For global organizations, a local service team can prove to be inefficient. You can run into issues like inconsistent levels of service quality, long resolution times, and cost concerns.
So, how do you provide support to users present at different geographical locations while consistently meeting service metrics? A virtual service desk could be the answer.
Traditional service team models revolve around local and centralized structures. For example, you would house your team on company premises or at a centralized location.
This is no longer a feasible solution for all organizations. Practices like co-working and work-from-home have fueled the need for a transformed service team.
You can have agents spread across geographical locations with a virtual service desk. And with the use of technology can provide users with the illusion of a centralized desk.
The article will look at how a virtual desk operates, its core components and benefits, and how a third-party service provider can tend to your IT needs.
How Does a Virtual Service Desk Operate?
A virtual desk is the single point of contact for all user queries and issues, regardless of location.
Users can submit a ticket through a self-service portal or using ITSM software. The ticket is then routed to the appropriate team and service agent.
The major misconception about the virtual desk is that you will have chatbots or other AI-based agents responding to your issue. But that is not the case. Instead, the virtual desk is run by humans.
Once the ticket is assigned, the agent will contact the user, take control of their system and provide the necessary support. While working on the issue, they could use a messaging tool or be on call.
So, the complete process of raising a ticket, assignment, investigation, and resolution can all be handled virtually. Your user can be in any part of the world and so can be your service agent.
As the same process is followed for every ticket, for users, it is as if they are interacting with a centralized desk. In reality, your virtual desk could be spread across different locations.
This desk type also gives you more flexibility in terms of the process model you want to implement. For example, your service agents could work from home, or you could have the team working from the office premises. You could also outsource the service to a third party.
What are Some Important Considerations When Setting a Virtual Service Desk?
If you are planning or are in the process of setting up a virtual desk, the below considerations can be insightful.
If your virtual desk team works from a centralized location, they can be easier to manage. But if you have members in different locations, management can become a challenge.
Thus, you need to set objectives and metrics to maintain quality of service and measure performance. For example, customer satisfaction is a good objective but break it down into measurable metrics.
For example, you could focus on metrics like response time, resolution time, and first-contact resolution. Then, you can use them to evaluate the agent’s performance regardless of their location.
With a virtual desk, it is crucial that you invest in the right software and tools. The IT infrastructure is what connects your team internally and externally with users.
So, the technology should be easy to integrate into the existing framework, learn and use. It should also enable practices like collaboration, knowledge-sharing, transparency, and complete visibility.
If multiple departments are involved in a ticket, the tool should provide visibility, let agents update tickets, and provide the necessary information.
3. Skilled Resources
You need people with technical expertise and good soft skills to fill the positions of virtual service agents. You will provide employees with training, tools, processes, and support. But hand-holding is not possible in a virtual environment.
It would be best if you had people who are self-starters, level-headed, and able to manage tickets efficiently. Of course, this can prolong the hiring process, but it is always best to fill the position with the right people the first time around.
Automating tasks does not only help your employees, but they standardize workflows and services offered.
For example, if you have a process of acknowledging tickets or sending out customer feedback emails, it would be best to automate them. This way, all service agents follow the same process, and your users experience the same standard of service.
What are the Benefits Offered by a Virtual Service Desk?
Remote work is rising, and the work culture trend is here to stay. According to research, by the end of 2022, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote. And the numbers will continue to grow in 2023.
So, if you are a company with several remote workers, you will spend considerable time tending to IT issues. A virtual desk can help you be available for your users and provide them with the right kind of support.
Here are some of the other benefits offered by virtual desks:
- Be available for users 24/7
- Better ticket management as there is a single point of contact
- Quick resolution with the help of technically adept service staff
- Better tracking of issues
- Cost-effective solution
- Easy to scale as service agents can be onboarded and trained virtually
- Improved customer rating
Why Should You Consider Outsourcing Your IT Needs?
With today’s changing work environment, a service team has become an integral part of any business. However, you cannot have your technology team answering user queries as it takes away skilled resources from business deliverables.
An outsourced managed service desk is a service offered by an MSP that you can explore. By working with an MSP, you get instant access to technical expertise, lower costs and make efficient use of resources.
They can develop a customized solution well-suited to your unique business needs.
A virtual service desk is when users log tickets, service agents investigate and resolve issues through a virtual environment.
This gives you the flexibility of hiring skilled resources across the globe, having them work in different time zones, and being available for your users 24/7.
When setting up a virtual desk, you must focus on core components like goals, processes, technology, people, and automation. If you do not have resources to spare, you can outsource your IT needs and let an MSP handle your virtual desk.