Let’s Talk Support Tickets!

Whenever you hear discussions about support desks, the term “tickets” is going to come up. Terms like ticket volume, response time, first contact resolution rates, and support channel volume revolve around the world of support tickets.

Let’s break this down to explain the importance of each of these metrics.

It’s critical to understand how many tickets your support desk receives daily, weekly, and monthly. This is referred to as ticket volume. Also, pay attention to volume changes—is your support desk busier at 8:00 am, or does it pick up speed from 2:00 – 5:00 pm? 

Don’t forget about seasonal trends; do you see a spike in tickets around various holidays? Summer? Winter? Knowing these trends helps you staff appropriately, which leads to customer satisfaction. 

Working hand-in-hand with ticket volume, is support channel volume. This refers to the different ways a customer submits a support ticket, e.g., phone, chat, email, web form—and how many tickets are received through those channels. 

Next, look at overall response time. This shows how quickly your support team responds when a ticket is created. If a customer submits a ticket at 9:00 am, but doesn’t hear from your support desk until 3:00 pm, you have a big problem on your hands! 

It’s always better to respond immediately, even if the response is “this is a complicated issue, and it will take us some time to resolve it.” Customers are more loyal to a brand when they feel you care—and the best way to show you care is to respond promptly to any problem the customer is experiencing.

The next metric is first contact resolution rate. This refers to how many support tickets are resolved on the first contact between the customer and your support desk. If this metric is consistently high, your support desk is operating efficiently, and your customers are most likely very satisfied with the level of service they’re receiving.

However, not all tickets can be resolved on first contact. Complicated support issues take longer to resolve, and generally need to be escalated to a higher tier of support. By tracking your resolution time, you will be able to see any patterns of significant time delays and take steps to correct it.

The last metric is incoming tickets vs. number of tickets resolved.When these numbers are roughly equivalent, that shows your support desk is staying on top of the volume. A backlog is created when more tickets are submitted than resolved, resulting in irritable customers! 

Make sure your agents are equipped with top-notch training, a solid knowledge base, clear-cut documentation, and that you’re staffed appropriately for your ticket volume. Understanding the reasons behind these key performance indicators will help you create a top-notch support desk, eliminate backlogs, and make raving fans out of your customers!

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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