We have answered some of our most common questions for your convenience. Let us know if you don't see an answer to your question.
Is help desk outsourcing a smart business decision during these unsure economic times?
There a number of factors you should look at when considering outsourcing your help desk. Obviously, cost is the primary one everyone focuses on. But there are other questions you should consider such as:
- Do you have enough staffing today or does your staff have the expertise?
- Can you keep them busy or interested?
- Do you have Service Levels (i.e. ASA or ABR) today or would it be easier to hold an outside vendor to those?
- What Quality Assurance measurements are in place today to improve agent performance?
- What is the cost of downtime to your company's bottom line?
- Is support focused on core competencies to improve this bottom line?
- Are you getting accurate reporting and a clear picture of service from the help desk?
- Do you have industry standard best practices and processes in place or could you benefit from that outside expertise?
- Do you conduct customer satisfaction surveys to see how your service is doing?
- Do you have the latest technology to improve the caller experience at the help desk?
These are just some of the questions you should consider when looking at outsourcing your help desk.
How do I know that outsourcing will provide quality service to my environment?
There are a few key areas that are designed to guarantee quality:
- Quality Assurance Reviews
- Service Levels
- Predictable, Repeatable Processes
Quality Assurance Reviews - the job of our quality assurance team is to monitor calls and review tickets. They use a rating system that ranks various aspects of the agent's handling of the call as well as the agent's documentation in the ticket and follow-through on documented processes; especially on those tickets escalated to another group. Not only do the agents receive their personal rating each week, but the QA specialist works with the Team Lead and agent to provide side-by-side coaching on calls and identify areas in which they believe the agent requires additional training.
Service Levels - Service Levels are designed to hold the outsourcer, such as us, accountable for the services we provide. We have service levels such as average speed of answer, abandon rate, email response time, first call resolution, and customer satisfaction, to name a few, that hold us accountable to achieve service level thresholds. Our Team Lead manages service levels daily adjusting staffing, staff schedules, and reaching out to users responding to surveys.
Predictable, Repeatable Processes - By using well documented Knowledge Base articles that define process you ensure that not only do your users receive service that is predictable and repeatable, but your help desk and resolver groups all know what is expected of them with each type of call; whether it is resolved at the help desk or escalated to another group.
How can I gain an understanding of the help desk industry and the terms used in the industry?
We recommend that you visit the Help Desk Institute's web site in order to gain a better understanding. For more information, please go to HDI's website.
Click here to view the HDI website.
What is the average number of calls made by a user to the help desk each month?
An average user calls the help desk 1.25 times per month. Given this statistic, a population of 1,000 users would generate an average of 1,250 calls per month. In a mature environment, one which is stable and hasn't had a lot of upgrades recently, this number will be lower. In an unstable environment, one that experiences unusual downtime or has had recent upgrades, this number can easily be over 3.0
What is the average number of calls per help desk agent per month OR how many employees per help desk agent?
There is a theoretical answer and a practical answer to this question. Using simple math think about this: if the average call length is 5 minutes then theoretically an agent can handle 12 calls per hour x 8 hours = 96 calls per day. But consider some of these factors that affect this theoretical throughput:
- Longer Average Call - if the average call is longer, then the number of calls per day that an agent can take goes down
- Call Arrival - It's not always one call perfectly aligned and arriving at the help desk right when the agent completes their call. There are peaks and valleys during the day.
- Outbound Calls - Agents will need to make outbound calls and may be unavailable to answer for a period of time.
- Coverage - Extended coverage hours may not deliver enough call volume to even come close to the theoretical throughput for an agent.
- Breaks - Most help desks have some kind of breaks or at least lunch. This can affect agent volume.
So what is the practical answer?
30 to 70 calls per day "depending".
Can you please describe "per incident" pricing vs. "per-call" pricing and any other pricing used?
Per-Incident Pricing typically allows you to contact the help desk multiple times (i.e. within 24 hours) until the issue is resolved.
Per-Call Pricing is typically associated with non-technical customer service (only) centers that charge for every contact made in-bound and outbound.
Sometimes in the help desk industry these two terms, "per-incident" and "per-call", are intermixed, so be sure to ask how you will be charged.
Here are a couple of other pricing options used in the industry:
Per-Minute Pricing is typically used by non-technical customer service (only) call centers that charge for every minute an agent is on the phone making inbound and outbound calls.
Fixed Pricing is usually associated with government-type help desk contracts or some large, fixed scoped, corporate help desk contracts.
What makes GHDSi different from its competitors?
Relationship and Predictable, Repeatable Processes
Relationship - We work with you and your teams to develop daily working relationships in order to better understand and service your callers. Every environment has special needs - from special handling of executives to accommodating surgical teams and complete sales forces. By performing effective due diligence we can tailor service levels to maintain high productivity.
Predictable, Repeatable Processes - By using well documented KnowledgeBase articles that define process we ensure that your users know what to expect when they call the help desk. At the same time our employees know what's expected of them each time they take one of your calls. And when we have to escalate a call to one of your internal resolver teams, that predictable repeatable process makes it easy for your teams to know what to expect from us when we escalate a help desk ticket to them.
Does GHDSi support hospitals?
Yes, we support hospitals as well as companies from many other industries.
We have a hospital that had a very difficult reputation at the help desk because of its high average speed of answer of over 2 minutes and 25-40% of its calls being dropped. Within 30 days we brought these Service Levels down to what is now an average speed of answer of 28 sec and an average abandon rate of 2.9%. In addition, resolution rates at the help desk have almost doubled. As a result, users are confident to use the help desk again, users' issues are being resolved immediately instead of waiting 3 days, satisfaction has increased, and IT's reputation is being restored.
With regard to hospitals we understand:
- Urgency - the urgency associated with certain types of calls (i.e. affecting patient care) coming to the help desk and the need for critical communication between the help desk and other support groups.
- VIP Support - We realize that doctors require a certain level of attention and responsiveness.
- Dynamic Clinical Environment - We understand the changing landscape of HIS support around Meaningful Use, IDC-10, EHR/EMR, CDS and HIE's. We understand that clinical systems used for patient care are different than general IT systems supported by IT.
- Clinical Hardware and Software - We know that many departments have their own proprietary hardware and software.
- Electronic Medical Record (EMR) - We understand that EMR is a critical component within a hospital. For example, we have built a bridge between our call ticketing system and the support ticketing system used by Cerner, in order to provide a seamless way to manage real-time support and updates to tickets submitted to Cerner.
- HIPAA Compliance - We understand the latest restrictions associated with providing service in a HIPAA compliant environment and have safeguards in place to make sure our agents follow strict guidelines to protect patient information.
Where or who do I call when there is an issue or change with the daily working relationship?
We will provide you with an assigned Relationship Advocate who will be your "Single Point of Contact" for any changes, additions or deletions of the agreed upon Scope of Work. This individual is your single point of contact (SPOC) on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Any issues, or concerns regarding our service can be addressed immediately with this individual. The Relationship Advocate sets the operational meeting frequency with your team and reviews reports generated for the service provided. The relationship advocate engages in a proactive effort to improve your customer service environment.
In addition, you will be assigned a Team Lead who will manage the help desk analysts supporting your account. The Team Lead is available to you on a daily basis for operational questions or process review.
How do I contact Global Help Desk Services?
Please contact us at 1.800.770.1075 and one of our associates will be glad to assist you.
Where is Global Help Desk Services located?
We are headquartered in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. We service customers throughout the world. Geography is not a deterrent for us to provide quality, efficient technical support to your office, mobile or manufacturing environments.
Let's Talk About Your Help Desk Needs
Give us a call today and let us help you identify your needs to build a help desk outsource solution that will delight your employees or customers and allow you to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Common Hurdles of Internal Help Desks
Lack of buy-in or commitment to an internal Help Desk from upper management.
Some companies do not make a serious commitment to the help desk. Due to a lack of understanding, some don't connect the dots between how important the help desk is to restoring productivity to employees that drive the company's core products and services. As a result, the help desk and its budget and requirements are lost in the shuffle.
Oftentimes the need for the help desk rears its ugly head when a VIP is down, or some business-critical function is lost. Then managers begin to write repeatable processes designed to fix issues and serve the enterprise instead of being reactive in a crisis.
Help Desk is not aligned with the mission of the company as a whole.
The help desk must be aligned with the mission of the company as a whole. If the purpose and mission of the help desk has not been embraced by upper management, then the help desk will never fully serve the corporate environment.
One question most help desk consultants and sales personnel ask during due diligence is, Does the Help Desk meet the need of the business requirement?
Help desk becomes a priority and the help desk staff doesn't have the expertise or training.
Many times, personnel are placed at the help desk because it sounded like an interesting job, or the company ran out of other departmental opportunities due to layoffs, restructuring etc. Because these personnel had served in other areas of the company, management believed these people could handle a help desk position - until the phones started ringing and the quality fell. It then becomes a chore for the IT group to ask for funding for training, skilled personnel and trained customer service managers.
The cost of support is too high to have an internal help desk.
The costs of telephony, PCs and staffing is more than some companies are willing to spend each year and as a result service suffers. Staffing is typically the largest percentage of an IT manager's budget. One solution some companies look at is to have a help desk that is multi-roled. The potential pitfall is their lack of oversight and the pull of each agent's desire between doing help desk work versus desktop work. Without good oversight one of the two will suffer.
The internal help desks cannot handle high call volumes and provide 80% same call/day resolutions.
The help desk function has not been taken seriously and the internal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for resolution are non-existent. Staffing ratios vs. call volume, training and hiring the proper skill sets contribute to this issue