“Cost per ticket” may be the supposed reigning champ of service desk metrics but relying on a single metric alone isn’t enough. In addition, “cost per ticket” doesn’t reveal the entire truth about the real cost per service desk ticket. Even worse: most service teams don’t even know the cost per ticket for their business.
What is Cost Per Ticket?
From a quantitative perspective, cost per ticket is quite simple to calculate: the total monthly operating expense of your service desk divided by the number of tickets logged that month. Businesses as a whole and especially service desk support managers should know the cost per ticket. Why? Because it is one of the most valuable sources of information regarding the performance of your ITSM team. But also, it is easy to quantify compared to customer satisfaction, which is the other very important metric for service desk teams.
If your team is tracking customer satisfaction (which they should be), you can compare and contrast the cost per ticket to learn valuable insights about your ITSM team’s performance.
- High CPT, High Satisfaction: While the cost per ticket may be high, customer satisfaction is also high. Support Managers can determine if it makes sense to try and lower the CPT or focus on keeping satisfaction high.
- High CPT, Low/Average Satisfaction: This would be a situation that is ripe for improvement. Having this conclusion based on the data collected, Support Managers would want to focus on strategies to increase satisfaction while also lowering the CPT over the long-term.
- Low CPT, High Satisfaction: This is a great result! With costs low and customer satisfaction high, future strategies should continue to improve satisfaction without generating substantially higher costs.
Determining Cost Per Ticket
According to this study by Zendesk the average internal service desk receives 492 tickets per month with an average response time of 24.2 hours. That’s a lot of tickets! Ticket volume and completion speed are the two barriers that many businesses run into in keeping their ITSM teams agile and running smoothly.
Knowing the cost per ticket can help you unlock the balance between satisfaction and costs for your ITSM team. However, it isn’t always easy to have the necessary number to calculate Cost per Ticket. Smaller teams or teams that haven’t tracked this information before may struggle to come up with the numbers.
Here’s the data you’ll find necessary to best calculate cost per ticket:
- The cost for the entire service team’s salaries and benefits (including any interns and part-time personnel)
- Technology costs, from hardware to software
- Utilities and facilities
- Any other monthly costs, such as travel, training, and supplies
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary data in one place, you’re finally able to calculate cost per ticket. Remember, it is the monthly operating costs divided by the number of tickets logged each month. For more specific data, you’ll want to run this cost analysis each month, to track historical trends. You can also do an average for the entire year, or per quarter, depending on what makes for your team.
Cost Per Ticket Variables
It’s obvious that the number of people you have on your team and what you pay them will impact your cost per ticket. But what else impacts CPT? There are a surprising number of factors that can raise and lower this value:
- The number of client facing agents: If you have ten people on your ITSM team, but only six of them are client facing, your team will complete fewer tickets than a team of ten with eight agents completing service requests.
- Absenteeism: What about if that team of ten with eight client facing agents has a high rate of turnover? Well, now those eight customer service agents may be less productive than the team of six agents, if management is constantly having to rehire and train new employees. Turnover and absenteeism will affect your CPT, and eventually, your bottom line.
- Ticket completion time: Essentially, how effective is your ITSM team at completing tickets quickly and without unnecessary escalation? Faster ticket completion time means more tickets can be completed per month, lowering your CPT.
Find the balance between the factors that influence CPT and customer satisfaction is a difficult task. Support managers who are struggling to find that state of equilibrium will need to continue trying new things. Affecting the variables may lead to higher satisfaction and a lower cost per ticket.
What is the Real Cost?
In the past, it was more common to look at the cut and dry dollar amount associated with the cost per ticket. That mindset led to a decrease in spending on personnel and technology. While cutting costs in the short-term achieved the goal, in the long-term, having fewer customer service reps led to decreased customer satisfaction.
More and more support teams are taking the customer’s experience and satisfaction into account when it comes to determining the quality of the support provided. Having the lowest bottom line isn’t the only indicator of success anymore. In fact, striving for the highest customer satisfaction is gaining traction as the metric of choice.
But that doesn’t mean that cost per ticket no longer has any value. It’s the tricky balance between satisfaction and cost. Support Managers and businesses need to consider that balance when allocating resources for ITSM teams.
Are you using Salesforce and BMC Remedyforce to manage your service desk requests, but aren’t sure if your system is fully optimized? Or maybe you’re looking for a better solution to handling service requests than doing it yourself. In either case, Oceanforce Solutions is here to help! Whether you need a Salesforce Health Check or are looking to outsource on-demand support our experts are happy to walk you through it.