When, How, and Why to Conduct a Metrics Review


by Roy Atkinson
January 18, 2017

How long have you been measuring the same set of metrics in your support center? If it’s more than a year, you are very probably due for a review. That doesn’t mean you need to change everything, or anything for that matter. It does mean you should look at what you are measuring and see if you need to continue measuring each item, as well as think about whether there are other things you should measure. It’s very easy to slip into the habit of reporting the same things each week or each month without taking into account how your company or organization is changing.

How long have you been measuring the same set of metrics in your support center?
Tweet: How long have you been measuring the same set of metrics in your support center? @HDI_Analyst @ThinkHDI #metrics

Are You Measuring and Tracking?

Are you still leaning heavily on phone metrics? According to the HDI 2016 Technical Support Practices & Salary Report, less than half—47 percent—of tickets come via the voice/phone channel, down from 52 percent in our 2015 report. But on this traditional channel, only 76 percent of support centers say they have formal measurements in place, down from 83 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the percentage of support centers offering a mobile app for support has doubled, from 5 percent to 10 percent, but only 3 percent of support centers have formal measurements in place for that channel.

Even the much-discussed live chat (or webchat) channel, offered in 38 percent of support centers (up from 32 percent last year), is formally measured in only 20 percent of them.

The trend in measurements is consistent. Many support centers don’t measure the effectiveness of all the channels they serve. The table below includes additional examples.

Channel% of Support Centers Offering% of Support Centers Formally Measuring
Email 85% 70% 
Social Media 6% 1%
Text Message 10% 3%
Walk-Up 49% 28%
  
Substantial portions of the support center community don’t really have a clear picture of what’s going on and don’t have the kind of data that will support new investment or requested changes. Bottom line: Measure what your support center is doing.

Feedback On Your Reports

During the past year, have you received feedback about your metrics reports? Were there questions you needed to answer? Or, was there no feedback at all?

Getting absolutely no feedback is an indication of a problem. Perhaps no one is looking at the reports, and you need to ascertain why.

Here are some questions you can ask the people who receive your metrics reports:

  • Are the metrics we report still relevant to you?
  • Is there a better format for us to report them?
  • Are metrics being reported to you at the right frequency and time of day/week/month?
  • What would you like to see that you are not seeing?
  • What would you like to stop seeing?

Start your metrics review from those responses, and then set reminders for periodic metrics reviews. Do a review at least annually, if not quarterly. You’ll be much better equipped to answer questions and request investments.


Roy AtkinsonRoy Atkinson is HDI's senior writer/analyst, acting as in-house subject matter expert and chief writer for SupportWorld articles and white papers. In addition to being a member of the HDI International Certification Standards Committee and the HDI Desktop Support Advisory Board, Roy is a popular speaker at HDI conferences and is well known to HDI local chapter audiences. His background is in both service desk and desktop support as well as small-business consulting. Roy is highly rated on social media, especially on the topics of IT service management and customer service. He is a cohost of the very popular #custserv (customer service) chat on Twitter, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on December 9, 2014. He holds a master’s certificate in advanced management strategy from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and he is a certified HDI Support Center Manager. Follow him on Twitter @HDI_Analyst and @RoyAtkinson.


Tag(s): best practice, metrics and measurements, supportworld, support center, reporting-and-analytics

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