By: Le'Mina McNair on April 28th, 2022
What Support Services Does My Team Really Need?
The availability of certain support services can be a deciding factor for some organizations when selecting a technology solution or support service package. Every organization has unique teams with unique needs, and oftentimes, one-size-fits-all support packages do not properly address what each team needs most. In order to get the most out of tech support services, organizations first need to outline exactly what they need from a support partner in order to operate with confidence.
Where is your team located in comparison to the tech support team? How does your team prefer to communicate with vendors? How much bandwidth does your team intend to dedicate to managing the service? These are some of the questions your team will need to consider when assessing tech support services. Let’s explore the varying support levels and packages available and identify methods to determine the depth of support best suited for your team.
Tech Support Services and Packages
The levels and packages of tech support services can vary from solution to solution, and it’s important to understand what different levels look like when applied to your organization’s needs.
When working with managed or co-managed services, teams need to know the extent to which the vendor provides support for the product. Is your team expected to perform the majority of the management, or will the vendor largely be managing the service with some feedback and input from your team? The answers to these questions will help determine the level of sophistication needed to operate the software and how much of your team’s time will be dedicated to it. IO Integration, for example, offers a complete range of managed solutions for administering, monitoring, managing, and upgrading your systems. We can also help you establish service level agreements (SLAs), key performance indicators (KPIs), and user acceptance testing (UAT) frameworks.
Perhaps one of the most important elements to consider for technical support is how you communicate with the support team. This includes the times you’re able to communicate, the speed with which you’ll receive a response, and the methods by which you can get in touch.
- Time: Some services offer 24/7 support, while others are only available during certain days and times.
- Speed: Some vendors promise to respond to technical support questions right away or within the hour, while others may take several hours. This can be impacted by ticket priorities, with the ability offered to pay for a package with higher ticket priority for faster resolution.
- Method: Common methods of communication include live chats, email, phone calls, and forums. Depending on how quickly your team needs responses, you may want to prioritize live chat services for speed over unresponsive forums or waiting on hold for a phone call.
As an example of the variety of technical support packages, IO Integration offers communication packages starting at 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday with low ticket priority up to packages with 24/7/365 communication availability with high ticket priority.
If your team is in need of system monitoring outside the hours of operation for your business, you may benefit from a technical support service that includes remote monitoring. If remote monitoring is available, it’s important to learn how comprehensive and what actions can be taken from issues that arise. If an anomaly is detected during remote monitoring, for example, will response begin immediately or will it only be identified without response until business hours resume?
IO Integration’s 24/7/365 automated system monitoring automatically opens a HelpDesk ticket when an issue is detected, notifies key team members via email, and also offers full statistical reports on server function, performance, and utilization.
Custom Tech Support
Every team is different, which means one-size-fits-all packages or package options may not be the right fit for your team. Before moving forward with a new service, learn how customizable the packages are. For example, can you increase or decrease certain features from pre-set packages to meet your tech support needs, such as communication times and methods? And can you make changes to the support levels if circumstances change and your team requires more or less technical support? These questions will help you understand the level of flexibility in the support packages available.
What Tech Support Service Is Right for My Team?
There is a wide range of factors to consider when determining which tech support package is the right one for your team and organization. Here are some of the most common that impact this important decision.
Geography can play a surprisingly considerable role in how tech support impacts your team. Where is your team located? Are they located all in one place or are they spread out throughout different time zones? Where is the support team located? If support is not available in every time zone, keep in mind the time difference between your team’s locations and the technical support team.
Sophistication & Bandwidth
Sophistication and bandwidth are both important to consider when determining how much time and energy a team intends to dedicate to the management of a new service. Certain solutions and software require a minimum level of technical sophistication or independence when it comes to managing its operation. What level of technical sophistication does your team already have? And what level of proficiency does the new service require? If the answers to these questions are misaligned, you may want to consider either increasing the tech support package to a high level or switching to a different solution altogether that better matches your team’s level of expertise.
Bandwidth is an essential part of this conversation, as well, because it equally impacts time dedicated to managing and operating a software or platform. Even the most experienced in-house IT teams may be small with competing priorities, limiting the amount of bandwidth available to facilitate timely updates and investigate potential issues.
Depending on the size, industry, and responsibilities of your organization, consider how quickly your team needs to receive a response from tech support. Of course, part of the answer to that question depends on the severity of the problem, but a small issue for one team may be considered a large issue for another.
For example, if the website goes down in the middle of the workday for a major digital communication platform such as Zoom or Slack, IT support needs to be able to drop everything and tend to the problem. However, if a website goes down in the middle of the night for a small, local business with minimal web traffic, it is certainly still a problem, but one that does not need to be addressed in seconds or minutes.
This is perhaps one of the most critical factors for determining technical support feasibility because it exists independently of the features that would benefit the team. A team may have evidence to support the need for the most robust support package, but if the budget only has room for the mid-tier package, the team may need to adjust its expectations accordingly. If this is the case, thoroughly go over every feature within the different support levels to differentiate the “needs” from the “wants,” prioritizing your needs to align with your budget. Teams in this situation may consider a service that offers customization of tech support plans, allowing flexibility of certain features to best meet their needs while remaining budget-conscious.
Get the Right Tech Support Services
Even the most sophisticated teams need technical support services for their varying tools and solutions. The right level of tech support for your team can improve overall efficiency, boost productivity, streamline support communication, expedite issue resolution, free up team members for other high-priority tasks, and remain in line with budget restrictions. The experts at IO Integration can analyze your team organization and needs to determine the best combination of features and packages for you. To learn more about tech support services for your team, contact the experts at IO Integration today.