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Four Simple Ways to Reduce Tech Support and Help Desk Costs
by Scott Gordon - If you are looking for areas in your business where you can 'trim the fat,' you are not alone – many companies are in a similar position. Taking a closer look at ways you can reduce the costs associated with your in-house tech support and help desk is a great place to get started. Thankfully, there are some simple things that your company can do to reduce tech support costs – and increase user satisfaction in the process:
Keep users informed: Notify users, in advance, of any scheduled downtime or maintenance that will be occurring – even if it is outside of normal business hours. Additionally, be the first to let users know of any unforeseen downtime as soon as it occurs. A quick call to let the Sales Manager know that the CRM system is temporarily offline will save the IT department from taking many phone calls related to the issue, allowing them to focus on other situations that need attention.
Outsource some (or all) of your tech support needs: It's no secret that full-time IT support staffers are expensive. For many companies, paying a competitive salary, benefits and perks for an IT professional is often more than their budget can bear. In other situations, companies are able to hire one or several IT staffers, but still find themselves falling short in supporting all of their users' needs.
Consider outsourcing some (or even all) of your tech support needs; it may lower costs. Outsourcing offers the flexibility to hire additional help when you need it, without having to pay for services when you don't need them. Outsourcing provides you with access to specialized IT knowledge at a cost much less than hiring a specialist to work for your company full-time. And it can also reduce overtime costs by spreading the IT support load over a larger number of qualified staffers.
Invest in regular maintenance: What's less expensive…paying for your car's oil change every three months or paying to overhaul the engine? Your company's IT infrastructure is quite similar. Performing regular maintenance, such as updating anti-virus definitions, performing backups, and applying Hotfixes and software patches may cost a little bit of time and money now, but will protect you from more catastrophic losses in the future.
Take advantage of automated tasks: Streamline technical support processes by giving users access to help themselves. Consider adding an IT FAQs section to your business intranet, answering some of the questions your support department most commonly receives. Additionally, automate tasks wherever you can. Something as simple as giving users access to look up or reset their own passwords can save your tech support staff hours, while saving your business money.
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