3 Disadvantages of Outsourcing Help Desk Support
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, July 10, 2017 12:00
Although business demand for computer support hasn't waned, the way professionals get that support is gradually evolving.
As recently as a decade ago, companies would often staff a full-time help desk team, tasked with keeping computers protected and helping employees with technical issues.
With so many small and medium-sized businesses now competing with large corporations, demand has increased for outsourced technical support, provided on an as-needed basis.
However, even for smaller companies, there are negatives to outsourcing computer assistance. If you're considering using one of the many offsite options available today, here are three disadvantages to consider.
Lack of Insider Knowledge
When an employee works within an organization year-round, that worker gains crucial knowledge of the work that business does. They aren't only supporting systems, but they're helping teams do the important work they've been assigned. This informs the support they provide more than even leaders may realize. Instead of seeing a help desk ticket as one employee who can't work for a few hours, for instance, a salaried worker would see that ticket and realize that the work that person does is crucial. Although priorities can be set within the help desk ticketing application a support team uses, there will always be a subtle context that is lost when a stranger comes into an organization only occasionally.
Nonexistent Employee Relationships
Over time, a business's tech support team develops ongoing working relationships with end users throughout the organization. These relationships are crucial to the customer service levels a business provides. Outsourced technical support teams may be friendly, but they can't duplicate the long-term friendships that come from working together over months and years. As a result, you may find that your end users never quite bond with the outsourced team in the same way and they may even hold them to higher standards. This is especially true if you choose a service provider with frequent employee turnover or low customer service standards.
Chronic Short-Term Vision
A salaried tech team often buys into your company's overall mission and long-term goals. Outsourcing service providers have their own overall mission and long-term goals. Even if they promise to help you reach those goals, they won't have the mindset you need moving forward. Salaried technology workers will see a need for a certain type of software solution and suggest it, for instance, whereas an on-demand outsource worker will only see the need to ensure the current ticket is resolved to the end user's satisfaction. For many businesses, this will likely drive the need to always keep at least one or two technology workers on salary to ensure the business needs are met.
As more businesses choose to move to cloud technology, outsourcing technical support is a natural next step. However, it's important for leaders to realize the pros and cons of such a move and take measures to mitigate any issues they'll cause. In some cases, larger companies may decide a salaried team of help desk workers is a better investment than on-demand workers who will cost them money long term.