Technical support helpdesk outsourcing – fast, affordable, effective

Marc Sanderson

Delivering an effective technical support helpdesk function requires a specialist and unique mix of skills, infrastructure and processes.

Outsourcing provides technology companies with a rapid and affordable solution to this challenge, helping them achieve a technical support helpdesk capable of transforming their customer experience and standing them apart in today’s competitive marketplace.

Technical Support vs Helpdesk

The traditional helpdesk sits at the heart of most technology company’s customer engagement strategies.

The format arose from the call centre model, originally created to deliver a range of process-driven, low value-add services as efficiently as possible – everything from financial transactions (such as basic banking and insurance renewals) to appointment booking, account enquiries and telemarketing.

Helpdesk staff need customer, not technical, skills. Their key metric, as often as not, is cost per contact.

Technical support, on the other hand, focuses on solving problems. Typically, any technical issue that requires a level of technical expertise beyond the capabilities of the helpdesk would be escalated to the technical support team.

So in contrast to a simple helpdesk, a technical support helpdesk is an altogether different beast – a multi-tier, multi-capability response to the demands of increasingly complex and sophisticated technology products and the customers who buy them.

It aims to combine the efficiencies of the helpdesk / call centre model with the technical problem-solving capability of a technical services or engineering team.

The focus of a technical support helpdesk is on solving problems

Outsourcing the technical support helpdesk

The technical support helpdesk model we are describing here is a highly specialised operation.

Alongside the call-handling infrastructure, service skills and culture, and efficient processing of a traditional call centre, a technical support helpdesk requires in-depth technical skills and capabilities. Because the best technical call centres are essentially one-stop-shop services for problem resolution, excellent troubleshooting and communication skills are also essential.

This places a great emphasis on the quality of the frontline team, calling for a blend of skills such as engineering, technical, communication and problem-solving skills, all of which need to be recruited for and nurtured over time.

This kind of dedicated infrastructure, software, skills, and even service culture, are not typically found in technology manufacturing, system integration or distribution businesses.

Outsourcing is one way that these companies can make this happen, offering a huge range of benefits over the development of any in-house response.

1. Instant ‘on’

Outsourcing to a technical support helpdesk provider gives a technology business instant access to all of these specialist resources. As well as putting specialist customer contact agents, technicians and systems to the fore, this can also free in-house engineers and technicians for core operational requirements.

2. Scalable

Importantly, these outsourced resources are also likely to be highly scalable, allowing technology companies to respond to peaks and troughs in demand, to manage peak or holiday season arrangements, and to handle one-off technical projects or ad hoc promotional initiatives.

3. Quality counts

Social media and related platforms mean that service quality has never translated so quickly into reputation and brand value (and of course the opposite is also true, if things aren’t done right). Outsourcing can help technology companies achieve an integrated technical support helpdesk function capable of providing the kind of one-stop-shop problem solving which translates instantly into great customer experience and market-leading reputation.

4. Bottom line impacts

Financially, the scale and efficiency of a specialist outsource provider should also have a significant impact on the cost per contact. In addition, outsourcing will turn fixed overhead costs into a variable cost, as employment, staff training, IT and infrastructure costs are swapped for a regular budgeted contract fee. All of this can impact straight on the bottom line, or free up resources for reinvestment back in core technology operations.

More information

High-quality support is an increasingly must-have function for technology manufacturers, and the specialist technical support helpdesk is an effective and efficient part of this. You can read more about the benefits of technical helpdesk support here.

By outsourcing to a specialist provider like Qcom, you can unlock these benefits with a process which is rapid, affordable and scalable.

Click here to read our e-guide looking at the benefits and process of outsourcing technical support helpdesk functions.

Or for more information, to discuss your technical support helpdesk requirements, or to explore how technical services outsourcing could benefit your business, please contact us at outsourcing@qcom.co.uk or telephone +44(0)1905 827650 to arrange an initial conversation in complete confidence.

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