The benefits of measuring IT service delivery are clear. If you resolve a customer IT problem at first contact, you are improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and improving user satisfaction all at the same time. On the other hand, if you don’t resolve the problem, it can impact productivity and cause ongoing frustration, often resulting in costly repeat helpdesk calls.
Here we look at two important IT KPI examples for measuring service delivery: Service Quality (SERVQUAL) and First Call Resolution (FCR). Feel free to amend and adapt these KPI examples as you wish to make them a better fit with your business.
Service Quality (SERVQUAL)
This IT KPI is designed to measure quality of service by comparing customers’ service expectations with actual service experience. It helps to answer the question: ‘To what extent are we delivering service quality to our customers?’
For the purposes of this indicator, service quality is defined using the acronym RATER:
- Reliability: Are your people able to perform the promised service dependably and accurately?
- Assurance: Do your people convey confidence and trust through their knowledge and courtesy?
- Tangibles: Do the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, communication materials and so on reassure your customers?
- Empathy: Do your people provide caring, individualised attention to customers?
- Responsiveness: Are your people willing to help and respond to your customers’ needs?
The authors of the methodology also identified five gaps that can result in a perceived drop in service by customers:
- Gap between management perception and consumer expectation: This gap arises when people inside the business don’t fully appreciate or understand what the customer actually wants. For example, you may believe that your customers want cheaper products but what they really want is access to a real person when they call your business.
- Gap between management perception and quality of service specification: This gap arises when management has not set an appropriate performance standard. Even if you know what your customers really want, you have to then set a benchmark for what constitutes quality service.
For example, your customers may tell you that they want to get through to that real person quickly. You need to define what quickly means (e.g. within five rings) so that the people delivering the service know what they are aiming at.
- Gap between service quality specification and service delivery: This gap arises when a shortfall exists between the performance standard and actual performance. For example, a gap would arise if your people were consistently answering calls later than five rings and were only able to resolve 10 per cent of the calls in the first conversation.
- Gap between service delivery and external communication: Marketing, advertising and what your people say to customers all have a profound effect on what they expect from your business. This gap arises when the promised level of service doesn’t materialize when it’s expected. For example, if an insurance company advertises that, in the case of a claim, their customers are assigned a personal claim handler and that doesn’t happen, then the customer has every right to be frustrated.
- Gap between expected service and experienced service: This gap arises when there is a difference between the expected service and the service experienced. Often this gap is caused by a combination of gap 1 and gap 4 and it often represents a breakdown in communication.
SERVQUAL is established using two questionnaires of 22 questions which measure expectation and perception of the service on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being strongly disagree and 7 being strongly agree). In addition, respondents rank the five dimensions of the RATER scale to identify relative importance.
This is achieved by allocating 100 points across the five dimensions. Finally, you calculate the gap score for each RATER dimension by subtracting the Expectation score from the Perception score. A negative gap score indicates that the actual service was less than what was expected. Obviously you are aiming for a neutral or positive gap score!
Example: ABC Bank is keen to see how their customers perceive their quality of service. First they have to establish what customers expect from a bank. This is achieved through 22 expectation statements which ask customers to rate their expectations on a scale of 1 to 7 around what an excellent bank would look like. Customers are asked to rate statements such as:
- Excellent banking companies will have modern-looking equipment.
- Employees at excellent banks will be neat in their appearance.
- When excellent banks promise to do something by a certain time, they do.
- When a customer has a problem, excellent banks will show a sincere interest in solving it.
- Excellent banks will perform the service right the first time.
The customers are then asked to rate statements on a scale of 1 to 7 regarding their perceptions of ABC bank. The statements may include:
- The bank has modern looking equipment.
- The bank’s reception desk employees are neatly dressed.
- When the bank promises to do something by a certain time, it does so.
- When you have a problem, the bank shows a sincere interest in solving it.
- The bank performs the service right the first time.
First Call Resolution (FCR)
This IT KPI helps to answer the question: ‘How effectively are we resolving our customer queries at first contact?’ There are different ways to collect the necessary data in order to measure FCR. The easiest option is by comparing the number of IT calls (or emails) with the number of cases resolved at first contact. This data can normally be collected from the agent logs – where IT operators detail whether calls have been resolved or escalated.
FCR call statistics are calculated as follows:
Total number of calls resolved at first call/Total number of calls × 100
Example: Your IT help desk has logged the following statistics over two months:
Month 1: 4,500 calls, 3,890 resolved at first call
Month 2: 5,400 calls, 5,000 resolved at first call
Based on these statistics the FCR for month 1 would be 86.44 per cent (3890/4500 × 100). For month 2 it would be 92.59 per cent (5000/5400 × 100).
There is a danger that some companies rely too heavily on FCR at the expense of other important issues. For example, if the user manual that accompanies a new product is not clear enough you may get more calls than usual. However, the easiest way to solve this is to get to the root of the issue and improve the clarity of the user manual.
If you would like to see more examples of IT KPIs or metrics in other key business areas, why not browse our KPI library for more inspirations. Completely free to use, the library is designed to help you choose the right measures for you and your company.
As with any KPI examples, it is important to customise the key performance indicator to your business, as well as develop your own unique KPIs that are tied to your strategy.