Whether you’re reviewing or building your IT infrastructure setup and support model, a critical piece to consider is a formalized help desk with documented processes, workflow, and clearly-defined service-level objectives (SLOs).
A formalized help desk can improve efficiencies and provide cost savings by eliminating the need for additional resources during peak or critical times. Businesses can achieve these results more expediently when working with a managed services provider (MSP).
An IDC white paper sponsored by Cisco noted that when utilizing an MSP, organizations see improved employee productivity, quicker services to market, and greater business agility. This also includes key business drivers, such as improved security and innovation, and cost benefits, while also reducing IT complexity.
By leveraging an MSP with a 24/7/365 help desk, organizations will experience workflow improvements and processes, such as clearer communication, proactive problem solving, direct access to knowledgeable technicians, and on-demand resources to solve critical issues.
With business processes also rapidly evolving due to remote work, and ever-changing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) policies, dependable incident response—regardless of the time of day—is even more critical.
A formalized help desk can improve efficiencies and provide cost savings by eliminating the need for additional resources during peak or critical times.
Adding continuous help desk coverage can improve efficiencies and response times across the board.
If you’re experiencing any of the business challenges outlined below, it might be time to either implement a 24/7/365 help desk, or re-evaluate what you currently have in place.
Challenge No. 1: Your current help desk setup cannot keep up with the volume of calls.
Are you not getting the answers you need or want, and response times are consistently below your usual expectations? This is a telling indication it might be time to hire a managed services provider (MSP) that deploys a continuous, optimized help desk solution.
For best practices, consider an MSP that’s experienced in the following areas:
- Appropriate Processes & Procedures: A consistent framework is necessary for critical functions, such as data and end-user documentation, communications, and ticket prioritization.
- Proactive Communication Protocols: Keeping detailed notes regarding specific actions on each ticket—from start to finish—can alleviate added questions, while also saving time.
- Consistent Response Time Rates: Establish and manage expectations regarding reasonable responses and how each ticket is managed and resolved.
- Proactive Customer Service: Quickly and effectively address each issue, and implement creative thinking and solutions when possible. This also helps with tracking and deciphering either user-specific trends, or a potentially larger issue.
- Well-Documented Triage & Escalation Protocols: Trained staff who follow predefined workflow at each touchpoint of a reported issue will result in faster resolution times, and higher ticket completion statistics.
- Long-Term Vendor & Alliance Partnerships: These facilitate increased communication and data sharing for added flexibility, and the best technology solutions for your business.
- Trained, Knowledgeable Technicians: Help desk staff should understand both the overall technology and how it fits into your business functions.
- Cost Efficiencies & Planning: A reputable help desk provider will ensure a solution that is the best fit for your business and budget, while also providing transparency via online or published KPIs.
Challenge No. 2: High Employee Turnover Rates
If you utilize internal staff, and have a hard time keeping Level 1 techs, or your current help desk provider is experiencing low retention rates, your other business functions will bear the brunt. For organizations providing this support in-house, your IT team will also begin to experience burnout.
To alleviate these issues, look for—or develop a co-managed IT partnership with—a reliable MSP investing in their help desk staff through continuing education, training, and other benefits—all of which can help reduce turnover.
Additional training also ensures the staff shares a common knowledge and can provide support for a range of issues. By leveraging a co-managed approach, you can grow and develop your internal staff in tandem with an increased customer satisfaction through prompt and accurate handling of support tickets.
Challenge No. 3: After-Hours Coverage
In a world in which people are active beyond traditional business hours, continuous coverage is a necessity. Not having such support can cost your business more money in the long run, especially if it isn’t built into your service level agreement (SLA).
Since we all have our limits in terms of work hours, technicians could experience burnout by working added hours when an issue arises. WIth a 24/7/365 help desk, this will be handled by an MSP employing technicians in multiple locations with varying experience levels.
This also helps avoid overloaded tasks following a weekend or holiday when requests potentially go unanswered. Having to prioritize and “put out fires” during an already busy Monday morning can lead to additional problems and set you back, all of which can contribute to a perceived lack of customer service when your team is already working extremely hard.
Challenge No. 4: Increased IT Cost
When in-house staff is called upon to assist customers outside of traditional business hours, you may run into a scenario whereby you’re paying more for overtime and related expenses. The flexibility provided by an outsourced help desk means you don’t have to overextend your staff and potentially incur higher payroll expenses.
A reliable MSP with an optimized help desk will ensure your support plan includes all monthly recurring expenses, as identified and agreed upon during a thorough onboarding process. This also helps with managing financials, and quarterly and monthly budgets.
We can assist with implementing a 24/7/365 flexible help desk to best meet your support hours. Built on our three-pillar approach of People, Process and Products, we offer a solution that’s reflective of what you want to accomplish when it comes to your business operations and activities.