Use an Answering Service to Provide First Level Help Desk Service
August 18, 2016
Many people think of a telephone answering service as a company that takes messages. Yes, they do that, but they can do much more than just take information; they can give out information as well. This includes basic help desk services.
A help desk is essentially a call center that provides support to end users, such as purchasers of a product or software, as well as users of an online service or shopping website. Help desk support comes in various levels, from level one, which is the most basic, up to level four, which is the most critical. The amount of training and experience needed to provide support at each level increases with each higher tier. Whereas level one may require a person with good customer service skills and basic product training, level four may require a degreed engineer. Trained technicians typically handle levels two and three.
The goal is for level one support staff to handle all common questions and the basic problems. This frees up more experienced staff (who also command commensurately higher compensation) to focus on more complex problems. No one wants a $90,000 a year engineer taking time to look up the nearest dealer for a caller who won’t do so online. That makes no sense.
A reasonably trained first level help desk team can realistically handle over 50 percent of the calls, with great first level teams approaching 80 percent and even higher. The goal is for the first level team to handle the bulk of the calls and escalate the ones they can’t handle to the second level help desk team.
Here’s how first level help desk works when you use an answering service:
- The answering service answers all support calls, 24/7.
- They apply their customer service expertise and specific product training to resolve as many calls as possible.
- They escalate the calls they can’t handle, transferring those callers to the second level help desk team, which is usually back at the company’s main office or at another outsource call center.
- Before transferring the call the answering service provides details about the reason for the person’s call and the steps taken to resolve it. This allows the second level help desk staff to make the most efficient use of their time.
- If the second level help desk is closed, such as on evenings, weekends, or holidays, the answering service can take a message for the second level help desk team to call users back during regular business hours.
- As an alternative to taking a detailed message for the second level help desk team, the answering service can schedule a callback at a day and time convenient for the caller. Again, the answering service links a complete record of the call to the callback appointment.
While a company can provide this first level help desk service themselves, many find it is more cost-effective to hire an answering service to do the work for them instead. Plus the answering service is already staffed 24/7, whereas most companies are not.
Think of your answering service as your first level help desk provider.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry – and who provides a call center matchmaking service, covering both onshore and offshore call centers and answering services. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-901-7706.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Should You Use Direct Mail as a Marketing Tool For Your Answering Service?
If you’ve networked with other telephone answering service owners or attended many TAS meetings,, the subject of direct mail as a marketing tool is ...
Email Opt-Out Traps to Avoid
A great way to market your call center or answering service is with email marketing: you collect email addresses and send regular messages that contai...
Six Steps to Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center
Regardless of the reasons for outsourcing your healthcare call center work, pursuing a reasoned path is the surest way to a successful outcome. Here a...
7 Tips to Maximize the Sale Price of Your Answering Service
At the end of the year, some telephone answering service owners think about selling their business. They want to complete the sale by year-end. Often ...
How to Maximize the Valuation of Your Answering Service
Smart business owners are always looking for ways to increase the value of their business. You should, too. Whether or not you plan to sell your telep...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Reduce Costs
While a common reason to outsource healthcare call center services is to increase quality, an even more likely motivation is to save money. And saving...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Counter Labor Issues
Many areas in healthcare suffer from a shortage of qualified personnel. One common area is nurses, and many healthcare call centers hire nurses to wor...
What to Do When You Struggle with Sales and Marketing
Every telephone answering service and outsourcing call center owner wants to grow his or her business. There are only two ways to do so: growth throug...