4 reasons you should outsource your Service Desk

Posted: 17 April 2018
Outsource Service Desk

In today’s technology driven economy, there is no doubt that IT plays a key role in your organisation’s growth and development. Once you reach a certain level of maturity, you must start to put a lot of thought into your technology and processes. 

Many senior IT leaders have outsourced their in-house Service Desk over to a qualified and experienced provider, but what indicators should you consider to determine if you should outsource?

1. Are you meeting average speed of answer KPIs?

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the total wait time that callers are in a queue, divided by the number of calls handled. Since the speed of an answer is directly related to end user satisfaction and the reduction of call drop outs, it is understood that a caller who has to wait for longer than one minute to reach a service desk officer is already dissatisfied with their experience regardless of the skill or proficiency of the Service Desk Analyst resolving the call.

Most effective service desk environments tend to use a standard KPI which is consistently used; “Answering the calls within 3 rings” or “ASA to be within 30 seconds”. An effective Service Desk should be fielding inbound calls within those metrics at least 80% of the time.

2. Are you achieving first contact resolution?

First Contact Resolution (FCR), also known as First Call Resolution, is self-explanatory and relates to a call being resolved by the Service Desk on the first interaction, without long wait times or follow up calls.

It’s counterproductive for an organisation to have multiple resources available 24x7 to take calls for support but not be able to resolve the issues in first call or quickly. 

The FCR directly relates to the ROI of the Service Desk as well as productivity of the whole organisation, so it’s important that the target FCR is as high as possible. Although the FCR depends on the technical service scope of the service desk, the general benchmark for a highly performing service desk is >70%.

3. What is your utilisation rate?

Although Utilisation Rate has a scientific definition and mathematical equation to calculate it, in simple terms, it is the indicator of how frequently your Service Desk is engaged.

As a general rule, a well-functioning Service Desk, will receive a higher number of tickets compared to a below average operation. Simply put, if the users feel that the Service Desk Analysts are quick, friendly and professional, they will be more willing to call for help. This means higher levels of engagement instead of trying to resolve the issues via different avenues like Google, calling the IT manager directly, etc. Self Service via an effective ITSM system like ServiceNow is a great way to improve user experience and satisfaction as well. 

There is no industry standard metric that can be associated with this KPI as the engagement depends on the depth of the role that the Service Desk plays in an organisation. In principle, engagement trends over time should give you good guidance on how effectively your organisation is leveraging the Service Desk function.

4. What is your net promotor score?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that can be used to gauge the loyalty of your customers. Although this is typically used to measure external customer loyalty, the same principle can be used to understand employees’ satisfaction.

If satisfaction with Service Desk is low, it can translate to lost productivity and disharmony within your organisation. An ideal way to improve and promote innovation via IT is to understand the users’ feedback of the support function, suggested avenues to improve followed by root cause analysis and follow up actions. This results in continual service improvement and innovation.

If your organisation Service Desk scores below +40 on a NPS scale (or similar customer satisfaction metric) or lacks a mature ITSM platform such as ServiceNow which helps to automatically generate and track end user satisfaction via surveys, you should consider implementing this. 

Key KPIs

It is common that lack of resources, unforeseen costs, acquisitions, growth, and limited budgets often drive IT leaders to seek an external partner like AC3 to offer “Service Desk as a Service”.

Remember the key KPIs to track your Service Desk’s success:

  • Average Speed to Answer should be low and downward trending.
  • First Call Resolution metric should be high and upward trending.
  • Utilisation Rate should be high and stable or upward trending.
  • Net Promotor Score should be high and upward trending.