Data Driven Help Desk Profitability and Customer Experience

With the right tools and knowledge, any MSP can effectively drive Help Desk Performance, and thus customer experience as well as the golden goose – Profitability! By monitoring key metrics you will be able to confident reduce costs through resource burden rate analysis and achieve ever increasing technical efficiency.

To get started it is first important to identify the relevant data that needs to be tracked. For the purposes of this exercise we fill focus on financial and customer experience related data as it relates to Help Desk performance.

When it comes to finance, the biggest mistake most Managed Service Providers make in this area is consolidating revenue into one lumped category. Doing so makes it difficult to determine true profitability of individual revenue streams and even harder to drill down to a technicians profitability ratio. Also, when all of this data is grouped together, there is no way to pinpoint areas that need improvement in the short and long term.


As for customer experience, most MSPs really emphasize that their services are 24/7 and truly unlimited. While these are big claims – delivering these two functions are a complex ball game that require close attention to key data. Failure to address things like ‘Average Handle Times’, ‘Speed to greet’, ‘First call close ratio’ and ‘Remote to On Site Escalations’ can crush the experience your users are subjected to.

Deceiving Data

When looking at your company’s total revenue it may look like you are meeting your high level financial goals, but this can be dangerously deceiving. When you start to break the data down and look at each contributing technician (your resources) or clients individually, it will be easier to pin point where your true profitably lies and identify cash drains!

Similarly, when it comes to customer experience – look solely at the number of tickets that come vs. the number of tickets that are closed, and maybe some high level issue types; skips over the essence of what you are actually delivering.

Key Help Desk Success Metrics

When it comes to help desk – we must live and die by the following data points:

  1. Utilization of Help Desk Services: This needs to be analyzed on a client by client basis to determine who is consuming the bulk of your technician’s time. A good industry average per client site is a 30 to 40% utilization of help desk services – that is to say if a client has 100 users and your team is fielding 30 to 40 user (not RMM alert) driven interactions per month you should be able to profitably serve this client. If it is higher – more automation and proactive device management needs to be explored.
  2. Average handle time per interaction: If calls are taking hours more needs to be on the automation side of things to drop this down
  3. Speed to greet: While this is more of a quality issue, if your customers are waiting in long queues – the chances of them perceiving value of your services is greatly diminished
  4. First call close ratio: If calls are taking 3 and 4 interactions (remote or onsite) to complete you need to take a serious look at what each of these calls is costing you to determine if things like swapping hardware, or performing user training session will be cheaper alternatives to avoid future issues
  5. Remote to On Site Escalation: Every MSP business treats this differently. Remote calls might be considered level 1 to level 2 and on site level 3 – but the bottom line is that the majority of user issues require a truck to be rolled, something has to change!

Unlimited Support is Great, but…

While advertising unlimited support makes for an easier to digest service offering – and thus a considerably simpler sales process, usage metrics like the above need to be closely monitored to ensure client by client profitability.