How to set up a technical support center?

Setting up a technical support call center goes beyond choosing the right hardware and applications (if you opt for any at all….more on this later). Most of the work involves determining your requirements, assessing implementation alternatives, and executing a plan that retains your end users and support personnel happy.

We’ll be reviewing the process that IT advisers and support departments can follow along with establishing a support hotline.

Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of telephone support versus other stations is the subject of another article.

Evaluating Support Requirements and Capabilities
It’s best to assess these two groups separately.

Whether you’re supporting external customers or sections, your end users have specific requirements and expectations. Before you can establish a call center to accommodate them, you have to know what the call center will be liable for.

Here are some questions you should request:

What type of support is required? Will users need in-depth troubleshooting on an assortment of subjects or support for a few of issues?

What are your service goals? Have you got service level agreements that are you or require you to respond in 15 minutes dealing?

When do you need the call center? Are you wishing to provide an after-hours help desk which takes over for your own office employees or do you want a 24 hour solution?

You need to comprehend the needs and capacities of your group. They play an essential part in the success of your support center, so an effective alternative will require them .

Consider the following:

Have you got a well-rounded team which may support everything that comes your way or are there specialists responsible for specific areas?

When are the support representatives? Are they comfortable with on-call duties?

For instance, if your employees only communicate by email and all work abroad, that will impact how you approach establishing a hotline that manages support calls.

These first questions will raise others. The objective of this stage is to understand the support needs and staff which will be involved with the installation of your call center.

Considering Call Center Options
It’s time to assess the different alternatives out there for making your call center a reality. There are two key approaches: internal and external.

Establishing an internal call center ensures you’ll be operating everything by yourself , from the technical infrastructure to the personnel.

The upside of the internal support hotline is that you are in complete control. You have a good deal more flexibility to design a solution that satisfies your every need.

Transferring the route does have its drawbacks, however. First is the cost. If you anticipate anything outside a single tech taking calls on his mobile phone after hours, then you’re going to commit a great deal of resources into obtaining the appropriate technologies in place. You have to worry about the logistics of handling the functioning Is there area? Do you have the staff available to man the phones? Are you currently forward facing and comfortable speaking?

If getting your support hotline up and running internally sounds overly burdensome, there is another choice. You are able to work with a third party call center to provide telephone support for your benefit.

A downside to outsourcing is that you put a lot of responsibility at the hands of an outside company, but if you work with a seasoned provider they need to be able to alleviate your concerns.

Of going the external road, the advantages are numerous. First, it’s far more cost effective. You generally pay for the time that’s spent on the telephone. Maintenance costs, no equipment, worker benefits, or office area is necessary. Second, they’re proficient at providing telephone support. Speaking to customers over the telephone is their specialization.

Should you go the route, it’s important to associate with a call center that can offer the level of support you want. At CMS, for example, we provide fundamental tier 1 support services and reside calling for tech firms , but we don’t provide in-depth troubleshooting. So if you are looking for a professional way to answer overnight support calls and dispatch them to the appropriate on-call technician, we can provide help. If you will need a Windows Server expert to work with users directly over the phone, you’d be better off using another provider.

Sample Scenarios
Scenario #1: A little IT consulting company with six technicians and a hundred small to midsize clients

This business runs an overall IT consulting clinic and fields support inquiries ranging from network downtime to program troubleshooting. They have a few technicians and everyone is accustomed to interacting with clients. Most support requests come in during regular business hours and the ones who don’t can always wait until the following business day to be addressed.

In circumstances like this, working with an external answering service would suffice. Setting up the call center is actually about improving customer support and giving callers a considerate operator to speak with when they place a phone call. The service doesn’t need to provide in depth support and also may pass messages along to the technicians for prospective follow up. In the case of an emergency, the agency can follow an on-call dispatching procedure and reach a member of their support staff.

This support department has hundreds of repetitions and maintains a 24 hour support performance. They rely on email and a help desk application to support users. Requests arrive in 24/7 from employees around the globe and frequently need immediate resolution. The department is responsible for supporting lots of mission-critical proprietary software programs.

Employing a full-service external provider could do the job here, but they’d have to train them in their proprietary applications. This is unique knowledge an outsourcing company wouldn’t have.

Setting up an internal hotline makes sense in this scenario. They operate 24 hours every day, so staffing isn’t a problem. Their users want help right away, which means a basic service which only unlocks relays messages or tickets wouldn’t suffice. Employees expect to get help the moment they call, and the existing staff is the ideal match for the job.

Determining Executing and Workflow
No matter whether you set up an internal call center or contract with an external supplier, implementation is crucial. To ensure that users can get the help they require in the most efficient way 21, you need to best your workflow. Everyone involved with the procedure ought to know what they’re responsible for and what to expect.

Here is where you figure out the details. What happens with calls which come in at 3 a.m.? How do you determine urgency? When if the on-call tech be contacted? Are users aware what can and can’t be resolved over the phone?

To make this process simpler, because you can think of, compile as sample scenarios and test them against your own processes. That will help you spot holes and bottlenecks on your support processes.

Accepting support requests by phone is more involved than providing a number to dial to customers up. By understanding your support requirements as well as also the call center options that exist, you are able to craft a solution that meets the needs of your customers and fits comfortably with the rest of your operation.

Are you currently a support department or IT company searching for an external call center solution? We might have the ability to help! We answer calls for hundreds of technologies support groups nationwide and supply a wide array of customizable call center providers . To find more information, request a quote online now .

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