4 December 2023
Work-life balance can be more difficult to achieve now, more than ever before. You have a laundry list of responsibilities that keeps evolving, and there are never enough hours to complete everything.
You deserve reliable, high-quality IT support – not wasted time spent frustrated with IT issues.
Managed Services Providers (MSPs) are pivotal in empowering staff productivity and ensuring seamless business operations. When IT issues arise, and support is required, time is of the essence. Response and resolution times are two key metrics measured to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the help desk solutions rendered. Understanding the nuances between response and resolution times can make all the difference in setting realistic expectations and achieving mutually beneficial partnerships.
In this blog, we'll delve into what response and resolution times mean in managed services, what the industry standards look like, and what you should expect from a best-in-class Managed Services Provider (MSP).
Before we delve into the metrics, it is imperative to define the two key terms: response time and resolution time.
It is crucial to note that Response Time is not the duration until IT support directly implements resolution measures, which is how end-users often view "response time." While it's understandable that users who are unfamiliar with IT service delivery may think of response time in this way, it's an inaccurate way to view response time, and we'll explain why:
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a leading authority for IT service management that provides best practices and guidelines for managing IT services effectively. For additional context about why Response Time is defined as described above, here's an overview of the relevant steps in the IT troubleshooting process according to ITIL:
Response Time, therefore, is the time until IT support has begun the initial diagnosis (Step 4 above). It is not, as many users may think of it, the time until a resolution or workaround is implemented (Step 6 above). This distinction is important for managed services providers to communicate effectively with their clients and for their clients to genuinely understand and avoid misaligned expectations and unfair valuations of performance.
Now that we've clarified these definitions let's explore industry standards and what constitutes "good" Response Times and Resolution Times.
While industry averages can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, a general benchmark for MSPs is as follows:
What separates best-in-class MSPs from average ones is their expertise, mature processes, capacity, and commitment to responsive service. Here are the benchmarks:
It is essential to understand that fast response times and resolution times can come at the expense of quality service, therefore, clients of managed services providers should not solely view these metrics as determinants of quality service. Top MSPs ensure that they are quick to respond without rushing through the resolution process, giving each issue the attention and expertise to solve it for good so repeat issues do not continue to cause staff downtime.
While speedy response and resolution times indicate a managed services provider's efficiency and customer-centric approach, the balance with quality service truly distinguishes the best in the field. When engaging with an MSP, consider their historical response and resolution times to gauge their potential performance. Doing so will ensure you partner with a provider that values not just speed but also reliable and consistently high-quality service so you have the time to focus on what's most important to you.
Learn more about how we can help you get IT right by speaking with one of our experts here.