Performance Level Indicators

Performance (Service Level) Indicators:

As a Knowledge Manager assigned to a specific account or process in your organization, how will you know how that account is performing? Is it meeting all the parameters of the Service Level Agreement (SLA)? What are the Key Performance Indicators?

The following are the parameters that are key indicators of the performance of any account:

  • Ticket to Call ratio.
  • AHT (Average Handle Time) [AHT=Average Talk Time + Hold Time + After Call Work (ACW) ]
  • Referrals/On-sites
  • CSAT Score.

Ticket to Call ratio: All (or atleast, most) business organizations who care about best practices and quality are aligned to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), in which Incident Management says all incidents must be recorded and all details of the incident must be captured. (refer to the Incident Management section under ITIL)

Now, as a Knowledge Manager, you have to make sure that every time an employee answers the phone on behalf of your organization to speak to your organization’s customer:

  • The incident is recorded in the appropriate application/tool.
  • All details of the incident are captured.
  • A reference number/ticket number is provided to the caller – for later reference and records.

In other words – every call must have a corresponding ticket number.

If you see that the number of calls received in your account/process is more than the number of tickets created, it could be one of the following:

  • Somebody called your company for help and we do not have any record of why he/she called.
  • We do not know if the caller was able to get the right kind of help – in other words, assisted appropriately.
  • Since there is no ticket/reference number – we cannot pull it up for later reference – in case there is a need/complaint.

So again, the bottom line is – Every call must have a corresponding reference/ticket number.

AHT: This is an acronym for Average Handle Time which is the sum of Average Talk Time, Hold Time & After Call Work. If you notice that some calls were unusually long or short, you might want to investigate further into it. Why was it such a long call? Or, why was it such a short call. Generally, agents who do not hve sufficient process knowledge have this tendency to get stuck on long calls and they also end up putting the callers on very long holds.In a situation like this, the caller is bound to be frustrated and even if that agent finally resolves the problem, the caller would still be dissatisfied with the service. That’s because everybone expects the Help desk (or Service Desk) agent to know everything and want their issues to be resolved quickly. Hold time should be kept as short as possible.  In case there is a genuine problem, the agents should be educated to get back to the caller from time to time and keep him updated about the progress and reassure the caller that his or her issue will be resolved soon.

Another important component of AHT is ACW, which is the acronym for After Call Work. Agents should be educated to document whatever they did on the call in correct order. Some agents have this tendency to write notes which finally end up looking like a big essay. And we are not looking for essays! It would be better to document everything in bulleted form in real time and then close the notes when the call ends. Remember, time is money and multi-tasking is imperative.

FCF (also known as FCR): FCF stands for First Call Fix and means pretty much the same as FCR, which stands for First Call Resolution. It just means that when somebody calls a Service Desk for help, the caller’s problem should be fixed on the very first call itself, without being referred to some other department/team and without calling back the user at a later point of time after “researching the issue”.

A low score here just means that the Service Desk is not resolving as many issues as it needs to. (Of course, you might want to check what the SLA says).

If the right number of issues are not getting resolved at the Service Desk – it just means something is not right. Either the employee/analyst who answered the call did not put in enough effort to fix the issue or did not have the knowledge to fix it.

Either ways, it is your job as a Knowledge Manager to track down the reason(s) for this and provide the same to the Operations team (as mentioned in the previous section.)

Referrals/On-sites: If you notice that there is a high rate of referrals – which could be to the next level, such as the L2 team or to On-site engineers for desk-side support, it could be an indication that either your analysts are not able to solve those problems at their level or there is a lack of sufficient effort to do so. If it turns out that they are not able to resolve certain issues, then you, as a Knowledge Manager need to find out if there is enough and appropriate knowledge to resolve the issue at the service desk itself. If the knowledge exists, you have to start actively encouraging the analysts to use it. If it doesn’t exist, create the knowledge. And in both cases, monitor usage.

If the analysts seem to be referring tickets to L2 or On-site teams too frequently, you will need to bring this to the notice of the respective program manager or team manager so that corrective action can be taken.

CSAT Score: CSAT is the acronym for Customer Satisfaction. A high score just means that more customers are happy with the service they are getting from your organization. A low score just means that – well, you figure that out!

I have a strong belief that FCF scores are directly proportional to CSAT scores. It just means that if your Service Desk resolves more problems you are going to have more satisfied customers. More satisfied customers means a better reputation for your company and both put together (Satisfied customers + good reputation) just means more business for your organization.