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help desk

With a reliable IT help desk in your corner, your business can face any IT problem with confidence.

The IT help desk is most business’s first line of defense against technology pain. An IT company with a quality help desk staff will help you navigate the day-to-day IT issues that can become serious problems, helping your team avoid costly network downtime and keep morale high.

Did you know that routine technology issues cost the average business two weeks of productivity per employee, every year?

Because the help desk plays such an important role in ensuring smooth, day-to-day operations, companies should be cautious about vetting a prospective provider. There are many inexperienced and low-value managed IT service providers (MSPs) on the market who claim to be help desk experts, but fail to deliver on their promises after a service contract has been signed.

What standards can a business use to tell one help desk team from another?

This article will walk you through some of the ways to evaluate an IT help desk service, teach you to look past the marketing hype, and ensure that you choose a provider who can help you achieve the stability you need to thrive.

What Exactly Does a Quality IT Help Desk Do?

It’s not as simple as answering the phone and looking up the problem in a database – at least, not when you’re doing it right.

A great IT help desk team combines technical know-how, customer service skills, and empathy into a reliable solution that gives their client’s maximum confidence in their network technology. They’ll take responsibility for tracking IT issues as they move through the support process, involve experts from across the MSP to solve complex issues, provide stop-gap solutions when necessary, and much more.

The Importance of a Documented Process
The complexity of running a quality help desk requires clear, documented processes. Without them, a help desk provider is likely going to offer uneven communication and inefficient support, especially as they try to customize their help desk to meet your evolving needs and goals.

Below is an example of an optimal IT help desk process.

help desk process

The Difference Between an Acceptable and Exceptional IT Help Desk

Having thorough, documented processes for the support of your technology systems is a good indication that an MSP is taking its help desk service seriously. But what separates a decent help desk service from a great one?

Complete Network prides itself on providing high-quality IT support service to clients in a range of industries. We achieve that by exceeding the standard help desk service offering in several important dimensions.

Technicians that Possess Strong Technical and Interpersonal Skills
Good help desk service starts with a team of great technicians. All Complete Network help desk staff hold certifications from leading accrediting bodies, such as CompTIAA and ITIL. In addition, many also have certifications from Complete Network’s technology partners, like Microsoft, CISCO, and others.

But a reputable help desk team will have much more than just technical qualifications – they’ll have an established track-record of helping clients maximize the reliability and efficiency of their technology. That includes a culture of helpfulness that makes them feel more like a part of your team than just an outsourced support provider.

A great IT help desk team has a culture of customer service excellence.

  • A real human who answers every phone call or request
  • Friendly engineers that are dedicated to exceptional service
  • IT support technicians that avoid technical lingo or jargon
  • Well-maintained knowledge bases that ensure consistent support

A Clear, Efficient Path for Ticket Escalation
While there’s a good chance our help desk team will be able to resolve your support issue on the first call, some problems need to be escalated to what’s known as a Level-2 technician, or even further on to Level-3 support.

Efficient escalation isn’t as simple as it sounds, and many new or inexperienced IT help desks will not have a clearly defined path for ticket escalation. Without one, your most pressing IT problems could get lost in time-wasting back and forth exchanges between junior and senior support engineers.

Here’s how to ensure each ticket escalation is handled properly.

  • Clearly defined SLAs so you know in advance how we handle each type of issue
  • Fully documented IT support tickets that facilitate clear communication with the client and Complete Network’s senior engineers
  • Regularly internal audits to test and optimize ticket escalation and resolution metrics
  • Best-in-class IT support platforms and tools help facilitate efficient tracking and escalation

Another often overlooked help desk process is predictable and consistent follow-up.  IT help desk support is only useful if it truly fixes the underlying IT problem. The Complete Network help desk team does follow up on all completed support requests to make sure the solution meets the clients needs.

Rigorous Gathering and Optimization of Help Desk KPIs
Help desk managers have the benefit of good data. With great accuracy, they see when a ticket is created, how soon after it was received the help desk team responded, what type of support was offered, how effective that support was, and much more.

For help desks at IT companies like Complete Network that strive for continuous improvement, this data is extremely valuable, because it offers a clear method of measuring the impact of our service and making targeted improvements.

Here are just some of the help desk metrics that we use to ensure consistent help desk quality

  • First Contact Resolution (FCR)
    The ideal scenario for both our team and yours is if an IT support request can be handled immediately on the first call. We use this important statistic to help measure and improve on this aspect of our service.
  • Mean Time to Resolution (MTR)
    This crucial statistic measures the average time the help desk takes to fully resolve an issue, after the request has been received.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
    The driving goal of any help desk is to create satisfied customers, which is why we aggressively track and pursue improvements to our help desk CSAT score.

During the help desk vetting process, don’t be afraid to ask a prospective vendor about their metrics and KPIs. If they’re not forthcoming with solid data about their help desk performance, then that’s a strong indicator that either they’re not collecting this data – which is a major red flag – or that they’re not satisfied with their numbers, which is equally concerning.

A Help Desk That Delivers Optimal Productivity and Confidence

Many businesses worry that outsourcing their IT support to an MSP will result in an inefficient, one-size-fits all approach that doesn’t truly address their unique needs.  This is unfortunately the case with many new or inexperienced MSPs, who simply don’t have the resources and experience to manage a quality IT help desk.

Complete Network is a different kind of IT company. For over 20 years, we’ve been working with clients in Albany, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina to ensure that their technology and staff are fully supported – no matter how complex their needs.

If you’d like to learn about Complete Network, or how our help desk consistently earns glowing praise from clients, we’d be happy to answer your questions any time. Call us at 1-877-877-1840 or email us at [email protected].