How outsourcing your service desk can increase the value of IT in Senior Care

Senior Care ServicesTechnology

Outsourcing your service desk shouldn’t be about replacing your IT staff with lower cost resources (although many companies still see it this way).  It’s really about examining your organization’s needs, acknowledging both the strengths and weaknesses of your existing IT team and maximizing the value they can bring to your senior care community.

The best way to do this? Enabling them to spend more time on activities they are good at (and utilize their skills) and finding someone else to perform the tasks that interfere with maximizing their potential.  For most internal IT teams (staffed with technology experts), the service desk is a good place to find value through outsourcing.

The service desk is a generalist function

By design, the service desk is the place where the least complex, most repetitive and manually intensive activities within your IT organization are performed.  It is typically responsible for fielding user questions, requests and issues – documenting the interaction and either resolving it or routing it to a specialist for resolution.

Efficiency is key here – with most activities not requiring technical creativity or innovation. This isn’t to say the service desk isn’t important. It’s a critical function, essential to the effective operation of your business – it’s just not the best place for your technology experts to spend their time.

Your IT SMEs are probably not customer service experts

Your company hires highly capable technical staff and subject matter experts (SMEs) into your IT department – and you pay them well for their knowledge and experience.  Most of the issues encountered at the service desk really aren’t all that technical. They are often end-user customer service issues like:

  • user education questions,
  • granting access to resources, and
  • fixing known issues.

To be effective, service desk staff must be concerned with two things:  1) addressing the issue or request, and 2) managing the user’s perception and satisfaction during the interaction with IT.  Although your IT SMEs are more than capable of handling a routine issue or question, they aren’t necessarily trained customer service agents, which could negatively affect customer satisfaction scores.

An effective service desk requires full-time focus

Although the service desk may deal with relatively simple technical issues, it is a complex operation that requires full-time focus to be effective (even in a small organization).

Service desk efficiency (and value) is built on repeatable actions and scale in addressing a large volume of issues.  There are industry best practices on how to:

  • staff a service desk,
  • optimize workflow,
  • manage knowledge,
  • tune performance and
  • address satisfaction issues.

It is these capabilities that enable the service desk function to deliver value to your organization. But developing and maintaining these resources can be challenging in a senior care community of any size. For this reason, it is worth considering the outsourcing option. Why not leverage the skills of an IT partner with a core focus on service desk management? And utilize your internal IT team to its fullest capability and capacity – on strategic technology functions that pave the way to efficiency and ultimately better care delivery and resident quality of life.

Contact us for information on strategic service desk solutions.