10 Help Desk Metrics to Track for Maximum Efficiency

Most businesses deal with a flood of IT requests from their clients and employees every day. These requests could be as simple as resetting a password or as complex as deploying a complete network architecture. Without a system or process, users will not know where to direct their queries and IT technicians will not know how to track and resolve tickets.

A help desk comprises of a group of skilled technicians using help desk software to troubleshoot IT problems. It allows technicians to track tickets from multiple channels quickly and efficiently and maintain business continuity and high productivity. According to Future Market Insight, the global help desk software market was valued at around $9.9 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach to reach a valuation of nearly $26.8 billion by the end of 2032.

An IT help desks prevent users from wasting productive time searching for simple solutions that an expert can provide in a minute.

What are help desk metrics?

A poorly managed help desk will not only disrupt business but also become a costly affair. Did you know that 89% of consumers will switch to a competitor following a poor experience? IT technicians use several metrics to track help desk performance and ensure that it remains productive, efficient and operates at its best capacity. IT technicians and executives can use these metrics to identify help desk features performing well and those that need improvement.

The metrics also provide insights into whether a help desk is on track to meet its key performance indicators (KPIs). Metrics drive KPIs. To illustrate this with an example, let’s look at the ticket resolution rate and average response time. With these metrics, the help desk can see if its KPI to increase customer satisfaction is being met.

In this blog, we’ll look at all the crucial help desk metrics, understand their importance and explain how to leverage them to boost business growth.

10 help desk metrics to measure

A help desk is the backbone of any organization. However, those selling technology solutions need a top-notch one. The success and growth of their business will eventually depend on how quickly and seamlessly their help desk resolves customer queries. The efficiency with which a help desk operates directly impacts user experience and can determine employee and client retention.

As with any business department, help desks must meet performance requirements. They have to ensure that users who raise a ticket or an IT query get the resolution in the fastest time. By tracking help desk metrics, technicians can ensure their engagement with users meets expectations.

Companies can analyze several metrics to determine performance. In this section, we’ll look at the top 10 metrics that all help desks should track to assess the efficiency and quality of their service and improve their customer service experience.

  1. Ticket volume: Ticket volume refers to the number of incoming service requests or support tickets generated by the user. Tracking this metric will give you insights into how many tickets your team can resolve in a day, week, month and year. It will ensure that you maximize output without overworking the team.
  2. Tickets by channel: Help desks can receive requests from multiple channels such as emails, web forms, live chat, social media, phone, etc. Technicians can train staff in the popular channels and determine where to station the most staff and what type of training to provide. These steps will lead to an efficient help desk.
  3. First response time (FRT): It’s the time an agent takes to respond to a ticket as soon as it is submitted. FRT can be calculated in minutes, hours and even days. A quick first response rate positively impact customer loyalty and satisfaction. About 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. The goal of an efficient help desk is to reduce the FRT rate, which goes on to improve the customer experience.The formula for calculating average FTR is:
    FRT = Total FRTs during that particular minute or hour / total number of resolved tickets
  4. Average response time: This is the average time an agent takes to respond to a query within a defined timeframe. The FRT metric calculates how long it takes an agent to respond to a ticket, whereas average response time calculates how long it takes each agent to respond to a ticket within a specific timeframe. This metric can be used to identify peak productivity hours.The formula to calculate this metric is:
    Average response time = Total time taken to respond during the selected time period / the number of responses in the selected time period.
  5. Ticket resolution rate: An IT help desk agent’s performance and quality of work can be determined using this metric. It compares the number of tickets an agent solves within a timeframe with the number of tickets assigned to them. A high ticket resolution rate reflects well on the customer service team. It means that the team is resolving tickets promptly and is on track to meet KPIs.Ticket resolution rate = No. of number of tickets solved by an agent / the number of tickets assigned x 100
  6. First contact resolution rate (FCRR): The FCRR is the percentage of help desk queries resolved during the first interaction with the customer. As such, the greater the FCRR, the better the customer experience. Therefore, it is imperative to continually track and improve your FCRR to enhance customer satisfaction and build a stronger brand image.
  7. Average resolution time: The average resolution time is an effective measure of how long it takes to resolve a user query. According to a report by CMO Council, a fast response time is the most important element of the digital customer experience. Evaluating the average resolution time helps you analyze whether you are providing your customers with the level of service promised and helps identify any potential opportunities to ensure faster and most effective service delivery.
  8. Agent utilization: Agent utilization is the ratio of work produced by IT help desk technicians against their work capacity. An agent who puts in six hours of work in an eight-hour shift is working at a utilization capacity of 6/8 X 100 = 75%. Agent utilization is the best way to measure labor productivity. Keeping a tab on this data can help lower help desk costs while increasing output.
  9. Agent performance: Agent performance measures how each help desk agent is performing on each of the help desk metrics. Through this, we can identify agents who perform well and those who do poorly. This data can be used to identify best practices and design training material for new or underperforming agents.
  10. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): Customer satisfaction scores are the simplest way to determine how happy or unhappy a customer is with your service. At the end of an interaction, customers are often asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale. It could be a 1 – 3 or 1 – 10 scale. To determine the score, all the positive responses are divided by the total number of responses collected and divided by 100%. Based on this percentage, you can determine whether customer satisfaction is at an all-time high level or if there is room for improvement. According to Hubspot’s Annual State of Service Report 2022, CSAT remains the most important KPI for almost 75% of customer service leaders.

Why are help desk metrics important?

The IT help desk plays a key role in managing an enterprise’s IT systems and infrastructure. It is the primary touchpoint for every IT issue, problem and request. Measuring and benchmarking key IT help desk metrics is essential for CIOs and IT operations leaders looking to improve business alignment and value, end-user productivity and reduce the total cost of IT support.

Now that you understand that a help desk is a vital part of any business, let’s discuss some of its benefits.

Capacity planning

Amazon is an undisputed leader in its field due to its excellent customer service. To achieve sustained growth and build brand loyalty, companies must provide top-notch customer service consistently. By tracking help desk metrics, business leaders can take the correct call regarding whether they have the resources to scale their business up or not. In a nutshell, capacity planning and customer service go hand in hand since an overburdened help desk will result in more errors and a lower customer retention rate.

Resource optimization

Help desk optimization lowers costs, increases productivity and improves output quality, which leads to higher customer satisfaction. Metrics such as agent performance and agent utilization will help you decide whether to hire more help desk agents or whether to maximize the utilization of your current staff.

Increase transparency

Measuring metrics allows for accurate estimation of a help desk’s performance. It fosters accountability and keeps stakeholders updated on how things are going. When clear systems and processes are in place, problems get resolved quickly, and the people responsible for solving them understand what needs to be done.

Uncover challenges

By looking for patterns and trends in the metrics data, technicians can spot common issues and take steps to fix them. Regularly performing this step helps ensure that the process runs smoothly and that problems are caught early on.

Identify opportunities

Metrics guide help desk managers to change and update their strategy as and when needed. By guiding technicians to prioritize critical tasks over noncritical tasks, it keeps the help desk on track to meet SLA requirements.

How can I improve my help desk efficiency?

Implementing an effective and efficient help desk is a major challenge that most growing businesses face today. Here’s a list of best practices that you must keep in mind to ensure your team makes the most of your help desk to minimize business disruptions, drive efficiency and enhance customer experience.

Create a knowledge base and self-service portal

A library or knowledge base that stores comprehensive information on IT issues and ways to troubleshoot them is an invaluable resource for businesses. An IT help desk management software helps curate this knowledge repository, thus helping IT teams resolve similar issues quicker in the future. Additionally, your end users can directly troubleshoot their common IT issues with help from the knowledge base. This will lead to lower ticket volumes in the long run.

Establish consistent reporting

The solution should feature a dashboard that offers real-time information on the progress and status of tickets, allow you to easily generate custom reports and help you gain insights to make the right business decisions quickly and confidently.

Solicit customer feedback

Although deploying a help desk solution involves additional investment, these costs are offset by the high return on investment through higher team efficiency, greater productivity, enhanced product quality and greater customer satisfaction. An IT help desk also helps get real-time feedback on service and product issues, thus eliminating the costs associated with conducting post-release surveys.

Integrate and automate

A robust help desk software will allow you to automate common, low-value help desk workflows and processes and free up time for your technicians so they can focus on more critical issues at hand. It should also provide seamless integration with RMM and IT documentation tools and enable technicians to easily remote into an endpoint from the ticket window to troubleshoot the issue. According to Kaseya’s 2022 MSP Global Benchmark Survey, a whopping 96% of MSP respondents said they believe integrating core applications like RMM, PSA and IT documentation is important to their business.

Improve your help desk performance with Kaseya

Kaseya BMS is a professional services automation (PSA) tool that provides help desk capabilities designed to help you spend less time tracking tickets and more time serving your customers. It will allow you to crush IT tickets in record time by enabling you to upgrade your helpdesk functionality.

It enables you to better track tickets until customer issues are resolved and capture more billable revenue through improved billing per contract. The outcome: improved customer service and greater profitability. BMS works seamlessly with Kaseya VSA, our endpoint management and network monitoring solution, and IT Glue for knowledge and configuration management.

Run your help desk and IT operations confidently and efficiently with BMS. Request a free demo today!

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