Technical Support KPI and the Proper Formulation of Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators, such as technical support KPI or sales KPI, are useful for strategic management because they allow the monitoring of various aspects of the organization.
KPIs are useful because they help managers to get a better idea of what exactly is happening. In a technical support company, for example, without making use of any key performance indicators, it would be difficult to monitor agent performance. Supervisors and managers would simply not have enough information to decide on a good course of action. The organization would stagnate or even backslide. All in all, smart, effective management requires the use of tools such as KPIs.
To illustrate the conceptualization and implementation of the KPI strategy, consider the particular example of a technical support company. Now, the use of key performance indicators is just a tool, and should not be the basis of the entire management strategy! Rather, the very first step in any good strategic management approach would be to formulate goals and objectives for the organization.
The most general of these would be the organizational vision, which is just a short statement of what the organization would like to eventually become. For instance, in the example, the vision might be An innovative, dynamic technical support firm providing timely and reliable aid to its continuously growing network of clients. Then comes the specification of this vision into the different departments and aspects of the organization. Management should be able to align these more specific objectives with the vision that they have formulated.
The formulation of KPIs ties in closely with the formulation of these objectives. Ideally, the KPIs selected should be able to monitor all of the important aspects regarding the achievement of these objectives. For instance, given the vision formulated by the hypothetical technical support firm above, some pertinent objectives for the support agents might be to deal with inquiries quickly and efficiently. A relevant key performance indicator in this case would then be average handling time, or the average time it takes for an agent to finish dealing with an inquiry. Another objective might be to raise the technical skill level of the agents. For this objective, relevant KPIs might be training hours per employee, training evaluation test scores, and so on.
Once the proper key performance indicators have been chosen, the problem then becomes keeping track of all of them. This is the reason why, usually, only the most relevant KPIs are chosen it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of an increasing number of KPIs. At some point, it could become more trouble than it is worth, especially if the KPIs were not well chosen.
The above examples of technical support KPI are just intended to give a glimpse of the utility of the KPI concept. With some good thinking, strategic management of any organization could become more effective by using key performance indicators.
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