78% of service desks in the dark over call handling costs

78 per cent of IT service desks are in the dark about how much each call they are handling actually costs, research from Pink Elephant and The Service Desk Institute (SDI) has revealed.

The report, which was created from the responses sent to 10,000 IT service management (ITSM) professionals, has also shown that 92 per cent of service desks do not even measure the cost of calls, transferred to second line support.

Marcus Harris, CEO of Pink Elephant, says, “Our research shows that the majority of service desks have no idea how much each call actually costs. I find it astounding that 92 per cent of respondents don’t measure the cost per second line call resolutions, which may be significantly higher due to the additional and more costly expertise involved in finding solutions. Our experience has shown that the cost goes up by a factor of at least three, should the call get passed to second line support.

“It is essential that service desks get a firm handle on their costs, measuring cost per call is vital in order to justify their value but also to demonstrate improvements in efficiency. Managed service providers and outsourcers will know exactly how much their cost per call is, as this is how they attract and win business, so for service desks to operate cost effectively they must do the same.”

Tessa Troubridge, Managing Director at SDI, says, “Based upon these results, we would advise businesses to re-assess their approach to call handling. Measuring both first and second line resolution is essential as this will demonstrate the true cost of managing and escalating calls, enabling service desks to produce accurate financial information which will prove invaluable for future planning, investment and development.”

Marcus Harris, CEO of Pink Elephant, summarises, “When service desks know the true cost of call handling it will be easier to justify additional first line training. This may enable analysts to handle calls that would previously have been escalated and undoubtedly save organisations both time and money in the long-term.”

The report produced by SDI and Pink Elephant asked key questions about the revitalisation of the service desk and was created from the responses sent to 10,000 ITSM professionals during March 2012. Their open and insightful responses enabled the teams to identify the key areas where service desks are focusing their improvement efforts.

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