Customer satisfaction is the most important of all business goals. Sure, a good product that does what the customer needs it to do is half the job done on the customer satisfaction front. But the other half? It’s the support that comes with it.
Customer support teams are there to deal with customer problems and queries and a strong support team is right at the heart of every success story. A help desk or service desk is the critical interface between the customer who has the problem and the support agents who can solve it. And help desk software like Jira Service Management (formerly known as Jira Service Desk) facilitates quicker answers and solutions for those seeking help.
So, improving customer satisfaction for a support team using Jira Service Management involves measuring in Jira how well you’re doing and in what areas you could do better. How do you do this? By using Jira Service Management reports.
Reporting in Jira Service Management
Jira Service Management (JSM) comes with a number of reporting options allowing you to see your team’s performance metrics and better understand trends in your workload. They can show the amount and types of service requests coming in to your team, and how you’re resolving them.
JSM comes with default reports, used to measure common service project functions; custom reports, used to help you track specific team goals; and dashboards, used for dynamic reporting. The default reports can’t be changed, whereas the custom reports can be edited, or you can create your own.
Default reports (which can’t be edited)
The 4 default reports are:
- Workload (lists the number of requests assigned to your agents)
- Customer Satisfaction (lists the average rating for your team)
- Requests Deflected (lists how many times customers viewed knowledge base articles in the customer portal and found them helpful)
- Requests Resolved (lists the number of requests resolved with and without knowledge base articles).
Custom reports (which can be edited)
There are many more custom reports that come with JSM out of the box. The following is just a few of them.
- Created vs Resolved (compares the number of requests being created and resolved over time)
- Time To Resolution (shows how long it’s taking to resolve requests)
- SLA Met versus Breached (compares the number of requests that have met or breached a service level agreement (SLA) goal)
- SLA Success Rate (shows how your team is tracking towards their SLA goals)
You can create your own custom reports or edit the custom reports by adding a series, which is a set of data points used to make your reports, e.g. the number of requests received on different days of the week. They can be used to report on any SLA you’ve created for your service project, not just the examples above. You can add a label name for the series, select a color, and filter the series using standard fields (e.g. issue type, status, and component) or Jira Query Language (JQL).
You can also display information about JSM projects and team performance using Jira dashboards. Jira dashboards are single pages of information made up of gadgets. Gadgets are configurable info boxes designed to give users access to real-time Jira data at a glance.
Reporting using JQL
If you know how to use Jira Query Language (JQL), then you can also search for issues using JQL filters based on any field in your service requests. And you can export the results as CSV or Excel files.
What gets measured, gets done
There are certain metrics that support teams using Jira Service Management ought to be measuring regularly if they want to maintain and increase customer satisfaction.
First and foremost, customers want you to resolve their issues as quickly as possible, which makes time to resolution an obvious metric for tracking whether you’re meeting customer expectations and SLA goals in this regard.
But customers want to know that you care about their issues, too. You therefore want to measure your team’s responsiveness with metrics such as time to first response and time waiting for support. Time to first response is how long it takes to notify a customer that a support agent is working on their issue. Time waiting for support is how long the customer is waiting for a support agent to get back to them in a situation where a ticket is going back and forth between the agent and the customer.
You could also measure time waiting for a 3rd party. For example, an internal customer could report to the help desk that their keyboard has stopped working. The resolution might be to purchase a new keyboard, but that may require approval from the customer’s manager or the customer’s procurement department. You want to have a workflow status for waiting for 3rd parties whereby you can stop the clock while the ticket’s in this status. That way you can measure the true service level for your team. You can also measure the service level for the 3rd party at the same time.
Another excellent metric is the number of requests resolved through the use of the knowledge base. Support teams want to know how often customers are solving problems themselves using knowledge base articles rather than waiting on the service desk. It shows you how useful your knowledge base articles are and whether there is scope for improving them.
In JSM, you can use the Results Deflected report to measure the usefulness of your knowledge base. The other metrics mentioned above can be measured using the same kind of custom report (a line graph) used to display Time to Resolution and SLA Met versus Breached. You simply tweak/add to the series.
What about service desk reporting to customers?
Customer satisfaction isn’t just served by good responsiveness and efficient resolution. It’s also served by transparency. Sometimes the best way of keeping your customers happy is by showing them what’s going on.
There is currently no built-in capability within Jira to share reports with customers through the JSM customer portal. And that is despite many JSM support teams wanting to report to their customers about how many tickets are being created, how many are open, how quickly the support team are resolving issues etc.
This is where Atlassian Marketplace apps come in…
Option 1: Shared Dashboards
Simply create a Custom Charts dashboard as you would normally, then add the Shared Dashboards gadget that comes with Custom Charts. The Shared Dashboard is a read-only version of the dashboard you’re adding it to, designed for display beyond your Jira instance. It will automatically populate with the charts on the dashboard, but you can remove any charts you don’t want/need customers to see. You can also change the dashboard name, adjust the column layout, and display in light or dark mode.
Then, to display the Shared Dashboard in the portal, just select ‘JSM Portal Users’ and the project where you want it to be shown, and it will display for customers of that project.
Option 2: Custom Jira Charts for Confluence
Shared Dashboards respects your Jira permissions, so it will only show customers reports on issues in service projects they have access to. But we have another option if your customers want to see reports on issues and projects they don’t necessarily have access to. For example, managers might want to see insights on bigger trends, such as the rate at which the support team are meeting their SLAs, or how the numbers of requests from one team compares to another. They might also want insight into the development tickets linked to their service requests.
That option is Custom Jira Charts for Confluence. This is the mirror-image sister app to Custom Charts for Jira that allows you to generate Jira reports and charts on Confluence pages, and share them with users who may not have a Jira account. Therefore, if your JSM service desk has a Confluence knowledge base linked to it, you can generate all kinds of reports on issues your customers don’t have access to with a feature called user impersonation. Then you can make them viewable by customers directly through the JSM portal.
How to increase customer satisfaction with better visuals
Being able to generate reports in Jira Service Management is one thing. Being able to create reports that are engaging, memorable, and easy to understand is quite another. And although JSM comes with a reasonable heft of native reports, the amount that you can do with them is limited.
This, unfortunately, is where your entire reporting strategy can collapse. You can create as many graphs and charts as you want, but if they’re not designed, structured, labelled, or colored the right way, then the message you’re trying to convey will be lost. And if your message is to do with issue resolution, then your customer satisfaction rates could take a hit as a result.
So, improving the visualization of your JSM data will allow support teams to better understand what the customers need and make quicker and better decisions about how to satisfy them.
Our article, Make Better Jira Reports with Jira Visualization, can help you get to grips with the importance of data visualization and how to improve your visualization choices. If you simply want more choice in how you visualize your JSM data, then Custom Charts for Jira is a highly accessible tool for creating much more tailored reports than out-of-the-box Jira will allow. (If you want to experience the app for yourself, visit our demo playground.)
Customer service can easily descend into chaos and confusion when your customers number in the hundreds or thousands. If your support team is struggling to keep up with issues, the same problems are reoccurring but not being recognized, or SLAs are being breached, then your customer satisfaction will drop and your profits with it.
Jira Service Management reports can stop this from happening. The built-in Customer Satisfaction report is your starting point. But reports like Time to Resolution, Requests Deflected, and SLA Success Rate can help you pinpoint the reasons behind your customer satisfaction ratings and identify ways of improving the support you offer. This could take the form of a better, more on-point knowledge base article or the allocation of more resources dedicated to responding to tickets. And better data visualization in the generation of your reports will allow these needs to be identified and acted upon more quickly.
At the end of the day, a lot is riding on the support team’s shoulders. If an issue arises and they don’t deal with it properly, then your company’s brand promise is broken. The support team is charged with maintaining, strengthening, and re-establishing customer trust when something goes wrong. In order for them to do that, you need to equip them with the best tool there is: knowledge.
And how do you furnish a support team with knowledge? With beautiful reports telling succinct stories.
Christopher is a self-confessed nerd who’d probably take the cake on Mastermind if Star Trek: Voyager was his specialist subject. He writes fiction about time travel, conspiracies and aliens; loves roller coasters, hiking and Christmas; and hates carpet, rom-coms and anything with chilli in it. He’s written extensively for technology companies and Atlassian partners and specializes in translating complicated technical concepts, specs and jargon into readable, benefits-driven copy that casual readers will understand.