Saturday, August 10, 2013

Outsource Help Desk Support For Your Company

There are several reasons businesses want to keep their help desks in-house. Many companies prefer the idea of having their own employees deal directly with customers, or they also feel more confident having people they believe are trained to be knowledgeable about their products handle incoming phone calls. However, as businesses grow and products reach a wider audience, the benefits of outsourcing help desks become even more important.

Here are five advantages to outsourcing help desks:
  1. Your bottom line — Maintaining your own help desk can come at a staggering cost as your business grows. It is important to keep in mind that companies have to spend money on hiring and training additional employees as well as providing additional equipment.
  2. 24/7 availability — You want your amount of customers to grow, but this can involve an increase in phone calls—many of which might not come in at traditional business hours. Outsourcing your helpdesk not only avoids customer complaints about help not being available late at night or on the weekends, it actually lets you customers feel as though you are there whenever they need assistance.
  3. Keep your employees focused on your business — Smaller or medium-sized companies might be forced to have whatever employee is available answering phones to deal with customers. This risks poor customer service as individuals may not get the help they need or phone calls can feel rushed, and productivity can also be drastically impacted when employees are spending more time answering phone calls than concentrating on primary duties.
  4. Global support — Another very important concern that cannot be overlooked is the distinct possibility that not all of your customers speak the same language. Unless your in-house helpdesk is particularly fluent in all of the possible languages, outsourcing better insures your representatives can comfortably speak to all of your customers.
  5. More forms of support — While most people might prefer to make phone calls, it is not the only method of contact that you want your helpdesk to provide. Outsourced helpdesks can also immediately respond to the aforementioned emails, but live chat options are becoming increasingly popular for all sorts of businesses.
If you decide to outsource your company's help desk, you will find that there are plenty of options available to you. Picking the right one can be tremendously important because of the financial investment, but here are five things you need to consider before signing any contract:
  1. Know how many calls your business receives every day, week or month — Simply put, having an understanding of your minimum, maximum and average number of calls will make sure you know which type of contract is going to be the best for you.
  2. Identify your objectives — It is important to have the technologies and issues that are most important to you at the forefront to ensure that they are properly tended to.
  3. Choose a vendor that understands your specific needs — Make sure that your concerns are being honored in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). If a contractor is unwilling to modify or deviate from an SLA, that is likely a sign that there will be other problems later on.
  4. Avoid per-ticket, per-incident agreements — These types of agreements can initially appear very cheap, but you need to keep in mind that this actually gives a provider more reason to create additional tickets than answer customer service issues in one phone call.
  5. Avoid large termination fees — While you might have to sign a contract that commits you to a vendor for several years, it is important to look for an outsourcing provider that will not stick you with an outrageous early fee for opting out early—even when their services are lackluster.
Certain costs of doing business cannot be avoided, but outsourcing helpdesks can often be solid investments for the companies that recognize the money that is required to maintain an in-house helpdesk. There are several unseen expenses that can be incurred by maintaining your own helpdesk, and sometime the biggest costs of all could be the loss of customers.

This article was written by Jeff Shjarback.  To learn more about Jeff, you can visit his Google Author Profile


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