“You can’t manage what you can’t measure”( R. Kaplan )

Every Service Manager knows that two fundamental reasons for measuring their service are:

  1. Managing the service: not only looking at operations but also understanding strengths and weaknesses of the organizational system.

  2. Continuous improvement: unless you measure the service, there are no objective data that you can use to understand how to act, much less how to communicate with collaborators or management.

Let’s take a closer look at this important issue in order to understand how to start measuring our Service Desk.


General Parameters

The general parameters for measuring a service are:

  • Efficiency: the relationship between resources used and activities carried out (low budget, many services).

  • Effectiveness: the achievement of objectives (ex. all requests completed).

  • Quality: the extent to which a service meets expectations compared to standard levels.

  • Satisfaction: how users evaluate the satisfaction of their expectations.


Start with Strategy: Make a Thoughtful Choice

Parameters mentioned above are not necessarily linked to each other.
There may be services that reach high standard levels, but do not meet the needs of particular customers (high quality but low customer satisfaction); or services that finish their activities within pre-established times, but waste an incredible number of resources (high efficiency, low efficiency).
Choices regarding which parameters to prefer have to be made for our Service, as well as they are done in corporate strategy.
At a strategic level, of course, it is advisable to opt for a good average level of all parameters, instead of excelling in one and neglecting the others.
Ultimately, it is better to manage fewer requests and guarantee costs and times, rather than managing everything immediately not meeting the budget.


KPI: Key Performance Indicators

Once the strategy has been defined, you need to identify the KPIs that will allow you to measure your service. The KPIs must be chosen based on your strategic prerogatives. I would like to recommend some indicators widely used by many organizations:

Quantitative Indicators:

  • Number of requests with high priority / urgency
  • Number of requests assigned per operator / work team
  • Number of requests per client company
  • Trend of requests over time (e.g. requests open / closed daily)

Time Indicators:

  • Average Resolution Time
  • Average Response Time
  • Average time between one request and another
  • Waiting time for a reply from the Supplier / Customer

Qualitative Indicators:

  • Number of requests closed on the first call
  • Number of requests incorrectly assigned (for example to an incorrect workgroup)
  • Percentage of reopening of closed requests
  • Categories or Products with the highest number of reports (obsolete or poor-quality products)

THE RIGHT MOVE: A service desk tool

So far, we have seen how measuring the service is the only way to manage and improve it.
Measuring is practically impossible without the use of an IT tool that categorizes and collects data automatically.
In the end, adopting a software for the complete management of the service allows you to have native analysis tools, pre-compiled or customizable reports and Business Intelligence to relate your service to other business units.

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