Before You Sign: 4 Questions For IT Service Desk Providers

Choosing an outside service desk provider can be overwhelming. There are automated help desks, overseas help desks, onshore help desks, help desks based out of universities, Software as a Service (SaaS) helpdesks, and a myriad other options. Most of these providers make the same promises to clients; it can be difficult to sort through the information and choose a provider who will truly improve workflow and user uptime.

If you are in the market for a service desk solution, ask these four questions to help you make the best choice for your business.

  1. What Is The Organization’s Employee Retention Rate?

Help desks have notoriously high turnover rates. There is little room for career advancement, and help desks are often the first job for recent graduates, before they move on to “bigger and better” things. Always ask potential providers about their employee retention rate. Look for an organization that is able to keep their team members happy and satisfied. Strong retention rates indicate that the service desk provider pays their employees well, offers ongoing training and employee development, and values their technicians, rather than treating service desk employees like low-level associates. All this results in higher quality service for your organization.

Why you need a service desk

  1. What Is Their Fist-Call Resolution Rate?

Everyone knows that few service desk calls can be resolved instantly, but when the first-level service team can resolve problems quickly, it is a good indication that the provider has a solid process to handle average end-user issues. When the first-level team can resolve problems on their own, without escalation, it shows that those teams are knowledgeable and efficient, and that the organization’s processes focus on user satisfaction. Run-of-the-mill service desks are staffed with low-cost resources, while the engineers and other professionals who handle escalated tickets earn a premium. The more qualified the first-level responders, the more cost-effective the solution will be for you.

  1. Do Level-One Techs Have Remote Desktop Access?

There are countless service desk tools available, but one of the most important tools is a remote desktop solution that allows technicians to view callers’ desktops, rather than trying to relay information in back-and-forth exchanges. If a level-one tech can access the caller’s desktop, he or she can see with their own eyes the error messages or issues the user is experiencing, allowing for much faster resolution. Some service desks only offer remote access to higher level responders, which limits the effectiveness of the front-line team.

  1. What hours are they staffed?

Technology does not operate on an eight hour workday. On-the-go, round-the-clock users need to have access to meaningful assistance at varying times of the day. Look for a provider who gives clients access to the same level of expertise and assistance at all hours of the day – and night – especially if your organization has a geographically dispersed workforce.

It is also important to understand whether or not the provider has a variety of options that will best suit the needs of your business and its team. If your in-house service desk functions well during core business hours and all you need is an after-hours solution, there is no need to work with a vendor who offers only 24/7 service. The provider should learn about your business and its needs. Avoid those who try to shoehorn you into a single, rigid solution.

The right service desk solution for one organization won’t be the right solution for all organizations. However, these four questions can help paint a picture about a potential provider’s capabilities, response times, expertise, and attention to user satisfaction. With this information, you can choose the right service desk provider with the most benefits for your business.

Jonathan Stephan

Jonathan Stephan is responsible for new business development for Canvas IT. Working with customers, Jonathan designs the solutions and programs that best fit our customer’s needs, and helps them meet objectives. Jonathan brings 15 years of IT, Managed Service and Outsourcing experience to Canvas IT, having helped more than 100 Mid-Market and Enterprise customers streamline IT Service Desk Operations, gain ITIL maturity and deploy best of breed technologies.

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