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Technical Support Cost Ratios
Publication date: 2/04

Executive summary

Analyzing and managing costs has become an increasingly complex challenge for support managers. Today, support centers handle a wide variety of tasks—traditional phone support, plus e-mail support, Web content development, professional services, QA work, and more. At the same time, average call length has been rising and budgets are under greater pressure than ever before.

The ASP's latest Tech Support Cost Ratios survey draws on data supplied by 78 support organizations and provides basic benchmarks for a variety of key metrics:

  • Cost of support as a percentage of total company revenues
  • Support headcount as a percentage of total company staffing
  • Headcount allocation ratios (managerial/supervisory, telephone support, e-mail support, Web content development, services, clerical/administrative, other)
  • Incident mix (level one telephone, escalated telephone, e-mail)
  • Fee-based/free mix
  • Monthly payroll per employee
  • Monthly overhead per employee
  • Incidents per employee
  • Average call length
In addition, the survey breaks out these ratios and metrics according to support organization size, product price, and other variables.

Copies of the survey are free to ASP members in the members-only area.

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