% Resolved Level 1 Capable: A Critical Desktop Support Metric
% Resolved Level 1 Capable is a Desktop Support metric. It measures the percentage of tickets resolved by desktop support that could have been resolved by the level 1 service desk. This happens when the service desk dispatches or escalates a ticket to desktop support that could have been resolved by the service desk, or when a user bypasses the service desk altogether, and goes directly to desktop support for a resolution to their problem. Although the metric is tracked at desktop support, it has strong implications for both desktop support and the service desk.
Let’s say, for example, that a desktop support group handles an average of 1,000 tickets per month. Let’s further assume that 200 of these tickets could have been resolved by the service desk. The value for % Resolved Level 1 Capable would be 20% (200 tickets resolvable at level 1 ÷ 1,000 tickets resolved by desktop support).
Ideally, this metric should be as low as possible because it costs much more to resolve a ticket at the site of a user (desktop support) than it costs to resolve a ticket remotely (by the level 1 service desk). Indeed, “Get it Done at Level 1!” has become a common rallying cry for many support organizations who recognize that one way to minimize support costs is to resolve as many tickets remotely as possible – at the service desk.
% Resolved Level 1 Capable is typically tracked when a desktop support technician closes out a ticket. If the judgment of the technician is that the ticket could have been resolved by the service desk, they will check a box on the ticket indicating that the ticket was resolvable at Level 1. This method requires periodic audits to ensure that desktop support technicians are accurately reporting tickets that could have been resolved by the service desk. An audit can be performed by reviewing a representative sampling of tickets each month to determine if the tickets designated resolvable at level 1 could, in fact, have been resolved by the service desk. Likewise, tickets not designated as resolvable at level 1 are sampled to determine if tickets are routinely being missed that should have been designated as resolvable at level 1.
Why it’s Important
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for end user support includes the cost of support from all sources, including the service desk, desktop support, other groups or individuals in IT, and vendors. It is a well established fact that the cost of resolving a ticket at level 1 is lower than the cost of resolving a ticket at desktop support. Last year the cost per ticket at various levels of support were:
- Level 1 $22
- Desktop Support $64
- Level 2 IT $85
- Field Support $196
- Vendor Support $471
These figures represent fully loaded costs, including all personnel salaries and benefits, desktop technology and software licensing fees, telecom, facilities, travel, training, and office supplies. Furthermore, these costs are additive: if a user first contacts the service desk, and the service desk in turn opens a ticket and dispatches it to desktop support, the total cost of resolution is $22 for the service desk plus an additional $62 for desktop support, for a total of $84. The clear message here is that getting it done at level 1 is not just a catchy phrase: it can significantly reduce your support costs!
Every ticket resolved at desktop support that could have been resolved by the level 1 service desk represents a defect in the support organization. You can estimate the cost of these defects by multiplying the number of defective tickets by the cost of resolution at desktop support. Continuing with our example from above with 200 tickets that could have been resolved at level 1, and multiplying that by the $62 per desktop support ticket from Figure 1, we get an estimated defect cost of $12,400 per month. The cost of these escalation defects can really add up! So how do we minimize them?
Here are four suggestions for minimizing the % Resolved Level 1 Capable:
1. Begin tracking the metric at desktop support. You cannot control, let alone reduce the number of ticket defects until you begin tracking % Resolved Level 1 Capable.
2. Conduct root cause analysis on the tickets that are being escalated to desktop support that should have been resolved by the service desk. Are there common themes? Are they coming disproportionately from one or more agents? How many are the result of customers bypassing the service desk, and going directly to desktop support with their support requests?
3. Provide targeted training at level 1 to increase awareness of the importance of this metric, and to reduce the number of tickets dispatched to desktop support that should be resolved by the service desk.
4. Insist upon a strict Single Point of Contact (SPOC) support model, whereby all customer support requests go through the service desk. This will prevent “drive-bys”, which happen when desktop support technicians get pulled into an on-the-spot support request without a ticket first being logged and dispatched by the service desk. MetricNet’s Benchmarking Database shows that support organizations that follow a strict SPOC support model average 15.3% for % Resolved Level 1 Capable, while those that do not follow a strict SPOC model average 22.8%.
Benchmark Data for % Resolved Level 1 Capable
% Resolved Level 1 Capable ranges from a low of 4%, to a high of 37%, with an average value of 18.6%. That is, 18.6% of all tickets closed by desktop support could have, and should have been resolved by the service desk. This is a surprisingly large number, and indicates that most support organizations have ample opportunity to reduce their support costs by managing this metric more aggressively. To perform in the top quartile for this metric, your % Resolved Level 1 Capable should be less than 12.7%.
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