While some managed IT services can look great on paper, the proof truly comes from your experience, particularly when accessing the front-line service of your provider’s IT helpdesk. This is the point at which any initial problems are handled and, hopefully, fixed quickly if not on the spot. However, it’s an unfortunate fact that many businesses will have experienced an inefficient, or even unhelpful, IT helpdesk, which can cause problems for their operations. Here, we outline what you should be looking for in an effective IT helpdesk service.
First call fixes – expertise in your IT helpdesk
Many IT helpdesks run on a call logging system, mainly because they do not have enough engineering specialists on-hand for their helpdesk. In this scenario your query will be placed in a queue based on priority and will be delt with when an engineer becomes available. One key assessment you can make when deciding on a new IT service provider is the amount of skilled staff they have available on their helpdesk. The more available, the more likely you will receive a first call fix on your problem, allowing your staff to get on with their work without delay.
Accessibility and availability
Another issue many businesses find is that there is a lack of accessibility and availability in their IT helpdesk. This relates to the lack of engineers but stretches further. Helpdesks can run vastly different standards of service. You certainly want to be able to contact your helpdesk in core hours, but if an emergency happens with your IT systems, you will still want the ability to contact your IT company in the event of a business impacting issue. While this will come as an extra expense, it can be a real lifeline when you need to get your IT operations back online. Consider the disaster recovery aims of your business. Do your IT helpdesk’s standards fit in with your internal policies?
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Beware stretched services
Another issue with IT helpdesks is stretched services. On the surface the helpdesk may appear well staffed, but, if the provider has onboarded too many clients without expanding their helpdesk service and engineers, their provision will be stretched. This can lead to long waits for fixes or access to on-site engineers. Checking the client to staff ratios of your IT helpdesk can mitigate concerns.
Quality reporting creates an efficient IT helpdesk
A key inefficiency in an IT helpdesk is when the same problem is reported by staff without a core resolution being put in place. This can be very frustrating and cause unnecessary delays to your operations. Often, this occurs because your helpdesk queries are not accurately reported and therefore trends get missed. Regular reporting can uncover the source of recurring problems and get them sorted ASAP.
Due diligence on an IT helpdesk
When approaching a new IT service provider, it is well worth carrying out due diligence on their helpdesk service as this will be the first port of call for any IT issues your staff have. Remember, good providers will be happy for you to contact their current clients for a reference!
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