The concept of the IT help desk was born with the technology boom of the late 1980s, and since then IT services, whether in-house or through a good IT services provider, have become an integral part of our daily lives.
With constantly evolving modern technology trends that keep getting more and more complicated, it’s more essential than ever to provide employees with easily accessible, accurate and quick IT support, typically known as an IT help desk.
What is an IT Help Desk?
The main purpose of the help desk resource is to, well, help.
It’s all about helping an internal user in times of IT-related need, hence the name help desk (often commonly referred to as service desk). This support comes in many forms with the main focus aimed at answering questions and troubleshooting problems.
But simply having an IT help desk isn’t enough. Your business needs a true “technology partner” who has your best interest in mind and will guide you and your employees through any IT needs.
In addition to offering general support, here are the 5 most important tasks that every IT help desk should do for you.
What Should Your Help Desk Do?
1. Cover ALL of Your IT Needs
The most common misconception relating to the IT help desk is that its only purpose is to respond to tactical IT-related issues. While it may be true that the main function of the help desk itself is to handle IT problems as they arise, you want to make sure that your IT service provider offers more than just fixing every-day issues.
Your IT service provider needs to offer proactive tools, not just reactive tools. Even though you will need immediate issues that are affecting your user's performance fixed right away, there will also be a need to discuss your organization’s IT needs for the future.
In other words, the IT provider who offers the help desk function should also meet the rest of your IT needs - it’s not just about putting out IT fires. An effective provider covers everything from strategic IT consultation to cyber security solutions to training and much more.
2. Provide 24/7 Availability With Unlimited Support
We all know that top-notch customer service is a key ingredient in any business model, and the IT industry is no exception to this. Gone are the days of condescending IT guys. In today’s world, IT consultants must be customer service professionals.
You might even argue that IT professionals providing users with help desk support require a higher level of customer service skills than many other industries. Whether that’s the case or not, one thing is for sure… your help desk needs to be available to you 24/7.
Some IT help desk providers operate on a pay-per-incident model or they’re only available from the traditional 9 to 5 business hours. But by limiting the hours of availability, they’re limiting your business potential.
3. Save You Money Whenever Possible
If an IT service provider doesn’t display its pricing model publicly, then it’s time to move on to the next option. A service provider that offers transparent IT services pricing for all to see is one that can be trusted, so be wary of any providers that keep their prices hidden.
In addition to a visible pricing model, your provider should display each of the included services and components that are offered within a given price frame. The best providers typically offer up to three unique tiers of support plans that cater to unique budget and IT needs.
When comparing the different tiers of IT services provided, always look for the inclusion of a 24/7 service desk. If this isn’t included in a support plan package, it’s not even worth considering.
4. Understand Your Industry
Many IT service providers offer a generalized service that they use for each of the companies they partner with. Although some aspects of IT intersect and blend across industry lines, try to avoid a service that fails to provide individualized attention based on your specific industry.
It’s important to realize that the IT needs of each company are unique, so your service provider must have a solid background in your industry, whether that be education or healthcare. A provider should have a unique IT action plan based on your industry.
When your IT professionals have an understanding of your industry, the help desk tasks will run seamlessly, and better customer service can be provided. But more importantly, your provider will fully understand the specific compliance regulations for your industry.
For instance, the information-sharing regulations for healthcare - think HIPAA and PCI DSS - are much stricter than those for financial services. If your IT service fails to recognize this, you’re just setting yourself up for trouble.
5. Know What's Coming in Technology
Technology is constantly changing, and you've most likely experienced this personally - just consider the leaps and bounds we've made within the past decade. This is an exciting time for technology, but it can also be difficult to keep up with the constant changes.
Your IT provider should not only be able to stay on top of technological advances and react to the changing world but also know what's coming in the future. A help desk that remains stuck in time is not likely to find success. When a provider focuses on staying up to date with future technology trends, these trends will be better applied to your business model.
By partnering with an IT provider that looks to the future, you can focus on things such as using remote access more effectively, improving your file storage systems, and much more.
Key Benefits of a Successful IT Help Desk
There are some obvious benefits to implementing an outsourced IT help desk, like quickly responding to IT issues and answering customer questions with unmatched knowledge. But these are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what a successful IT help desk can do for you.
Here are a few more impactful advantages:
- Boosted Productivity
- Enhanced Efficiency
- Systematic Fixes
- Constant Support
- Analysis of IT Trends
If you're interested in boosting productivity, enhancing efficiency, providing your customers with constant support, get in touch with your local Managed IT Service Provider to learn more.