Out of necessity, most businesses and managed service providers start out running their helpdesks internally. It makes sense at first when the scope and volume of their service requests are relatively small.
But as those businesses grow, so too does their burden of support. It can often outpace the business’s overall growth and, therefore, the resources available to provide good customer support. So what can you do? How can you avoid having service and support failures derailing your growth?
Many businesses and MSPs realize that outsourcing their helpdesk has many benefits. This article, presented by our colleagues at GMS Live Expert, will explain just what an outsourced helpdesk looks like and share the top benefits of using an outsourced helpdesk for businesses of all types and sizes.
How are outsourced helpdesks structured?
Outsourcing helpdesk operations benefits organizations with limited IT resources. It enables them to access truly enterprise-grade support services on a budget. Those companies can then redirect their IT employees to more productive, revenue-generating activities within their organization.
Different providers will structure their outsourced helpdesk teams in different ways. For example, some route service calls to any agent within their global network. Others, like GMS, maintain dedicated “pods” of a dozen or so North American employees for each helpdesk client. These dedicated teams build up the valuable institutional knowledge you hope to get running an in-house helpdesk, but they have access to larger-scale service tools and IT resources.
Outsourced helpdesks have many benefits, making them a popular choice among IT managed service providers and private companies running their own IT operations on a limited budget. So it is no wonder that industry experts expect the outsourced helpdesk services market to grow steadily through at least 2026.
The top 10 benefits of outsourcing helpdesk services
Here’s what we think are the top ten benefits any company can expect to see when they outsource their helpdesk operations.
1. Gain access to premium support resources
An internal helpdesk team’s expertise is constrained by your financial resources and the training you can offer. On the other hand, an outsourced helpdesk team can draw from a broader range of experience, expertise, and access to premium support tools. When outsourcing, you’re accessing a portion of an enterprise-grade support team.
2. Reduced costs
Another primary benefit of outsourcing your helpdesk is only paying for the level of service that you need. You keep your helpdesk costs low because you don’t have to pay for extra in-house agents to cover spikes in call volume. When you use an outsourced team, they can tap into additional resources on-demand.
3. Faster response times
Imagine this scenario with an all in-house helpdesk team: all of your agents are fielding chat and email messages when all of a sudden, a flurry of urgent phone calls comes in. No one is available. Calls are stacking up in the queue, customers are losing patience, and your response times plummet. Because outsourced help desk teams can pull in extra staff whenever they need to meet the demands of your customers, they can always answer calls as fast as possible.
4. Reliable support
Many businesses who’ve never worked with an outsourced provider worry about how reliable their support will be. You can keep expectations transparent and all parties accountable using an SLA. A Service Level Agreement outlines all your outsourced helpdesk requirements, like required response times, request closure rates, and other key metrics.
5. More accessible support outside core business hours
Providing after-hours support for your customers can be difficult when you only have access to a small internal team. A large, outsourced helpdesk team is always ready to assist your customers 24/7.
6. Happier customers
You’ll make customers happier when they know they can receive reliable support around the clock. Giving customers the support they need exactly when they need it may be the deciding factor in whether you get repeat business from them.
7. Future-proofed service and support
Outsourced helpdesk providers take care of all the service desk software updates and agent training, so you don’t have to. Your outsourced help desk team will always be ready no matter what new product you need them to support or what service management platform your company needs to move to.
8. You stay focused on your core business
Outsourcing your helpdesk allows you to rededicate your staff members’ time to your core business mission. As a result, you’ll spend less time on overhead administrative tasks like support and more time on revenue-generating activities—all without compromising the quality of support that your customers get.
9. Flexible levels of service
You can choose just how much of your helpdesk operations you outsource. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. For example, let’s say 80% of your service requests are routine matters that are cost-effective to outsource, while the remaining 20 percent are highly specialized for a service unique to your company. In this scenario, you could outsource helpdesk services for the 80 percent and keep a small, dedicated support team in-house to handle the remaining highly-specialized portion. This way, you’ll keep customers with both types of issues happy.
10. New business insights
Leading outsourced helpdesk providers can also bring to bear the latest reporting and metrics tools to monitor your company’s performance. Using them, you’ll gain new insights on what kind of service requests are coming into your helpdesk, as well as key metrics like average speed to answer and first-call resolution rates.
Helpdesk outsourcing in the post-COVID era
It might not come as a surprise that interest in outsourcing helpdesk operations has spiked in the wake of COVID lockdowns. Businesses everywhere are looking to supplement or replace their overwhelmed IT departments with more flexible, scalable helpdesk teams.
Perhaps those IT departments are stuck dealing with a high volume of support requests from customers managing their own, new remote working arrangements. Unfortunately, this pulls your team away from more strategic initiatives that you actually want them working on.
Other IT departments may just be struggling with mounting labor shortages. Outsourcing your helpdesk helps you out these shortages without compromising the level of support that your customers have come to expect.
Outsourcing your helpdesk is all up-side
GMS has nearly twenty years of experience offering best-in-class outsourced helpdesk and NOC solutions. When you outsource your helpdesk operations, you’ll get all of the benefits discussed here and more.