If you provide a product or service to your customers that may require technical support in the future, how that support is delivered can have a major impact on your brand. If you don't have the capability to keep a full service desk staff available to your customer base, outsourcing at least the most basic level of tech support may be your best option. 

The Different Levels of Help Desk Support

There are several different tiers of technical assistance requests that a company may be asked to fulfill in a post-sales customer service setting.

Tier 0

At the most basic level are customer questions that have simple answers and don't actually require direct assistance from a service desk technician. These queries can often be handled by having an FAQ page or other self-service option such as a chatbot that draws answers from a knowledge center to assist customers. A good example of a tier 0 question is "Where is the model number on my modem?"

Tier 1

Level 1 support requests are also very basic, but may require the assistance of a Help Desk technician to resolve. These requests comprise the bulk of IT Help Desk requests and are best managed by a technical support team with basic knowledge of internet technology and troubleshooting procedures. Good examples of tier 1 questions include "Can you help me change my password?" and "How do I configure my printer?" among others. At this support level, technicians can also answer many break/fix questions, and open tickets for issues that need to be upgraded to a higher level service desk team member.

Tier 2

Level 2 customer requests are usually more complicated break/fix issues, configuration problems, and other queries that the level 1 support personnel weren't able to handle. This level of support service usually is able to resolve the bulk of customer issues not directly handled by interaction with a tier 1 technician, making them the main line of support for opened tickets. They may also coordinate on-site or in-center hardware repairs or replacements in the event that there is a catastrophic failure or breakage that can't be remedied.

Tier 3

At this service level, complex issues related to software and hardware are typically handled by specialists after previous service levels have failed to resolve an issue. In some cases, a level 1 service desk technician may recognise a problem that will require level 3 support and open a ticket assigned directly to this level. Administration, network, and other infrastructure issues make up the bulk of level 3 issues, and the service tech handling these problems will have specific expertise with the hardware or software affected.

Tier 4

Finally, level 4 support is for the rare service request that requires outside support from a vendor or a specialist with a specific skill related to a component or piece of software/hardware not directly provided by the company. These support requests are passed on to the correct party for handling and the service desk team takes on more of a customer service and feedback role, checking in with the customer to make sure their issue was resolved.

Why Excellent Level 1 Service Desk Support Is Critical

Since most customer service requests are managed at tier 1, having prompt, professional and effective Level 1 Service Desk support is critical. Swift handling of any issue leads to better customer experience and higher customer retention levels.

What services are offered by tier 1 tech support specialists?

In general, level 1 IT techs are capable of handling most basic to intermediate customer support requests. If the customer's issue relates to a password reset or a configuration challenge, or they need help troubleshooting an error message or hardware glitch, the level 1 support team will likely be able to provide resolution. If not, the tech can open a ticket and direct it to the correct team member for further support.

How To Achieve Peak Customer Satisfaction

There are several metrics that matter when it comes to service desk support:

Speed of response

Customers want immediate response when they have an issue or query. Being able to instantly respond is a key differentiator in an era when immediate gratification is the expectation. If customers can't get prompt help when they have a problem, they can become quickly dissatisfied with your brand.

Speed of resolution

As many problems as possible should be resolved on first contact; in other words, a customer shouldn't have to reach out multiple times in efforts to fix the same issue, or be shuffled from one customer support representative to another. Every issue that is promptly and effectively resolved can build more respect for and confidence in your brand.

Effectiveness of support

How effective the tech support provided is will also factor into how customers perceive your brand. Even if the speed with which a problem is addressed and fixed is satisfactory, the customer will still be dissatisfied overall if they end up with the same problem again in the near future. The best support solution will be proactive as well as reactive, not only fixing the issue but giving the customer tools to fix it themselves if the problem happens again.

Rapid, informed, professional incident management is key to maintaining strong customer relationships. If you don't have enough staff to handle incoming support requests, or your existing staff doesn't have the right skills to handle Support Desk services, you need to figure out how to give customers what they need or risk your brand being devalued by poor customer experiences.

What are the responsibilities of IT support?

Your service desk isn't just for solving technical issues. Your IT support team is also responsible for being a main point of contact for your customers post-sale. This means they need to be able to listen attentively, display appropriate levels of concern and compassion, and utilise soft skills to provide not only technical support but customer care when needed.

Why Use Managed Services For Help Desk Support?

Companies that scale quickly often run into issues on the support side of the equation. It may be impossible to scale internal staff to manage a growing number of support queries from a practical point of view (space requirements, telecommunications equipment, recruiting staff, etc.)

Smaller companies trying to handle Service Desk tasks in-house may also find that these tasks cut into time that could be better used to innovate and grow the business. As a result, either the company stagnates, or customer service becomes a secondary priority, leading to poor customer experiences and loss of consumer trust.

Using a Managed IT Services provider to fulfill level 1 Service Desk needs can free up your core team to do what they do best, allow you to scale without concerns about being able to handle increased support requirements, and ensure your customers are being given the best support experiences possible.

Level 1 Service Desk Services from The Missing Link

At The Missing Link, our highly responsive, well-trained Service Desk team will handle your technical support needs with knowledge, skill and professionalism. We are available to your customers 24/7 to help with a wide range of issues. By outsourcing your IT, you can reduce the cost to handle each service request while providing superior customer service.

To learn more, explore our service desk options today. 

 

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Author

Taylor Cheetham

Campaign Manager