A quick read with a big impact.

5-Step Help Desk Transition Plan (From In-House to Outsourced Help Desk Support)

Your organization has made the decision to outsource help desk support services. Now comes the transition from your in-house team to your outsourcing partner. How this process proceeds will depend a lot on the work you do to ensure it all goes smoothly.

While a poorly managed transition can negatively impact productivity, employee satisfaction and customer service, when done well, can be an important step toward having happier users. In order to help you succeed, here are five things you can do to support the transition.

1.Have a Plan in Place for Your In-House Employees

When employees learn their organization is bringing in outsourced services, they understandably get a bit nervous. Throughout this transition, it’s important that you communicate clearly and regularly with your employees, whether you’re augmenting your internal desk or replacing it entirely.

If you plan to keep your in-house employees, the transition period is a good time to start preparing them to level up to a Tier 2 help desk support position. This may mean focusing them on proprietary applications or otherwise training them for new positions and roles.

If you plan to let employees go, you’ll need to be sure you have a backup plan. Many of your employees may decide to find new jobs before the transition period is over, which means there may be a gap in your help desk support. Know how you’ll fill this gap, and with whom, to ensure customer service levels aren’t impacted.

2. Document Required Systems and Operational Integrations

To help your transition process go smoothly, it’s important that you give careful thought to all the systems involved in your help desk support process. These might include:

  • Phone systems
  • Ticketing system
  • Access rules for information and projects
  • Organizational charts
  • Information such as important contacts, escalation rules, and hardware or software specs

Share all the information you have on these systems with your outsourcing partner by providing detailed descriptions before the transition. By doing so, you help ensure your partner can step into existing operations as seamlessly as possible.

If your support systems include email, chat, or other channels, you might also want to try this Multi-Channel Calculator to see your results.

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3. Work with Your Vendor to Develop a Help Desk Transition Project Plan

During a transition like this, a project plan offers you a clear path and a road map, including dates and deliverables. At Global Help Desk, our four-phase process was developed to help clients shape every project transition plan, ensuring it’s a success.

Phase One: Identify

The first phase begins with identifying who needs support and how things are currently done. The discovery process will also uncover what’s working under the old system and where there’s room to make new improvements.

Phase Two: Define

Next is to define the process for setting up services. This includes answering the “who, what, where, when, and how” of your applications in order to build out processes, identify areas that need training, set up those meetings, and define how to connect to you. Determining what channels are needed and how customers will contact support will also be defined in phase two.

Phase Three: Build Out and Implement

After phases one and two, the plan is formed. Now, it’s time to put it into practice. Phase three may include multiple workstreams being built and tested in parallel to ensure a seamless transition on the first day of service.

Phase Four: Review

During the review phase we are “inspecting what we expect, which means making sure we’re delivering everything as expected. This is typically a 30/60/90 day review period in which we make any changes needed to fine-tune things after we launch, using real-world information to guide our adjustments. After phase four, we move into our Maintenance (aka “continuous improvement) phase.

Phase Five: Maintain

After launch, phase four is about continued maintenance and monitoring the way the systems work to make sure it’s supporting your users. This phase may include refinements to improve processes or simple maintenance of the ones that are working.

4. Meet Regularly With Your Outsourced Help Desk Provider

One of the best ways to ensure a successful transition is to provide feedback to your help desk services provider and meet regularly with them throughout the process. These meetings are a good time to discuss your top five key performance indicators, along with any other questions or concerns you may have.

Your first feedback meetings should take place on day one of services. Mid- and end-of-day touchpoints are a good way to check in once your outsourced help desk services are live to make sure everything is running as planned.

After that, plan to have daily touchpoints throughout the first week of service, then scale back as needed. By the end of the first month, you should hit your groove of weekly operations meetings with your vendor to touch base.

These should also be supplemented with monthly deep dives into reporting. During those sessions, you’ll review KPIs, take a good look at the data, and check in on overall performance. Keeping these lines of communication open is a great way to make sure the transition succeeds.

5. Trust Your Outsourced Help Desk Services Provider

If your in-house team required micromanaging, or if you’ve had a bad experience with another vendor, it may be hard to step back during the transition process and allow your outsourced help desk services provider to do what you hired them for.

But remember, you chose them because this is what they’re best at. You don’t need to shoulder the burden of managing a successful transition alone. Instead, rely on your vendor to manage themselves. If you’ve put the time and energy into your systems on the front-end, and have done your due diligence before hiring your vendor, then you can trust them to take on more of the work.

And ultimately, that’s the real goal. When you bring in outsourced IT help desk services, you give yourself and your team more time to focus on the big, strategic IT projects that will make a real impact on your organization. Even before the transition is complete, your team will see some tangible benefits to their time and ability to focus — and it only gets better from there.

Ready to take the first step? Help desk outsourcing begins with a discovery call. Book a free call now.

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