Finding the Right Managed IT Service Provider

March 29, 2016   //   Managed Services, ,

Increasingly, businesses are realizing the benefits of outsourcing IT — whether they are outsourcing all of it or just a few functions like service desk.  They are often looking for a strategic partner who can help them by providing recommendations on how to best align IT with their business needs.  Finding the right partner can be challenging, especially for front-line user support.  Should you go with a provider who offers a personalized service and not just a “help desk”?  Does it matter how the IT provider’s employees are compensated and the impact on service delivery?  Do their employees have a stable and nurturing work environment? Below are some things to consider when outsourcing your IT service desk.

For more insights into what’s driving the mid-market move towards managed services, download the Movement Towards Managed Services whitepaper.

Help Desk vs Service Desk

It’s important to quickly state some differences between a typical help desk and the type of  service desk delivered by SWC.  Generally speaking, a help desk team focuses on the technical side of end-support.  It can be clinical in its approach with call scripts used to guide agents to solutions to quickly close tickets.  Moreover, the focus is on output and is less strategic in nature.  Reports typically focus on call volumes, source, and ticket types and less on discussion about improving IT processes that will reduce the number of tickets.  You may find large call center solution providers employing this type of approach.

SWC’s IT service desk employs a more strategic, agile and holistic approach that focuses on improving service delivery to your end-users.  We are a consulting firm, so our approach is rooted in problem solving, not just churning through tickets.  We provide a white-glove, user-centric approach that invests in a personalized service to understand what your end-users’ challenges are and how SWC serves as an extension of your existing IT team to better support them.  When changes are made in the environment that could impact your users, we will work with your team in advance to document the changes and ensure we have the information to facilitate the transition for the user.  This creates a positive experience for the user and allows the business to realize the benefits from the new solution.  We feel strongly that this personal connection translates to better service and allows your internal IT team to focus on more strategic projects and initiatives.

Employee Incentives and Best Interests From Your Service Desk Provider

One of the biggest indicators of the level of service that you will receive from your outsourced provider is found in what they do for their employees.  A key component is how the provider compensates their employees?

Often, employees are incentivized solely on quantitative data.  One such measurement could be the speed at which they close tickets.  Another metric could relate to the speed in which a phone call is ended.  Such metrics can result in fast service and quick resolutions, but they can result in diminished service quality.  As such, an initial call that was prematurely ended may result in additional “short” calls from the IT service provider to obtain sufficient information to properly assist the end-user.  Likewise, a ticket could have been quickly closed, but the statistics are not showing that the ticket needed to be resolved by the internal team which is reducing their productivity.  We have seen clients come to SWC because tickets were constantly escalated back to their internal teams instead of being resolved at Tier 1.  In essence, they were double-paying for user support.

In contrast, at SWC, our employees’ best interests are the same as our clients.  We incentivize our employees to be committed to their clients by looking for ways to innovate and provide solutions that increase the value of the relationship.  We meet with our clients regularly for feedback to ensure we are delivering the expected value.  Internally, we measure specific key performance metrics (KPIs) which include initial ticket response time, FCR (first call resolution), and average number of tickets per employee.  We also implement service-level agreements (SLAs) that incentivize our employees to meet or exceed goals which further drive the delivery of quality assistance.  Lastly, our services are based on ITIL methodology which aides us in being a better partner to your business by focusing on providing and improving IT services to meet your business goals.  By providing the proper incentives and analyzing, both quantitative and qualitative data, we can ensure that we are delivering on our promise to provide quality support.

Recruitment and Turnover

Another indicator that you’ve found the right IT service provider is when they have a stable work environment where the employees are thriving and turnover is minimum.  At SWC, our recruitment and hiring processes are highly selective. We believe in hiring people who are truly passionate and want a career in IT, not just a help desk job.  This translates to our employees genuinely giving their personal best in ensuring successful results for your business.  At the end of the day, you will want to feel comfortable that your users are well supported and your provider cares about retaining these employees who know your environment best.

Managed IT Services Whitepaper

Why SWC for Service Desk Outsourcing

You may want to stop and ask yourself, would this IT partnership with SWC help us be more proactive and efficient?  Would our end users be happier and more productive?  Would SWC help us add to our bottom-line?

Outsourcing your service desk to SWC can reduce costs spent on hiring, training, operations, and licensing. We will also allow your existing IT staff and business leaders to refocus on your strategic initiatives instead of fighting endless fires.  With SWC, you are gaining full end-to-end IT solutions from local experts so that as your business grows, we can scale and grow with you.

IT doesn’t stand still, and neither should you. Contact SWC to learn more about your service desk or attend one of our upcoming events.