May 16, 2023

ROI calculator for the IT helpdesk cost per ticket

The true cost of your IT helpdesk support

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When was the last time you calculated your IT helpdesk cost per ticket? Do you know how much your IT support operations cost you? Have you factored in your cost all the elements that influence it?

Even if you think you know your IT support cost, chances are there are metrics that you never thought you should include. And you would be surprised to know that there are things you are not tracking. And most probably, you are miscalculating the true cost of your IT helpdesk support.

In the last 2 years, Service Desk Cost per Ticket has increased to an average of $26.51 (+30%), and the service levels have not improved: on the contrary, Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) has increased to 9.72 hours (+57%). It is about time IT helpdesk cost per ticket gets the attention it deserves!

Why the IT helpdesk cost per ticket is so important to you

Your IT service desk cost per ticket is the total monthly operating expense of your service desk divided by the number of tickets you had that month. You may be asking yourself, if cost per ticket is a simple average cost calculation, why is it such an important IT helpdesk metric?

By knowing how much your IT helpdesk operations are really costing you, you can make informed decisions about your helpdesk management and optimization, and your IT projects prioritization. This will ultimately lead to increased efficiency, cost reduction and enhanced employee satisfaction.

For example, your resolution time could be lower than the average, but your IT helpdesk ticket cost higher than expected: you may determine that you’re OK with that cost or that you want automate tasks to lower that cost.

Or you might have both a higher-than-expected MTTR and a high ticket cost: this means that you need to examine why you spend so much money and end up having lower than expected service levels.

The above examples illustrate that knowing your real cost per ticket will help you understand your team’s productivity: perhaps you need to adjust the roles within the team, hire additional staff, buy equipment or automate tasks. Most importantly, you can’t change something that you don’t know: not knowing your IT helpdesk cost per ticket means you can’t reduce it, boost your department’s efficiency and improve your company’s profitability.

How much do your IT helpdesk tickets really cost?

So let’s explore the various factors that contribute to the cost of helpdesk tickets, so that you can successfully calculate it.

1. Labor costs

This includes the cost of salaries, benefits, and other expenses associated with your IT support team. Because IT support is so labor-intensive—you need enough staff to field the service requests—you’ll likely see a significant majority of your costs going to service desk personnel. Your department could easily see 60-70% of costs going to direct and indirect service desk employees.

Labor costs are greatly influenced by wage rates. Depending on your geography and regional cost of living, a ticket that takes the same amount of time to be handled can cost very differently. Labor costs also depend on the complexity of the issue and the level of experience of the support staff. Therefore, it is essential to keep track of the time spent by your IT support team on each ticket to accurately calculate costs.

Turnover and absenteeism also influence labor costs. The more short-staffed your IT service desk is, the more overtime you must pay, which increases labor cost. If service desk turnover is high, you are paying a lot more per person to train and re-staff the helpdesk.

Finally, agent utilization and the IT agent/employee ratio influence labor costs. The more time every IT agent is spending on working on support-related issues, the higher their utilization and the better their cost.

2. Infrastructure costs

All hardware, software, office space and supplies, utilities, and other tools required to run the helpdesk system are included here. Infrastructure costs can vary widely depending on the size and complexity of your company, the number of your support team, and the level of automation in your helpdesk system.

3. Training costs

Training your IT team is essential to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide excellent employee support. However, training can be expensive, especially if you need to hire external trainers or invest in specialized training programs. Therefore, it is important to budget for training costs and optimize your training programs to ensure maximum efficiency. What is more, optimizing your investments in job training and coaching goes far in promoting your team's job satisfaction, which in turn decreases turnover and absenteeism and leads to lower labor costs.

4. Opportunity costs

Opportunity costs refer to the potential company revenue lost as a result of inefficient employee time due to IT issues. It is the time an employee spends not being productive because they are waiting for their IT support problem to be resolved. This cost can vary greatly depending on the company function they belong to, and on how the IT issue is impacting their work. For example, if a salesperson can’t perform a customer meeting because they are locked out of their account, the opportunity cost will be rather high.

Use AI-powered automation to reduce your IT helpdesk costs

By now you probably understand how costly your IT support operations can be, and how many factors you need to track to accurately measure their expenses. One way to optimize your IT helpdesk operations that will dramatically reduce costs (while providing excellent employee support) is by implementing AI virtual agents and automations.

When you start using more self-service and AI chatbot tools to address the common, repetitive issues, you can significantly impact the cost per ticket. If most employees are using self-service or chatbot options for low-level, routine issues, your IT service desk will experience a reduction in the volume of tickets they receive, which leads to better response times and lower labor costs per ticket. At the same time employees can instantly have their issues resolved, which dramatically reduces opportunity costs.

For example, you can easily calculate the annual cost savings you would have by adopting Gaspar AI, which would offer you all these benefits – the above parameters have already been factored in our ROI calculator. You just need to submit the number of employees and the number of tickets you receive in our calculator here , and then discover how much your costs will be reduced.

And if you like what you see, you can contact us for a demo and discussion!