I’ve written many blog posts for central London managed services provider, Plan-Net. The tone of voice is professional and designed to convey peerless expertise, while keeping the content accessible and engaging. Blog post on Level-0 Support for central London managed services provider, Plan-Net.
8 KPIs To Help You Understand Your Level 0 Support.
For both the Organisation, and hard pressed I&O leaders trying to deliver better End User support under ever tighter budgetary constraints, Level 0 self-service promises high valuable wins.
To begin with, there’s the promise that Service Desk overheads might be lowered. Then there’s the possibility that demand on overstretched Service Desk resources might be eased. There’s also the promise of improvements in end-user satisfaction, with staff empowered to find the resolution to issues, or requisition routine service catalogue items, quickly and easily for themselves.
The danger of judging Level 0 services with Level 1 KPIs.
Quantifying the success of Level 0 support portals, knowledge bases and other tools cannot be done using traditional Service Desk assessment measures.
Call volume and effort, traditional measures of Service Desk reporting, shed little light on the usage and efficacy of Level 0 resources, or on areas in which Level 0 might merit further investment.
Furthermore, where budgets are based on support agent staffing, metrics that show only reduced IT Service Desk transactions, without reporting an increase in Level 0 requests and resolutions, could actually endanger an organisation’s entire Support provision.
Plan-Net’s thinking on tracking Level 0 Support.
As an expert provider of End User Support services, Plan-Net puts great value on self-service support components. However, we believe that the key to gaining the user benefits and cost savings offered by Level 0 depends on obtaining data and reporting appropriate to the consumption and resolution rate of the service, as well as its impact on usage of the Level 1 Service Desk.
Here are 8 up-to-date KPIs (six relating to measuring Level 0 Support itself, plus two modifications to existing Level 1 Support KPIs) for understanding how your Level 0 self-support is performing. (These draw on an excellent paper, ‘8 KPIs That Demonstrate How Self-Service Initiatives Advance Your IT Service Desk’, published in March 2019 by Gartner.)
6 KPIs for measuring your Level 0 Self-Service Support
So let’s begin by looking at 6 KPIs which look directly at Level 0 metrics:
KPI 1. Measure your Total Cost per Contact.
If you’re tracking only the cost of calls to your Service Desk, you’re not working with complete data. An omni-channel service desk should track the total cost of Support staff, the IT Service Management tool and all self-service tools, so you can consider these alongside the volume of calls, emails and other support tickets.
As few support issues are resolved by a single point of contact, tracking total cost per contact lets you establish:
i) the actual cost of support where multiple channels are used to gain a resolution; For example, if your chatbot costs £3 per contact, and live chat £15 per contact, an issue resolved by chatbot alone saves you £12; but if live chat is still needed after the chatbot to achieve resolution, then the chatbot has pushed costs up by £3.
ii) the true total cost of providing support when Level 0 self-service is being offered; You’ll be able to see whether, across a period, support costs less, or actually costs more, as a result of your Level 0 tools.
In the end, you’ll want to see your Total Cost Per Contact going down, meaning that the availability of your self-service tools is improving support productivity, with savings being made as a result.
KPI 2. Measure your Level 0 Success Rate
Simply measuring how many issues access your self-service support portal without requiring subsequent assistance from Level 1 is not an adequate way to gauge the Success Rate you’re achieving at Level 0.
If Level 0 successfully deals with 100/100 requests, but is not used at all for 10,000 other requests it might have resolved, then the 100% success rate it indicates is being delivered to only 1% of issues. To establish your Level 0 Success Rate usefully, you need to look at self-service portal searches of your service request catalog and of your knowledge base.
Knowing how well your Level 0 provision enables products to be ordered from your service request catalog, as well as the percentage of service catalog requests being entered as free text in a ‘miscellaneous’ form and so requiring human processing, tells you how easy your catalog is to use, as well as how well its contents meet your users’ requirements.
Determining the percentage of times that a portal search takes a user in a single click (and then also in three clicks) to a knowledge base article that provides at least a partial solution to their issue lets you assess the quality of the content and search tools you are providing.
Ultimately, you will of course need to see your Level 0 Success Rate going up, showing that more users are turning to, and finding a solution from, your self-service portal or knowledge base.
KPI 3. Record Level 0 Failure Rate
This is not a measure of how frequently issues taken to Level 0 fail to provide the user with a solution. Rather, it’s a measure of the rate at which your Level 0 provision is failing to be used for issues which it would have been capable of resolving. Given that, according to Gartner, up to 75% of contacts to the IT Service Desk are for issues which could potentially be solved at Level 0, the significance of this metric is clear.
To work out at what rate your Level 0 is experiencing failure, you need to measure how many issues that could potentially be resolved at Level 0 are finding their way directly to Level 1. Doing this involves tagging and identifying tickets which should be Level 1 resolvable.
This will include:
• issues for which a solution is documented in a user-accessible knowledge base;
• issues which are repetitious and so for which a solution could be, but is not, included in a knowledge base; and
• issues whose contact category is tagged ‘automate’ in an eliminate, automate or leverage (EAL) analysis.
You’ll want to see your Level 0 Failure Rate falling, meaning that more of your users are finding support solutions via self -service.
KPI 4. Monitor Fulfilment Time
It is a critical criterion for self-service support that it should resolve issues for users faster than were they to seek help via phone or email. Unless it achieves this, it’s impossible to see why usage should increase.
With automation, many requests should be fulfilled within minutes. Regardless of whether your organisation has blocked email and phone service requests, or your system requires manager approval of automated updates or resets, for example, your Level 0 support is failing the business if overall fulfilment times (taking into account both process and portal design) are static or increasing.
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