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What is a cost per ticket?

Definition: Cost per ticket is the average cost of resolving a single customer support request. It is used to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of customer support, IT support teams, or helpdesk.

Analyzing and monitoring cost per ticket helps organizations identify areas for improvement and cost reduction, optimize processes, and effectively prioritize tasks.

How to calculate cost per ticket?

Cost per ticket is calculated by dividing the total costs of providing support by the total number of support tickets handled during a specific period.

Cost per ticket = Total support costs / Total number of tickets resolved

Total support costs should include:

  1. Salaries and wages of support teams, including full-time, part-time, and contract employees.
  2. Benefits and payroll taxes
  3. Training and development costs for support teams
  4. Software, tools, and technology used by the support team (helpdesk software, ticketing systems, communication tools, etc.).
  5. Overhead costs, such as office space, utilities, and supplies allocated to the support team.
  6. Costs associated with monitoring and evaluating the performance of your support team, such as quality assurance tools, third-party audits, or customer satisfaction surveys.
  7. HR costs of hiring and retaining support employees, such as employee engagement initiatives, rewards, and recognition programs, or team-building activities.
  8. Any additional costs, like outsourced services or third-party support solutions.

Factors that affect cost per ticket

Besides countable or quantitative expenses like the above-mentioned, qualitative factors can significantly affect the cost per ticket. 

Some of them are:

  1. Staff skill and expertise: A support team with the right balance of skills and experience can resolve issues more quickly and effectively, reducing the cost per ticket. The less experienced teams often require more time and resources to address issues, driving up the costs. 
  2. Volume fluctuations: Changes in ticket volume, such as seasonal fluctuations or periods of high demand, impact the cost per ticket, as resources may need to be adjusted to handle the workload.
  3. Choice of support channels: Different support channels (phone, email, chat, social media) have different costs per ticket. 
  4. Support tools and technology: Adequate support tools (ticketing systems, knowledge bases, and communication platforms) streamline the support process and reduce the cost per ticket.
  5. Ticket complexity: The nature and complexity of support and IT issues influences the cost per ticket. Complex issues require more time, resources, and expertise to resolve, resulting in higher costs.
  6. Customer expectations: High customer expectations (especially in the IT industry) require faster response and resolution times, increasing the resources needed to meet those expectations and directly raising the cost per ticket.
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Article FAQs

What is the formula for cost per ticket?
The formula for cost per ticket is: Cost per ticket = Total support costs / Total number of tickets resolved
How can I reduce the cost per ticket without compromising customer satisfaction?
You can reduce the cost per ticket by optimizing staffing levels, investing in support team training and development, leveraging efficient support tools and technology, streamlining support processes, balancing support channels, and focusing on preventative measures to reduce ticket volume.
What other metrics should I consider alongside cost per ticket to evaluate my support operations?
Consider First Contact Resolution (FCR), Average Resolution Time (ART), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and agent utilization rate to evaluate the overall performance of your support operations.‍
Should I outsource my support operations to reduce the cost per ticket?
Outsourcing can sometimes help reduce the cost per ticket by leveraging external expertise and resources. However, it is essential to weigh the potential cost savings against factors like control over processes, customer satisfaction, and the quality of service the outsourcing partner provides before making a decision.

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