Managed Services Metrics Service Managers Should Focus On

Your managed services helpdesk team is very busy. There are several service desk metrics that can help measure your performance. Here are some metrics that a service manager should be focusing on.

Simple Service Desk Metrics

Open vs Close

The easiest service desk metrics to focus on is the number of tickets open versus number of tickets closed. If there are 200 support tickets opened in a day you should be closing at least 200 tickets a day. This is a simple measure of your closure rate. If you aren’t closing more tickets than you’re closing, you will end up with a backlog. A backlog of tickets will lead to longer resolution time on tickets which will lead to unhappy clients and stressed out support staff.

Mature Service Desk Metrics

Service Level Agreements (SLA)

Once your service desk reaches a certain level of maturity and is able to close more tickets than are opened in a day, the team can move on to more advanced service metrics. Service level agreements (SLA) ensure that when a support ticket is opened, it is acknowledged, started, and resolved in a set period of time. An SLA will ensure that not only is the simple volume of tickets being managed, but the priority of the tickets is being managed as well. Since not all tickets carry the same urgency, it’s important to be able to juggle a little and close the high priority requests fast. I did a very detailed blog post previously about managing SLAs [here].

Performance Management (Advanced metrics)

Tickets Per Tech

Once the team metrics are in place, you can start to focus on individual contribution. How many tickets should the support techs be closing? This can vary a lot from person to person, but having an expectation of output from each team member can be invaluable. Tier 1 support staff, in general, should be able to close 10-20 tickets a day. Tier 2 slightly lower at 5-10 and Tier 3 maybe 5 a day. Whatever the number is, just simply having an agreement between the team member and the service manager is important. This allows for a measure of the output from each team member against a target. If there is a slip in actual output, the manager can work with the staff member to determine why. It can also allow the manager to increase the team performance by setting higher output targets with the team.

Client Satisfaction (CSAT)

One of the key risks to increasing a helpdesk staff members output is it can often lead to low-quality closes. In order to hit a certain number, the helpdesk staff will simply close tickets without checking with the user to ensure they are satisfied with the resolution. When you’re smaller you can review each ticket to ensure the staff is following the support policy and contacting the user to make sure they are satisfied, but this approach doesn’t scale well. Using customer satisfaction (CSAT) as a team metric as well as an individual metric is a great way to protect the clients from quick-closes. Having CSAT scoring available to measure individual technicians metric is really useful as well. If you’re using Connectwise or Autotask surveys you’re likely not getting the amount of feedback that makes this a useful metric. Instead, use SimpleSat. SimpleSat makes it crazy simple for the client to give you quick feedback on every ticket that gets worked on. Plus the data is collected in a beautiful dashboard for easy review or team and individual staff members.

Simplesat Connectwise Survey Dashboard

Simplesat Connectwise Survey Dashboard

So if you’re just getting started with MSP helpdesk metrics or you’re already a mature operator, make sure you are using CSAT to measure and manage your customers feedback about the quality of the service your team is delivering. Simplesat has a free 30-day trial to get you started and if you tell them that you heard about Simplesat from Evolved, they will give you 15% the posted website price.

 

Header image thanks to Infocash on Flickr.

Getting your techs to enter time

I’ve worked in IT for 20+ years. I’ve worked at large enterprise systems integrators, small IT support companies, and run my own consulting group. I’ve run teams of 5 and teams of 50. No matter the place, no matter who I talk to in the industry, one of the most common issues people struggle with is time management and timesheet entry.

What strategies have people found successful in getting people to enter their time be accountable to this responsibility? Also, how do you manage your workload so that you don’t feel overwhelmed?

Here are a few I've found successful.

1. Explain why it’s necessary

It’s amazing how much a little bit of education can change someone’s feeling about having to do something. When onboarding someone, explain to them, “We need you to enter your time. Without your time entry, we can’t create invoices for the clients, which means we don’t get paid. So it’s pretty important. This is why I’ll be persistent about you getting your time entered.” Even if you don’t need the time entry for invoices, just substitute the WHY on the time entry, explain how it fits in the company process. If people realize it’s not time entry for time entries sake they may put up less of a fight.

2. Make it easy

The more cumbersome the time entry is, the less likely people will be compliant with the process. This kind of true of anything, but if time entry is important to your business, you need to spend the time to remove the fat/overhead from the process.

3. Prioritization

One of the major reasons people get overwhelmed is a lack of focus. There is only one thing you can do at a time. (check the research multitasking doesn’t work) Focusing on what is important. Making small gains feeds momentum. Anytime someone showed up to my office overwhelmed I loved working with them to write out on the whiteboard all the things they felt they needed to do. We would discuss urgency and importance of each. Stack rank the top three things and send them on their way. “Focus on these three first. If you need more help come back and see me after.” Usually, they just needed perspective to break out of the overwhelmed state. They rarely came back soon for help with the next three things.

4. Train them

What makes humans amazing is our ability to contemplate and influence the future. We are terrible at influencing the past, but we sure do spend a lot of time on the past. Switch your thinking and focus on the future. Train yourself and your staff on how you want things to be done in the future, then give them feedback to ensure they follow their training. Forget about what people have or have not done. Focus on what you want them to do. Train them, support them, and coach them.

I’m passionate about helping MSP techs gets more done with less stress and a sense of greater control, so I built the MSP Productivity Accelerator Course. It teaches you techniques of the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and how to manage your workload in the Connectwise. I did this type of training in person a lot and people always found it helpful. If you want yourself and your team to be better at managing your time and staying on top of the work in your PSA check it out.