For many managed services providers, the question is not “why outsource” help desk services, but "what to consider" before picking the right third party. Since help desks, or help desk support services, have become de facto aspects of IT support, the questions now focus on how to handle the high level of expectations of time, flexibility and expertise of their clients through outsourcing.
Here are seven important factors to consider:
- Spend Time: Take the time to document, in detail, how you envision the outsourced service handling calls, cataloguing resolutions, and all other processes.
- Fine-tune the Service: Options vary from simple call centers to robust IT response systems, available 24/7 or just on nights and weekends, so decide exactly what services you need.
- White Label Options: Make sure the provider has the capability to function as a representative of your MSP, answering phones, emails, and all other communication under the name of your firm.
- Level 3 and 4 Expertise: If a phone call comes in at 2am with a complex problem that surpasses the capabilities of Level 1 and 2 support staff, the help desk provider should have a network operations center (NOC) to support them, ensuring the problem is resolved to the end user’s satisfaction.
- Adapting Processes: Outsourced help desk providers typically have time-tested, proven processes and best practices, and you should be willing to adapt to the way clients interact with the help desk to optimize the experience for all.
- Metrics: Make sure you know how many calls and incidents each help desk technician fields in a day (the rate averages 30 calls and 24 incidents per day), as well as hours on shift and off-business hours so you can estimate their maximum capacity and ability to handle surges in call volume.
- Tight Integration: Help desk services work best if your IT services company and the outsourcer share the same remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) tools so all call logs, services notes, etc., are stored in one place for easy billing and documentation.
Think through the entire process from a customer’s point of view, making sure you have metrics from your potential outsourcer around their average hold time, issue resolve time, the quality of resolution, and customer service quality. The entire process should be pleasant and simple from the customer’s point of view; happy help desk customers means that your MSP techs can refocus their efforts on more strategic and complex client issues.