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Should Service Requests be Included in First Call Resolution metrics?

I recently had a question regarding the inclusion of Service Requests into metrics for First Call Resolution. As always, the answer is “it depends”!

ITIL now treats Service Requests and Incidents as two different processes – Service Request Fulfillment and Incident Management. Both are generally logged into the same tool and owned by the Service Desk. They are also measured by their own key performance indicators and metrics. ITIL does not consider first call resolution as a process metric - it is more of a service desk performance measurement.

First call resolution historically helps measure the handling of incidents by the Service Desk. The definition of an incident is usually pretty clear. However, since the definition of a service request can vary greatly from organization to organization, the value of including requests in incident metrics may also vary.

If your definition of a service request includes pre-authorization and funding, then the Service Desk’s ability to fulfill the request during the first call likely falls into the same percentage as incidents. However, if service requests may require an additional layer of management approval or the service desk does not have the skills and authority to fulfill the requests, then it is unfair to hold them to a first call resolution metric that is unachievable. What do you consider to be the “first call”?

I would also consider your assignment of urgency, impact and priority when deciding whether to include service requests in your statistics. Are you using the same standard for determining the priority of service requests and incidents? Should an analyst spend more call time fulfilling a service request in order to meet the target while a user with a potentially higher priority incident is in queue?

HDI’s recently published results of its Support Center Practice survey, including some statistics about first call resolution. While most respondents targeted over 70% first call resolution, only about 40% actually achieved that goal. Given that, I would recommend reviewing all of the criteria used for this important measurement.


mozrat said…
Good post.

I definitely agree that the processes are different, especially when you consider the outcomes

* Incident: Restoration of service
* Service Request: Fulfilment of a request, normally an addition of service.

I think the idea that a Service Request is a fulfilment of a standard change is close enough to be useful too.

I also agree that the same group of people should handle both processes (the Service desk) so it comes down to tooling to make sure that this is easy and intuitive for operators to use.

Another point would be prioritisation and SLAs. I wouldn't normally expect to manually prioritise a Service Request, we've advertised that fulfilling this type of request takes a certain amount of time, so it makes a priority kind of redundant.

Incident Management tends to base SLA on priorities, whereas the Request Fulfilment process is a lot more complicated. Requesting a new user account seems to be quite a quick task, whereas requesting a new laptop would involve hardware delivery times, engineering effort to build and configure etc.

Lastly - you didn't mention automation in your post. Incidents are hard to automate (the resolution). But Request Fulfilment is a great opportunity to break out the workflows and try and make the process repeatable.

Thanks Professor!

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