ReadingHelp desk metrics: The key to providing excellent customer support

Help desk metrics: The key to providing excellent customer support


Feeling the weight of customer dissatisfaction?

We know losing customers is a common headache for businesses. Today, 89% of customers jump to a competitor after a poor customer experience with the brand.

Businesses are struggling with messy systems and complicated processes, making efficient customer support teams impossible. A disorganized system makes the situation worse, creating a daunting challenge for everyone involved. But don’t worry, customer support metrics and service desk KPIs are here to help. These metrics offer a clear view of support team performance and point out areas that need improvement.

According to Marketwatch, the help desk software market is poised to skyrocket to a whopping $1,273.9 million by 2025.

According to Marketwatch, the help desk software market is poised to skyrocket to a whopping $1,273.9 million by 2025.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about how using helpdesk metrics can improve your customer support and help your business do well in the tough market.

What are help desk metrics?

Help desk metrics are quantitative measures that help organizations track and improve the performance of their help desk or customer service. They can be used to identify areas where your team is doing well and where they need improvement.

Help desk metrics: Where data meets dedication, ensuring every customer interaction is a step toward excellence.

Here are a few examples of help desk metrics,

  • Response time: How quickly support agents reply to customer inquiries.
  • First contact resolution rate: The percentage of customer issues resolved during the initial contact.
  • Resolution time: The amount of time it takes to resolve customer issues.
  • Customer satisfaction: How satisfied customers are with the overall support experience.

These metrics can be tracked manually or with the assistance of help desk software. By analyzing these metrics, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance the effectiveness of their customer support team, ultimately striving for excellence in every customer interaction.

How is help desk performance measured?

Help desk performance is measured using a range of key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs track the effectiveness of the help desk in resolving customer inquiries, providing timely and accurate support, and delivering a positive customer experience.

The figure shows how most teams monitor their help desk performance metrics on a monthly and quarterly basis.

The best way to monitor team performance is through a detailed dashboard that provides a single view of all key performance indicators (KPIs). A one-stop CRM solution can provide this visibility and help you build a better workflow.

Why is tracking help desk metrics important?

Help desk metrics are not just tasks; it’s a strategic imperative that yields significant business value. It gives an analysis of how satisfied customers are and guides businesses towards enhanced customer loyalty and satisfaction.

By analyzing help desk metrics, businesses can gain valuable insights into the customer service experience, identifying the areas for improvement and enabling them to deliver the best possible service. Below are some of the common reasons to choose help desk metrics.

Improve customer experience

The most compelling reason to track help desk metrics is the profound impact they can have on improving the overall customer experience. Enhancing customer experience is a strategic priority for B2B companies. By tracking metrics like quick response times, first contact resolution rate, and customer satisfaction, businesses can pinpoint areas that need improvements.

Let’s say a company isn’t solving customer problems on the first try, they should train their support team better or give them more tools to help.

Reduce customer churn

Maximizing customer churn is essential for any business. When a company successfully meets customer expectations and earns positive feedback, it builds strong and long-lasting relationships with customers. Help desk metrics help businesses identify and solve customer problems that could otherwise lead to losing customers.

For instance, to address high ticket volumes on a specific product feature, a company must improve its documentation, provide targeted sales training, and expand its knowledge base for enhanced customer satisfaction.

Identify and fix product defects

Recognize and resolve product defects promptly. Help desk tickets serve as an invaluable insight into product defects. By analyzing customer-reported issues for B2B companies, they can swiftly identify and rectify defects.

For example, if a specific bug generates a significant number of tickets, prioritizing its resolutions becomes imperative, ensuring product quality and customer satisfaction.

Improve the efficiency of your help desk team

Optimize the help desk support team’s performance by analyzing the metrics, including average response and resolution times. Businesses can identify the inefficiencies and implement enhancements using the key metrics.

Let’s say a company experiences extended response times, strategies like hiring more help desk agents or integrating help desk systems can streamline operations and elevate team efficiency.

Help desk metrics vs. KPIs

Help desk metrics are specific, measurable parameters that contribute to the overall KPIs and tend to remain static. They are mainly used to assess the performance of the help desk team and identify areas of improvement. While KPIs are broader, strategic measures that link to business goals and objectives. They focus on overall business success and not just the team performance.

Therefore, it’s necessary to track both help desk metrics and KPIs to get a complete picture of the organization’s performance as a whole. By tracking and analyzing data, businesses can make informed decisions about how to improve their help desk operations, increase customer satisfaction, and achieve overall business goals.

Here’s a table that summarizes the key difference between help desk metrics and KPIs.

ParametersHelp desk metricsKPIs
ObjectivesEvaluate the efficiency of day-to-day business operations or processes.Assess progress in achieving critical business objectives.
Key focusLow-level perspectivesHigh-level perspectives
Time frameUse for short-term goalsUse for long-term goals
ScopeCovers the broader rangeCovers granular range
RelevanceApplicable across diverse departments or business sectorsApplicable across various departments
Best known forMeasure milestones to achieve business goalsStrategize business goals
Example- Boost website visitors.
- Enhance employee morale.
- Raise click-through rates
- Provide monthly email bounce rates.
- Tracks customer retention figures each month.

Top help desk metrics to improve customer support

👉 Ticket volume - To understand the business pulse

Ticket volume metrics focus on tracking the total number of tickets received by your help desk team. It helps businesses understand the overall demand for their support services by identifying any fluctuations in ticket volume. By tracking the ticket volume by time, one can identify trends and patterns to plan better using allocated resources.

👉 New tickets - To manage fresh challenges

New tickets metric monitors the number of new tickets received each day or week. It assists businesses in understanding how quickly new issues can be resolved, along with identifying the customer’s problems. Track new tickets over time and identify patterns to find the root cause of the problem and develop proactive solutions.

👉 Social media tickets - To harness the power of social media

Social media tickets metric measures the number of tickets received through social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and more. Companies can use this metric to improve their social media support presence. Over time, social media tickets can be tracked to make customer interactions easier.

👉 Open tickets - To close the loop on customer concerns

Open tickets are the tickets that have been submitted by customers but have not yet been resolved. They can be in a queue waiting to be assigned to an agent, or they can be assigned to an agent who is currently working on it. Organizations can track open tickets over time and identify patterns to improve overall effectiveness.

There are several ways businesses can close open tickets, such as:

  • Prioritize tickets based on customer impact.
  • Assign tickets to agents who have the right skills and experience.
  • Follow up with customers regularly and keep them updated.
  • Use a ticketing system to track open tickets.

👉 Closed or resolved tickets - To resolve issues

Closed metrics track the number of tickets that have been resolved. It helps organizations understand how many tickets your team is resolving each day or week, along with identifying the additional support or training. Track closed or resolved tickets, along with measuring the overall performance of your customer service team.

👉 Ticket distribution - To empower customers

Ticket distribution is a process to monitor how tickets are distributed across different support channels, including phone, email, chat, and more. It’s an important part of customer service because it can quickly affect how quickly and efficiently customer issues are resolved.

Also, it helps to understand which channels customers are using the most, along with identifying the areas that need improvements. Track ticket distribution to know customer preferences and optimize your support channel mix.

👉 Response time - To get a speedy response

Response time is the time it takes for a system or agent to respond to a request. It’s an important metric in customer service because it measures how quickly customers can get the help they need. Also, a fast response time can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Here are some examples that show how businesses can get a speedy response,

  • A customer calls a business’s customer service line, and the call is answered by service desk teams within 30-60 seconds is a sign of better customer service.
  • A customer submits a customer service form on a business’s website. They receive an email notification of the form submission and send a customer a response within 24 hours.
  • Lastly, when a customer sends a direct message to a business on social media, the business responds to the message within 60 minutes.

👉 Resolution time - To tackle issues quickly

The metrics track the average time it takes to resolve a ticket. It is also known as time to resolution (TTR) or mean time to resolution (MTTR). It helps to understand how quickly customer issues are resolved, and if the wait times are longer, customers get frustrated and inconvenient. If the customer queries are resolved quickly, they are likely to have satisfied customers.

Here are a few common things that businesses can do to reduce the resolution time, such as

  • Empowering customer service reps to resolve issues on the spot.
  • Implement a system for prioritizing customer issues.
  • Use a customer relationship management (CRM) system like OneCRM to track customer interactions and identify trends.
  • Use customer feedback to improve the customer service process.

👉 First contact resolution - To get it right the first time

First contact resolution (FCT) is a metric that monitors the percentage of tickets that are resolved in the first contact. It helps businesses to know their customer support team better and how well they can resolve issues on their first attempt. Based on these first contact resolution metrics, additional training is given to customer service agents to improve customer satisfaction.

For instance,

A customer emails a software company to report a bug in one of their products. A customer support agent responds to the email within 24 hours with a solution to a bug. The customer can resolve the issue in a single email exchange. This helps businesses improve their first contact resolution by offering better customer support and service.

👉 Rated ticket - To gain insights from feedback

A rated ticket refers to a customer support ticket that includes customer feedback or a rating from the customers regarding their experiences. It shows how customers are satisfied with the support they receive from customer support reps and identifies patterns to improve help desk performance.

There are several benefits of using rated tickets, such as

  • Allowing firms to gather feedback promptly.
  • Provide the organization with a quantitative measure of customer satisfaction.
  • Used to benchmark performance against competitors.

👉 CSAT (Customer satisfaction score) - To measure customer happiness

Customer satisfaction score is a metric used by businesses to measure the satisfaction level of their customers with the products and services they provide. It is typically expressed in terms of percentage and calculated based on customer satisfaction surveys.

Suppose you receive 150 positive responses out of 200 total responses on a 1-7 scale ( 1 being very dissatisfied, 7 being very satisfied).

CSAT (%) = (200/150) × 100 = 75%

In this case, the customer satisfaction score CSAT is 75%, which means the respondents provided positive feedback, indicating the best customer support experience. By tracking CSAT scores over time, companies can identify customer queries and improve customer support.

👉 Net Promoter Score (NPS) - Unlocking customer loyalty

Net promoter score is a customer loyalty metric that measures how likely customers are to recommend a company, product, or service to others. It is calculated by asking customers like, ‘How likely are you to recommend our company, service, or product to their social circle?

Customers are then grouped into three categories,

  • Promoters - High chances of customers likely to recommend the company, product, or service.
  • Passives - Somewhat chance that customers are likely to recommend.
  • Detractors - Customers are likely or unlikely to recommend the product or service.


(It’s for the internal team to design the NPS figure based on the below calculation)

The company sends out a survey to its customers, asking them to rate how likely they are to recommend the company’s products or services. They received 100 responses, and the results are,

  • Promoters - 70%
  • Passives - 20%
  • Detractors - 10%

To calculate NPS,

NPS = Promoters - Detractors = 70 - 10= 60%

This is a sign of a good NPS score, and the company has a high number of loyal customers who are more likely to recommend the company to others.

👉 Support agent performance

Evaluating the performance of support agents is essential for a successful customer support service. It helps in,

  • Identifying the top performers and areas for improvement
  • Optimizing staffing allocation
  • Providing better service to employees and customers

Some common metrics used to measure support agent performance are Average time handle (AHT), First contact resolution (FCR), and Customer satisfaction (CSAT). Additionally, track support agent performance using a variety of tools, including help desk software, CRM system, and surveys to identify areas of improvement and make changes that lead to a better support experience for customers.

👉 Agent utilization rate

Agent utilization rate is a measure of the percentage of time that a support agent spends on work-related activities.

Agent utilization rate formula

Agent utilization rate = (total time spent working / total time available to work) * 100

Let’s say,

A support agent works a 40-hour/week and spends 25 hours working on tickets and 15 hours attending meetings and training. Then the agent utilization rate would be 62.5%.

To improve agent utilization, automate repetitive tasks, implement a help desk system that tracks agent activity, set realistic goals for agents, and regularly review agent utilization rates and make changes as needed.

👉 Escalation rate

The Escalation rate is the percentage of support tickets that are escalated to a more senior agent. It’s calculated by dividing the number of escalated tickets by the total number of tickets received during a given period.

Escalation rate formula

Escalation rate = (Number of escalated tickets / total number of tickets resolved) * 100

One can reduce the escalation rate by training agents and the resources they need to resolve tickets at the first level of support. Businesses can implement a support process that clearly defines when a ticket should be escalated. Lastly, regularly reviewing the escalation rate and identifying areas that require implementation.

👉 Ticket backlog - To manage inflow and outflow

Ticket backlog is a pile-up of customer issues waiting for resolution. Managing this metric means handling new issues (inflow) while resolving existing ones (outflow) effectively and timely.

Let’s say,

A customer support team starts their Monday morning with 50 unresolved tickets from the previous week (ticket backlog). Throughout the day, they receive 30 new support tickets from customers (inflow). During the day, the team closed 20 tickets (outflow), and by the end of the day, the team had 60 unsolved tickets (50 from backlog + 30 new - 20 resolved).

Thus, effectively managing ticket backlog can help businesses uphold their reputation for providing excellent customer service.

Best help desk practices for customer satisfaction

1️⃣ Empowering customers by offering a self-service portal

Allow customers to answer their questions and resolve issues on their own without having to contact support. This portal can help to save customers time and frustration. Ultimately helping agents to focus more on complex issues.

2️⃣ Implementing a 24-hour customer service portal

Empower customers to help themselves and provide support whenever they need it, regardless of their time zone or schedule. This is essential for businesses that operate globally. These portals can provide customers access to the knowledge base, self-help articles, and other resources to help them resolve common issues on their own.

3️⃣ Get customer feedback through surveys

It’s one of the best ways to get feedback from customers as they share their experience with the help desk. Their feedback can help to identify the areas where they are exceeding expectations, identify trends in customer feedback over time, and justify their budget and resources.

4️⃣ Keeping customers informed through communication

This is important to keep customers informed about the ticket status and resolve issues as quickly as possible. Moreover, the agents should communicate with customers regularly and should be responsive to customer inquiries.

5️⃣ Tracking performance through real-time reporting

Allow your help desk team to track performance and identify areas that require improvement. Let’s say real-time reporting shows how long customers are waiting for responses and how long it takes to resolve tickets.

6️⃣ Making it easier for customers to help through a single point of contact

Here, the customer should have one person or a team to whom they can contact for all their support requirements. This helps them to improve customer experience and make it easier for them to get help.

7️⃣ Arm customers by building a knowledge base

Knowledge base works as a collection of articles, tutorials, and other customers to look for answers to their questions. Additionally, a well-maintained knowledge base can deflect many customers’ inquiries freeing up agents to work on various other tasks.

8️⃣ Improve efficiency through the automated process

Customer can improve their efficiency and effectiveness of help desk operations using the automated process. Let’s say a help desk tool is used to automate the tasks, including escalation, ticket routing, and reporting.

9️⃣ Streamline operation through setting up integrations

Customers can connect the help desk with other systems, including CRM and billing systems. This helps in improving customer information flow and makes it easier for help desk agents to resolve customer issues.

Choose help desk metrics to make a difference

Measuring help desk metrics is essential to monitor overall progress, track employee and team performance, and gauge customer satisfaction. Help desk software offers powerful reporting features that help businesses with the data that they need to make informed decisions.

However, it’s important to exercise discernment when choosing metrics to measure. Trying to monitor every metric might lead to confusion rather than clarity. Instead, focus on choosing the specific help desk metrics that align with your business objectives and goals.

Connecting with DevRev can streamline customer support workflows, enabling quicker response times to customer queries and issues. This efficiency can positively impact metrics’ first response time and ticket resolution time. Integrate seamlessly and enhance customer satisfaction using DevRev’s analytics and evaluate the success of your help desk system.

Frequently Asked Questions