How good is your Service Desk and what's it really costing you?

All too often opportunity costs are overlooked as businesses focus on the bottom line - especially in what are seen as cost centres such as the Service Desk. In just 20 questions, diagnose your organisation's Service Desk and assess its strengths and weaknesses. You'll then immediately be able to access a tailored report that ranks its performance across different areas and provides an indication of how your Service Desk overall performance is impacting on your business' productivity and competitive advantage.
How high is your First Time Fix rate (of tickets resolved from incoming calls)?
First Time Fix rate is not properly defined and we don't measure this.
40-50%. These are mainly password resets and other simple issues.
Over 70% and always improving. Includes remotely resolving complex issues.
To what extent does your Knowledge Base contribute to Service Desk Resolution?
There is no knowledge base. Anything that is done is on informal 'shout across the table' knowledge transfer.
It's basic. A .xls file stored somewhere no one can remember. Review process and integration with our toolset could be much better.
A great extent. It's fully integrated into the toolset and there are incentives and processes to ensure it remains comprehensive and useful.
How familiar are you with the top Service Desk ticket categories?
Oh dear! Top ticket categories are not measured so we actually have very little idea of what's driving the volume.
There is some awareness of what's driving demand. But something proactive still needs to be done with the information.
We measure this regularly. The information then influences and improves the whole IT service with root cause analysis.
How well do you understand ticket resolution times?
Not at all, to be honest. We don't measure this so it's impossible to know what our user's experience of response times are.
We have an average response time that the desk tends to stick to, but we don't actually have any formal SLA or measure in place.
We measure this regularly. It is a priority SLA as it drives user satisfaction. We apply continuous improvement initiatives to this.
How mature are your Incident Management processes?
Mature? Well...not very! The service desk is constantly fire fighting incidents and we don't have any formal processes in place, as such.
Middling. Incidents are not really managed in a consistent manner and tend to get pretty much forgotten about once they have been dealt with.
There is a robust ITIL-aligned IM process. This includes assigned responsibilities, root cause analysis, escalation and communication plans.
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How easy is it for users to contact the Service Desk?
They can call a number, but its not well advertised. Many avoid using email, because they don't trust that it will be read.
Users do access the portal, although many will use the phone. But they will often struggle to reach the desk in busy periods.
Desk contact info is well advertised. The portal is easy to use but the desk is also available 24/7 by phone, email and chat.
How well is Service Desk customer satisfaction measured?
Not formally. So ultimately we just go off the number of complaints we receive and anecdotal evidence.
Users have an opportunity to complete a customer satisfaction survey on a percentage of closed tickets.
In many ways. Focus groups, surveys and with a complaints procedure that includes responsive remediation.
How aligned is your Service Desk with the needs of the business?
There is really very little meaningful engagement between the desk and the business - the Service Desk is essentially siloed.
There is an overall awareness of business priorities and users, but nothing formal in place to reflect any adjustments needed.
The desk is intrinsically aligned to the organisation. SLAs are regularly reviewed and adjusted to drive the business forward.
How does your Service Desk rate for customer service?
Feedback isn't pretty. Our users generally report the desk is unresponsive, confusing and can sometimes actually be a bit rude.
Our users generally say that the desk is somewhat responsive but feel that, in most cases, it doesn't adequately own the issue.
Users feel their issues are understood, everything is being done to secure a resolution and they are being kept fully updated.
How comprehensive are the Service Desk SLAs?
What SLAs? We simply don't have any formal measures in place to track performance, and so no reports either. It's all a bit of a black hole.
We certainly track a number of metrics which are published in a monthly report. But it would be tough to draw anything meaningful from them.
They're formal, relevant and drive continuous improvement. Reports are easy accessed in real-time and meaningful to share with the business.
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To what extent is the Service Desk impacted by resource availability?
There is never really sufficient available resource with the right skillsets and experience to service our user demand.
There is usually competent resource available. But there's constant pressure to train and develop in order to hit SLAs.
Our desk is highly responsive and capable at just about any time of the day or night. It does actually exceed its SLAs.
How long does it take to induct a Service Desk Analyst on to live service?
Typically, they are thrown in at the deep-end, start straight away and are left to figure it out as they go along.
Between 1 and 3 months before they are fully independent. But even then they may not be adhering to all processes.
1 month, following a full induction programme. And they then receive on-going training, mentoring and monitoring.
To what extent do capacity issues contribute to Service Desk performance?
There's a struggle with meeting demand every day. Someone is always off sick or on holiday.
If more than one person is away at a time, it can have a noticeable impact on the Service.
Our desk has a robust capacity plan in place, meaning that supply always matches demand.
How effectively is Service Desk staff performance managed?
Nothing more than ensuring staff turn up and are at their desks during their contracted hours and are generally polite to users.
Our desk managers will meet up with their staff periodically, but it's too informal and we don't have any KPI measures in place.
We have regular 1:1s; a KPI and appraisal system; a culture of feedback, training and support and incentives for over-delivering.
How well does the Service Desk environment aid productivity?
Oh. I don't know. It's somewhere down in the basement, I think. And a bit of a mess, maybe?
It's pretty much the same as any other standard office set-up in our building. Just normal.
It's designed with optimal space, light and airflow, and has wallboards of real-time metrics.
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How well does the Service Desk understand the needs of different user-groups?
It doesn't. All users are seen as a single mass of problems and there's something of an 'us against them' mentality.
The Service Desk seems to have some idea of what each department does, but the service delivery is still homogenous.
They do understand the differing needs, so can contextualise issues and requests and formally accommodate each group.
How technology-enabled is your Service Desk?
It's not terribly sophisticated, for sure. There is a phone, a shared email address and an Excel spreadsheet, and that's about it. Pretty basic.
We have some kind of 'out-of-the-box' Service Desk toolset and ACD, but even these would definitely both benefit from being configured better.
The toolset is feature-rich and fully optimised. We have CTI, wallboards, remote support and chat tools and are always testing helpful new tech.
How much of the Service Desk agenda is to optimise user productivity?
Absolutely none. The Service Desk agenda is to fire-fight problems and issues and just keep the ship from sinking.
The desk does periodically broadcast general Top Tips, How To's, and so on. But really most of the work is reactive.
The desk ethos is to proactively approach users with training, tools and time-saving ideas relevant to their role.
What proportion of your end-user support service is automated?
Automated? Absolutely zero proportion. For instance, there's nothing whatsoever set up to allow any kind of self-service resolution by users.
Automation is used for simple requests such as password resets and lockouts. Some self-service is available, but users seem reluctant to use this.
The desk is entirely focused on proactive tasks and managing incidents. All routine stuff is fulfilled by self-service and/or automated workflows.
How well does the Service Desk ensure information security?
I don't see that our desk has any role in, or is in any way actively engaged in, Information Security.
Essentially, security is covered briefly during induction and then once a year when audits take place.
The Service Desk is an integral part of the IS system and is fully ISO27001 aligned and GDPR compliant.
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Your Service Desk Rating is: Poor

Your Desk's ‘Poor’ overall Service Desk Maturity score may indicate that there are serious failings in your ability to identify, report, fix and measure the IT issues facing your staff and customers today. The ramifications may be quite serious - ranging from poor staff productivity to a growing sense of user dissatisfaction and risk to reputation for your organisation. If you're not already experiencing a decline in sales and customer retention or stresses upon your cost base, then these may well be on the horizon.

Your Service Desk Rating is: Tolerable

Your Desk's 'Tolerable' overall Service Desk Maturity score may indicate inefficiencies in your ability to identify, report, fix and measure the IT issues facing your staff and customers today. Whilst you're clearly ticking some of the right boxes, you should be on the lookout for issues affecting your business in the near future. We suggest closely monitoring staff productivity and customer satisfaction levels. Failing to address the weaknesses in your Service Desk function could lead to a decline in sales and customer retention, or stresses upon your cost base and profitability.

Your Service Desk Rating is: Outstanding

Your Desk's 'Outstanding' Service Desk Maturity score confirms you're doing many of the things required of a well-appointed and efficient operation. You are likely to be able to receive and process issues to resolution swiftly and with consistency, with the knock-on effect of positively fuelling the productivity of your organisation and aiding it in maintaining solid levels of customer satisfaction. No service is ever perfect, however. There may still be further efficiencies you can identify which could maximise the performance, capacity, innovation and alignment of your Service Desk function.

Download your full report

Our report, tailored to your results, will give you a full breakdown of your Service Desk score, focusing on four key areas of Service Desk Optimisation: Performance, Business Alignment, Capacity and Innovation. You'll receive a rank against each area and be able to access top tips to Boost your Service Desk performance.
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