First of all, before we jump into the five things to look for in a service desk solutions provider, let’s begin this article by briefly describing what a service desk is. And to do that effectively, we need to differentiate between a service desk and a helpdesk, as these two terms are often used interchangeably.

In a nutshell, helpdesks help end users to fix common technology problems. Service desks, on the other hand, help organizations to ensure that their users are able to use technology to maximize their business goals, including to set processes and best practices. Thus, helpdesks are seen as a component of a larger service-desk solution.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are five things to look for in a service desk solutions provider.

1. Make Sure That Your Service Desk Solutions Provider Offers a Dedicated Team to Service Each of Your Accounts.

This is the first thing to look for in a service desk solutions provider. Service desks should have enough support agents ready to take care of the clients. Ideally, this shared resource model is what makes this cost-effective. It’s also possible, however, to have both a shared pool of resources and a dedicated support team.

2. Make Sure That the Provider’s Service Hours Are Flexible.

A lot of service desks nowadays operate on a 24/7 schedule, which is a good thing. But what if a client—meaning you— don’t need this capability and only need a service desk to operate around the company’s business hours —or even during some other set schedule of hours? It’s important for you to select a provider whose service hours match your company’s unique business requirements.

3. Make Sure That the Provider Has Central Metrics and Reporting.

This is the third thing that you should look for in a service desk solutions provider. It goes without saying that you must make sure that the service desk solutions provider that you are tapping should have a detailed tracking and reporting capabilities in place. Why? For one thing, this is what makes an effective service desk. Secondly, because with these kinds of metrics, a service desk can identify patterns, which means it will actually help you become more proactive in addressing recurring issues. And this is always a good thing, right?

4. Make Sure That the Provider Offers a Single Point of Contact.

Keep in mind that a truly effective service desk should offer a single point of contact for all help-desk questions that your organization might encounter. A single point of contact helps centralize calls and simplifies everything.

5. Make Sure That the Service Provider Offers Tiered Service Levels.

Last but not the least in the five things you need to look for in a service desk solutions provider. One of the most important questions that you, as a client, need to ask a prospective service desk partner is “Do you offer tiered service levels?”. For instance, tier 1 support agents should be to answer basic troubleshooting questions, while tier 2 support agents should know how to answer more complex network-centric questions. Naturally, a service tier level 1 would cost lower compared to a service level 2, which would command a higher price point per incident. Always ask before signing a contract to make sure that you are paying only for what you need.

The Bottom Line:

The aforementioned that was just discussed above are the five things to look for in a service desk solutions provider. When you have determined that your company indeed requires a service desk solution, you need to determine next if want to acquire the tools, process, and resources yourself or tap the services of an experienced service desk solutions provider. Although a service desk is an important resource that will allow your company’s employees to do their jobs well and therefore become as productive as they can, you will also need to consider that it will cost you when deciding which model will best meet your needs. If you have decided to tap the services of a service desk solutions provider, consider the five factors that we just discussed in this article.

Aside from considering the five factors above, when you’ve finally decided to go with a service desk solutions provider, make sure that the solutions that the partner provides align closely with your business’s needs.

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