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15 ITSM ITIL Metrics for Tracking Incident and Service Management Success

This metrics list compiles some of the top metrics for service desk teams. Focus on the metrics that can help you achieve your most important business objectives, whether you’re concentrating on customer satisfaction or better business continuity — or both.

1. Incident Response Time

This is simply the number of minutes/hours/days that pass between when an incident is initially reported and its successful resolution. Fast responses with low reopen rates are key indicators of effective customer service.

2. First-Touch Resolution Rate

First-touch resolution rate is the percentage of incidents resolved the first time, with no repeat calls. High first-time resolution correlates with greater customer satisfaction and is a good sign of incident management maturity.

3. SLA Compliance Ratio

This ratio is the number of resolutions that fulfilled service level agreement (SLA) guidelines related to response time, workflow prioritization, cost and other metrics. A high SLA compliance ratio helps ensure obligations are met without unnecessary loss of productivity or even revenue opportunities.

4. Cost per Ticket

This metric is calculated by totaling the amount of money spent to resolve each reported incident. Simply add up the total budget for staff and technology to operate the service desk, and divide by that number of tickets resolved. This helps you identify more efficient problem-solving methods, and it’s one of the most straightforward financial performance metrics.

5. Number of Active Tickets

The number of active tickets is defined as the current number of reported incidents that have yet to be resolved. Keeping this number low ensures you’re not overwhelmed by ticket creep or rising customer dissatisfaction if your tickets back up.

6. Recategorized Incidents

Recategorized incidents are defined as the number of incidents misdiagnosed at creation that had to be placed into other categories. These misdiagnosed incidents can be created by automated software tools or front-line service desk agents. Improve this metric by cleaning up your categories and subcategories to ensure accurate data collection up front.

7. Reopen Rate

The percentage of tickets that require revisiting after initially being marked as resolved are defined as reopen rates. High reopen rates can signal training opportunities for technicians, or that deeper problems with hardware or applications exist.

8. Incidents per Department

Incidents per department is the total number of incidents initiated by each department within your organization. This metric indicates which departments have the highest demand for services, and identifies service gaps in order to allocate agents appropriately.

9. Incidents by Type

This metric represents the number of incidents categorized by the affected device or application. By identifying the most troublesome devices and software, you can partner with each vendor as needed or consider other alternatives. This allows you to allocate your agents based on their skill sets to make decisions about training. Encouraging employees to submit requests via the service portal can help facilitate more accurate data collection when it comes to categories and subcategories, which makes this metric even more beneficial.

10. Incidents not Initiated via Self-Service

It’s also important to keep track of the number of tickets opened via email, by phone, walk-up, or any other request type bypassing a self-service portal. When separated by incident type, agent or requestor, this metric can reveal inefficiencies and opportunities to improve your knowledge base.

11. Incidents With Associated Problems

Tracking the number of incidents associated with known problems can help you prioritize major repairs, updates or capex decisions based on the total impact of each problem. With smart technology like artificial intelligence, modern service desk solutions can make it even easier to identify related incidents indicative of problems.

12. Escalated Incidents

Escalated incidents are the total number of incidents that had to be resolved by Level 2 or 3 team members. An increase could suggest skills gaps for front line team members. This may also indicate a need to increase the depth of your service catalog by creating workflows for those types of complex requests.

13. Incidents Resolved Remotely

Incidents resolved remotely is tracked by calculating the number of incidents resolved without dispatching a technician to the affected hardware. This metric can reveal possible limitations in remote access tools and workflows.

14. Incidents With No Known Resolution

Reporting on the number of tickets that couldn’t be resolved with known interventions is one of the more critical metrics to track. This can reveal agent skills gaps or holes in your knowledge management system.

15. Ticket Volume

Ticket volume represents the total number of tickets at any given time or over any given time period. Ticket volume can help identify trends to help predict what may be driving higher or lower ticket volumes. With this data you can schedule agents accordingly, taking into consideration high-volume time periods.

Bonus Metric: Customer Satisfaction

If your service desk solution provides automated customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, take time to monitor these results to see how you’re doing. Since happy, productive employees is generally your ultimate goal, CSAT may be the most important ITSM ITIL metric of all.

This post was originally published on July 11, 2017 and updated on May 9, 2019 to reflect current ITSM best practices. By Danielle Livy

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