A quick read with a big impact.

Considering Outsourcing Your Help Desk Services? Here’s What to Expect

So, you’ve drawn the short straw and are put in charge of figuring out how to outsource your help desk services. You have no idea where to start, what your company needs, or what separates a good help desk from a bad one.

First, take a deep breath. Then, give us a call. We’ve helped companies of all sizes free up their IT employees, streamline their help desk operations, reduce hold times, and increase customer satisfaction.

Here’s what you can expect when you start the help desk outsourcing process with us at Global Help Desk Services.

Exploratory Call: Getting to Know You

First, we’ll hop on the phone for an exploratory call. In about 15 to 20 minutes, we’ll learn about your help desk operations at a high level so we can uncover your needs and figure out if we’re the best help desk outsourcing solution to meet them. We’ll ask questions like:

  • What does your company do?
  • Why are you looking for a help desk solution now?
  • What help desk challenges are you facing?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • Where are you located and how many locations do you have?
  • How many tickets does the help desk handle per month?
  • How many tickets do you still have open at any given time?
  • What could your team focus on if your backlog of support tickets were wiped out? 
  • What’s your average revenue and business model?
  • What are your growth plans for this year?
  • How will those plans impact your IT team?

After covering the specifics of your business and your help desk, we’ll discuss how we work and how we might add value to your operations.

We’ll likely also give you a bit of “homework” to gather some additional information that will enable us to begin to build a custom help desk solution for you. You may find that you’re not the best person on your team to discuss these issues. If that’s the case, feel free to tag in a team member with a deeper knowledge of your help desk operations.

Homework questions may include:

  • Can you share some key metrics with us, including:
    • Count of tickets (total and by source: email/calls/walk-ups/chat/other)
    • How many tickets does the help desk escalate per month?
    • Categorization reports
    • Count of tickets closed by the team
    • Average time to resolve by the team
    • Calls received (arrival patterns are very helpful)
    • Average talk time
    • Average hold time
    • Average speed of answer
    • Help desk schedule (this is helpful if call arrival pattern data is not easily available)
  • Who staffs your help desk, including teams, roles, and responsibilities?
  • How are the interactions between the support teams and the help desk?
  • How is your ticket quality?
  • How do you handle ticket documentation?
  • How is the knowledge base of your help desk staff? Are they able to answer most questions that come in, or are they moving too many tickets up the chain to other team members?

Discovery Call: Diving Deeper

If during the exploratory call we both agree that we might be a good fit for each other, we’ll schedule a discovery call. This is where we’ll dive a bit deeper into your technical needs, business goals, and pain points. We’ll get into specifics about your help desk, like:

  • Who manages your help desk: an internal IT team or an outsourced partner?
  • Who/what do you provide the support for? Your employees? Your product end users?
  • What types of tickets do you usually have? What are the common problems? How long do they usually take to solve? Are they usually answered by the first person who picks up the phone, or do they require escalation?
  • Is there any seasonality to your calls?
  • What are the usual outcomes of your calls? Is the problem usually solved? Does the caller leave the call happy? Does your IT team end each call happy, or are they stressed out?
  • How do you anticipate your metrics changing in the near/middle term?
  • What’s the current cost of your IT support?
  • If you’re not currently outsourcing, can we estimate this cost based on staffing?
  • What’s working well with your help desk right now?
  • What’s not working well? Is this a hunch, or do you have specific data?

We’ll also uncover potential obstacles to outsourcing your help desk services and establish why your current approach to your help desk operations isn’t working. Common problems include:

Attrition: If new hires tend to leave quickly, you’re spending a lot of time and money hiring and retraining them. Outsourcing your help desk operations could transfer the cost to someone else.

Overtime: If you don’t have enough staff, overtime costs could pile up. Outsourcing could be a great way to reduce those costs while adding staff.

Too many hats: Are your support employees handling too many different levels of tickets? Are they spending time on other non-help desk functions? This could lead to burnout, unresolved tickets, and other expensive issues.

Lack of knowledge base: If customers call for help and can’t speak to someone with the right answers, they’ll go elsewhere for solutions, which could mean your competitors.

Staff location: These days, a lot of customers prioritize companies with domestic help desks. If yours is based overseas, you might be missing out on customers who have had bad experiences with call centers located halfway around the world.

Questions You Should Ask a Help Desk Provider

If you’ve ever had a job interview, you know asking questions is just as important as answering them. The discovery call is the perfect opportunity for you to do so.

Here are some questions to ask any potential help desk provider— including us:

Where are you based? You don’t want to get too far with a company based overseas if having U.S.-based staff is high on your list. It’s also important to learn if they are fully or partially U.S.-based.

What’s your experience in my industry? If you’re in an industry with strict compliance requirements (such as healthcare or finance), you’ll need help desk staff who are trained in these requirements. If your industry involves technology or lots of jargon, it’s important for the call center to have employees trained in those specifics so they can intelligently answer questions around them.

How will you address my specific concerns? If your last help desk provider couldn’t address your operational, security, or compliance concerns, you’ll need to know how your prospective help desk provider will address these concerns before you waste too much time.

Solutions Planning Call: Delivering Answers

After all those questions are answered, we’ll schedule a solutions planning call. On this call, we’ll review our preliminary recommendations and will work together to fine-tune this initial plan into a full help desk strategy that will help you meet your goals.

Come prepared to discuss your preferences for the specific help desk solution we build. For example, do you prefer a more aggressive level of support or a faster implementation timeline, or are you looking for more measured support at a slightly lower level?

Once we both feel good about the plan we’ve collaboratively designed, we’ll set a time to present our solution to your entire team of stakeholders and decision-makers. And from there, we’ll discuss contracts, terms & conditions, and our implementation plan.

And there you go. In a couple of phone calls, you’ve gone from completely overwhelmed to ready to present a workable solution for your help desk problems to your team. And maybe next time, you won’t panic when you draw the short straw.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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