How To Benchmark Your Helpdesk Metrics?
Benchmarking is a mature and proven methodology to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Helpdesk, as well as, adopt the best practices in the industry. When benchmarking is done in an effective manner, a Helpdesk is able to express its performance quantitatively, compare itself to know where it stands vis-à-vis the best practices and industry averages objectively, define the steps needed to bridge the performance gaps, maximize customer satisfaction, and identify the performance gaps.
While benchmarking is undoubtedly an analytical and rigorous discipline, the process itself is quite a straightforward one. Check out the steps to benchmark your Helpdesk metrics:
- Ascertain the complete scope of a benchmarking initiative
You need first to determine whether you want to benchmark the metrics of the entire IT Service & Support or just the Helpdesk. There are several organizations that like to benchmark the helpdesk, as well as, their desktop support to make sure that the benchmarking exercise offers a 360-degree glimpse into the performance of the service department as a whole.
- Find out the channels that you want to benchmark and compare
Many organizations take into consideration the channel specific metrics while setting the benchmark for a helpdesk benchmark. With the increasing trend of the presence of omnichannel support, certain channel-specific metrics are also being included. Examples of these include cost per contact. Plus, customer satisfaction can be further calculated by breaking down contacts based on channels like walk-up channels, email, web, and chat among others.
- Peer group selection
Today, peer group selection has emerged as one of the most crucial factors for the success of the benchmarking process. In order to make sure that an apple-to-apple and fair comparison is done for the benchmarking data, your peer group organizations should look similar to you in the following 4 dimensions mentioned below:
Scale: The contact volume being handled by your helpdesk as is a big scale sensitive function.
Scope: The kind of services offered by your business through the helpdesk
Geographical location: It is not practical and justified to compare a helpdesk in North America with a helpdesk located in India. For instance, the wage rates in India are much lower since it is a highly labor-intensive function.
Complexity: For instance your call handling time for each contact
Finding a similar group to compare with is a perpetual problem while doing the benchmarking exercise to arrive at a meaningful benchmark.
The benchmarking exercise also involves interacting with a cross-section of helpdesk personnel that can serve as a representative. The personnel may include agents, team leads/supervisors, trainers, QC/QA executives, workforce schedulers, and managers. All these people can offer valuable insights for benchmarking your helpdesk metrics. Interviewing such personnel can help in making a more accurate and precise interpretation of data, as well as, an improved understanding of the organizational dynamics and unique culture of your organization.
- Collecting quantitative data
Benchmarks that are statistically valid are developed on the basis of a standardized process for data collection, which can create accurate and consistent data. In order to make sure of your database integrity, a number of reality checks and arithmetic are conducted on the data. Thereafter, all compound metrics are computed by adopting a standardized approach. It also signifies that all helpdesks in the peer group have also interpreted as well as reported data related to their performance metrics in the same manner.
- The way ahead
Each action taken by you in the helpdesk should lead to reducing or maintaining your operational cost or improve the quality of your customer experience. In case that does not happen, the action is not worth wasting your time. Benchmarking eventually identifies the best practices followed in the industry to be matured or adopted to attain higher customer satisfaction, lower ticket resolution times, and reduced costs.
- Monitor, track, and trend the helpdesk metrics performance
After identifying the way ahead, it is now time for you to act. The benchmarking exercise if done effectively and efficiently can enable a helpdesk to save a lot of energy and time by working on the know-how of some of the best performers in your industry and embracing proven best practices.
Sophisticated helpdesk software can be used to track the performance metrics of your helpdesk. In fact, go for the best helpdesk software to measure and track of the performance metrics of the helpdesk that have been benchmarked.
Helpdesks, which exclusively focus on their internal operational processes, are usually known to make incremental progress through the technique of trial-and-error. However, the benchmarking process compels a business to look externally and at the best performers in the same industry. When an organization studies the best performers in their industry and embraces the best practices of the industry, helpdesks, which utilize benchmarking, can actually succeed in improving their performance at an unprecedented revolutionary pace.
According to industry data available, helpdesks, which conduct benchmarking, have a greater likelihood of offering world-class performance as opposed to those companies that do not benchmark. To put it simply, benchmarking is regarded by many as the proven and most effective technique to bridge the gap between the existing performance of helpdesk metrics and the world-class performance data.