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Outsourcing help desk support? Use SMART metrics to measure support quality

Outsourcing help desk support? Use SMART metrics to measure support quality

Many server owners often tend to see a help desk system just as an interface between the customers and the company and ignore the fact that it is in fact, a treasure box full of data.

Web hosts who look out for ways to cut cost and run leaner, should focus on outsourcing help desk services to industry experts, who would help you take the apt business decision based on your help desk data.

In our role as Outsourced Tech Support for web hosts, we analyze the help desk statistics for our customers and bring in improvements to surpass the metrics and help streamline their businesses.

From market trends to customer insights, businesses benefit from all these data. Here, we’ll see the prime metrics that we explore from our customers’ help desks.

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There are two categories of metrics we make use of – 1. Metrics for getting customer insights 2. Metrics for reviewing support team performance.


Metrics for getting customer insights

Knowing what your customers need and what are the issues they commonly face, is vital to improve your services and products. The 4 key help desk metrics for assessing customer and market demands are:

1. Flow of tickets per hour

Figuring out the average number of tickets that come in during the business hours, after hours and on week days, helps in deciding the number of support techs that you require for your business.

If you have global customers, this will also give you a fair idea on which geographical location needs more help or support. This would help you to customize your support solutions for various customers.


2. Types of server issues

Issues that come to your help desk can be of many categories – pre-sales, billing, web site errors, server reboots, software installations, abuse reports, and so on.

Analyzing the support issues is a task we do on a routine basis, to identify any recurrent issues. Repetitive support issues can indicate serious problems that can lead to customer loss. For instance, multiple IP blacklist issues can indicate spamming.

Bobcares’ dedicated support team monitors recurrent issues as a help desk performance metric to improve our service delivery process in various ways, ranging from a simple ‘how-to’ to a server upgrade.


3. Requests vs Complaints vs Enquiries

An enquiry is when a customer asks for something like “Does the company provide PHP?”. Request is when he wants to know if we can do something for him, as in “Can you please install a phpBB forum for me?”. Complaint is when he says “My email is not working”.

When the enquiries increase, we suggest improvements in web host’s site, with solutions like FAQs and product details. From the pre-sales and product-related enquiries, we are able to know more about what customers look for, and cater to those.

When the number of requests increase, we try to automate tasks as much as possible. Requests are also seen as good opportunities to provide value added services. An increase is complaints is an alarming situation, which we immediately act upon.


4. Testimonials

Providing excellent quality support helps generate happy customers. By collecting feedback from the customers, you can assess your support quality. But more than that, feedback helps us to focus on areas where there is a scope for progress.

We also follow up with happy customers for testimonials, which can be used to promote our customers’ business further. Testimonials and referrals play a key role in business growth.

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Metrics for reviewing support team performance

Lack of technical skills, comprehension capabilities, high ticket volume, all these can lead to poor support performance. Help desk metrics also helps us generate a lot of stats that enable us to review our support team performance.

1. Number of support responses per ticket

If the average number of responses per ticket is 3 or above, it denotes that the support team is not doing a good job there. Higher number of responses per ticket indicate that either the customer’s issue is not resolved properly or he is raising multiple queries in one ticket.

By reviewing the number of responses per ticket, we are able to identify under-confident support staff or lack of adequate staff to cover the volume of tickets, and take appropriate corrective actions to sort it out.


2. First contact resolution

Your customers shouldn’t have to repeat their issues multiple times to get a proper resolution. This may lead to frustrated customers and business loss.

First contact resolution (FCR) is a help desk performance metric that shows how well the support company is able to resolve the customer’s issue in the first follow-up itself.

At Bobcares, to focus on increasing first contact resolution and to delight our customers, we set FCR as a key performance metric and strive to fix about 90% issues in a single update.


3. Average time to resolve

The average resolution time denotes how fast does a customer issue can be resolved. This is a clear indication of the support team performance. If a ticket takes more than 12 hours to get resolved, then it shows that your support team is a ticking time-bomb.

Having a skillful quality analysts team helps us to focus on the average time to resolve the tickets and to find out the reason why some tickets exceeded the ideal resolution time target.


4.  Number of tickets resolved per tech

A slow or careless tech can mess up the entire support experience for customers. That’s why its vital to have individual performance metric for each support tech and to monitor their efficiency in delivering excellent customer support.

Though difficult to get, this information is almost always available from help desk data. By focusing on individual KPIs, we are able to isolate poor performers and motivate the good techs to maintain their potential.

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In short..

In today’s competitive business environment, where customers are more demanding than ever before, we strive to deliver world-class support, in order to maximize client loyalty and ensure ongoing profits.

With proper management of all such information available from the help desk systems, we are able to build stronger and lasting relationships with your customers and gain a solid competitive edge for your business.

If you’d like to get our expert assistance on the new plans and systems you need to put up for your customers, feel free to contact us for outsourcing help desk services.



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Bobcares provides Outsourced Web Hosting Support and Outsourced Server Management for online businesses. Our services include 24/7 server support, help desk support, live chat support and phone support.
Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.