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The Modern Service Desk

July 23, 2015

The nature of the help desk, service desk, and support desk have improved and changed over the years to become even more customer-centered in their focus. This is in addition to having to act as a centralized desk that delivers actual user support. To deliver the level of customer service necessary it takes a constant check-in to ensure that only top-notch support is delivered. 

It is important then to hire professionals to work the help desk who understand that the customer's issue is the biggest issue in the world to them when they are contacting the support desk. It is important to deliver good-quality and compassionate support and solutions for their computer or technology needs.  

With a wireless telecom help desk, the job becomes immensely more complex and stressful in many ways. For one, all different customers  have different devices set up with different applications. This brings up two main ideas here. One question is how to evaluate the customer service and technical support that is delivered to customers while deciding whether it is worth it to keep the efforts in-house or to outsource them. 

The advantage to keeping services in-house mean that the company owns the services, and gets to manage the direct delivery of services, the old thinking goes. If customer service at this point determines whether a company keeps customers or loses customers, then it probably is best to keep this service in-house. 

It might cost more, but there is more control over the delivery of the customer service. If it is outsourced, and the help desk firm that takes over is just in it for the financial gain, then a couple-year contract could demolish your business. What recourse is there if your company no longer has the financial resources to sue the other company? And, what if the company that you paid to look after your company does not have the money to pay a legal settlement? 

It is worth it to do due diligence if outsourcing the help desk support. Specifically, the help desk has to be equipped to field calls, chat, and email support from customers requiring help with their technology in the IT Service Management for the Information Technology Infrastructure, which plays the central point for helping customers. 

To manage the effectiveness of such a department, it is important to find out how satisfied the customer is in addition to resolving their issues. Using key performance indicators, or KPIs, allow dedicated and concentrated tracking of performance to identify and mete out problems and improve the problems. From there, the company can assign management of the goals. 

For a help desk track the following metrics to ensure success: 1. the cost for every call, the satisfaction of customers, the rate of resolution at the first call, the employee satisfaction, and overall satisfaction. Keeping employees happy makes for better resolution of customer problems, which makes your business more successful. 

Marking Milestones
The idea is to establish a starting point that answers "Where are we right now?" From there, a benchmark against the competition's customer service delivery is important. From there, identify goals of where your company wants to be in the future. Devise ways to improve delivery of services by identifying strengths and weaknesses. Establish goals for the whole group and individuals. Reward their improvement to keep encouraging them to improve. Even small trinkets and of course financial bonuses will drive success and reward people for meeting goals. 

In wireless telecommunications, it is important to standardize carriers, devices, services, applications, and platforms. The challenge is staffing because there can be anywhere from just nearly 40 to just above 300 help desk tickets monthly for every 1,000 customers. Say a company has 2,000 wireless customers with 3 apps, it means you need nearly 3 employees or spend $112,000 per year on full-time salaries. That is a cost of $245 to $30 per call.

Is it better to outsource or keep people in-house? As it turns out, with the sheer number of applications combined with devices makes for more tickets. As long as the staff is trained, the resolution is there, but it will take more time to resolve problems. That means this is a negative situation for the help desk. The other issue is that you would need to increase pay and/or bodies because you will have to have staff on hand 24/7. This makes another case for outsourcing your support desk.  

It all depends on the help desk professionals you have now and how high of a volume they can handle given their expertise and ability to learn about the  wireless users' issues and their devices. Use KPIs to determine best how to handle your customer service satisfaction via the help desk. It turns out outsourcing makes sense.