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Pearls of Wisdom: HDI Research Brief Compilation 2013-2014

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metric more heavily than the other two resolution rates. The results imply that analysts in support organizations with a lower customer-to-analyst ratio are able to take the time to resolve problems on the first call. We know from other research that the ratios are lower for support centers that have fewer customers and for support centers set up to support VIPs. "First call resolution rate is the most misused and misrepresented metric in technical support, and if used incorrectly by managers to measure individual performance, it can drive the wrong behaviors," Custy explains. "Time to service restoration is what customers care about; if an analyst has to call them back, versus an extended call, they won't mind, as long as their issues are resolved in a timely manner. For organizations without knowledge management, first call, first contact, and first level resolution rate are only a measure of what analysts can remember, or 'what an analyst knows compared to the complexity of the work coming into the organization'. They're important to measure, but they should never be individual goals. They can be management goals, as managers are responsible for hiring and training, but when used as individual goals they drive the wrong behaviors." That being said, first call resolution rate continues to be one of the most misunderstood and misused metrics in the technical support and call center industries. Conclusion Resolution rates are percentages, based on the number of tickets reported and resolved within the metric's parameters (numerator) and the total number of tickets (denominator). If changes in the organization affect either of those two numbers, the resolution rate percentage will change. Any change within the organization—staffing, scheduling, new applications, changes in infrastructure, self-help implementation, training, knowledge sharing, or even a shift in goals (e.g., changing the goals for average speed to answer (ASA) and abandonment rate (ABD)—can impact first call, first contact, and first level resolution rates. "It's not that resolution rates aren't important," Custy says, "but they should be viewed as KPIs and leading indicators that can be used as measures for management instead of individual analyst goals." As the industry matures, and, in turn, educates its stakeholders, about the importance of revisiting traditional metrics and looking towards metrics for a new world of support, resolution rates continue to top the list in terms of overall popularity. Organizations aren't likely to stop measuring and tracking resolution rates anytime soon, and, as Custy states above, they're not actually bad measures. However, with increased access to data thanks to more advanced service management systems, it's time to start measuring metrics that give us a broader perspective on causes and effects of the ups and downs of resolution rates. The Ups and Downs of Resolution Rates Low (<300:1) Medium (300–599:1) High (≥600:1) Service Requests 71.8 67.7 67.2 Incidents 73.0 66.1 66.5 Combined 70.1 68.3 66.3 First Call Resolution by Staffing Ratio (Customers per Analyst) Cells are green if the data are >1% higher than the industry average, For all available HDI Research Briefs, visit Copyright © 2014 UBM LLC. All rights reserved. 27

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