Here is a question for the community - Have any of you tried outsourcing your help desk?

I am not thinking in the "traditional sense" where outsourcing means people who answer and do not really help... more like at an expert level... where you have someone who can actually fix your network or WP issue if it goes down when you are not around.
Just wondering if anyone has had any success in that realm.

  • Hive Minder
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    @Dev4 I think it is a good idea and is something that I am working on for my own business at the moment. The great thing about it is that you can expand your support services (a vital aspect of your business!) without having to incur the costs of employees.

    As this is a client-facing role, you do need to be very clear in your planning and implementation stages. You need to ensure that you have a clearly defined protocol and communication style that the contractors follow when dealing with customers.

    I am in the early stages of implementing this in my own business. If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch with me. It would be great to hear from you.

  • Dev4
    • Champion of Loops

    I agree, setting up expectations re how you will be represented is VITAL.
    I have not done any work toward this yet, but am looking at the idea. I am often not available and would hate to not deliver to my customers in a crisis situation.

    I would be very interested in the steps you are taking toward this.

  • Hive Minder
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Hi @Dev4,

    Sorry about the delay in replying. So as I mentioned previously, I am currently implementing this in my own business.

    I am doing this using the following elements:
    1. Using a fantastic system called Podio (podio.com) to manage all my business workflows.
    2. I started a web development apprenticeship programme to train aspiring young web developers.
    3. I'm currently reviewing Zendesk as my support ticketing system.

    Phase one:
    Every time I do some support task for one of my clients, I document the whole process in Podio so that there is then a procedure document on how to do it. Included is a procedure document outlining the "tone" of communication - professional/corporate or fun/friendly (or somewhere in between).

    I am then going to be using the web apprentices to resolve these issues. I will be overseeing and assigning tasks so that I can ensure they only deal with tickets that they are capable of solving. As their experience increases I will assign them more difficult tasks.

    Phase two:
    In a few months this process will be stable, I will be sure that the apprentices are now qualified and that the workflow process is scalable. At this point, I am going to split this aspect of my business completely from the core business (WordPress web development) and develop it into a new business that will offer the WordPress support services to other freelance developers and agencies. Each client will have a procedure document outlining the tone of communication and other important information about the company. The support technicians will then use this document when communicating with the end-user on behalf of the clients.

    If any one has any thoughts on this or would like to be involved, please get in touch as I would really like to develop this idea further.

    Thanks,
    Mike

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