7 Service Desk KPIs That Will Transform Your Help Desk

An IT service desk (or help desk) provides end-user support and tech troubleshooting to your internal team. Implementing a help desk infrastructure in your organization can streamline your tech issue resolution process, improve your network management and keep your company devices running smoothly.

But, like any other internal function of your business, your team should track a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine the success, effectiveness and efficiency of your IT service desk.

Let’s extend this discussion a bit further. 

7 Help Desk KPIs to Track for Improvement

Tracking and improving the following service desk KPIs will help you pinpoint vulnerabilities and optimize your help desk procedures:

  1. Average issue handle time
  2. Help desk ROI
  3. Help desk support employees per end-users
  4. Mean time between failures (MTBF)
  5. Mean time to repair/recovery (MTTR)
  6. Recovery point objective (RPO)
  7. Recovery time objective (RTO)

1. Average Issue Handle Time

The average issue handle time describes how long—on average—it takes your help desk team to resolve IT issues once an end-user reports them. Decreasing the time it takes for your service desk team to resolve issues can:

  • Improve your return on investment (ROI)
  • Increase end-user satisfaction and productivity
  • Decrease redundancies to optimize your IT human resources investment

One of the most critical help desk KPIs, tracking average issue handle time can help you identify consistent issues across your service desk system. If your current handle times are on the higher end, consider the following solutions:

  • Improving and increasing help desk staff training
  • Writing scripts and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for issue resolution
  • Integrating multi-mode communication solutions (e.g., phone, chat and email support)

2. Help Desk ROI

Your return on investment (ROI) measures how much bang you get for your buck. Calculate your ROI by dividing the profits or benefits your help desk provides by the cost of maintaining it.

While you should strive for a positive ROI, an ROI that’s constantly improving is also an important long-term goal. But, improving your ROI is a nuanced proposition that could involve any of the following systemic modifications:

  • Creating more streamlined IT task resolution procedures
  • Determining each IT employee’s optimal skill set to assign appropriate tasks
  • Increasing visibility and access to your help desk to maximize internal use

3. Help Desk Support Employees Per End Users

Support employees per end-users is a help desk KPI that can significantly impact your system ROI. Finding the sweet spot of support employees per end-user can help you optimize your IT human resources investment, improve company-wide compliance with tech SOPs and ensure that all staff are taking advantage of help desk infrastructure. 

Depending on the current performance of your help desk, you should focus on one of two improvements:

  • Decreasing your help desk staff: If your current system is over-resourced, you could be investing more than you need to in your service desk system. Consider downsizing your department—even temporarily—to increase your ROI.
  • Increasing your end-user engagement:  If your business has recently adopted a help desk system, create an SOP and train your employees to consistently seek help there as the first line of defense. 

4. Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

System or functionality failures are part and parcel of any network. While you may not be able to predict IT issues, you can take steps to prevent them.

To increase the average time between failures, consider the following system-wide improvements:

  • Improving employee training to prevent operator errors
  • Streamlining your in-house hardware and software among all end-users
  • Creating a consistent procedure for software updates and hardware upgrades
  • Implementing system health initiatives (e.g., cybersecurity audits, backups and reboots)

Increasing your mean time between failures will free up time for your help desk staff to solve everyday issues and complete routine tasks.

5. Mean Time to Repair/Recovery (MTTR)

When you experience a system or function failure, the most important in-the-moment objective is to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Decreasing the average time it takes to resolve major, unpredicted issues will have the following results.

Increase Company-Wide Productivity 

When you decrease your system or function downtime, you can get employees back to work faster.

Reveal Inconsistencies or Vulnerabilities Within Your System  

If your IT team spends time fixing a repeated failure, you can decrease their repair time investment by modifying your system to prevent the same issues.

Optimize Your IT Staffing Efforts

If some help desk employees take more time to resolve major failures than others, it may be a sign that improved training or performance reviews are in order.

6. Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The recovery point objective (RPO) describes how much data—expressed in time—your business can afford to lose when a system or function fails. 

For instance, if your system is down for one hour, your business may have to:

  • Skip a regularly-scheduled cloud backup
  • Complete reporting or compliance tasks at a later time
  • Make up for lost transactions or operations to meet quotas

To optimize your help desk function, determine a threshold RPO that your business can live with before losing significant profits or incurring hefty costs or penalties.

7. Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

Your recovery time objective (RTO) is the length of time your company can wait while your IT department resolves system or function failures. 

But, instead of focusing on your ideal timeframe for issue resolution, determine and set an RTO that can help you optimize your recovery process. An accurate RTO will:

  • Give your help desk staff a deadline for resolution, which can improve their ability to redirect staff to system repair appropriately
  • Provide company-wide employees with a reasonable expectation of their required catch-up time after a system failure
  • Improve IT task prioritization during system emergencies

Partner with Helixstorm to Crush Your Service Desk KPIs

Improving your help desk KPIs will skyrocket your IT department’s effectiveness and efficiency, both of which can reduce costs and help keep your systems running smoothly.

In a world where tech functionality and solutions are constantly changing, building an effective IT team isn’t always simple. 

Helixstorm can help. By serving as an extension of your in-house team or assuming complete responsibility for your company’s IT needs, our experts can alleviate your everyday IT burdens to keep your system in tip-top shape. 

Let’s work together to transform your help desk.