What Should I Be Measuring From My Outsourced Team?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”– Peter Drucker. This quote certainly applies to outsourced services.

When you work with an outsourced partner, one of the major hurdles you have is to determine if that company is providing a consistent level of service. You must have a way to “measure” performance.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to have key performance indicators (KPI’s) in place that monitor daily progress and report this to your management team. Reviewing the KPI’s on a regular basis enables you to address small concerns before they become large and potentially expensive problems.

Some of the basic KPI’s to look at initially are call answer time, call hold time,and call abandonment rates.

Those KPI’s are straightforward and self-explanatory. When calls are answered promptly, with minimal hold times, your customers have a good experience. When paired with a fast first call resolution rate (see below) this can lead to higher customer satisfaction. Meaning abandonment rates should be minimal.

To understand how your outsourced partner is working, review the following four KPI’s. They have the ability to increase customer satisfaction dramatically.

  1. First call resolution rate (FCRR): This metric indicates how often a support ticket is resolved the first time the customer calls. If reducing costs are part of your long-term strategy for using an outsourced company, this is a critical KPI to look at. If you are seeing a trend of several repeat calls before the problem is resolved, this indicates that you may not have the right people in place, or they haven’t been trained as thoroughly as needed to resolve support tickets.
  2. Query age: This metric indicates how long a problem remains unsolved from the time it was first reported. While it’s not always possible to resolve a call on the first call, you want to see a pattern of the majority of support tickets being resolved quickly, not sitting in the queue.
  3. Call frequency: Are you seeing the same customer calling for assistance multiple times? This red flag indicates the answer to their problem is not yielding the results the customer expects. Repeat calls of this nature will cost your company money and may ultimately cost you a customer. Monitor this metric closely and make sure the outsourced team is knowledgeable and well trained on your systems.
  4. Number of escalations: Do you see a pattern of support tickets frequently being escalated to a higher tier support? If so, this may indicate a lack of training or that your outsourced partner does not have the experience needed to handle your company’s needs. Revisit your knowledge transfer; make sure you have done all you can to provide a comprehensive knowledge base; and have made yourself available for ongoing training opportunities.

By focusing on these four KPI’s, you’ll have a solid snapshot of how well your outsourced partner is working.

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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