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Does Your Help Desk Need to Be Available After Hours? Tips That Can Help

Does Your Help Desk Need to Be Available After Hours? Tips That Can Help

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, December 14 6:00

Professionals are working longer hours than ever as they travel to business meetings and strive for top-notch customer service. For help desks, this can often bring new challenges, with leaders calling for assistance as late as ten or eleven p.m. Many help desks have now found that this means they either force employees to go without help or hand out a manager s number for those after-hours calls from VIPs.

But leaving employees stranded can lead to poor perceptions of your help desk s customer service levels. There are ways businesses can provide extended service that go beyond simply offering service a couple of hours before and after usual business hours. Here are a few solutions that can allow your help desk to provide around-the-clock assistance.

Offer a Knowledgebase

You probably get calls on a similar set of problems throughout the year. Some of those calls involve merely walking employees through a few rudimentary steps. Your more tech-savvy workers would likely be more than happy to search for the information themselves if it s something they could do without involving a technician. If you allow employees to place tickets through a web portal, set up a system that allows them to type in a question and immediately get a step-by-step guide to fixing that problem. If that page doesn t help, they can then click a button and progress to a page where they request help from a technician.

Assign On-Call Employees

For help desks with multiple employees, consider asking each employee to accept a shift each month where they are available for after-hour calls. Incentivize employees to tackle this task graciously by rewarding them for each call they successfully resolve while on call. They could earn a paid hour off for every call they take, for instance, or the group that does the best job of providing after-hours service could be rewarded with a party. Automate your help desk so that calls for help must be placed online or through email after hours so you don t have to pay employees to man the phones 24 hours a day.

Outsource Help

One solution that is becoming increasingly popular is outsourcing after-hours help. This is especially beneficial if your business is open to working with overseas professionals. Since various parts of the world are starting their workday when our country is enjoying time with family or sleeping, you can find someone to handle your non-specialized calls and pay by the call. If you choose to keep it local, you can still find a provider that offers after-hours support to multiple businesses and pay by the call, rather than paying overtime to standby workers.

Help desks face increasing demands from professionals who work around the clock. While businesses have every right to say support is only available during regular business hours, offering 24-hour support can make a business s end users happy, as well as increase a business s bottom line. With these great alternatives to paying a team to work nightshift, businesses can enjoy 24-hour support without paying a fortune for it.

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