Managing a successful customer support helpdesk isn’t an easy task. But when helpdesk managers set the right Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for their agents, they can transform results for their customer support service.
Since customers and clients have high expectations for fast and effective service provision, it’s something every helpdesk manager should be considering.
Reports show that almost 80% of customers expect helpdesk agents to know their personal and buying histories. If those expectations aren’t met, managers become accountable for the potential risk of customer attrition. But with the right KPI’s in place, helpdesk managers can keep improving performance standards while ensuring customer retention remains high.
What Are Customer Support Helpdesk KPI’s?
KPI’s are specific measurements used in professional settings to set targets and goals to work towards. They enable Helpdesk managers to track the success of campaigns, sales, teams, or operations by measuring a specific set of data. It’s worth noting that KPI’s differ from metrics in that they’re designed to allow for setting goals for either individuals or groups to work towards. And, ultimately, to be accountable for.
There are many other ways that setting helpdesk KPI’s are effective for managers:
- Incentivise teams to reach goals
- Check individual and team performance
- Diagnose problems
- Make improvements to campaigns
- Gain insights to use for strategy, planning, and innovation
- Track trends and performance over time
- Hold team members to account
- Promote consistency
Help desk KPIs should include all areas of customer service and include specific communication channels such as phone, Live Chat, SMS, or email. So, by choosing a dynamic mix of KPIs, managers will find it easier to track, measure, and improve on current performance to help their teams deliver exceptional results.
10 Helpdesk KPIs Needed to Maximise Customer Support
So, which KPI’s do managers need to know to get the best out of their customer support teams?
1. First Response Time
First response time (FRT) measures how long it takes agents or support staff to respond to queries. By tracking the speed, or the average time for a first response, managers can review all factors that may influence the quality of performance. This, in turn, will make it easier for them to make necessary alterations and improvements.
Plus, when they know what customers are expecting, managers can make better judgements on what to change. For example, nearly 40% of customers expect a response on social media on the same day. And this can be useful to know when setting KPIs.
2. First Contact Resolution
FCR (First Contact Resolution) measures the percentage of tickets a support team resolves at the initial point of contact.
When over 95% of customers say they’ll be loyal to a brand that gets their customer service right, most managers will want to ensure they’re better than the rest. So having a helpdesk team that resolves customer queries the first time, or at least in the shortest space of time, is a must.
Customers are looking for an experience that’s as painless as possible. So, when agents working across all communications have higher FCR rates, it’s more likely a company will experience higher customer satisfaction rates.
3. Average Resolution Time
It’s obvious that the sooner you deal with a customer’s issue, the happier they’ll be. And happy customers are loyal customers. Research found that over 80% of consumers believe the timely resolution of their issues is the most important factor for receiving exceptional customer service experiences.
Plus, satisfaction rates can drop when end-users feel their issues haven’t been resolved. So, it’s important to get this right.
4. Ticket Volume
As a basic rule, help desk managers must oversee the volume of tickets their teams get through. Running ticket creation reports is easy to do in your help desk software, and should show the ticket volume your support team is handling at any one given time. With a strong grip on the volume of tickets each team member takes on every day, week or month, it’s easier for planning and forecasting.
- Ticket volume by support channel
A substrate of reviewing ticket volume is tracking tickets across communication channels. This helps to optimise the performance of a support team. It also enables managers to review the quality across each platform and consider where staff are best deployed.
- Ticket distribution
Helpdesk software enables managers to add category tags to tickets. And this enables better highlighting of problems within specific topic areas.
5. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)
While tracking the numbers is important, it’s the happiness of customers that counts. When almost 70% of customers say the rep or agent they speak to is the primary driver for a positive experience, managers should use CSAT scores to help assess the performance of help desk agents.
By deploying CSAT surveys to customers following a ticket resolution, managers gain insights into the performance of agents in each interaction. This makes it critical to continue asking customers for feedback.
6. Net Promoter Score
A Net Promoter Score is a powerful and very valuable KPI. When customers have positive experiences, businesses grow. Those who have good experiences with brands tend to also recommend them to their networks.
Research by Nielsen highlighted that over 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over sales or marketing tactics. This is a strong reason for including a Net Promoter Score.
A Net Promoter Score will also tell managers how many customers would recommend you, how many would not and then anyone sitting on the fence. This will help preserve brand reputation and better meet the expectations of customers.
7. Customer Retention Rate
Of course, making customers happy is one thing. But it is keeping them coming back for more that’s a challenge. Because a high customer retention rate leads to a direct increase in revenue, it’s a critical way to gauge the health of a business.
Customer retention rates refer to the rates at which customers remain with a business at any one time. And the rates link back to customer satisfaction directly, meaning managers can actively influence the customer retention rate by working to improve CSAT and Net Promoter Scores.
8. Helpdesk Agent Utilisation
Measuring outputs is of course essential for any helpdesk manager. But in the end, it’s the work of the helpdesk agents that powers these metrics. So, helpdesk managers must check how they’re making use of agents.
Helpdesk managers who use KPIs to track the utilisation of agents will be better at keeping them engaged, motivated and driven to reach targets. Help desk software that tracks utilisation rates gives managers a clear overview of the percentage of time their teams are spending on customer support.
If your agent utilisation is too high, first response and customer satisfaction are likely to go down. But if it’s too low then costs can rise through overpayment. And this makes it a vital KPI to include.
9. Helpdesk Staff Engagement
Reviewing numbers is essential to maximising the performance of your customer support team. But the powerhouse behind stats is always people. Helpdesk agents need to be happy and motivated people to deliver against targets while avoiding burnout. Helpdesk managers should assess helpdesk staff engagement rates by conducting feedback reviews and questionnaires. Questions could include:
- How do you feel about the work you’re doing?
- Do you trust your colleagues and supervisors?
- Do you feel you have a voice at work?
- How would you rate the resources available to do your job properly?
Training and development are also key drivers of staff engagement. Plus, it’s proven to motivate helpdesk staff and leave them feeling more satisfied in their jobs.
10. Cost Per Contact
Cost per contact measures the cost of each interaction your support team has with customers. One way this is calculated is the Number of calls per hour/ Agents wage in hours. This helps to work out any additional costs managers may need to reach targets.
Also, managers may pay call centre technical support higher rates than agents who work on Live Chat or email. So a cost per contact KPI should help to ensure cost-effective deployment of staff.
Using a Single Dashboard to Monitor Agent KPIs
The right help desk software should offer support team managers the chance to review individual KPIs and to assess how they interact with each other. For example, First Contact Resolution directly drives CSAT scores. Those that have a direct interplay with each other include:
- Cost per contact
- Agent utilisation
- First Contact Resolution Rate
- Agent Satisfaction
KPI dashboards offer an effective way to review each KPI or bundle them together. Doing so makes it easier to assess how each one stacks up against the performance of agents.
Ultimately, finding the best ways to motivate agents will increase customer support performance. And setting the right KPIs is one very effective way to do this.
About the Author
Stuart Elleray is Content Research Analyst at Comparesoft.