A help desk may mean a lot of different things. Basically, it is a source of technical support for hardware or software which is generally staffed by people who can either directly solve the problem or direct the problem to the appropriate department for action. In some instances, a help desk is a call center that is tasked to handle questions about products and services.
A single point of entry is what often characterizes a help desk. A voice automated help desk telephone system is usually used to allow users to navigate themselves to reach the correct department. Most help desks are external but some large companies are able to maintain their own internal help desk functions.
An outsource agency is best considered for a company when it experiences sharp peaks in call volumes throughout the day or there is no existing suitable staff to handle the current call volumes. Another reason to do so is when certain support activities require expertise or knowledge in an area not frequently used by the company. Experiences of periods of high activity such as during the introduction of a new product or a product maintenance release may be an appropriate time to make use of an outsource agency.
Other reasons to try outsourcing are difficulty in supporting remote offices, when your company is supporting a large number of software packages and during a company’s internal transition such as upgrading of network or computer system hardware or software. Outsourcing the help desk provides one major benefit which is the availability of support agencies that have the latest technology. While these technology improvements may be very costly for a company, outsourcing facilitates the same advantage by giving the work to entities that are better equipped to handle the transactions and can spread out the cost among several clients over a period of time. Today’s global economy has made help desk access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week a requirement to come out ahead from competition. An outsource agency provides valuable support especially during off business hours.
The scope of a help desk service can be as varied as the products being serviced. Most businesses have chosen to obtain specific service level agreements that specify the range of services to be provided as well as those not provided by the technical help desk support staff. It forms part of the core part of the service function as it brings together multiple resources to address an issue.
The many features of a company’s help desk environment are automated through the use of this powerful management software. Some of the more typical functions include call management, call tracking, knowledge management, problem resolution and self-help capabilities. This software is provided for the use of all members of the support area from the first point of contact up to the staff that eventually receives the job request for resolution.
Outsourcing is fast becoming the choice option of many companies that seek to lower costs and improve service quality while taking the business capabilities to an entirely new level. The main point is to be able to outsource non-essential tasks to make it possible for the company to focus on core tasks that will give it the competitive advantage against its opponents. Soon outsourcing will be crucial to any business success and competitiveness.