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Help Desk Consulting
Sometimes it is the help desk that needs help. It is a complicated business with ramifications on multiple levels and many companies do not have the time or expertise to implement effective help desk systems. Even when internal people know what is needed, either the right tools are not available, the right people arent available, or there are no objective measurements with which to convince management. Just to achieve basic success, a support system needs a mission statement accepted by the entire organization, a thorough understanding of customer expectations, realistic performance measures, and effective automated support.

When companies either have problems with a help desk not working the way it is supposed to, or are having difficulty implementing a help desk system, it is often beneficial to call in the experts. There are consultants available who specialize only in help desk functioning and are familiar with all the rules and all the tools.

Consultants are prepared to discover, for example, where things are not functioning effectively and design processes to make them work better. When management wants to streamline and consolidate support services, consultants can advise them on the best ways to do so. Predicting the demand for support, determining which combination of internal staff and outside providers works best, and implementing automated support systems quickly are some of the tasks that a consutant is prepared to provide.

Consultants generally charge clients in one of two ways: on a time and materials basis, or on a fixed fee basis. When the customer chooses the time and materials option, they pay only for the level of assistance utilized and the agreement for services may be terminated at any stage. If the fixed price option is selected, a needs assessment is conducted and then the consultant fixes a price for the deliverables.

However, for many companies, a consultant can provide a number of services that the organization cannot on its own and generally receive backing by management for support of the stated mission. Processes and practices can be implemented on an organization-wide basis far faster by a consulting service that has seen its way through hundreds of similar implementations. Automated support systems can be analyzed to make sure the company is getting the best functions for its money and performance standards can be developed that will allow the organization to continuously monitor and refine its support system.

It is due to the knowledge base, the range of tools and skills available, and the overall approach that a consulting service can provide more in-depth analysis, recommend highly workable solutions, and help companies implement an entire system far faster than most organizations could working solely on their own. At the same time, consultants negotiate all of the necessary service level agreements, provide employee training on problem solving and customer expectations, and conduct diagnostic assessments of all aspects of support throughout the whole organization. Even policies and procedures statements and handbooks are already developed - a task that could take an organization months on its own.


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