Thursday, February 11, 2010

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part II

Help Desk Manager's Crash CourseContinuing my posts on Helpdesk Outsourcing.

Play to your strengths! - The Question of Outsourcing Part I

Helpdesk and Customer Service positions while generally entry level should still be staffed with people that have ambition and can grow to other roles within your company.  If you are not hiring for this type of person, you are not getting the right person you need.  In addition, in some environments, the helpdesk itself is very stressful leading to significant churn and retention problems.  In addition to the staff themselves, you generally need to have a supervisor and manager to ensure that they are performing to standards and that you have the resources in place to cover sick days, vacations and other gaps in the schedule.  Finally you want to think about growth ... as your business grows, will the size of your helpdesk?  How many extra resources will you need for 10 customers, how about 100 or 1000?  What is your projection with regards to your growth prospects?  Are you going to staff your team before you get the sales (costly but allows you to ensure that they are trained properly) or after the sales come in (financially in the short term you're saving money, but are you providing all of your existing customers with the appropriate level of service?  what are your new customers going to think about not being able to get through to your call center because of long hold times?). 

With all of the above mentioned (the details in my last post), the cost of a "good" help desk is not inconsiderable and you never just want to offer your customers "good" service ... you should be aiming for "great" service at all times!!!

So with everything I have said - I completely understand the justification and reasoning for those companies that have decided this is NOT their skill set and they'd rather focus on making their customers happy with and through their product and not by offering superlative service only when it is broken.  However, if you are still on the fence and are trying to decide whether or not to outsource, there are a couple of things you should consider.

Please see my further posts for additional information on this topic.
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