are Help Desk Metrics Important?

The IT help desk is the front line of support. Whenever your team submits a ticket, calls into support, or has an issue, the help desk crew is the first to receive those requests. Collecting and analyzing data on KPIs can help make improvements and deliver better customer support to you and your team.

When MSPs track KPIs, there are obvious benefits for the MSP but also benefits for your company. MSPs defining and tracking KPIs help increase responsibility, improve customer satisfaction, optimize resource management, and lead to data-driven decision-making. All these benefits translate into a better experience and better support for your business and team.

Help Desk metrics and KPIs can generally be categorized into Productivity, Quality, Performance, and Financial Metrics.

Productivity Metrics: an example of this metric would be Ticket Volume.

Quality Metrics:  Customer Satisfaction Score would be an example of Quality Metrics.

Performance Metrics: an example would be First Response Time (FRT).

Financial Metrics: Cost Per Ticket would be an example of Financial Metrics.

10 Important Help Desk KPIs Defined

Okay, now for your insider look into the terms and definitions of help desk KPIs.

First Response Time

Sounds just like it is. This KPI measures how quickly a help desk responds to a customer query. Your team must receive a timely response. You can ask the MSP about their current response time to understand how long it may take for your team to receive a response. 

Average Resolution Time

After a team member calls in, this KPI tracks how long the help desk takes to resolve the issue or query. Like the First Response Time, the Average Resolution Time should be low.

First Contact Resolution Time

If your query or issue was resolved on your first contact with the help desk, then that would be tracked by the First Contact Resolution Time KPI.

Customer Satisfaction Rate

The Customer Satisfaction Rate KPI measures how well the help desk delivers its promises to your staff. It measures how satisfied you are with the help desk services you receive.

Abandonment Rate

If you or your staff have an issue and continue to reach out without help, then give up during the process, your query will go into the Abandonment Rate KPI. A high Abandonment Rate KPI can indicate an MSP has a customer service issue.

Repeat Contact Rate

Similarly to the Abandonment Rate, the Repeat Contact Rate KPI tracks how often a team member contacts support for help with the same issue. Also, like the Abandonment Rate, customers are not finding the answers they need if the Repeat Contact Rate is high.

Staff Utilization

This KPI measures how impactful help desk staff are utilizing their time. Optimized time translates to a better customer experience for you.

Cost Per Contact 

Cost Per Contact tracks the cost of providing help desk services, including personnel and other related expenses.

Average Wait Time

Measures how long it takes for the help desk to respond to customers.

Inquiry Volume 

The Inquiry Volume measures how many queries a help desk receives over time. This KPI can show how well an MSP meets customer needs.

Defining IT KPIs Benefits Your Business

I hope that you come away with a better understanding of what help desk KPIs are and how they can translate to a smoother customer experience for you and your team. An MSP with a high maturity level should be happy to jump into these stats with you and your team.

If you’re already working with an MSP or searching to work with an MSP, don’t be afraid to ask what the Average Wait Time or the Average Resolution Time is because it will only benefit you in the end.

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