Coastal Technologies, developer of HELP!Desk software, has published guidelines for determining the number of technicians needed to staff a support center.
Establishing the proper support staff to customer ratio is essential for any organization. Each of the factors in the table below has an effect on the staff size. Assume a starting ratio 75 to 100 customers per analyst (75:1 to 100:1), then adjust the ratio for the following conditions:
|Consideration||Support Staff Levels|
|Experienced support staff||Decrease|
|Customer handling expertise||Decrease|
|Large number of products to support||Increase|
|Multiple shifts and weekends||Increase|
|Support staff possesses knowledge of the organization’s business||Decrease|
|Internal support only||Decrease|
|External support only||Increase|
|Both internal and external support||Increase|
|Service Level Agreements negotiated||Decrease|
|Multiple platforms to support (i.e. Web, PC, Mainframe, Mac)||Increase|
|Automated tools in place||Decrease|
|Experienced support center management||Decrease|
|Support center has good reputation in company||Decrease|
|Center has bad reputation||Increase|
|Multiple support center locations||Increase|
|Quality Assurance or Quality Control responsibility||Increase|
|Proactive support philosophy||Increase**|
|Support center has additional responsibilities not listed above||Increase|
* = A staffing decrease may be required to meet your budget, but too small a staff can create bigger problems later on – dissatisfied customers, excessive stress, technician burnout and high turnover to name a few.
**= Initially, proactive support requires more staff per customer. The trend is reversed down the line as you should see a decrease in customer problems.