5 things to look for in help desk support

Help desks are vital for internal support, customer service and retention strategies. Some SMBs choose to handle this critical function in-house, building out a complete IT support department for their company. But that takes time and money.

Others, even enterprise-level companies, go a different route, choosing to leverage managed IT services for help desk support. Since a managed IT services provider (MSP) comes with several other advantageous perks, we think that’s the way to go.

Outsourcing can ease the burden of having to juggle all the chaos of running your own help desk. And rest assured, you can still have a customized experience that’s tailored to your business, even if you outsource help desk support.

But to make sure you’re help desk support is worthwhile, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. A solution that works with your budget

Here’s the obvious short answer. You need a help desk partner that’s reasonably priced.

The cost of the service has to be within your budget, or there’s no point in even talking. But don’t confuse the common sense of that fact with advice to rush out and find the cheapest option available.

A help desk is an investment. If you pick well, it’s an investment that will pay returns down the line. Balance the urge to snag the best deal against your business needs. Make sure any potential provider is able to handle the kind of support you need, and make sure they come well-recommended.

2. A solution that’s easy to implement

Torturously long implementation is the death of any tech solution. Before you even have the thing up and running, you and your staff will already hate it. That more or less defeats the purpose.

So look for a help desk provider who understands the importance of smooth implementation. Here are a few key questions to ask.

  • How long will it take to implement this solution?
  • What sort of resources will we need to configure?
  • Will this help desk provider integrate easily with our existing systems?
  • What will the training process for your employees be like?

As you answer those questions, you’ll get a clear picture of whether or not the help desk provider you’re mulling over is worth it.

3. A solution that’s accessible

The ideal help desk solution gives you options. Specifically, communication options.

Look for a partner who is accessible by phone, through email, and maybe even via social media or other platforms. The better the accessibility, the more likely your employees (especially remote workers) will reach out to them when they need help.

4. A solution that has the features you need

Make a list of the features that are non-negotiable, the features you’d really like to have but don’t need, and features you definitely don’t want to pay for because you’ll never use them.

For example:

  • Will the help desk system have mobile options? (If you have remote workers, this is essential. If you don’t, do you really want to pay extra for it?)
  • Will it have any automated features? (Some SMB owners like them, some don’t.)
  • Can we customize support levels to match what we need?

Compare potential partners based on what’s ideal for you, then go with the one who most closely meets your needs.

5. A solution that scales with no hassles

If you expect to grow, as most SMBs do, you’ll want a service that can grow alongside you. This is big for growing companies. Each new stage of growth will require different levels of help desk support. You want a partner who can adjust as your needs change.

Be sure to ask about pricing, too. If a potential provider is affordable now but won’t be later, that’s no good.

One more important thing about help desk support

While searching for the best partner, try to think about the whole thing from the perspective of the people who will communicate with the help desk the most—your employees.

What will they find useful? What will make them want to scream? Explore all your options and find a well-rounded help desk partner that you and your staff will enjoy working with.