What Metric is the Most Important in IT Support and Service?

HDI thought leaders weigh in on whether to focus on one metric or a composite of several. Here are their arguments.

Each IT service and support team has a metric that they tend to lean on for guidance. We recently asked our HDI thought leaders and featured contributors which metric they love, and why. Here’s what they said.

Roy Atkinson, CEO and Principal Advisor of Clifton Butterfield, LLC

Whether it’s old-fashioned customer satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter® Score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), or real-time feedback from modern analytics, and whether you are providing support for fellow employees of the same organization (internal support) or are supporting your company’s customers (external support), the impact on customers or end users is the most important thing you can track, in my opinion.

Service and support are intended to keep people working by supporting the services those customers or end-users consume and need. If those people don’t feel that you’ve got their backs and are doing a good job of supporting them, you’re not succeeding. All the other metrics you track should all flow from the overall positive or negative perception of you by those you support.

Dennis Gershowitz, Principal, DG Associates

The most important metric in any support industry is the Customer Effort Score. Customer Effort is complex, but by listening to the feedback from all available channels, we can learn the barriers to success and understand what the customer faces to achieve success with our organization.

Measuring this effort allows us to validate what works and where our priorities need to be for improvement. This measurement is a spot-on indicator of the effort the customer perceives in utilizing the service and support.

Phyllis Drucker, ITIL® 4 Managing Professional certified consultant and information leader, Cognizant’s Linium ServiceNow practice

There is not one most important metric. Placing that level of weight on a single measure will skew opinions as people will become focused on that one area. If one measure is desired, a composite measure is better.

For example, an organization can create a set of measures for a weighted index. For support I’d consider some of the following:

  • Average response time – 20% weight
  • % Resolved/Fulfilled within SLA -60% weight
  • Customer satisfaction for the contact – 20% weight

For operations I’d want to add in service availability and major incident restoration times.

Instead of just adopting these examples, the organization needs to define three to five measures based on their own critical success factors, determine each measure’s importance and create an index that’s meaningful to their objectives. This should be an annual exercise, as needs change.

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