Like death and taxes, computer problems are an inevitable part of life—and that is especially true for business owners. Lost files and failed logins happen to everyone, and sometimes small- to medium-sized businesses need a helping hand when it comes to everyday I.T. headaches. Many companies opt to hire a dedicated I.T. department to help employees with their day-to-day issues, but this solution is not feasible for everyone. Some organizations can benefit the most from an accessible, professional remote help desk.
How Do I Know If an Outsourced Help Desk Is Right for My Company?
Common reasons for enlisting the services of a remote help desk include: lack of dedicated office space, no money in the budget for a full-time I.T. department, and relatively infrequent computer problems. If you find yourself in need of help with technological issues only intermittently, an outsourced help desk could be perfect for your organization. However, even if you require assistance with daily operations, a managed service provider (MSP) with remote help desk capabilities can still be the right choice for you.
A recent report by Business.org notes that businesses in specialized industries such as healthcare or ecommerce can benefit from partnering with managed service providers that cater to clients in their specific industry. As long as you find an experienced service provider that fits your budget, there is no reason why you can’t make outsourced support part of your I.T. infrastructure.
How Does an Outsourced Help Desk Work?
Managed service providers typically offer help desk services to their clients. Oftentimes, I.T. assistance is one of the first processes to be outsourced when companies are trying managed services for the first time. Just as with in-house I.T. help, employees contact the help desk with their concerns by phone or email. The technician then provides solutions once the technological problem has been explained. Most computer problems are so common that an experienced help desk tech can diagnose from the caller’s explanation, and has a well-planned process for explaining the solution. Other, more complex, issues may require the technician to log in to the caller’s computer from their remote location to take a look at the issue. In today’s thoroughly connected world, this is no more complex than you connecting to another company’s website from your office. Remote connection permissions, restrictions, and protocols are all worked out in your contract with your service provider at the beginning of your working relationship. All in all, the process is very similar to getting help from a resident I.T. professional, except that the person answering the call can’t come take a look at the problem in person.
An outsourced help desk can also provide support outside normal working hours, which is a major draw for business that work with remote contractors or have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy at the office.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
As with any major change in operations, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to employ a remote help desk. Redmond Magazine reports that one major reason business owners decide to do so is to liberate existing I.T. departments from help desk duty, allowing them to work on projects more closely aligned with the company’s core competencies. This also encourages current I.T. employees to focus on handling potential problems proactively rather than having to spend a significant portion of their days responding to calls. Contracting with an MSP has the additional benefit of being a predictable monthly expense rather than a sudden expenditure you might encounter when hiring an independent contractor.
One drawback of switching to an outsourced help desk is that it is likely to cause anxiety among current I.T. staffers if the reasons for the change are not communicated effectively. The last thing you want is an unhappy I.T. department with jitters about possible layoffs. Of course, organizations without existing I.T. departments don’t have to worry about those concerns. However, that makes it all the more essential to maintain a good working relationship with your remote help desk—especially since they are not on the premises to cultivate professional relationships organically.
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Getting the Most out of Your Remote Help Desk Assistance
While an outsourced help desk provides the same services as a resident I.T. staff, employees must take certain considerations into account when contacting them with computer problems. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when interacting with your remote I.T. support.
Be as Specific as Possible
Because the person on the line is unable to see the problem you are experiencing, be prepared to explain it in detail. Sending a screenshot or sharing your screen will also help you to convey the issue you’re dealing with simply and effectively. Be sure to mention if you or others at your company have had the same problem in the past so the help desk can identify patterns. When the help desk technician has all the information you can provide, they can easily solve computer problems without having to be in the same room—or even the same zip code.
Ask for Recommendations
Once you have gotten the solution to your current I.T. problem, ask the person you’re talking to if they have any tips about how to prevent the same thing from happening in the future, or any general advice about technological matters. This will help you tackle the issue for yourself in the future, and your I.T. help desk technician will appreciate that you asked for their advice—after all, they’re there to help you. The help desk can also give you helpful information about how to improve security practices and manage your workflow with the latest technological solutions.
When the remote help desk gives you a recommendation that could apply to others throughout your organization, don’t hesitate to spread the word. It’s a good idea to send out company-wide emails periodically updating employees about your I.T. best practices. This will help employees to reduce calls to the help desk and improve overall operations by streamlining communications on important I.T.-related matters. In addition to help desk services, talk to your MSP about 24-hour monitoring, employee cybersecurity training, cloud services, and other ways they can help you make the most of your I.T. budget.
An outsourced help desk can be your organization’s first step toward improving your I.T. solutions. For more information about how our Outsourced Help Desk services can save you money and stress, call 844-44-JMARK, email us at jmarkit@JMARK.com or visit the Contact Us page of our website.