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PRACTICES&

SALARY REPORT
SUPPORT CENTER

The IT Service & Technical


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© 2012 Robert Half Technology. An Equal Opportunity Employer. 0912-4303
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About HDI
H
HDI is the professional association and certification
body for the technical service and support industry.
Facilitating collaboration and networking, HDI
hosts acclaimed conferences and events, produces
renowned publications and research, and certifies and
trains thousands of professionals each year. HDI also
connects solution providers with practitioners through
industry partnerships and marketing services.

Guided by an international panel of industry experts


and practitioners, HDI serves a community of over
120,000 technical service and support professionals
and is the premier resource for best practices and
emerging trends.
Table oF Contents
Welcome.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Most Requested Metrics..............................................................................................................................................................................................8
Support Center Job Titles and Definitions................................................................................................................................................ 9

Demographics: Who the Data Represent


Summary.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 11
About the Companies
Industry....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 12
About the Support Organizations
Number of support centers within the support organization................................................................................................................ 13
Location of support centers within the support organization............................................................................................................... 13
About the Support centers
Location of the support center’s customer base........................................................................................................................................ 13
Type of support provided by the support center....................................................................................................................................... 13
Number of end users supported by the support center.......................................................................................................................... 13
Size of support center’s staff..............................................................................................................................................................................14
Number of languages in which the support center provides support................................................................................................14
Languages in which the support center provides support.....................................................................................................................14
The support center provides desktop support in addition to frontline support............................................................................ 15
The support center is referred to as................................................................................................................................................................. 15
Incident Management
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 17
Percentage of support centers using the following channels to create tickets........................................................................................ 18
Percent of support centers that measure tickets created through the following channels.................................................................19
Percentage of tickets created through each channel.........................................................................................................................................20
Median fully-burdened cost for the support center, per ticket resolved for each channel (US data only)...................................20
Support centers are using the following incident management systems.................................................................................................... 21
Percentage of support centers that have seen tickets increase..................................................................................................................... 22
Percentage of support centers that have seen tickets decrease................................................................................................................... 23
Percentage of day the support staff spends on incident management......................................................................................................24
Percentage of tickets that are resolved at the following points.................................................................................................................... 25
How support organizations measure incidents and service requests.......................................................................................................... 25
The type of tickets received by the support center............................................................................................................................................ 25
Ticket-handling practices when the support center is not staffed................................................................................................................26
A Closer Look at Incident Management
Percentage of support centers that receive tickets through the following channels.................................................................. 27
Percentage of the day level 1 support spends on customer tickets................................................................................................... 28
Percentage of support centers that have seen an increase in ticket volume................................................................................. 28
Percentage of support centers providing 24-hour support................................................................................................................... 28
Percentage of support centers measuring incidents and service requests independently...................................................... 28
Most commonly used incident tracking systems.......................................................................................................................................29
Technology
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 31
Technology use.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 32
Technologies required to provide successful end-user support..................................................................................................................... 33
The importance of ITIL alignment when choosing support tools.................................................................................................................. 33
Percentage of support centers that provide each of the following self-help tools................................................................................34
Use of social media applications................................................................................................................................................................................34
A Closer Look at Technology
Percentage of support centers that believe ITIL alignment is a necessity when selecting technology............................... 35
Percentage of support centers using the following social media applications.............................................................................. 35
Percentage of support centers currently using or planning to add the following technologies.............................................36
Processes, Procedures, and Strategies
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................39
Percentage of support organizations using the following............................................................................................................................... 40
ITIL processes adopted by support organizations..............................................................................................................................................42
Percentage of support centers that maintain service level agreements.....................................................................................................43
Tickets that meet SLA/OLA goals or targets........................................................................................................................................................43
How support centers are charging internal customers for support services............................................................................................44
How support centers are charging external customers for support services...........................................................................................44
Most important factor influencing support center spending priorities.......................................................................................................44
Outsourcing
Percentage of support centers with outsourced staff in the following locations.........................................................................45
Outsourcing expectations for the next year................................................................................................................................................45
Outsourcing status of the following functions............................................................................................................................................46
Factors that influence the decision to outsource or consider outsourcing..................................................................................... 47
Reasons why support centers don’t outsource more.............................................................................................................................. 47
A Closer Look at Processes, Procedures, and Strategies
Percentage of support centers currently using the following..............................................................................................................48
Top factors influencing support center spending priorities...................................................................................................................49
Percentage of organizations that outsource at least some support staff........................................................................................49
Performance Metrics
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 51
Percentage of support centers that report metrics............................................................................................................................................ 52
Frequency of reporting to stakeholders.................................................................................................................................................................. 52
Customer satisfaction is measured using the following.................................................................................................................................... 53
Average level of customer satisfaction.................................................................................................................................................................... 53
Time customers wait for a response when they contact the support center through the
following channels
Average speed to answer the phone..............................................................................................................................................................54
Average time to respond to a customer through chat............................................................................................................................54
Average time to respond to a customer regarding a ticket reported through email..................................................................54
Average time to respond to a customer regarding a ticket reported through web request....................................................54
Percentage of tickets converted to another channel (e.g., phone) before being resolved when reported
through the following channels.............................................................................................................................................................................. 55
Percentage of tickets reopened after being closed (all channels)................................................................................................................ 55
Percentage of phone calls that are abandoned (i.e., not answered)............................................................................................................56
Amount of time support staff spends working on a ticket
Average talk time for tickets received by phone....................................................................................................................................... 57
Average handle time for all tickets received by phone...........................................................................................................................58
Average handle time for tickets received through email........................................................................................................................59
Average handle time for all tickets received through chat....................................................................................................................60
Resolution rates
Phone: Percentage of tickets resolved by any level as long as it is resolved on the initial call (first call resolution).....60
All channels: Percentage of tickets resolved without hierarchical escalation (first level resolution)....................................60
All channels: Percentage of tickets resolved by the person who initially opens the ticket (first contact resolution)....60
Average time to resolve tickets (from open to final resolution).......................................................................................................................... 61
A Closer Look at Performance Metrics
Percentage of support centers that report performance metrics.......................................................................................................62
Customer satisfaction...........................................................................................................................................................................................62
Abandonment rates (i.e., percentage of calls not answered)...............................................................................................................63
Average speed to answer the phone (i.e., speak to a person) ............................................................................................................63
Support Center Staff: Training, Certification, and Satisfaction
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................65
Number of support center staff by total customer count................................................................................................................................66
Percentage of support centers with staff working from home.......................................................................................................................66
Percentage of support centers with a dedicated support center manager..............................................................................................66
Staffing expectations for the next twelve months...............................................................................................................................................66
Training
Support staffs receive formal training in the following areas............................................................................................................... 67
Days per year spent on formal training for each member of the support staff (excluding new-hire training)................. 67
Amount of time it takes for a new frontline hire to work efficiently on his/her own................................................................... 67
Methods used to train new hires to the front line......................................................................................................................................68
Primary training focus for new frontline hires.............................................................................................................................................68
Certification
The industry’s position on frontline staff certification.............................................................................................................................69
Percentage of support centers that require frontline staff to have the following certifications.............................................69
Percentage of support centers that pay frontline staff more for having the following certifications...................................70
EMPLOYEE Satisfaction
Frequency of formal measurement of support staff satisfaction........................................................................................................70
Average support staff satisfaction level......................................................................................................................................................... 71
Support staff attrition rates................................................................................................................................................................................. 71
Average tenure for each position in the support center.......................................................................................................................... 71
A Closer Look at Support Center Staff
Percentage of support centers that have staff working from home at least part-time.............................................................. 72
Time spent annually on formal training for each level 1 support staff member............................................................................. 72
Staffing ratios........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 72
Employee satisfaction........................................................................................................................................................................................... 72
Level 1 support turnover rates........................................................................................................................................................................... 73
Staffing expectations for the next twelve months.................................................................................................................................... 73
The 2012 HDI Support Center Salary Report
Summary............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 74
Top five factors that influence salary increases for each position................................................................................................................. 76
Bonuses are issued to..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 77
Of those organizations that offer them, bonuses are based on..................................................................................................................... 77
Percentage of support centers that provide monetary compensation for work performed outside of an
employee’s normally scheduled working hours (e.g., on-call coverage, holiday coverage, etc.)................................................. 78
Support centers compensation plans for the next twelve months............................................................................................................... 79
Average annual salaries (US data only)...................................................................................................................................................................80
Average current salary by region (US data only).................................................................................................................................................80
Current average salary by size of customer base (US data only)................................................................................................................... 81
Current average salary by type of support (US data only) .............................................................................................................................. 81
Welcome
Though every technical support center is unique, In this report, the survey results are reported for the
the challenges they face are not. By examining technical service and support industry as a whole,
the practices of organizations in their industries, with the results for key areas of interest within
support center managers can open the door to specific segments of the industry included in the
knowledge, step out of their silos, and walk into the “A Closer Look” bonus sections. These bonus sections
light of learning. Industry research like this report include the results from ten vertical industries that
provides support professionals with an opportunity had thirty or more responses (see table below for
to learn about current trends and benchmarks, the list of industries and their survey counts).
which they can then discuss with colleagues and Results are also analyzed by the type of support
share with executives and other stakeholders. provided (internal only, external only, or a blend of
the two) and the size of the support center, which is
The goal of the HDI Practices & Salary Reports
defined by the number of customers supported (both
is to provide support organizations with a better
internally and externally): small support centers
understanding of the industry as a whole, as well
serve fewer than 2,000 customers, medium support
as the knowledge needed to make research-based
centers serve 2,000–10,000 customers, and large
decisions that will ultimately improve the support
support centers serve more than 10,000 customers.
their organizations provide. This report illustrates
current and past practices in a variety of areas, such
Number of responses
as performance metrics, incident management, Industry
included in results
technologies, adopted frameworks, outsourcing, Computers – Software 64
compensation, training, and satisfaction. Higher Education 110
The 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Financial Services – Banking 40
Report is based on responses to an online survey, Government – Federal 45
collected between April and July 2012, from support Government – State, Local, Other 51
center managers and professionals in similar Healthcare 93
positions from technical support centers around Insurance 45
the world. Of the 875 surveys analyzed for this Manufacturing (noncomputer) 43
report, the United States makes up the majority of Outsourced Services Providers 36
responses, with 87 percent (759); Canada supplied Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 48
six percent (54), and India, two percent (13). The Type of Support
other countries included in the total survey count Internal only 323
each contributed one percent or less. Overall, the External only 57
875 survey responses illustrate practices, processes, Blended 424
and salaries from support centers of all sizes in over Number of Customers
thirty vertical industries, and from organizations Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 241
that provide internal, external, and blended support Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 286
ranging from on-site only to global. Large (more than 10,000 customers) 250
A Quick Company
Support Organization
Guide to this report
The report begins with a look at the most requested
Support Center
industry metrics, organized into the easy-to-
read table located on the following page. This is
followed by definitions for the job titles referenced
in this report. The Demographics section, which
In Conclusion
profiles the support centers participating in this Each year, HDI strives, through the creation of this
year’s survey, comes next. The main body of the report, to provide the technical service and support
report begins after the Demographics section and industry leaders with a valuable and convenient
is divided into sections on Incident Management, resource that not only looks at the state of the
Technology, Processes, Procedures, and Strategies, industry but also offers an inside look at support
Performance Metrics, and Support Staff. Throughout center practices used throughout the industry. In
the report, the full set of data has been depicted turn, it gives managers and directors the information
graphically. Each section in the body of the report they need to validate existing practices, discover
concludes with “A Closer Look,” a deeper analysis new ideas for improving the methods and
of key areas according to industry, type of support, procedures used by their support centers, and
and support center size (based on the number trigger discussions within their organizations and
of customers). with their peers. We want to extend a big thank-you
to all of the organizations that participated in this
The final component of the report is the 2012
year’s survey. Without the amazing response we
HDI Support Center Salary Report. The salary section
receive each year, this valuable industry resource
provides compensation information, including
would not be possible. Your time and commitment
bonus and overtime practices, for the industry as
to HDI’s research program are truly appreciated.
a whole. In addition, average salaries and salary
Now, please, be our guest and open the door to new
ranges are available for the United States and are
industry knowledge.
reported in US dollars. The US salary data is further
broken down by region, size of support center,
and type of support.

The diagram at right should help to clarify some of


the terminology used for the purposes of this report.
A few of the survey questions refer to the company
and support organization; however, most of the
information in this report refers to the individual Jenny Rains
support center. Senior Research Analyst
Most Requested
Metrics
Response times (Median)
Average speed to answer the phone 11–20 seconds
Average time to respond via chat 60–90 seconds
Average time to respond to email 1–4 hours
Average time to respond to web requests 1–4 hours
Tickets converted to another channel (Median)
From email 21–30%
From chat Less than 10%
From web request 10–20%

Incidents* Service requests** Combined***


(Median) (Median) (Median)
Handle times (includes wrap-up time)
Phone 8–10 minutes 5–8 minutes 8–10 minutes
Email 8–10 minutes 10–15 minutes 10–15 minutes
Time to resolve
All channels 8–24 hours 1–2 days 4–8 hours

Incidents* Service requests** Combined***


Resolution rates
First call resolution (phone only) 68.9% 66.2% 66.0%
First level resolution (all channels) 68.6% 65.8% 66.9%
First contact resolution (all channels) 64.3% 61.9% 65.8%

2012 2011 2010


Fully-burdened cost per ticket (Median US data) (Median US data) (Median US data)
Chat $10 $10 $15
Email $13 $14 $15
Phone $17 $17 $20
Walk-up $16 $20 $21

* Incidents: Results for tickets that require unplanned work to fix something.
** Service requests: Results for tickets where nothing is broken, but a service is needed.
*** Combined: Results for all tickets from support centers that do not measure incidents and service requests independently.
Support Center
Job Titles and Definitions
Call Screener/Dispatch: This position collects information from the customer, including contact information
and details about the incident or service request, and then routes the ticket to level 1 support or another appropriate contact.
Call screeners/dispatchers differ from level 1 support in that they are not expected to resolve problems or answer questions.
Customer Service Representative: The customer support professionals who receive and handle customer
inquiries, most often for nontechnical issues. They are expected to provide answers to common questions, perform routine
procedures to resolve a high percentage of inquiries, and route more-complex issues to a higher level of support.
Level 1 Support/Support Center Analyst: The frontline technical support professionals who receive and
handle tickets. These professionals are responsible for providing customers with information, restoring service, providing
specific services, and escalating tickets to a higher level of support. These individuals are typically technical generalists.
Level 2 Support: The technical support professionals who handle tickets that are escalated from level 1. These
professionals require greater technical skills and/or access rights than level 1 support personnel. They are typically
technical specialists and may also be responsible for participating in root cause analysis of problems. (Does not include
desktop support technicians, who are reported on separately in this survey.)
Desktop Support Technician: The technical support professionals who respond to tickets escalated by the
support center that are related to customer equipment; additional skills, knowledge, tools, or authority are required. They
may resolve incidents remotely, at the user’s location, or via equipment returns. Responsibilities may include hardware
and software deployments, moves, adds, and changes.
Level 3 Support: The technical support professionals who build, maintain, and/or enhance technical products
and services. These professionals are typically “engineer”-level staff. They are involved when the ticket cannot be resolved
by either level 1 or level 2, and when there is high business impact or urgency. Level 3 support is commonly either
an internal engineering/development team or an external vendor.
Support Center Team Lead: The technical support professionals who oversee the day-to-day activities of a
team of support staff. These professionals serve as the communication link between the team and the manager, as a
coach or mentor to support staff, and are often the first point of internal escalation within the support center. Other
possible titles include coordinator, supervisor, or senior analyst. (Previously referred to as support supervisor.)
Support Center Manager: The management professionals who manage a team of support center analysts
and/or team leads while executing the operational and tactical plans of the support center and satisfying customer and
business needs. Their responsibilities may include recruiting and hiring, monitoring and managing performance, monitoring
and reporting metrics, and ensuring that process are followed and service levels are met. Other possible titles include help
desk manager or service desk manager. This position typically reports to the support center director (defined below).
Director of Desktop Support: The management professionals who manage a team of desktop support
technicians and/or team leads while executing the operational and tactical plans of desktop support and satisfying
customer and business needs. Responsibilities may include recruiting and hiring, monitoring and managing performance,
monitoring and reporting metrics, auditing, and approving purchases.
Support Center Director: The management professionals who are responsible for leading the support
organization as a whole, rather than a specific support center. Their responsibilities may include overall service delivery,
strategic direction, business alignment, financial accountability, and performance reporting. In addition to the support
center(s), this person may also oversee other departments involved in technical support, such as desktop support. Other
possible titles for this position include senior director, senior manager, or vice president. Support center managers
report directly to this individual. (Previously referred to as director of support.)
Demographics:
Who the Data Represent
The results of the 2012 HDI Support Center Practices &
Salary Report were compiled from responses collected
via an online survey from April to July 2012. The
findings are based on responses submitted by support
center managers and professionals in similar positions
from support centers around the world. Of the 875
surveys analyzed for this report, the United States
makes up the majority of responses, with 87 percent
(759); Canada supplied six percent (54), and India, two
percent (13). The other countries included in the total
survey count each contributed one percent or less.

The 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


comprises current practices and salaries from support
centers of all sizes, in over thirty vertical industries,
and from organizations that provide support to
internal end users, external end users, or a blend of
both. The location of the support provided varies,
ranging from on-site to global. These and other details
can be viewed in the following section.
About the Companies
Industry
Advertising/Marketing 1.1

Aerospace 0.2

Automotive 0.6

Chemical/Biotechnical 0.3

Computers – Hardware 1.0

Computers – Software 7.3

Construction/Development 1.0

Consulting 2.2

Consumer Products 0.9

Education – K-12 1.5

Education – Higher Education 12.6

Education – Other 1.7

Entertainment 1.5

Financial Services – Banking 4.6

Financial Services – Securities 1.1

Food and Beverage 1.6

Government – Local 3.3

Government – State 2.1

Government – Federal 5.1

Government – Other 0.5

Healthcare 10.6

Insurance 5.1

Legal 1.7

Manufacturing (noncomputer) 4.9

Media/Publishing 0.3

Nonprofit or Association 2.3

Oil/Gas (nonretail) 0.9

Outsourced Services Provider 4.1

Pharmaceutical 1.1

Retail 3.9

Telecommunications 2.4

Travel 0.5

Utilities/Energy 3.3

Other 8.5

Percentage of support centers

12 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


About the Support Organizations
Number of support centers within Location of support centers within
the support organization: the support organization:

12.1%
19.9%
8.1%
3.5%
48.7%
4.9% 49.5%
27.8%
8.5%
13.4%

3.7%
1 4 More
2 5 than 10 Single site/single country (on-site) Multiple sites/single country
3 6–10 Single site/single country (not on-site) Multiple countries

About the Support Centers


Location of the support center’s Type of support provided by
customer base: the support center:

29.7% 27.5%
40.2%
52.7%

42.7%
7.1%

Single site/single country Internal only (i.e., support employees/contractors


Multiple sites/single country within your company or organization)
Multiple countries External only (i.e., support customers, consumers)
Blended

Number of end users supported by the support center:


(includes both internal and external end users.)
2.2%
9.9% 7.2%
8.1%
Fewer than 100 1,000–1,499 5,001–10,000
22.4% 7.8% 100–499 1,500–1,999 10,001–50,000
5.4% 500–999 2,000–5,000 More than 50,000
16.8% 20.2%

Demographics: Who the Data Represent 13


Size of the support center’s staff: Number of languages in which the
support center provides support:
7.3%
8.1% 5.5%
4.0% 19.5% 4.7%
4.7%
11.2% 23.1% 15.1%
10.4%
11.6%
74.7%

Fewer than 5 16–20 41–50


6–10 21–30 51–100
11–15 31–40 More than 100 One language Three languages
Two languages More than three languages

Languages in which the support center provides support:

English 98.4

Spanish 19.1

French 8.5

Chinese 4.8

German 3.8

Portuguese 3.7

Japanese 2.6

Italian 1.9

Korean 1.6

Russian 1.3

Hindu/Urdu 1.3

Arabic 1.0

Other 3.2

Percentage of support centers

14 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


The support center provides desktop support
in addition to frontline support:

2012 2011

30.3% 30.5%

69.7% 69.5%

Yes No

The support center is referred to as:

31.0
Service desk 32.3
26.1

27.5
Help desk 26.6
27.5

10.1
IT/IS support 8.9
13.3

9.8
Technical support 9.5
10.0

8.9
Support center 11.3
9.4

5.1
Customer support center 4.7
6.8

4.0
Customer service center 3.8
2012
3.7 2011
2010
2.5
Call center 2.3
2.5

1.0
Contact center 0.6
0.7

Percentage of support centers

Demographics: Who the Data Represent 15


Incident
Management
The cost of support appears to be down in 2012. reasons for increasing ticket loads. The majority of
While phone support is still at $17 USD per ticket, these tickets are incidents (58%), while 38 percent
autologging is down two dollars, from $10 in 2011 are service requests. About 63 percent of the industry
to $8 in 2012. Email is down one dollar, to $13 per distinguishes between the two types of tickets, but only
ticket in 2012, and most surprisingly, walk-ups are 40 percent of the industry measures the two separately.
down four dollars, to $16 in 2012. Chat is stable at
Whether ticket volume is increasing, decreasing, or
$10 per ticket, and has seen an increase in adoption.
remaining steady, 99 percent of support organizations
Chat use increased a few years ago, but quickly
use ticketing systems to manage their tickets. With
dropped as the channel, and organizations’ use of the
one-third of the industry using its products, BMC,
channel, matured. The percentage of organizations
maker of the Remedy, ServiceDesk Express, Footprints,
using chat to create tickets increased from 21
and Track-It! systems, is the major solution provider
percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2012. This channel
in this space. Homegrown solutions, developed in-
is most frequently used in the banking (33%),
house, come in a distant second (10%), followed
software (31%), and manufacturing (30%) industries.
closely by FrontRange, the maker of HEAT and ITSM
The percentage of support organizations using web (10%). The other 47 percent of support centers use a
requests (where end users submit their tickets though variety of other systems from a wide range of providers,
a web-based application) has increased five percent including HP, CA, ServiceNow, and Symantec.
since 2011, to 63 percent, and costs about $10 per
Level 1 support professionals spend the most time in
resolved ticket. This option is popular with out-
these systems, with three-quarters of their day spent
sourced services providers (81%) and institutions
on ticket management. They also resolve an average
of higher education (72%). Organizations that offer
of 57 percent of the total tickets. Desktop support
web request as an option have found that one out
technicians and level 2 support professionals spend
of every five tickets comes through that self-service
about half of their day on ticket management and the
channel. Support centers are utilizing these less
other half on projects, research, meetings, training,
traditional channels of support more often, specifically
etc. For level 3 support professionals, about 28 percent
channels that allow tickets to be created without
of the day is spent resolving tickets; management
directly contacting the support staff, such as web
spends less than 20 percent of the day on ticket
requests and autologging (where an application logs
resolution. When the support center is not staffed,
the ticket automatically when an event is detected),
voicemail, answering machines, or answering services
partly to address the ever-increasing ticket volume
continue to be the most common methods for
being reported across the support industry.
handling after-hours tickets (55%). The use of web
Consistent with previous years, support centers requests for this purpose continues to increase (28%),
continue to see an increase in ticket volume. In 2012, while forwarding requests to off-site staff (28%) has
66 percent of organizations reported an increase in seen a steady decline over the last few years.
ticket volume, while 12 percent reported a decrease.
Review the charts in the Incident Management section
Those that have seen a decrease in ticket numbers
for more details about incident management in
most often attribute the decrease to changes in
support centers throughout the technical service and
infrastructure, knowledge management, and customer
support industry. The section concludes with a closer
competency. The number of customers, changes
look at select results, broken out by vertical industry,
in infrastructure, and the number of applications
type of support, and size of support center.
supported are the three most frequently selected
Percentage of Support Centers using
the following channels to create tickets:

36.1
38.0 2012
Autologging 33.5
36.8 2011
36.8 2010

24.8
2009
20.6 2008
Chat 19.9
17.4
21.6

86.7
88.7
Email 90.8
89.4
86.9

10.9
15.3
Fax 19.3
21.3
24.5

95.2
97.5
Phone 97.4
97.8
93.8

3.5
Social media 3.3
5.3

53.7
53.7
Walk-up 56.4
55.8
54.9

63.4
58.1
Web request 49.8
53.8
50.6
Percentage of support centers

18 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Percentage of support centers that measure tickets
created through the following channels:

28.3
29.6 2012
Autologging 25.4
27.5 2011
22.4 2010

16.6
2009
12.4 2008
Chat 10.8
9.9
11.7

73.9
73.9
Email 64.4
67.4
63.4

5.9
8.0
Fax 11.6
13.4
12.8

88.9
90.8
Phone 78.4
83.9
74.1

1.9
Social media 1.9
3.1

37.0
34.8
Walk-up 33.1
34.5
32.0

56.0
50.1
Web request 40.0
43.3
38.5
Percentage of support centers

Incident management 19
Percentage of tickets created through each channel:
(includes only those support centers that receive tickets through each channel.)

2012 2011
Autologging 14% 16%
Chat 9% 7%
Email 28% 24%
Fax 5% 4%
Phone 55% 57%
Social media 4% 7%
Walk-up 8% 8%
Web request 20% 18%

Median fully-burdened cost for the support center,


per ticket resolved for each channel (US Data Only):

$8
$10
Autologging
$10 2012
$10
2011
2010
$10
$10 2009
Chat
$15
$10

$13
$14
Email
$15
$15

$17
$17
Phone
$20
$18

$16
$20
Walk-up
$21
$20

$10
$10
Web request
$13
$12

20 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Support centers are using the following incident management systems:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options
that applied to their support centers.)

BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express, Footprints, Track-It! 33.5

Homegrown (developed in-house) 10.1

FrontRange – HEAT, ITSM 9.6

HP – Service Manager, Service Desk 7.7

CA - Service Desk Manager 6.3

ServiceNow 5.4

Symantec – Service Desk (formerly Altiris) 3.9

Salesforce.com 3.2

Oracle – Functional Service Desk, Oracle Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft, RightNow 2.9

IBM – Tivoli Service Request Manager 2.5

Microsoft – Dynamics, System Center, Service Manager 2.2

LANDesk – Service Desk 1.9

Cherwell Service Management 1.6

ManageEngine – ServiceDesk Plus 1.5

Axios – assyst 1.4

TechExcel – ServiceWise 1.1

VMWare Service Manager (formerly Infra) 1.1

EasyVista 1.0

iSupport Service Desk Edition 0.9

iET – ITSM 0.8

InteQ InfraDesk (formerly GWI Software) 0.3

Serena Service Manager 0.3

Hornbill – SupportWorks ITSM, SupportWorks Essentials 0.2

Other* 15.2

None 0.9

Percentage of support centers

* Survey respondents who selected “Other” were asked to specify. The most common responses were
Peregrine (6), Helpstar (5), Maximo (4), Dell (4), IssueTrak (4), and Connectwise (3).

Incident management 21
66% of support centers have seen an increase
in ticket volume over the past year.

Of those who reported an increase in ticket volume, they attributed it to:


(Survey respondents were asked to select all options
that applied to their support centers.)

Number of customers 52.8

Change in infrastructure 45.8

Number of applications 44.7

Scope of services offered 35.2

Number of equipment/devices 32.3

Supporting a mobile workforce 31.1

Acquisitions/mergers 28.0

Increase in personal equipment/devices 24.5

Customer competency 20.9

Outdated equipment 19.9

Security requirements 16.2

Compliance expectations 14.7

Remote tools for support 9.0

Cloud computing 7.3

Knowledge management 7.3

Virtual desktop 6.0

Self-help 4.7

Outsourcing desktop support functions 3.5

Outsourcing service desk functions 3.3

Software as a Service (SaaS) 1.7

Percentage that selected each factor

22 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


12% of support centers reported a decrease
in ticket volume over the past year.

Of those who reported a decrease, they attributed it to:


(Survey respondents were asked to select all options
that applied to their support centers.)

Change in infrastructure 45.5

Knowledge management 35.6

Customer competency 34.7

Self-help 31.7

Number of customers 23.8

Remote tools for support 20.8

Outdated equipment 9.9

Number of applications 8.9

Acquisitions/mergers 7.9

Scope of services offered 7.9

Virtual desktop 7.9

Cloud computing 5.9

Number of equipment/devices 5.9

Increase in personally-owned equipment/devices 5.0

Software as a Service (SaaS) 5.0

Compliance expectations 3.0

Supporting a mobile workforce 3.0

Outsourcing desktop support functions 2.0

Security requirements 2.0

Outsourcing service desk functions 0.0

Percentage that selected each factor

Incident management 23
Percentage of the day the support staff spends on customer tickets:

Tickets Other activities (projects, research, meetings, training, etc.)

Level 1 Support Level 2 Support

25%

51% 49%
75%

Desktop Support Technicians Level 3 Support

28%
49% 51%
72%

Support Center Manager Desktop Support Manager

19% 17%

81% 83%

24 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Percentage of tickets that are
resolved at the following points:

3% 1%

8%

14%

57%
17%

Level 1 Support Level 3 Support


Level 2 Support Management
Desktop Support Other

How support organizations measure Tickets received by the


incidents and service requests: support center are:
(Includes those that distinguish between
these types of tickets.)

4%
37% 40%

23%
38% 58%

Percentage of support centers

We measure incidents and service requests separately.


We distinguish between them but do not measure them separately. Incidents
We do not distinguish between incidents and service requests. Service requests
Other

Incident management 25
When support centers are not staffed, tickets are handled by:
(Sixty-four percent of support centers [558] are not staffed 24×7.)

54.5
56.0
Voicemail, answering machine,
53.0
or answering service
49.4
47.7

47.7
47.5
Email 48.4
38.9
41.7

28.0
25.3
Web requests 23.4
18.8
15.3

27.6
34.2
Forward requests to support staff
34.4
via mobile device, pagers, etc.
37.8
39.4

9.7
9.7
Forward to another department 9.6
11.3
12.7

6.1
Operator fields calls
5.8

5.7
5.6
Outsourcing provider 5.0 2012
3.8 2011
4.5
2010
8.4 2009
5.6 2008
Other 6.2
5.7
5.2

5.9
6.1
No procedure specified 7.6
18.8
9.8

Percentage of support centers

26 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


A closer look at
Incident Management
Percentage of support centers that receive tickets
through the following channels:

Auto- Social Web


Industry Chat Email Fax Phone Walk-up
logging media request
Computers – Software 34 31 92 16 98 9 22 64
Higher Education 26 25 94 9 96 8 78 72
Financial Services – Banking 45 33 85 0 100 0 45 63
Government – Federal 24 20 82 11 96 2 33 62
Government – State, Local, Other 22 20 78 6 92 0 61 59
Healthcare 44 14 79 16 94 0 46 66
Insurance 42 24 78 4 100 2 64 60
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 40 30 93 12 95 2 67 67
Outsourced Services Providers 56 28 92 14 97 0 33 81
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 38 25 81 2 98 0 48 44
Type of Support
Internal only 32 21 85 6 95 2 60 59
External only 28 21 86 14 97 4 18 54
Blended 38 27 89 14 95 5 57 67
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 27 18 90 8 92 3 64 52
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 38 26 90 10 96 3 58 62
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 39 27 82 14 96 4 42 74

Incident management 27
Percentage of the day level 1 Percentage of support centers that
support spends on customer tickets: have seen an increase in ticket volume:

Industry % Industry %
Computers – Software 79 Computers – Software 78
Higher Education 76 Higher Education 66
Financial Services – Banking 78 Financial Services – Banking 73
Government – Federal 75 Government – Federal 71
Government – State, Local, Other 69 Government – State, Local, Other 53
Healthcare 78 Healthcare 75
Insurance 81 Insurance 62
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 71 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 72
Outsourced Services Providers 74 Outsourced Services Providers 56
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 78 Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 63
Type of Support Type of Support
Internal only 79 Internal only 66
External only 81 External only 65
Blended 71 Blended 67
Number of Customers Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 67 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 65
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 77 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 63
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 79 Large (more than 10,000 customers) 68

Percentage of support centers


Percentage of support centers measuring incidents and service
providing 24-hour support: requests independently:

Industry % Industry %
Computers – Software 27 Computers – Software 27
Higher Education 8 Higher Education 26
Financial Services – Banking 43 Financial Services – Banking 58
Government – Federal 53 Government – Federal 42
Government – State, Local, Other 24 Government – State, Local, Other 35
Healthcare 58 Healthcare 37
Insurance 40 Insurance 53
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 40 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 37
Outsourced Services Providers 69 Outsourced Services Providers 69
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 50 Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 35
Type of Support Type of Support
Internal only 30 Internal only 38
External only 35 External only 25
Blended 38 Blended 41
Number of Customers Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 17 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 31
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 34 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 39
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 52 Large (more than 10,000 customers) 46

28 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Most commonly used ticket tracking systems:

Industry #1 #2
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Computers – Software Salesforce.com
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Higher Education FrontRange – HEAT, SaaS2, ITSM
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express, CA – Service Desk Manager
Financial Services – Banking
Footprints, Track-It! HP – Service Manager, Service Desk
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express, CA – Service Desk Manager
Government – Federal
Footprints, Track-It! Homegrown (developed in-house)
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Government – State, Local, Other CA – Service Desk Manager
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Healthcare FrontRange – HEAT, SaaS2, ITSM
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Insurance HP – Service Manager, Service Desk
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Manufacturing (noncomputer) Homegrown (developed in-house)
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Outsourced Services Providers Homegrown (developed in-house)
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) FrontRange – HEAT, SaaS2, ITSM
Footprints, Track-It!
Type of Support
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Internal only FrontRange – HEAT, SaaS2, ITSM
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
External only Homegrown (developed in-house)
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Blended Homegrown (developed in-house)
Footprints, Track-It!
Number of Customers
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) Homegrown (developed in-house)
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express,
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) FrontRange – HEAT, SaaS2, ITSM
Footprints, Track-It!
BMC – Remedy, ServiceDesk Express, CA – Service Desk Manager
Large (more than 10,000 customers)
Footprints, Track-It! HP – Service Manager, Service Desk

Incident management 29
Technology
Technology makes life more efficient, and technical The power of knowledge is evident in this year’s
support centers are no exception, using, upgrading, survey results. Not only are organizations shopping
and adding technologies to increase the efficiency for knowledge management technologies, there
of the support organization. Remote control tools, was an eight-percent increase in the number of
which can increase the speed and reduce the organizations that grant end users access to the
cost of ticket resolution, are used by 83 percent knowledge they need to resolve issues without the
of organizations, with an additional five percent involvement of the support center. As of 2012, more
planning to add them in the next twelve months. than half of the technical support industry provides
(The federal government is the exception, with only its customers with access to knowledge. Forty-eight
64 percent using or planning to add remote control percent of organizations have extended password-
technology.) Three-quarters of the industry uses reset capability to end users, up seven percent from
knowledge management tools, with a large segment 2011. Downloading documents, software, and
(42%) looking to upgrade or add new ones. And in patches as a method for tier 0 support has risen in
an effort to move more incident resolution into the popularity, also up seven percent from 2011.
realm of tier 0 support, almost half of the industry
Email management technology use continues to
(47%) plans to replace, update, or add self-help
increase. In 2009, 51 percent of support centers
technologies this year.
were using email management technology; this has
As a continuation of trends we identified in 2011, the steadily increased over the past three years, to 73
biggest technology initiatives in 2012 were self-help, percent in 2012—a 22-percent increase! As for the
service catalog/portfolio, and chat, with 22 percent, most-stable technologies, this honor goes to remote
26 percent, and 26 percent planning to add these control and VoIP. The ratio of those using each
technologies to their organizations, respectively. technology to those replacing or updating their
current tools is low.
Incident management tools remain the most
important type of technology required to provide ITIL continues to impact decision making when
successful end-user support. Knowledge management organizations are shopping for technology. While
technology comes in second, followed by remote down from 2011, one-third of the industry still says
control technology. Social media comes in at the that ITIL alignment in necessary when selecting
bottom of the list, but it has seen an increase in use. support technology. An additional 31 percent report
About 10 percent of organizations use Facebook and that it is “very important, but not necessary.”
Twitter to push information out to end users. Not The federal government, banking industry, and
surprisingly, due to customer base demographics and outsourced services providers have the most
the nature of the support provided, the use of social stringent requirements with regard to the role of
media varies by industry. Higher education and ITIL in their technology purchases. And, consistent
the computer software industries, for example, with previous years, larger organizations and
are more likely to use Facebook and Twitter than internal support centers are more likely than their
other industries, and government is the segment counterparts to align their tool selections with
most likely to utilize SharePoint. ITIL processes.
Technology use:

Asset Automated call Change Configuration


Chat Collaboration
management distributor management management
We use it and have no plans
41 53 45 34 40 34
to replace or update it.
We use it but are planning
17 14 21 9 11 13
to replace/update it.
We are planning to add it. 17 6 13 22 12 19
We do not use it. 21 22 16 32 23 25
I don't know. 5 5 5 4 13 9

Customer
E-mail Incident Knowledge Problem Remote
satisfaction
management management management management control
surveying
We use it and have no plans
55 57 63 48 42 70
to replace or update it.
We use it but are planning
18 16 26 26 18 13
to replace/update it.
We are planning to add it. 15 7 3 16 16 5
We do not use it. 10 15 5 7 18 8
I don't know. 3 5 3 3 5 4

Remote Reporting/ Request Service Service level


monitoring/ Self-help catalog/
support analytics management portfolio management

We use it and have no plans


63 59 47 35 25 37
to replace or update it.
We use it but are planning
13 25 18 21 14 18
to replace/update it.
We are planning to add it. 7 6 10 26 26 20
We do not use it. 13 6 17 15 26 17
I don't know. 5 4 8 3 9 8

Workforce
Social media VoIP
management
We use it and have no plans
18 60 27
to replace or update it.
We use it but are planning
6 10 7
to replace/update it.
We are planning to add it. 15 10 12
We do not use it. 53 16 40
I don't know. 8 4 15

Percentage of support centers

32 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Technologies required to provide successful end-user support:
(Survey respondents were asked to select up to five options.)

Incident management 67.5

Knowledge management 49.8

Remote control 43.2

Customer satisfaction surveying 41.8

Automated call distributor 33.0

Self-help 29.6

Change management 25.8

Problem management 25.0

Asset management 23.8

Reporting/analytics 22.7
Email management 19.8
Remote monitoring/support 17.1
Service level management 16.8
Request management 12.8
Service catalog/portfolio 11.4
Configuration management 9.9
Collaboration 8.6
Chat 7.9
VoIP 5.9
Workforce management 5.8
Social media 2.1
Percentage that selected each technology

The importance of ITIL alignment when choosing support tools:


32.8
36.5
Necessary 30.6
30.5
29.9

31.2
28.3

Very important but not necessary 27.1


27.0
26.4

24.1
22.6 2012
Somewhat important 25.7
2011
27.9
27.0
2010
2009
11.9
12.6
2008
Not important at all 16.7
14.6
16.7

Percentage of support centers

Technology 33
Percentage of support centers that provide each of
the following self-help tools:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)
52.1

FAQs 47.4

43.9

50.3

Access to knowledge 42.4

39.8

48.6
Access to incident
48.5
status or history
40.2

48.2

Password reset 41.3

32.0

35.2

Documentation library 30.8

31.8

34.3
Downloads (documents, 27.7
software, patches, etc.)
18.7

2012
7.3
2011
Self-diagnostic 4.5

6.0 2010

4.5

Self-healing 4.1

3.8

15.4

No self-help tools available 20.4

24.6

Percentage of support centers

Use of Social media applications:


discussion boards
SharePoint

Facebook

LinkedIn

Yammer
Google+
Forums/

Chatter
Twitter
Wikis

Blogs

Total percentage using it: 65.5 39.5 27.3 20.1 15.7 15.0 13.3 12.5 7.0 4.9
How they are using it:
To push out information 21.4 9.7 10.9 8.6 10.6 3.8 10.2 5.1 3.1 1.7
To receive information 15.0 7.7 11.5 6.2 4.8 6.2 3.8 5.4 3.1 2.1
To share knowledge 58.1 31.4 18.3 11.7 6.4 7.5 3.7 5.7 4.9 3.0

34 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


A closer look at
Technology
Percentage of Support Centers that believe ITIL alignment
is a necessity when selecting technology:
Industry %
Computers – Software 19
Higher Education 19
Financial Services – Banking 45
Government – Federal 51
Government – State, Local, Other 35
Healthcare 38
Insurance 36
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 35
Outsourced Services Providers 58
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 23
Type of Support
Internal only 33
External only 26
Blended 33
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 27
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 33
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 38

Percentage of support Centers using


the following social media applications:
Industry Facebook SharePoint Twitter
Computers – Software 27 58 27
Higher Education 34 53 42
Financial Services – Banking 7 55 5
Government – Federal 20 78 9
Government – State, Local, Other 18 76 14
Healthcare 9 62 0
Insurance 0 71 4
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 9 65 5
Outsourced Services Providers 6 69 3
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 2 71 2
Type of Support
Internal only 7 66 6
External only 21 67 17
Blended 21 64 18
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 13 63 10
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 16 64 13
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 17 67 16

Technology 35
Percentage of support centers currently using or planning
to add the following technologies:

Asset Automated call Change Configuration


Chat Collaboration
management distributor management management
Industry
Computers – Software 42 75 58 61 63 45
Higher Education 74 69 73 59 58 60
Financial Services – Banking 70 78 93 70 65 68
Government – Federal 71 82 87 62 73 76
Government – State, Local, Other 82 73 75 49 57 71
Healthcare 76 76 83 60 58 71
Insurance 84 87 82 64 69 78
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 70 61 72 74 70 58
Outsourced Services Providers 75 81 97 72 67 72
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 75 79 85 69 56 69
Type of Support
Internal only 80 72 81 61 62 69
External only 53 77 56 60 58 47
Blended 74 72 80 68 67 68
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 76 56 72 52 60 63
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 75 77 81 69 65 68
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 73 81 82 70 68 70

Customer Remote
Email Incident Knowledge Problem Remote
satisfaction monitoring/
management management management management control
surveying support
Industry
Computers – Software 91 88 94 97 67 83 78
Higher Education 85 77 93 86 66 87 76
Financial Services – Banking 93 88 95 95 78 93 88
Government – Federal 93 87 98 93 91 64 67
Government – State, Local, Other 80 67 86 84 73 88 82
Healthcare 85 82 89 87 76 91 85
Insurance 93 71 93 91 87 98 87
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 84 86 88 84 67 95 91
Outsourced Services Providers 97 81 97 92 92 92 92
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 94 71 94 96 85 85 88
Type of Support
Internal only 84 77 91 86 78 95 87
External only 93 83 93 97 61 84 81
Blended 88 82 93 90 78 84 81
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 77 77 85 82 66 87 81
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 88 80 94 90 77 89 86
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 94 84 97 96 86 89 83

36 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Reporting/ Service
Request Self- Service level Social Workforce
catalog/ VoIP
analytics management help portfolio
management media management

Industry
Computers – Software 92 72 92 55 72 55 75 47
Higher Education 86 67 81 64 57 60 79 32
Financial Services – Banking 95 83 73 63 88 25 75 48
Government – Federal 96 82 71 64 82 33 67 58
Government – State, Local, Other 88 65 84 63 69 29 82 33
Healthcare 88 74 81 70 81 23 80 45
Insurance 91 76 89 71 89 33 82 44
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 88 72 81 58 58 33 91 35
Outsourced Services Providers 94 86 83 78 92 39 81 67
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 90 71 75 65 77 33 83 56
Type of Support
Internal only 89 74 81 68 77 32 79 42
External only 95 65 81 44 63 40 72 51
Blended 89 78 83 66 74 44 80 46
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 84 73 74 58 66 32 76 32
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 89 73 83 68 77 41 79 45
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 94 82 88 72 80 43 83 53

Technology 37
Processes,
Procedures,
and Strategies
I
In 2011, for the first time in the history of the HDI
Practices & Salary Reports, the term “service desk”
became the most popular term used to describe support
centers in the technical service and support industry.
This year, the ITIL term again occupies the top spot
Support centers do not typically charge internal
customers (i.e., employees/contractors within their
company or organization) for support. Three-quarters
of internal support centers consider technical support to
be a corporate allocation. Those that do charge internal
(over its predecessor, “help desk”), even though ITIL’s end users allocate a fixed amount to the business units or
hold on the industry seems to be loosening up a bit. departments. The majority (59%) of support centers that
provide support for external customers or consumers are
Past research has shown that ITIL’s popularity fluctuates
not charging customers at all. Those that are most likely
slightly from year to year, usually timed with the release
have fixed-fee service contracts (26%).
of new material. In 2012, the percentage of organizations
using ITIL (49%) is down three percent from 2011, Because the cost of support is being absorbed at
following an increase in 2010. Overall, ITIL is most the corporate level, it is not surprising to find that
common in large support centers (more than 10,000 supporting business growth is the most important factor
customers) and those that support internal customers. influencing support center spending priorities (25%).
Incident management (64%) and change management This is followed by reducing costs (20%) and improving
(53%) are the most commonly used ITIL processes, customer service (17%). However, for large support
though knowledge management, the third most centers (more than 10,000 customers) and those in the
commonly used ITIL process at 47 percent, is one of the higher education and healthcare industries, improving
only ITIL processes that increased in use from 2011, up customer service is the number-one factor influencing
from 40 percent. This increase is especially noteworthy spending. In the retail, insurance, and government
considering that most ITIL processes decreased in use sectors, cost reduction has the most influence on
from 2011 to 2012. support center spending.
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) has gained in The amount of outsourcing has stayed fairly steady
popularity since 2011; 19 percent of organizations are over the past year, and the results indicate that it will
using KCS, up from 16 percent, with an additional 15 not change much in the next year. About 29 percent of
percent planning to implement it. HDI Support Center support centers have in-house staff that are outsourced
Certification also got a slight bump, with 26 percent of (16%) and/or outsourced staff at a third-party facility
organizations using the standards to guide their practices. (21%). After-hours service is still the most outsourced
support function, followed by hardware support and
Most technical support centers use service level
repair. Cost continues to be the biggest factor influencing
agreements (SLA), operational level agreements (OLA),
support centers’ decision to outsource, though it is
and underpinning contracts; almost 80 percent maintain
also the second most frequently selected reason for not
at least one of these agreements. Thirty-five percent
outsourcing or outsourcing more, after control of service.
of organizations report that they are meeting their
Support centers in the banking and insurance industries
SLA/OLA targets for more than 90 percent of their
are the most likely to outsource support center services,
tickets, while 31 percent are meeting their targets for
with 40 percent of support centers in each industry
81–90 percent of their tickets.
reporting that at least some of their staff is outsourced.
Percentage of support organizations using the following:

2012
Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) 6.9 5.5 5.5 82.2

COBIT 5.3 5.6 6.2 83.0

HDI Support Center Certification 26.2 17.6 11.1 45.1

ISO 9000 12.7 3.7 6.3 77.4

ISO/IEC 20000 7.4 3.8 4.9 83.9


Currently use
ITIL 48.8 19.5 5.7 25.9
Planning to use
Kaizen 7.3 5.3 5.1 82.3 Have used in the past
Have not used and do
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) 18.7 14.9 4.8 61.6
not plan to use
LEAN 11.8 5.9 6.3 76.0

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 8.2 4.7 6.1 81.0

Process Maturity Framework (PMF) 3.5 3.4 4.6 88.5

Six Sigma 14.2 5.5 12.7 67.7

Total Quality Management (TQM) 9.3 4.2 10.6 75.9

2011
Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) 6.7 3.6 7.7 82.0

COBIT 4.9 4.4 5.7 85.1

HDI Support Center Certification 22.9 16.6 12.0 48.6

ISO 9000 11.3 2.8 8.5 77.4

ISO/IEC 20000 8.0 4.2 4.4 83.4


Currently use
ITIL 51.7 16.1 6.0 26.2
Planning to use
Kaizen 6.7 2.1 5.1 86.1 Have used in the past
Have not used and do
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) 15.8 17.5 4.8 62.0
not plan to use
LEAN 11.2 3.5 5.1 80.2

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 9.3 2.6 6.2 82.0

Process Maturity Framework (PMF) 3.9 2.23.6 90.4

Six Sigma 13.6 5.7 9.3 71.5

Total Quality Management (TQM) 8.0 3.7 9.0 79.3

40 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


2010
Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) 7.2 3.2 5.8 83.8

COBIT 6.5 3.8 6.4 83.3

HDI Support Center Certification 21.6 13.1 11.2 54.1

ISO 9000 15.0 4.2 7.4 73.3

ISO/IEC 20000 8.5 5.6 4.1 81.8


Currently use
ITIL 43.4 18.1 4.3 34.2
Planning to use
Kaizen 6.6 2.4 5.3 84.4 Have used in the past
Have not used and do
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) 14.6 14.5 4.0 66.8
not plan to use
LEAN 9.8 3.6 5.4 79.9

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 8.5 5.2 5.3 80.3

Process Maturity Framework (PMF) 4.1 3.4 3.5 89.0

Six Sigma 14.6 4.1 9.5 71.7

Total Quality Management (TQM) 9.4 3.0 10.0 77.6

2009
Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) 6.6 4.6 7.2 81.7

COBIT 7.3 5.4 6.3 81.0

HDI Support Center Certification 17.7 17.5 11.9 53.0

ISO 9000 12.9 3.2 7.7 76.2

ISO/IEC 20000 5.6 6.1 4.2 84.1


Currently use
ITIL 42.9 20.5 4.9 31.6
Planning to use
Kaizen 24.4 11.4 5.0 59.2 Have used in the past
21.7 23.0 4.8 50.5
Have not used and do
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS)
not plan to use
LEAN 9.2 4.4 4.3 82.1

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 8.2 5.5 6.1 80.2

4.1
Process Maturity Framework (PMF) 2.9 4.9 88.0

Six Sigma 15.9 4.1 9.6 70.5

Total Quality Management (TQM) 9.9 4.5 11.3 74.4

Processes, Procedures, and strategies 41


ITIL processes adopted by support organizations:

Access management 17.8



36.8
39.4
Asset management 21.8
20.0
21.8 2012
10.2 2011
9.9
Availability management 16.2 2010
15.6
17.5 2009
Business relationship
management 7.3 2008
9.6
11.2
Capacity management 14.5
15.1
18.2

53.1
56.4
Change management 39.0
40.9
34.6

24.2
28.6
Configuration management 25.2
24.3
23.9

16.6
13.8
Event management 20.3
17.9
19.6

4.3
6.4
Financial management 11.3
9.9
15.4

63.5
68.7
Incident management 48.1
50.2
41.9

Information security management 16.5

IT service continuity management 14.5

46.5
Knowledge management 40.0
27.9

43.5
46.2
Problem management 36.0
33.9
33.5

20.3
Release and 20.6
23.9
deployment management 23.4
21.5

Request fulfillment 16.8

Service catalog management 18.6

32.6
Service level management 32.7
27.1

Service portfolio management 8.0

Strategy management 4.9



Supplier management 3.9

Transition planning and support 5.7

Percentage of support organizations

42 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Percentage of support centers that maintain service level agreements:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)

37.7
29.5
Single service level agreements 33.7
35.7
34.5

43.4
47.8
Multiple service level agreements 47.0
44.3
43.0

33.1
31.8
Operational level agreements 31.8
34.4
32.3

12.8
12.7 2012
Underpinning contracts 13.2 2011
15.4 2010
12.3
2009
2008
21.9
25.1
None of these 23.0
23.8
24.8

Percentage of support centers

Tickets that meet SLA/OLA goals or targets:

4.2%
5.2%
Tickets
Less than 50%
9.8% 51–60%
35.2%
61–70%
14.2%
71–80%
81–90%
31.4%
91–100%

Percentage of support centers

Processes, Procedures, and strategies 43


How support centers are charging internal customers for support services:
(Includes the support centers that provide either internal or blended support. Survey
respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)
75.3
No charge to
73.8
customer/corporate allocation
71.9

18.2
Fixed allocation to business
18.9
units/departments
21.5

6.4
Fixed-fee service contract 6.0
6.8 2012
2.8
2011
Fixed fee per incident 2.8 2010
4.1

1.3
Based on length of call 0.6
1.7
Percentage of support centers

How support centers are charging external customers for support services:
(Includes the support centers that provide either external or blended support. Survey
respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)

58.8
No charge to
50.6
customer/corporate allocation
50.0

12.4
Fixed allocation to business
13.8
units/departments
17.5

26.0 2012
Fixed-fee service contract 26.7
29.8 2011

8.0
2010
Fixed fee per incident 10.3
11.7

3.5
Based on length of call 4.4
6.0
Percentage of support centers

Most important factor influencing support center spending priorities:

7.3% Support business growth


Reduce costs
14.1% 25.2%
Improve customer service
Improve efficiency
16.7% Improve effectiveness
19.7%
Expand services
17.0%

Percentage of support centers

44 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Outsourcing
This section includes responses from the 839 organizations
that are not outsourced services providers.
Percentage of support centers with outsourced staff in the following locations:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)

16.3
In-house (in your facility)
16.7

10.4
In-country (third-party facility in your country)
10.1

2.0
Near-shore (third-party facility in an adjacent country)
2.3

8.2
Off-shore (third-party facility in a nonadjacent country)
8.4

70.8
None
67.5

Percentage of support centers

Outsourcing expectations for the next year:

2012 2011
3.0% 3.1%
6.1% 5.4%
11.2% 9.7%

28.4% 27.8%

48.3% 50.0%

3.1% 4.0%

Percentage of support centers Percentage of support centers

Begin outsourcing Reduce the current level of outsourcing


Outsource more Do not outsource and have no plans to outsource
No change in the current level of outsourcing I don’t know

Processes, Procedures, and strategies 45


Outsourcing status of the following functions:
(Includes only those who did not respond “Does not apply” on each category.)

2012
After-hours service 9.6 13.4 1.8 2.8

Hardware support and repair 3.8 12.2 1.6 3.5

Out-of-country support 6.0 6.8 0.9 1.3

Support center staff 3.6 8.2 0.9 1.8

Desktop support 3.8 6.7 1.7 3.0


Being considered for outsourcing
Software applications support 4.3 7.0 0.9 1.7
Currently outsourced
Multilingual 4.6 6.0 1.1 1.5 Bringing back in-house
Outsourced in the past
Peak call loads (overflow support) 4.3 5.7 0.8 1.6

Proprietary application support 3.7 5.8 0.5 2.0

Network support 2.8 6.0 0.9 2.2

Internet/web support 2.5 5.0 0.9 1.7

Support center management 1.9 3.7 1.0 0.7

Asset management 1.5 2.4 1.0 1.5

Percentage of support centers

2011
After-hours service 7.8 14.5 2.0 1.6

Hardware support and repair 5.5 14.5 1.2 2.2

Desktop support 5.7 9.1 0.7 2.4

Out-of-country support 5.2 8.2 1.5 2.2

Software applications support 5.3 8.2 0.5 2.6


Being considered for outsourcing
Support center staff 5.4 6.5 1.3 2.0
Currently outsourced
Multilingual 5.0 6.3 1.8 2.2 Bringing back in-house
Outsourced in the past
Peak call loads 4.5 6.3 0.9 0.7

Proprietary application support 3.9 6.5 0.9 1.1

Network support 5.0 5.2 0.5 2.1

Internet/web support 3.9 5.3 0.9 1.4

Asset management 3.0 3.0 0.9 0.6

Support center management 2.9 3.4 0.5 1.0

Percentage of support centers

46 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Factors that influence the decision to outsource or consider outsourcing:
(Includes support centers that are currently outsourcing or
are considering outsourcing.)

Cost 49.7

Expanding scope of support 31.5

A need for expertise (including language requirements) 17.8

The outsourced service is not a core business competency 16.4

A recent change in infrastructure 12.2

Leveraging better technology 10.5

Mergers/acquisitions 6.6

HR issues (e.g., turnover, low morale, etc.) 4.2

Real-estate issues (e.g., no room, physical location costs too much, etc.) 3.8

Other 8.7
Percentage of support centers

Reasons why support Centers don’t outsource more:


(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that
applied to their support centers.)

50.9
Control of service
49.4

45.0
Cost
28.9

42.1
Customer acceptance
41.6 2012

30.9
2011
Legal requirements
14.2

25.5
Security
25.8

21.1
Service quality
48.5

13.0
Support staff morale
23.5

6.7
Other
6.2

Percentage of support centers

Processes, Procedures, and strategies 47


A closer look at
Processes, Procedures,
and strategies
Percentage of support centers currently using the following:

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)


Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS)

Process Maturity Framework (PMF)


Capability Maturity Model (CMMI)

Total Quality Management (TQM)


HDI Support Center Certification

ISO/IEC 20000

Six Sigma
ISO 9000

Kaizen
COBIT

LEAN
ITIL

Industry
Computers – Software 6 3 11 14 11 27 2 20 5 8 5 6 3
Higher Education 1 4 27 4 1 36 1 9 3 2 0 5 6
Financial Services – Banking 13 15 25 10 13 63 8 18 20 5 5 23 10
Government – Federal 16 9 38 27 11 71 13 38 16 11 4 18 18
Government – State, Local, Other 8 2 24 6 2 47 4 8 6 6 4 10 12
Healthcare 8 2 36 3 1 51 11 14 23 11 2 22 9
Insurance 7 13 38 7 2 60 11 24 11 9 4 16 4
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 0 5 7 19 9 40 16 21 26 9 2 28 21
Outsourced Services Providers 14 8 42 31 28 81 3 33 17 6 3 17 11
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 4 2 19 8 6 46 6 21 13 10 4 17 2
Type of Support
Internal only 6 5 26 8 4 49 7 17 10 5 2 11 8
External only 4 4 23 12 7 37 7 21 7 4 4 7 9
Blended 8 5 27 15 9 48 6 18 12 10 5 16 10
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 3 5 17 11 4 36 7 12 7 7 2 6 5
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 8 3 27 9 6 48 6 16 11 9 4 13 10
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 8 7 33 16 11 57 6 24 14 7 4 18 11

48 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Top factors influencing support center spending priorities:

Industry #1 #2
Computers – Software Support business growth Improve customer service
Improve efficiency
Higher Education Improve customer service
Reduce costs
Financial Services – Banking Support business growth Reduce costs
Government – Federal Reduce costs Support business growth
Government – State, Local, Other Reduce costs Improve efficiency
Support business growth
Healthcare Improve effectiveness
Improve customer service
Insurance Reduce costs Support business growth
Manufacturing (noncomputer) Support business growth Improve customer service
Outsourced Services Providers Support business growth Reduce costs
Support business growth
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) Reduce costs
Improve efficiency
Type of Support
Internal only Support business growth Reduce costs
External only Support business growth Improve customer service
Blended Support business growth Reduce costs
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) Support business growth Improve customer service
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) Support business growth Reduce costs
Large (more than 10,000 customers) Improve customer service Reduce costs

Percentage of organizations
that outsource at least
some support staff:

Industry %
Computers – Software 31
Higher Education 18
Financial Services – Banking 40
Government – Federal 36
Government – State, Local, Other 28
Healthcare 28
Insurance 40
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 28
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 38
Type of Support
Internal only 32
External only 15
Blended 34
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 27
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 35
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 33

Processes, Procedures, and strategies 49


Performance
Metrics
The technical support industry is evolving, adapting most often through surveys sent to a random sample
to changes in practices, technologies, and customer of customers with closed tickets. Forty-four percent
expectations. In response to the needs of this report that their customers are “very satisfied” and an
community, we have made some changes to the additional 49 percent are “satisfied.” The timeliness of a
performance metrics section of this report. While it support center’s response, the amount of time it takes to
is has always been important to measure all channels resolve an issue, and the support center’s competency all
used for support, there have not always been enough have an impact on customer satisfaction. Performance
survey respondents able to provide data about metrics that address each of these areas, across various
performance metrics beyond the phone and email channels, are reported in this section.
channels. However, indicative of the widespread shift
The average speed to answer and average speed to
to multichannel support, this year’s report includes
respond metrics reflect the time it takes for a customer to
metrics for chat and web requests alongside the two
contact a live person, not an autoresponse or recording.
more traditional channels.
The median speed to answer the phone is 11–20 seconds
In addition to adding metrics for more channels, and the median abandonment rate is five percent.
the results are broken out by type of ticket where Median talk time (phone) is 5–8 minutes for all ticket
appropriate. Forty percent of the industry is measuring types. Email and web requests have similar response
incidents (unplanned work required to fix something) times, both with a median of 1–4 hours.
and service requests (nothing is broken, but a service
Time to resolve (from the time the ticket is opened to
is needed) separately, and so the data are reported
final resolution) is, not surprisingly, longer for service
separately. This section also includes data for the 60
requests than for incidents. Most organizations have a
percent of organizations that do not measure the two
target resolution time for service requests of 3–5 days,
ticket types independently.
while most incidents are resolved in less than 24 hours.
About three-quarters of the industry produces and Resolution rates—first call resolution (resolved by any
reports performance metrics to stakeholders, and shares level as long as it is resolved on the initial call), first
this data with staff, managers, and executives. Of those contact resolution (resolved by the person who initially
organizations that report their metrics, 65 percent opens the ticket), and first level resolution (resolved
share this data with their customers. As for measuring without hierarchical escalation)—are lower for service
customer satisfaction, 79 percent formally measure it, requests than for incidents, across the board.
Percentage of support Centers that report metrics:

74.4

75.1

Produced and reported 70.6

75.7

66.6

15.5

15.9

Produced but not reported 19.1


2012
15.1
2011
19.9
2010
2009
2008
10.1

9.0

Not produced 10.3

9.2

13.5

Percentage of support centers

Frequency of reporting to stakeholders:


(Includes the 651 organizations that report metrics.)

Customers Support partners Support staff Support managers Executives


Daily 6 6 21 27 7
Weekly 9 13 33 38 23
Monthly 25 26 46 43 49
Quarterly 11 9 11 11 20
Twice yearly 2 1 3 2 3
Yearly 8 6 8 8 9
Upon request 20 19 8 10 14
Do not report metrics to this group 35 35 5 4 4
Percentage of support centers

52 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Customer satisfaction is measured using the following:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that applied to their support centers.)

Ongoing surveys, all closed tickets 33.3

Ongoing surveys, random sample of closed tickets 35.5

Monthly surveys 6.4

Quarterly surveys 7.1

Twice yearly surveys 5.3

Yearly surveys 14.6

Event-based/special-purpose surveys 8.7

Customer forums/focus groups 9.4

No formal method/tool 19.0

Other 2.1

Percentage of support centers

Average level of customer satisfaction:


(Includes the 709 support centers that measure customer satisfaction.)

1.4% 0.1%

5.8%
Very satisfied
Satisfied
43.7%
Neutral
48.9% Dissatisfied
Very dissatisfied

Percentage of support centers

Performance Metrics 53
TIME CUSTOMERS WAIT FOR A RESPONSE WHEN THEY CONTACT THE SUPPORT CENTER
THROUGH THE FOLLOWING CHANNELS:

Actual Target

PHONE: AVERAGE SPEED TO CHAT: AVERAGE TIME TO RESPOND TO


ANSWER THE PHONE A CUSTOMER THROUGH CHAT
(I.E., SPEAK TO A PERSON) (DOES NOT INCLUDE AUTOMATIC RECEIPT ACKNOWLEDGMENT.)

11 Less than 46
Less than 5 seconds
13 60 seconds 53

21 36
5–10 seconds 60–90 seconds
23 35

17 10
11–20 seconds 90 seconds –
13 2 minutes 8

21–30 seconds
17 More than 7 Median =
21 2 minutes 3 60–90 seconds
14 Percentage of support centers
31–59 seconds
17

10
60–90 seconds
9
Median =
9 11–20 seconds
More than 90 seconds
4

Percentage of support centers

WEB REQUEST: AVERAGE TIME TO RESPOND TO


A CUSTOMER REGARDING A
TICKET REPORTED THROUGH WEB-REQUEST
EMAIL: AVERAGE TIME TO RESPOND TO (DOES NOT INCLUDE AUTOMATIC RECEIPT
A CUSTOMER REGARDING A ACKNOWLEDGMENT. INCLUDES BUSINESS HOURS ONLY.)
TICKET REPORTED THROUGH EMAIL
(DOES NOT INCLUDE AUTOMATIC RECEIPT 12
Less than 15 minutes
ACKNOWLEDGMENT. INCLUDES BUSINESS HOURS ONLY.) 15

13 27
Less than 15 minutes 15–60 minutes
18 25

29 32
15–60 minutes 1–4 hours
29 28

34 13
1–4 hours 4–8 hours
30 13

16 10
4–8 hours 8–24 hours
13 15
Median =
More than 8 hours
8
Median = More than 24 hours
6
1–4 hours
10 4
1–4 hours
Percentage of support centers Percentage of support centers

54 2012 HDI SUPPORT CENTER PRACTICES & SALARY REPORT


PERCENTAGE OF TICKETS CONVERTED TO ANOTHER CHANNEL (E.G., PHONE)
BEFORE BEING RESOLVED WHEN REPORTED THROUGH THE FOLLOWING CHANNELS:

EMAIL CHAT WEB REQUEST

Less than 10% 33 59 43

10–20% 15 13 13

21–30% 12 11 11

31–40% 8 5 6

41–50% 8 5 5

51–60% 4 3 3

61–70% 4 0 4

71–80% 3 Median = 2 Median = 6 Median =


81–90% 3 21–30% 0 Less than 10% 3 10–20%
91–100% 9 2 6

Percentage of support centers Percentage of support centers Percentage of support centers

PERCENTAGE OF TICKETS REOPENED AFTER BEING CLOSED (ALL CHANNELS):


(FIFTEEN PERCENT OF SUPPORT CENTERS DO NOT REOPEN TICKETS.)

15
Less than 1%
14

32
1%
43

9
2%
11

9 Actual
3%
9 Target
9
4%
7

5
5%
2

18
6–10%
19

13
11–20%
7

4
21–30%
2

More than 30%


1 Median = 2%
1

Percentage of support centers

PERFORMANCE METRICS 55
PERCENTAGE OF PHONE CALLS THAT ARE ABANDONED (I.E., NOT ANSWERED):
15
Less than 1%
23

6
1%
5

11
2%
6 Actual
Target
10
3%
8

8
4%
4

13
5%
30

4
6%
4

5
7%
3

6
8%
4

3
9%
4
Median = 5%
13
10–15%
9

7
More than 15%
1

Percentage of support centers

56 2012 HDI SUPPORT CENTER PRACTICES & SALARY REPORT


AMOUNT OF TIME SUPPORT STAFF SPENDS WORKING ON A TICKET:
PHONE: AVERAGE TALK TIME FOR TICKETS RECEIVED BY PHONE (FROM ANSWER TO HANG UP)
Actual Target

TICKETS*
7
Less than 3 minutes 12
31
3–5 minutes 32
25
5–8 minutes 23
15
8–10 minutes 17
12
10–15 minutes 11
4
Median =
15–20 minutes 2 5–8 minutes
3
20–25 minutes 1
4
More than 25 minutes 1
Percentage of support centers

INCIDENTS**
12
Less than 3 minutes 12
24
3–5 minutes 21
22
5–8 minutes 20
13
8–10 minutes 11

10–15 minutes 15
23
Median =
9 5–8 minutes
15–20 minutes 9
1
20–25 minutes 3
4
More than 25 minutes 2
Percentage of support centers

SERVICE REQUESTS***
19
Less than 3 minutes 18
29
3–5 minutes 23
21
5–8 minutes 20
9
8–10 minutes 9
14
10–15 minutes 16
6
Median =
15–20 minutes 9 5–8 minutes
1
20–25 minutes 5
1
More than 25 minutes 0
Percentage of support centers
* TICKETS: Results represent support centers that do not measure incidents and service requests independently. Includes all tickets.
** INCIDENTS: Results for tickets for unplanned work required to fix something.
*** SERVICE REQUESTS: Results for tickets where nothing is broken but a service is needed.

PERFORMANCE METRICS 57
PHONE: AVERAGE HANDLE TIME FOR ALL TICKETS RECEIVED BY PHONE
(TALK TIME AND WRAP-UP TIME [I.E., EFFORT])

Actual Target

TICKETS*
4
Less than 3 minutes 8
15
3–5 minutes 18
21
5–8 minutes 22
21
8–10 minutes 21

10–15 minutes 16
19
10
15–20 minutes
5 Median =
20–25 minutes 4 8–10 minutes
4

More than 25 minutes 10


4
Percentage of support centers

INCIDENTS**
10
Less than 3 minutes 7
18
3–5 minutes 19
15
5–8 minutes 11
14
8–10 minutes 21
22
10–15 minutes 30

15–20 minutes 9
13 Median =
6
8–10 minutes
20–25 minutes 2
3
More than 25 minutes 2
Percentage of support centers

SERVICE REQUESTS***
8
Less than 3 minutes 4
21
3–5 minutes 35
29
5–8 minutes 14
10
8–10 minutes 14
21
10–15 minutes 14
5
15–20 minutes 14
3
Median =
20–25 minutes 6 5–8 minutes
3
More than 25 minutes 0
Percentage of support centers

58 2012 HDI SUPPORT CENTER PRACTICES & SALARY REPORT


EMAIL: AVERAGE HANDLE TIME FOR TICKETS RECEIVED THROUGH EMAIL
(I.E., EFFORT)

Actual Target

TICKETS*
5
Less than 3 minutes 14
18
3–5 minutes 16

5–8 minutes 13
9

8–10 minutes 13
15

10–15 minutes 16
21

15–20 minutes 9
7

20–25 minutes 9
9 Median =
More than 25 minutes 17 10–15 minutes
8
Percentage of support centers

INCIDENTS**
9
Less than 3 minutes 7
11
3–5 minutes 7
11
5–8 minutes 12
20
8–10 minutes 17
13
10–15 minutes 29
11
15–20 minutes 7

20–25 minutes 7 Median =


10
8–10 minutes
18
More than 25 minutes 12
Percentage of support centers

SERVICE REQUESTS***
7
Less than 3 minutes 8
13
3–5 minutes 11
7
5–8 minutes 8
9
8–10 minutes 3
24
10–15 minutes 21
13
15–20 minutes 16
7% Median =
20–25 minutes 16 10–15 minutes
20
More than 25 minutes 18
Percentage of support centers

PERFORMANCE METRICS 59
CHAT: AVERAGE HANDLE TIME FOR ALL TICKETS RECEIVED THROUGH CHAT
(CHAT TIME AND WRAP-UP TIME [I.E., EFFORT])

TICKETS*
14 Actual
Less than 3 minutes 15
Target
14
3–5 minutes 11
10
5–8 minutes 19

8–10 minutes 24
7

10–15 minutes 17
30

15–20 minutes 5
11

20–25 minutes 5 Median =


0 8–10 minutes
More than 25 minutes 12
7
Percentage of support centers

* TICKETS: Results represent support centers that do not measure incidents and service requests independently. Includes all tickets.
Data for incidents and service requests measured independently are too limited to report for this channel.

RESOLUTION RATES:

PHONE: PERCENTAGE OF TICKETS RESOLVED BY


ANY LEVEL AS LONG AS IT IS RESOLVED ON THE INITIAL CALL (FIRST CALL RESOLUTION)
Average Target
Tickets* 66.0 72.6
Incidents** 68.9 74.3
Service requests*** 66.2 72.5

ALL CHANNELS: PERCENTAGE OF TICKETS RESOLVED


WITHOUT HIERARCHICAL ESCALATION (FIRST LEVEL RESOLUTION)
Average Target
Tickets* 66.9 72.5
Incidents** 68.6 73.6
Service requests*** 65.8 72.2

ALL CHANNELS: PERCENTAGE OF TICKETS RESOLVED BY


THE PERSON WHO INITIALLY OPENS THE TICKET (FIRST CONTACT RESOLUTION)
Average Target
Tickets* 65.8 72.3
Incidents** 64.3 71.1
Service requests*** 61.9 67.0

* TICKETS: Results represent support centers that do not measure incidents and service requests independently. Includes all tickets.
** INCIDENTS: Results represent support centers that measure incidents and service requests independently. Includes tickets for
unplanned work required to fix something.
*** SERVICE REQUESTS: Results represent support centers that measure incidents and service requests independently. Includes
tickets where nothing is broken but a service is needed.

60 2012 HDI SUPPORT CENTER PRACTICES & SALARY REPORT


AVERAGE TIME TO RESOLVE TICKETS (FROM OPEN TO FINAL RESOLUTION):
(INCLUDES ONLY NONURGENT TICKETS.)

Actual Target

TICKETS*
12
Less than 30 minutes 13
9
30–60 minutes 11
17
1–4 hours 17

4–8 hours 12
12 Median =
8–24 hours 12
18
4–8 hours
1–2 days 17
16

3–5 days 16
12

More than 5 days 5


1
Percentage of support centers

INCIDENTS**
12
Less than 30 minutes 8
6
30–60 minutes 8
14
1–4 hours 12
9
4–8 hours 12
17 Median =
8–24 hours 21 8–24 hours
26
1–2 days 20
15
3–5 days 14
2
More than 5 days 5
Percentage of support centers

SERVICE REQUESTS***
14
Less than 30 minutes 9
5
30–60 minutes 5
8
1–4 hours 8
8
4–8 hours 12 Median =
8–24 hours
11
11
1–2 days
15
1–2 days 11
33
3–5 days 38
6
More than 5 days 7
Percentage of support centers

PERFORMANCE METRICS 61
A closer look at
Performance Metrics
Percentage of support
centers that report Customer Satisfaction:
performance metrics:
Percentage with “very
Industry
Industry % satisfied” customers
Computers – Software 75 Computers – Software 37
Higher Education 62 Higher Education 32
Financial Services – Banking 85 Financial Services – Banking 46
Government – Federal 96 Government – Federal 46
Government – State, Local, Other 61 Government – State, Local, Other 51
Healthcare 81 Healthcare 51
Insurance 91 Insurance 55
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 72 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 40
Outsourced Services Providers 92 Outsourced Services Providers 38
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 81 Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 36
Type of Support Type of Support
Internal only 72 Internal only 42
External only 84 External only 50
Blended 72 Blended 38
Number of Customers Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 56 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 45
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 73 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 43
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 86 Large (more than 10,000 customers) 43

62 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Abandonment Rate Average speed to answer the phone
(I.e., Percentage of calls not answered): (i.e., speak to a person):

Industry Median Industry Median


Computers – Software 5 Computers – Software 21–30 seconds
Higher Education 6 Higher Education 11–20 seconds
Financial Services – Banking 6 Financial Services – Banking 21–30 seconds
Government – Federal 3 Government – Federal 11–20 seconds
Government – State, Local, Other 9 Government – State, Local, Other 11–20 seconds
Healthcare 7 Healthcare 21–30 seconds
Insurance 5 Insurance 21–30 seconds
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 4 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 11–20 seconds
Outsourced Services Providers 5 Outsourced Services Providers 21–30 seconds
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 8 Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 21–30 seconds
Type of Support Type of Support
Internal only 7 Internal only 11–20 seconds
External only 7 External only 21–30 seconds
Blended 5 Blended 11–20 seconds
Number of Customers Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 5 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 11–20 seconds
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 6 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 11–20 seconds
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 5 Large (more than 10,000 customers) 21–30 seconds

Performance Metrics 63
Support
center staff:
Training, certification, and satisfaction
The support center staff is the face of IT for internal (74%). Blended learning, which combines instructor-
support organizations, and is often the face of the led training with self-paced learning, has increased
company for external support organizations. Their in popularity, up from 47 percent of support centers
roles are crucial not only in providing the support using this training method in 2011 to 53 percent in
needed but also in providing customer service. 2012. In nine percent of organizations, it takes new
front-line hires two weeks or less to be able to work
The larger the organization, the more customers each
efficiently on their own, though 30 percent of
staff member supports, with each full-time equivalent
organizations report that their new hires to the front-
(FTE) serving a median of 337 customers. This number
line require one to two months, and another 23
varies greatly by industry: In higher education, the
percent require more than two months.
ratio is 1,652:1, while in healthcare it is 507:1. Large
organizations (more than 10,000 customers) have a Fifteen percent of organizations require frontline staff
median of one FTE for every 1,200 customers; small to have certifications, and 12 percent of organizations
organizations (fewer than 2,000 customers) have a pay more for specific certifications. CompTIA, HDI,
median of one FTE for every 100 customers. Many of ITIL, and Microsoft are the most sought-after
these organizations are allowing staff to work from certifications by technical support organizations.
home offices at least part-time. In fact, more than
Hiring certified support staff and training them once
42 percent of the support industry has at least some
they are on-board can improve customer satisfaction,
support center staff working from home at least
but are organizations considering staff satisfaction?
part-time, with an additional nine percent planning
Twenty-eight percent of organizations are not formally
to implement this practice in the next twelve
measuring employee satisfaction, while those that do
months. This type of remote work arrangement is
are most commonly measuring employee satisfaction
less common in higher education (24%) and the
on an annual basis. Of those organizations that
federal government (27%).
measure employee satisfaction, the majority (70%)
Because of the roles support center staffs play in an report that their employees are “satisfied,” with an
organization, it is no surprise that customer service additional 22 percent reporting “very satisfied” staff.
skills continue to be the primary training focus for The average tenure for each position increases by
frontline support. On-the-job training is still the level: around two years for the front line, and about
most common training method for new hires to the ten years for support center managers.
front line (88%), followed by mentoring or coaching
Number of support center staff by total customer count:

Support Center Staff Size


Total number of More
customers supported 5 or less 6–10 11–15 16–20 21–30 31–40 41–50 51–100 Total
than 100
Fewer than 100 53% 12% 12% 6% 18% 100%
100–499 66% 23% 7% 4% 100%
500–999 43% 32% 10% 3% 3% 6% 2% 2% 100%
1,000–1,499 20% 43% 15% 7% 2% 5% 3% 3% 2% 100%
1,500–1,999 33% 36% 7% 12% 2% 2% 2% 5% 100%
2,000–5,000 17% 28% 15% 12% 10% 5% 4% 5% 6% 100%
5,001–10,001 17% 23% 13% 15% 12% 3% 3% 9% 5% 100%
10,001–50,000 7% 18% 12% 12% 20% 7% 6% 12% 6% 100%
More than 50,000 5% 14% 13% 12% 8% 4% 5% 13% 26% 100%
Percentage of support centers

Median = 337:1

Percentage of support centers with staff working from home:

2.2%
4.6%
All support staff work from home at all times
10.2% All support staff work from home part of the time

48.7% Some support staff work from home at all times


25.4% Some support staff work from home part of the time
Planning to implement this in the next twelve months
9.0% None and no plans to implement this in the next twelve months

Percentage of support centers with Staffing expectations for


A dedicated support center manager: the next twelve months:

2012 2011 2012 2011

Dedicated support 77.6 Expanding – creating and 27.8


center manager 81.7 filling new positions 32.2
No, the manager over the support 17.1 42.5
center oversees other areas Filling openings – filling current
15.2 positions as they come open 39.1
as well (e.g., desktop support)

No, we do not have a 5.3 25.3


support center manager 3.1 Frozen – not filling open positions 22.2

Percentage of support centers Cutting – staff will be smaller 4.5


than it is now 6.5

Percentage of support organizations

66 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Training
Support staffs receive formal training in the following areas:
(includes only those organizations That have each position.)

(e.g., stress, time, assertiveness,


what to ask, how to ask, etc.)

interpersonal skills, etc.)


Project management

Technologies used to
Service management
People management
(e.g., communication,

No formal training
Technologies used
Self-management

Troubleshooting/
Customer service

Teamwork skills

problem solving
provide support
process skills

by customers
Leadership

Other
2012
Call Screener/Dispatch 42 8 9 6 21 13 28 26 28 25 10 40
Level 1 Support 74 12 12 7 42 27 51 60 63 59 13 14
Level 2 Support 56 18 16 15 41 28 48 57 61 57 13 17
Desktop Support Technician 44 10 13 12 33 21 42 50 51 49 12 21
Level 3 Support 33 20 14 25 34 24 38 46 48 42 12 23
Support Center Team Lead 43 65 57 39 48 40 50 45 50 40 12 17
Support Center Manager 39 73 68 52 50 45 49 38 44 33 15 13
Percentage of support centers training staff at each level

Days per year spent on formal training for


each member of the support staff (excluding new-hire training):
None 1–5 days 6–10 days 11–15 days 16–20 days More than 20 days
Call Screener/Dispatch 45.2 34.1 11.0 5.4 1.3 3.0
Level 1 Support 11.9 48.7 23.2 8.5 3.3 4.5
Level 2 Support 16.0 38.9 26.3 11.0 4.4 3.4
Desktop Support Technician 19.5 41.8 23.1 8.5 4.1 3.0
Level 3 Support 20.0 32.3 24.1 12.4 7.3 3.9
Support Center Team Lead 16.9 31.4 25.3 13.0 7.7 5.7
Support Center Manager 11.8 32.8 24.3 15.4 8.2 7.5
Percentage of support centers

Amount of time it takes for a new frontline hire to work efficiently on his/her own:
3.4%

9.0%
Less than 2 work weeks
23.1% 2 weeks to 1 month
1 to 2 months
34.9% More than 2 months
N/A
29.6%

Percentage of support centers

Support Center Staff 67


Methods used to train new hires to the front line:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that
applied to their support centers.)

87.9
On-the-job training 88.5
87.8

73.9
Mentoring/coaching 77.2
78.4

61.7
Call monitoring 62.1
56.6

Blended learning 52.9


(instructor-led training combined 47.4
with self-paced training)
42.9
Computer-based training 44.6
42.0

35.0
Formal classroom 32.7
32.5

31.2
Online, self-paced 28.5
29.1

19.4
Webinars 20.0
15.9 2012
2011
11.2
Virtual classroom 9.7 2010
8.8

1.1
Other 1.9
1.6
Percentage of support centers

Primary training focus for new frontline hires:

25.4
Customer service skills
25.3
22.9
Technologies used by customers
23.6
19.4
Technologies used to provide support
16.2
10.6
Problem-solving skills
11.7
7.4
Learning to use the knowledge base

7.0
Business introduction
8.5
3.1
Learning to leverage other support center staff 4.5
2012
2011
2.1
Service management skills (e.g., ITIL) 2.6
2.2
Other 1.9
Percentage of support centers

68 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Certification
The industry’s position on frontline staff certification:
(Survey respondents were asked to select all options that
applied to their support centers.)

We require formal certification. 15.3

Certification is an important criteria for hiring. 28.0

Certification is an important criteria for promotion. 23.8

Certified staff and/or potential hires are paid more. 12.0

We do not feel there is any added value in certifications. 7.1

Other factors/skills are much more important than certifications. 29.1

Percentage of support centers

Percentage of support centers that require frontline staff


to have the following certifications:

Apple 1.3

Cisco 1.9

Citrix 0.7

COBIT 0.1

CompTIA 6.5

Dell 1.1

HDI 6.6

HP 0.7

IBM 0.3

(ISC) 2 0.3

ISACA 0.2

ITIL 4.1

KCS 0.2

Linux 0.9

Microsoft 7.5

Novell 0.3

PMI 0.5

Other software 0.5

Other hardware 0.2

Percentage of support centers

Support Center Staff 69


Percentage of support centers that pay frontline staff more
for having the following certifications:

Apple 2.5

Cisco 4.9

Citrix 1.7

COBIT 0.3

CompTIA 5.8
Dell 2.1
HDI 5.6
HP 1.4
IBM 1.1
(ISC) 2
0.2
ISACA 0.1
ITIL 5.5
KCS 0.7
LPI 0.3
Linux 0.6
Microsoft 8.5
Novell 0.6
PMI 1.5
Other software 0.1
Other hardware 0.2

Percentage of support centers

EmployeE Satisfaction

Frequency of formal measurement of support staff satisfaction:

Daily 9.1

Weekly 7.9

Monthly 13.7

Every two months 1.0

Quarterly 10.4

Twice yearly 9.6

Yearly 28.8

Other 3.7

Not measured 27.8

Percentage of support centers

70 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Average support staff satisfaction level:
(Includes only those support centers that measure support staff satisfaction.)

1.2%
7.6%
21.7% Very satisfied
Satisfied
Dissatisfied
Very dissatisfied
69.5%

Percentage of support centers

Support staff attrition rates:

9.7
Left the company in the past twelve months
5.1
Level 1 Support
5.7
Left the support organization in the past twelve months but stayed within the company Level 2 Support
3.6

6.4
Changed positions in the past twelve months but stayed within the support organization
4.4

Average percentage of staff

Average tenure for each position in the support center:


Support Center Analyst

Desktop Support
Level 1 Support/

Support Center

Support Center
Call Screener/

Team Lead
Technician

Manager
Dispatch

Support

Support
Level 2

Level 3

Number of responses 180 824 727 627 619 679 816


Less than 1 year 20 5 2 2 3 4 3
1 year 13 12 5 4 4 3 4
2 years 23 25 16 14 6 12 8
3 years 12 18 16 18 13 13 7
4 years 8 10 11 9 11 11 6
5 years 8 10 14 14 14 13 11
5–8 years 4 10 16 21 21 19 18
8–10 years 3 5 11 9 12 9 11
More than 10 years 8 6 10 10 17 17 31
Percentage of support centers

Support Center Staff 71


A closer look at
Support Center Staff
Percentage of support centers Time spent annually on formal training for
that have staff working from each level 1 support staff member:
home at least part-time: Number of work weeks spent in training
Industry % 1 week More than
Industry None
Computers – Software 55 or less 1 week
Higher Education 24 Computers – Software 7 41 52
Financial Services – Banking 53 Higher Education 14 56 30
Government – Federal 27 Financial Services – Banking 10 39 51
Government – State, Local, Other 45 Government – Federal 9 41 50
Healthcare 36 Government – State, Local, Other 11 51 38
Insurance 44 Healthcare 15 53 32
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 49 Insurance 16 39 45
Outsourced Services Providers 50 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 11 42 47
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 50 Outsourced Services Providers 9 34 57
Type of Support Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 7 53 40
Internal only 36 Type of Support
External only 46 Internal only 13 48 39
Blended 46 External only 4 43 53
Number of Customers Blended 12 49 39
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 40 Number of Customers
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 41 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 16 47 37
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 45 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 14 49 37
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 7 52 41

Staffing ratios: Employee Satisfaction:


Number of Formally Percentage
Industry customers per measuring with “very
FTE (median) satisfied” staff
Computers – Software 202 Industry % %
Higher Education 1,652 Computers – Software 72 19
Financial Services – Banking 278 Higher Education 59 17
Government – Federal 380 Financial Services – Banking 70 30
Government – State, Local, Other 250 Government – Federal 76 32
Healthcare 507 Government – State, Local, Other 65 25
Insurance 286 Healthcare 84 18
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 320 Insurance 76 13
Outsourced Services Providers 372 Manufacturing (noncomputer) 77 21
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 262 Outsourced Services Providers 82 13
Type of Support Most common Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 77 24
response
Type of Support
Internal only 264
Internal only 68 22
External only 371
External only 81 22
Blended 433
Most common Blended 73 21
Number of Customers response Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 100 Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 59 31
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 348 Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 76 21
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 1,200 Large (more than 10,000 customers) 77 16

72 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Level 1 support Turnover Rates:
Left the support Changed positions in the
Left the company
organization in the past past twelve months but
in the past
twelve months but stayed stayed within the
twelve months
within the company support organization
Industry % % %
Computers – Software 9.9 6.7 8.2
Higher Education 10.3 5.6 4.9
Financial Services – Banking 6.6 2.7 4.5
Government – Federal 10.0 2.5 5.3
Government – State, Local, Other 10.9 4.6 7.5
Healthcare 5.1 5.8 8.4
Insurance 11.2 9.4 4.5
Manufacturing (noncomputer) 8.3 2.9 4.2
Outsourced Services Providers 12.4 8.2 8.9
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) 8.4 4.0 9.8
Type of Support
Internal only 8.7 3.9 5.1
External only 9.0 7.6 9.3
Blended 10.4 6.7 7.1
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) 9.4 4.2 4.9
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) 9.7 6.3 7.6
Large (more than 10,000 customers) 10.1 6.0 6.3

Staffing expectations for the


next twelve months:

Industry Most common response %


Computers – Software Expanding 39
Higher Education Filling openings 49
Financial Services – Banking Filling openings 58
Government – Federal Expanding 31
Government – State, Local, Other Filling openings 43
Healthcare Filling openings 45
Insurance Filling openings 44
Manufacturing (noncomputer) Filling openings 40
Outsourced Services Providers Expanding; Filling openings 39
Retail (includes Food and Beverage) Expanding; Filling openings 33
Type of Support
Internal only Filling openings 47
External only Expanding 49
Blended Filling openings 40
Number of Customers
Small (fewer than 2,000 customers) Frozen 36
Medium (2,000–10,000 customers) Filling openings 46
Large (more than 10,000 customers) Filling openings 47

Support Center Staff 73


M
More than 70 percent of the technical service and
support industry expects to be hiring in the next
twelve months, either filling positions as they become
open or expanding to create new positions. Recent
HDI research has confirmed that there is a war for
Central: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,
talent underway, and that organizations are having Wisconsin, and Wyoming
difficulty filling support positions with qualified East: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine,
employees. Compensation is one of the challenges Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
organizations face when seeking new talent. New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, and
In 2011, 34 percent of support centers were
West Virginia
anticipating salary increases within the year. In
2012, this is down slightly to 32 percent; two percent Consistent with previous years, support staffs located
expect a salary decrease in the next twelve months, in the western region are typically paid more than
while 55 percent expect salaries to remain about those in the central and eastern regions.
the same.
The number-one factor that determines salary
The 2012 survey results indicate that salaries have increases for call screener/dispatch, customer service
increased by an average of two percent since 2011 representatives, and level 1 support is customer
(based on US data). However, even with this small service skills. Customer service skills drop to the
increase, current average salaries are closer to the number-two spot, after quality of work, for level 2
lower end of the salary range than the higher end for support and desktop support technicians. For level
most positions. For example, the salary for a level 1 3 support, customer service skills make the top-
support professional ranges from $35,132 (average five list, but are beaten out by technical knowledge,
low end) to $48,815 (average high end). Yet the quality of work, increased job responsibilities, and
average current salary for level 1 support is $41,048, technical certifications. For team leads and above,
which is $925 less than the midpoint of the salary management and leadership skills are the top factors
range. For every position, with the exception of influencing salaries.
support center manager and director, the current
In 58 percent of support centers, managers receive
average salary is closer to the lower end of the salary
bonuses, compared to 40 percent for support staffs.
ranges reported.
An additional four percent of support centers will
In this report, average salaries (US data) are broken out be adding bonuses in the next twelve months; six
for each position by the size of support center (based percent are increasing bonuses, while nearly four
on number of customers supported). Consistent with percent (3.5%) are decreasing or eliminating them.
previous years, the results revealed that smaller support Most organizations (76%) base manager bonuses on
centers (fewer than 2,000 customers) pay more at each the company or organization’s performance, while
staff level, though director-level salaries do not appear 60 percent base them on individual performance.
to be related to support center size. Average US salaries Department/team performance is also used to determine
are also broken out by the type of support the support bonuses for both staff and management (50% and 40%,
center provides (internal only, external only, or respectively), though this practice is less common.
blended) and the region of the United States in which
This section of the report focuses on compensation
the support center is located.
practices for the technical service and support
The fifty states fall into three industry. The data includes all survey responses,
regions, as follows: except where specific salary amounts are reported.
West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and All compensation amounts are reported for US data
Washington only and in US dollars.
The 2012 HDI
Support Center
SalarY
REPORT
Top five factors that influence salary increases for each position:

Call Screener/Dispatch Customer Service Representative


Customer service skills 67.8 Customer service skills 67.0

Quality of work 50.7 Quality of work 53.0

Increased job responsibilities 37.0 Help desk or support experience 43.3

Help desk or support experience 33.6 Meeting performance metrics or standards 37.7

Meeting performance metrics or standards 30.8 Increased job responsibilities 36.7

Level 1 Support Level 2 Support


Customer service skills 68.6 Quality of work 63.1

Quality of work 66.0 Customer service skills 54.1

Help desk or support experience 49.8 Increased job responsibilities 52.0

Meeting performance metrics or standards 49.1 Specific technical knowledge 45.6

Increased job responsibilities 43.2 Meeting performance metrics or standards 44.0

Desktop Support Technician Level 3 Support


Quality of work 57.4 Specific technical knowledge 58.3

Customer service skills 49.7 Quality of work 56.5

Increased job responsibilities 44.6 Increased job responsibilities 51.9

Specific technical knowledge 42.0 Technical certifications 38.4

Desktop support 36.6 Customer service skills 33.3

Support Center Team Lead Support Center Manager


Management or leadership skills 76.7 Management or leadership skills 80.6

Increased job responsibilities 62.9 Increased job responsibilities 62.1

Quality of work 56.3 Quality of work 53.3

Customer service skills 46.0 Meeting performance metrics or standards 44.1

Meeting performance metrics or standards 41.7 Customer service skills 41.6

Desktop Support Manager Support Center Director


Management or leadership skills 73.2 Management or leadership skills 75.7

Increased job responsibilities 55.7 Increased job responsibilities 60.6

Quality of work 46.3 Quality of work 45.7

Customer service skills 37.6 Meeting performance metrics or standards 39.9

Meeting performance metrics or standards 34.5 Customer service skills 29.7

Percentage that selected each factor

76 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Bonuses are issued to:
38.7

40.1

Both management and staff 43.5

44.5

49.1

19.1

23.5

Management only 18.3

19.1 2012
18.1 2011
2010
1.6 2009
1.7 2008

Staff only 1.3

1.0

2.2

40.6

34.7

Neither group receives bonus compensation 36.7

35.4

30.5

Percentage of support centers

Of those organizations that offer them, bonuses are based on:


(Respondents were allowed to select all applicable options.)
59.5
Individual performance
71.1

50.4
Management
Department/team performance
40.2 Staff

75.7
Company/organization performance
65.4

5.1
Other
3.1

Percentage of support centers

Annual Salary Report 77


Percentage of Support Centers that provide monetary compensation for work
performed outside of an employee’s normally scheduled working hours
(e.g., on-call coverage, holiday coverage, etc.):

No, it is considered to be part of their job responsibilities. 19.4

No, but they receive comp time. 17.1

All staff are compensated in addition to their regular wages. 25.3

Some staff (e.g., nonexempt) are compensated in addition to their regular wages. 30.6

Other 1.0

This does not apply. 6.5

Percentage of support centers

78 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


support center compensation plans
for the next twelve months:

2012 2011

Salaries Bonuses
31.8 3.5
Increase Add
33.9 2.7

54.6 5.8
Stay about the same Increase
55.3 6.2

1.8 58.9
Decrease Stay about the same
1.0 63.2

11.8 2.3
I don’t know Decrease
2.6
9.7

Percentage of support centers 1.3


Eliminate
1.9

28.2
I don’t know
23.2

Percentage of support centers

Benefits Pay Differentials

1.1 1.4
Add Add
0.9 1.0

4.2 5.8
Increase Increase
4.4 6.8

68.9 63.1
Stay about the same Stay about the same
72.3 66.9

5.3 1.7
Decrease Decrease
6.5 2.2

0.2 1.1
Eliminate Eliminate
0.3 0.4

20.2 26.9
I don’t know I don’t know
15.6 22.7

Percentage of support centers Percentage of support centers

Annual Salary Report 79


Average Annual Salaries (US data only):
Average Annual
Salary Range

Number of LOW HIGH CURRENT


JOB LEVEL
responses END END AVERAGE SALARY
Call Screener/Dispatch 78 $29,236 $38,954 $33,344
Customer Service
108 $32,229 $44,899 $37,343
Representative
Level 1 Support 459 $35,132 $48,815 $41,048
Level 2 Support 357 $42,275 $58,735 $49,655
Desktop Support
281 $40,946 $56,567 $48,080
Technician
Level 3 Support 241 $53,046 $73,516 $62,922
Support Center Team Lead 312 $51,909 $68,339 $59,520
Support Center Manager 411 $68,277 $88,965 $79,209
Desktop Support Manager 135 $67,587 $89,034 $78,181
Support Center Director 228 $88,226 $117,407 $103,632

Average Current Salary by Region (US data only):


EAST CENTRAL WEST
Number of Responses 274 388 87
Call Screener/Dispatch limited data $31,871 limited data
Customer Service Representative $37,886 $37,069 limited data
Level 1 Support $40,721 $39,678 $48,799
Level 2 Support $48,952 $48,469 $57,202
Desktop Support Technician $48,513 $47,483 $51,142
Level 3 Support $64,327 $61,414 $64,946
Support Center Team Lead $59,625 $56,386 $71,604
Support Center Manager $81,179 $76,250 $86,820
Desktop Support Manager $82,568 $73,887 limited data
Support Center Director $108,263 $97,103 limited data

80 2012 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report


Current Average Salary by Size of Customer Base (US data only):

Small Medium Large


(fewer than 2,000 customers) (2,000–10,000 customers) (more than 10,000 customers)

Number of Responses 200 255 211


Call Screener/Dispatch limited data limited data limited data
Customer Service
limited data $38,941 $33,250
Representative
Level 1 Support $43,862 $41,867 $39,341
Level 2 Support $52,831 $50,836 $47,854
Desktop Support Technician $49,443 $48,210 $46,177
Level 3 Support $64,514 $63,082 $62,012
Support Center Team Lead $68,293 $58,595 $56,538
Support Center Manager $84,259 $78,472 $77,095
Desktop Support Manager limited data $78,923 $78,217
Support Center Director $102,500 $101,748 $102,772

Current Average Salary by Type of Support (US data only):

Internal only External only Blended

Number of Responses 273 47 234


Call Screener/Dispatch limited data limited data $32,744
Customer Service Representative limited data limited data $37,282
Level 1 Support $41,436 $40,068 $41,596
Level 2 Support $48,330 $50,657 $50,988
Desktop Support Technician $49,124 limited data $47,308
Level 3 Support $62,075 limited data $64,068
Support Center Team Lead $61,349 $58,380 $58,637
Support Center Manager $82,031 $80,416 $76,924
Desktop Support Manager $80,816 limited data $77,215
Support Center Director $107,298 limited data $99,377

Annual Salary Report 81


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