A report must contain actionable data.
Otherwise it is a waste of paper or electronic storage space.
You or your customer support manager have pile of reports handed to you each day/week/month. Are any of them actually read? Or do they make their way into the file cabinet or the shred pile as soon as they are handed off?
Why do we bother with reports if they are destined to be mulch?
Maybe we should look at what we need and expect from the reports and then change the reports to meet those needs and expectations. What do we want to be able to see when we look at a report?
Just as a practical matter, the report must be formatted for reading. It’s amazing how many reports just look like gobbledy-gook (spoken only by goblins and Professor Dumbledore). The information is there…we hope. But it is presented in such a way as to prevent the rest of what a report should do for us, which is to provide us with actionable data that can be correctly interpreted.
- help answer how well business goals are being met
- show where problems, such as bottle-necks or staffing shortages, are
- be useful for process improvement
Some examples of common reports in the customer support area are:
- System performance reports
- hardware activity evaluations
- diagnostics of system issues
- security events
- Customer asset reports
- system status
- servive level agreements
- version/configuration data
- Customer service and support performance
- Average speed to answer (ASA)
- Call volume with peaks and valleys
- number of calls abandoned
- first contact resolution (FCR)
All of these reports contain information that can be acted on. If the report is formatted to highlight problems and suggest solutions, it isn’t such a waste of space.