Facts Every Business Owner Must Know About Choosing Distributed Workforce Support
If you are a business owner relying on supporting an internal technical support staff, contracting for local IT support or national remote technical center, it is critical for you to read this information on selecting IT technical support.
Choices in choosing IT technical support include hiring internal staff with initial certifications to maintain and manage servers, workstations, desktops, laptops, printers, smartphones, operating systems software, antivirus, professional office software and special applications. Some enterprises have contracted with a local firm to provide on demand on site break/fix support. A third choice is to engage with a national remote technical center with certifications to support each device and software application remotely over the internet and correct any failures. Many national technical centers include proactive monitoring as a value-add. Selecting a technical support provider depends on the following:
- Experience and Training
- Added Value
Experience and Training Distributed Workforce Support– The experience of the IT technical staff starts with certifications.
Certifications recognize the technician has completed coursework to install and manage a specific device or software application. The challenge for these technical schools is to find instructors with the requisite training on the most current hardware and software technology. The current curriculum many times only certifies technology launched 2-3 years ago. The internal employee must be trained on current technology which is an added budget item. The typical local service provider has a difficult time in providing training unless the company is large enough to have training support from the hardware and software manufacturers or those large distributors that will support continuous training. National technical assistant centers have the numbers and synergy to maintain continuous education. The value of experience for remote technical service shows 90% of end user problems can be handled by an offsite technical assistant center.
Distributed Workforce Support- Added value from the point of view of the end user includes:
- Response rate after initial call
End users supported by internal technicians typically have to schedule a time to review and correct the failure. Many times, the device would be picked up for repair work, rendering the end user unable to electronically communicate.
End users could also have a long interval of “down” time as the local support firm builds a support ticket, dispatches and is able to assess and correct the problem.
A national firm providing remote technical access is available on the first call from end users based on a higher number of technicians available.
- Number of available technical agents
The enterprise needs to understand the risks of employing internal support to support end users. How is the coverage determined? How many technicians per 10, 20, 40 or 80 users? Local IT service providers continue to struggle with turn over. Companies keep the same hardware and software for at least 24 months. Technicians will work for an enterprise from 6 to 18 months because the work doesn’t provide new challenges. The Association of Support Professionals writes in its’ Executive Summary of their survey “Tech Support Turnover Rates” the following:
“Support departments have always had a reputation for high employee turnover, but there is little data about what constitutes a “normal” churn rate. This report draws on survey responses from 131 support organizations to identify real-world benchmarks for employee losses, and offers evidence that much of the turnover in tech support represents promotions and transfers rather than departures from the company itself.
The report also provides a collection of insightful comments by support managers on how to minimize the loss of valuable support employees.
Turnover benchmarks are provided by organization size (1-9 employees, 10-29 employees, 30+ employees) for first-level support reps, senior support reps, and supervisors, analysts, and managers.”