IT Managed Services Blog

The High Cost of an Underutilized Service Desk

Posted by TJ Mitchell on August 10, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT

When it comes to quality IT support, organizations that select a service desk outsourcing vendor often find that they get what they pay for. Unfortunately, this saying does not hold true for an underutilized service desk no matter how much the provider may excel at technical proficiency and customer service. Nonetheless, there are a number of companies that utilize the service desk much less than initially conceived. But why?

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Tags: service desk outsourcing

How Service Desk Outsourcing Adapts to All Support Environments

Posted by TJ Mitchell on August 1, 2017 1:42:00 PM CDT

As most service desk outsourcing companies will tell you, most any remote solution can be accomplished with the right access, documentation, and training. That’s why new service desk implementation teams spend a majority of pre-launch activities on knowledge transfer with the emphasis on replicating unique processes specific to client workflows as they relate to the technology being supported. Since IT support professionals bring Level 1 skills related to end user support for standard MS Office products and frequently deal with access and connectivity issues, the training and transitional focus is going to be on what’s new. Below are some examples and how the service desk adapts:

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Tags: service desk outsourcing

Top 5 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Partnership

Posted by TJ Mitchell on July 18, 2017 2:05:00 PM CDT

For service organizations that can’t be everything to every client, a strategic partnership is the next best thing. Wherever there is a gap in their core area of specialization, SMB vendors join forces with the goal being to present a unified solution to prospective clients. So if a service desk outsourcing organization is not the ideal resource for hardware procurement or a data center doesn’t dispatch break fix technicians across the globe at a moment’s notice, partnering with those that do is the ideal alternative. But in order to make the partnership work over the long term, the solutions offered must be mutually beneficial and the channels of communication open and free flowing. Unfortunately, like any business relationship, partnerships are subject to conditions as mercurial as the economic climate, fluctuating market requirements, and the evolving tools and technologies those partners leverage. As a result of these changes and how they impact each organization differently, it is rare that a partnership is in a permanent state of good health. The problem is that service organizations get so caught up in navigating a dynamic business climate, they sometimes forget to read the writing on the wall. For those that think their partnership may be overdue for a checkup, here’s a list of symptoms that may indicate yours may be a little under the weather:

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Tags: strategic partnership

Top 3 Tips to Support Leadership Changes in the IT Industry

Posted by Rachel Casciato on July 6, 2017 2:02:00 PM CDT

In the course of building long-term relationships as a help desk support provider, we’ve experienced our fair share of leadership changes with our clients. New leadership roles can come with a substantial learning curve, impacting employees from everyday users to senior management. Whether there is a new CIO or IT manager, we see those changes as an opportunity to educate our clients and help them manage their new responsibilities. As a result, our clients experience a smoother transition, shorter learning curve, and a clearer strategic direction. There are three key ways we support this change in client IT management.

 

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ABS Says “May We” to French Language Support

Posted by TJ Mitchell on June 29, 2017 2:08:00 PM CDT

When offering a global service desk solution to clients with geographically dispersed workforce, opportunities to support languages beyond the usual English and Spanish are bound to arise. Though many European and APAC clients require their end users speak English as the predominant common language of business, others may prefer the added convenience of support in their native language.  Due to a recent uptick in requests from Canadian based clients with offices in French-speaking Quebec, the service desk is expanding its linguistic repertoire accordingly.

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Tags: French speaking agents

The Difference Between First Contact Resolution and Level 1 Resolution

Posted by TJ Mitchell on June 20, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT

When establishing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for new clients, this question occasionally arises: What's the difference between First Contact Resolution and Level 1 Resolution?

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Tags: SLAs, Level 1 Resolution, First Contact Resolution, FCR

Try Before You Buy Service Desk Test Calls

Posted by TJ Mitchell on June 8, 2017 1:52:00 PM CDT

As any consumer will tell you, the best way to remove buyer’s remorse from the purchasing process is to offer a money back guarantee. This typically applies to retail transactions that take place either on line or in the store for any durable good that’s less than an ideal fit or not quite as advertised. The concept works well with products, but it’s less frequently offered with services where the commitment can have far reaching, long term consequences. But imagine if you could have a trial period with a service desk outsourcing solution and gauge the quality of the agents supporting your environment before you buy. Since they’re the ones who will be on the front lines communicating with the end users every day, it makes sense for them to give an advance preview of what that support experience is going to be like.  Potential clients shouldn’t have to make such a broad leap of faith before selecting a service desk vendor which is why test calls may be the ideal proof of concept.

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Tags: service desk test calls

What’s So Sleazy about Inbound Sales?

Posted by TJ Mitchell on June 1, 2017 2:05:00 PM CDT

One of the reasons most people are reluctant to move into sales is they consider it nothing short of selling one’s soul, submitting to the dark side of human nature. I’m no psychiatrist, but perhaps there’s an irrational fear of appearing like a sleazy and disingenuous pariah who blights the corporate landscape through deception and greed. It’s a genuine concern and somewhat steeped in tradition. Indeed, the classic view of the role is a dishonest pressure seller who foists on unsuspecting buyers a product or service that they don’t really need, interrupting their busy day with a lot of fast talk, a lot of hooey. With inbound sales, the pitch is slightly different.

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Tags: inbound sales

Service Desk Outsourcing Ticket Ownership Communication

Posted by TJ Mitchell on May 11, 2017 2:05:00 PM CDT

A core goal of any service desk outsourcing solution is to maximize First Contact Resolution (FCR). Service Level Agreements are established to hold the vendor accountable to hitting those numbers and getting end users fully operational ASAP. To achieve those target metrics, Level 1 service desk agents must be fully trained on the client’s IT environment and unique processes. In addition, agents must have access to the necessary systems to perform their troubleshooting tasks. To support FCR, operational review meetings are conducted regularly to identify gaps in access, training, or documentation and bring more incident categories into the realm of the remotely resolvable. That being said, there are a number of contact types that remain outside of the Level 1 agent’s control to resolve and must be escalated to another group. They often require the following:

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Tags: service desk communication

Problem Management: Identifying Problems and Alerting Clients Quickly

Posted by TJ Mitchell on May 2, 2017 2:25:00 PM CDT

As the first point of contact with every IT related issue, the service desk is best equipped to check the pulse of what the end user population is experiencing and detect larger problems that may be leading to the incidents they are reporting.  Operationally, the symptoms of problems are like raindrops. If enough are concentrated in one area and build in frequency, a flood of calls is on the way. It’s important to get ahead of the problem management process and stem the tide of end user downtime and rising service desk costs to address major technical hiccups. As with any problem, the first step is recognizing that you have one. Here’s how:

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Tags: problem management

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