6 essentials for a successful Service Desk

Posted: 2 May 2018
Service Desk

Is it time to make a change to your service desk? You might have outgrown your current service desk capacity, or are wondering if it’s time to select a new vendor. Whatever the change you might be considering, a thorough evaluation of your options (and there are many) is a must before you make a decision.  

Finding the right Service Desk partner takes time. In many cases, when going to market for a partner, the prime focus is often placed on cost reduction. This can often lead to a very transactional approach which can create challenges as it leads to trying to commoditise a very customised service offering.

More often than not, outsourcing Level 1 Service Desk not only results in improved customer satisfaction and promotes innovation and growth in your IT team, it also helps reduce the overall cost to the business when things like lost productivity, internal resource utilisation and other factors are considered.

We believe there are six key items that you should explore when evaluating service desk partners.

1. Staffing and Service Model

There are different ways Service Desk can be offered by service providers and it’s important to choose the one that suits your needs. There are three key models to consider:

  1. Dedicated: The service provider will have dedicated staff allocated specifically for your organisation. The key benefit is that the staff can develop a deep understanding of your unique processes, people, environment etc. and can act as an extension of the client’s organisation. 

  2. Leveraged: The service provider has a shared pool of Level 1 resources supporting a number of customers. 

  3. Hybrid: The service provider offers both dedicated as well as leveraged resources to the clients. 

2. ITSM Platform, Reporting and Documentation

What platform do they use? It’s important to evaluate which ITSM platform the service provider uses and whether this aligns with your internal systems. Also consider if their platform allows you to provide feedback, track open calls and receive reports. This will help you to regularly assess whether the Service Desk model is fit for purpose.

3. SLTs and KPIs

A Service Desk should be able to report on a number of metrics, not just one. You should have well-defined Service Level Targets (SLT’s) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that your Service Desk can meet. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) should include all agreed targets to ensure the provider is committed to meeting expectations. 

4. Pricing Model

Given an outsourced service desk is so customisable, it’s expected that the pricing model can vary too. You should consider the different types of pricing models to select the one that is the right fit for you. The standard options include:

  1. Fixed Price: Typically, the service provider will analyse your requirements to determine a set price. This is usually based on the scope of service covered by Level 1 officers, number of users supported, hours of the day when support is required, etc.

  2. Per Call/Incident: This model is quite effective if your service request volume is low, as you only pay for what you use. 

  3. Per Minute: This might be effective if your organisation raises large volume of calls for quick requests which are resolved in short amount of time.

  4. Per Agent: This model may be offered if require dedicated staff for your support. This model gives a lot of certainty on cost, but might not be most cost effective if the resources are not used to their full capacity.

5. 24 x 7 x 365 Service offering

This level of service is worth considering if your organisation operates around the clock. There are two ways that a provider may offer this model. The first is to have resources available and ‘on’ at all times. The second is to opt for a provider with an ‘on call’ system, which may be a more cost effective option.

6. Implementation, On-boarding and Customisation

The implementation of an outsourced service desk sets the tone for your entire relationship. Any prospective service providers should be able to walk you through how they plan to on-board you to their Service Desk, either from your in-house setup or from another provider. Consider asking questions like: how much time and effort are they planning to invest to understand your systems, tools, processes, history of incidents, etc.? Will they be conducting pre-implementation workshops and interviews with key stakeholders? How can they help customise their offering to complement your organisation as much as possible? 

We believe these six  items are key evaluation metrics that will make choosing the right service provider an easier decision for you. If you would like any help or advice, please get in touch on 02 9199 0888 or info@ac3.com.au