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Customer Service Root Cause Analysis Report

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Evaluating root cause analysis

Root Cause Analysis Reports, like other 'deliverables' can vary in quality. Each stakeholder can have their own qualitative and quantitative acceptance criteria. There are some general possibilities for evaluating root cause analysis outputs.

First: Is it readable? If it is readable it will be grammatically correct, the sentences will make sense, it will be free of internal inconsistencies, terms will be defined, it will contain appropriate graphics, and the like.

Second: Does it contain a complete set of all of the causal relationships? If it did contain a "complete set of all of the causal relationships" one could (at least): 1. Trace the causal relationships from the harmful outcomes to the deepest conditions, behaviors, actions, and inactions. 2. Show that the important attributes of the harmful outcomes were completely explained by the deepest conditions, behaviors, actions, and inactions.

 

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IT Service Desk Root Cause Analysis Report

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Root cause analysis is so important because it will help you lower call volume. Lower call volume will dramatically increase customer satisfaction and lower your costs. This is a report for a IT help Desk.

When you have defined Root Cause codes and applied these to each closed service request, then the Root Cause customer service report can show you what is causing your customers to contact the Customer Service. When used as part of a cost containment/case reduction strategy, this customer service report will show you what problem to address first. After the systemic process corrections have been made, this customer service report will show how effective your corrective actions have been.

Customer Service Best Practice: Perform Root Cause Analysis everyday and determine with religious zeal why problems occur.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

In one second and with one click, can every Agent select a mandatory Root Cause field from a list of highly relevant Root Cause categories before a Service request is closed?

In ten seconds or less, can every Agent enter a required problem resolution before a service request is closed?

In ten seconds or less, can you determine which Agents are not consistently documenting service requests with meaningful problem resolutions?

In ten seconds or less, can you perform Root Cause Analysis at the end of each day? In ten seconds or less, can you send this Root Cause Analysis to three other people?

Can you identify at least three actions that you can take tomorrow to help reduce call volume? Bonus points if you can find nine actions to help reduce call volume the next day and delegate three actions to two other people who will take ownership.

In thirty seconds or less, can every Agent tell you the difference between a Root Cause and the associated problem description, problem category and problem resolution?

 

General principles of root cause analysis

  1. The primary aim of RCA is to identify the factors that resulted in the nature, the magnitude, the location, and the timing of the harmful outcomes (consequences) of one or more past events in order to identify what behaviors, actions, inactions, or conditions need to be changed to prevent recurrence of similar harmful outcomes and to identify the lessons to be learned to promote the achievement of better consequences. ("Success" is defined as the near-certain prevention of recurrence.)
  2. To be effective, RCA must be performed systematically, usually as part of an investigation, with conclusions and root causes identified backed up by documented evidence. Usually a team effort is required.
  3. There may be more than one root cause for an event or a problem, the difficult part is demonstrating the persistence and sustaining the effort required to develop them.
  4. The purpose of identifying all solutions to a problem is to prevent recurrence at lowest cost in the simplest way. If there are alternatives that are equally effective, then the simplest or lowest cost approach is preferred.
  5. Root causes identified depend on the way in which the problem or event is defined. Effective problem statements and event descriptions (as failures, for example) are helpful, or even required.
  6. To be effective, the analysis should establish a sequence of events or timeline to understand the relationships between contributory (causal) factors, root cause(s) and the defined problem or event to prevent in the future.
  7. Root cause analysis can help to transform a reactive culture (that reacts to problems) into a forward-looking culture that solves problems before they occur or escalate. More importantly, it reduces the frequency of problems occurring over time within the environment where the RCA process is used.
  8. RCA is a threat to many cultures and environments. Threats to cultures often meet with resistance. There may be other forms of management support required to achieve RCA effectiveness and success.

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First Contact Resolution (FCR) Trends Report

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Study the FCR by category to help give you insight to whether new knowledge articles could be useful on specific topics. This will also point you to agent training issues.

Ultimately, customers are more concerned with issue resolution than contact resolution—the call is just the means to the end, hopefully. Recognizing this, customer surveying should be geared to the type of issue that was reported. For instance, if it was a billing concern, it makes the most sense to contact the customer for resolution feedback after they have received the next bill rather than 2 days after they called the contact center. They may think their issue has been resolved but don't really know for sure until they see the correction on the next bill. An after-contact follow-up surveying approach that is geared to check back with the customer after a milestone has been accomplished probably makes the most sense for issues that take some time to resolve. Post-call surveys can easily be deployed to tackle one-and-done calls, to ensure that your agents are handling them effectively and to the satisfaction of callers.

A multi-source FCR measurement approach is best. Because it can be challenging and costly to measure first contact resolution, a multi-measure approach is more flexible. For instance, customer satisfaction surveys can be used to determine overall FCR performance, by contact type, while call quality monitoring results and post-call surveys can deliver agent-level FCR performance and at the same time, point out developmental improvement opportunities. Internal call statistics can be used to calculate overall center-level repeat-call performance, and if your system permits, agent and team level repeat-call performance. Try a set of measures to gather as much information as possible about your customer service response.

Once you have a good idea of your FCR performance, you can drill down to identify the call types that are not being resolved consistently in one contact. Then decide if it's even possible or desirable to resolve these types of calls or contacts in one call. If so, root cause analysis and process streamlining, automation, or more self-service options will boost your first call resolution performance, reduce repeat calls and rework, and ultimately reduce operating costs.

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IT Help Desk Metrics - First Contact Resolution Report

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This is a trend customer service report showing the percentage of total service requests resolved by the Customer Service team over time. With this trend report, you are able to see your progress toward your goals.

Customer feedback surveys also have the potential to find out whether issues are ultimately resolved to the customers' satisfaction. Internal measurement can only assume, by the lack of a repeat contact, that the issue was resolved. You really don't know for sure if it was resolved or if the customer just gave up, unless you ask the customer. And the timing of when you do ask the customer is important too—has everything happened that needed to happen to resolve the problem?

Internal FCR metrics are necessary for root cause analysis and process streamlining. Call quality FCR determinations and FCR call stats are great for identifying training and coaching needs, and process improvement opportunities. Most CRM systems facilitate the tracking of customer contact. That is after all the goal of a customer relationship management system—to know everything possible about customers and their interaction with the company. Other customer support systems may not be structured to so easily track and measure contacts and resolution.

Agent logging can also gather FCR performance by contact type, however it's really not appropriate for measuring individual agent performance due to the built in bias of agents determining whether the contacts they handled were resolved or not. If you do use agent-driven measurement, audit the results periodically and/or use it in combination with other measures, such as a customer satisfaction measure of FCR and a call quality monitoring measure of FCR.

Repeat-call calculations, agent logging and tick sheets, and call quality-monitoring determinations are all approximations of customer experience. Most companies have found that internal first contact resolution measures are overstated—the customer's view of first contact resolution is usually lower than an internal measurement. In other words, don't get too comfortable with your measurement of your performance, ask your customers too. If you're primarily relying on internal measures, use customer feedback periodically to calibrate your performance.

Keep in mind that internal metrics are more prone to manipulation and may be more self-serving, depending upon how the data is collected, the scope, the qualifying window, repeat-call calculation definition, and subjectivity of the determination. Internal metrics are also subject to data integrity issues due to the difficulty of collecting and manually categorizing the data.

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First Contact Resolution (FCR) By Agent Report

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How many of your customers' issues are resolved on the first contact? It sounds like it should be easy to measure, however many companies have found it difficult to define first contact resolution, much less measure it consistently. Tactics to measure first contact resolution vary greatly from company to company. Our survey confirms this. While some companies are measuring first contact resolution, many are not and would like to.

Customers expect to bring a problem or question to your attention and have it resolved in a timely manner. Not all inquiries can be resolved immediately or on the first contact. However, advances in technology, increasing employee empowerment, and scrutinizing evaluation will increase the number that can.

80% first contact resolution performance sounds good. Yet with an 80 percent first contact resolution, 20 percent of customers require multiple contacts with your company to achieve resolution. An 80 percent first contact resolution means your customers average 1.2 contacts to resolve a question or issue. The 20 percent repeat contacts represent increased call volume and field visits, inflated operating expenses, and most importantly, dissatisfied customers. Dissatisfied customers are more likely to defect and more likely to tell others about their experiences.

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a critical determinant of customer satisfaction, making FCR one of the more powerful customer care metrics. Improvement in FCR brings the best of both worlds—improvement in efficiency and effectiveness. You don't have to worry that you are sacrificing quality because you are reducing costs, or vice versa. When you improve FCR you're improving quality, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction, all at the same time.

Measuring First Contact Resolution is the first step towards improvement. Due to the nature of what is being measured—an outcome—it can be challenging. Our research identified four primary measures—three of which are internal approximations of First Contact Resolution, the fourth provides true customer feedback and perception. While each approach has its application, customer perception is king—the customer's evaluation is what matters most.

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Measuring IT Help Desk Escalations-Trends Report

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Escalations occur when a case is not handled within the times you set for response or resolution according to your Service Level Agreements. The goal is to minimize escalations. This is particularly important for high severity level service requests. This customer service report allows you to monitor individuals, service groups, or customer locations for escalation performance. This report can also help you to monitor all situations and intervene proactively to minimize escalations.

Escalations do occur for various reasons, but it is the trend over time that is more important to measure because it reflects underlying problems.

If the request requires advanced-level technical assistance, or technical assistance from another group to resolve the issue, the Help Desk Analyst will escalate the ticket to the Help Desk Supervisor or an advanced-level support team member. Help Desk Team Members are responsible for notifying the requestor when an issue has been escalated.

The Help Desk Supervisor or advanced-level support team member will determine if a resolution can be reached, or whether the ticket needs to be further escalated. If the issue can be resolved without further escalation, the Help Desk Supervisor will assign the ticket to a member of their team, noting the assignment (change of ownership) in the ticket. The Assignee will update the customer according to the response-time commitment grid until resolution can be achieved, resolve the matter, document the resolution, close the ticket, and notify the requestor of the resolution. If the issue cannot be resolved, the Help Desk Supervisor or an advanced-level support team member will update the tracking system with relevant comments, escalate the ticket to the proper support team, and notify the end-user that the issue has been escalated. The advanced-level support team will update the customer according to the response-time commitment grid until resolution can be achieved, resolve the matter, document the resolution, close the ticket, and notify the requestor of the resolution.

 

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IT Help Desk - Example Service Level Agreements & Report

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These are some examples of Service level Agreements:

  • Customer-based SLA: An agreement with an individual customer group, covering all the services they use. For example, an SLA between a supplier (IT service provider) and the finance department of a large organization for the services such as finance system, payroll system, billing system, procurement/purchase system, etc.
  • Service-based SLA: An agreement for all customers using the services being delivered by the service provider. For example:
    • A car service station offers a routine service to all the customers and offers certain maintenance as a part of offer with the universal charging.
    • A mobile service provider offers a routine service to all the customers and offers certain maintenance as a part of offer with the universal charging
    • An email system for the entire organization. There are chances of difficulties arising in this type of SLA as level of the services being offered may vary for different customers (for example, head office staff may use high-speed LAN connections while local offices may have to use a lower speed leased line).
  • Multilevel SLA: The SLA is split into the different levels, each addressing different set of customers for the same services, in the same SLA.
  • Corporate-level SLA: Covering all the generic service level management (often abbreviated as SLM) issues appropriate to every customer throughout the organization. These issues are likely to be less volatile and so updates (SLA reviews) are less frequently required.
  • Customer-level SLA: covering all SLM issues relevant to the particular customer group, regardless of the services being used.
  • Service-level SLA: covering all SLM issue relevant to the specific services, in relation to this specific customer group.

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IT Service Performance Metrics Reports

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This customer service report shows SLA compliance over a period of time. Managing trends toward a higher goal can dramatically increase customer satisfaction.

Service level agreements can contain numerous service performance metrics with corresponding service level objectives. A common case in IT service management is a call center or service desk. Metrics commonly agreed to in these cases include:

  • ABA (Abandonment Rate): Percentage of calls abandoned while waiting to be answered.
  • ASA (Average Speed to Answer): Average time (usually in seconds) it takes for a call to be answered by the service desk.
  • TSF (Time Service Factor): Percentage of calls answered within a definite timeframe, e.g., 80% in 20 seconds.
  • FCR (First-Call Resolution): Percentage of incoming calls that can be resolved without the use of a callback or without having the caller call back the helpdesk to finish resolving the case.
  • TAT (Turn-Around Time): Time taken to complete a certain task.

Uptime is also a common metric, often used for data services such as shared hosting, virtual private servers and dedicated servers. Common agreements include percentage of network uptime, power uptime, number of scheduled maintenance windows, etc.

 

Many SLAs track to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library specifications when applied to IT services.

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Help Desk Service Level Agreement Detail Report By User

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Drill down on the 239 tickets outside of the SLA.

Now review the detail to determine why these tickets are out of SLA. You can sort all headings to get see patterns and export to a PDF or CSV file and send to others as appropriate. Perhaps you can see if there is a common problems with a group of categories which is the "nature of request". On the right column, you can see the business days over/under SLA.

An important best practice is to never stop the SLA clock from ticking so that problems are not hidden. Giva has the ability to put a ticket on "hold" which is a type of designation whereby the amount of time the ticket was on "hold" is automatically calculated and booked into the ticket history as a note when the ticket is taken off "hold". So, if a tickets is out of SLA you can easily trace this back to a specific reason. Also, Administrators have the ability to back date the close of a ticket and a reason is required. There is also a report that shows tickets where the close was backdated.

 

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