A good IT support team is an essential part of every business. Their role includes providing technical support to businesses, fixing general problems with systems, executing technology rollouts and IT projects.
In addition, they are responsible for ensuring seamless collaboration between teams, training staff on new technology, running tests and checks on a business’s network and business cybersecurity, and general business IT support.
Let's look at different IT support team options and how to develop one that suits your business.
Develop A Structure
There isn't a one-size-fits-all model for developing your IT support team. Every structure is predetermined on the structure of the business and the needs of the customers and staff. Developing a structure can be overwhelming, especially when your business is growing.
At this stage, you should keep your mind open and set up a flexible system that can adapt to the changing environment without impacting productivity.
Identify The General Needs of Your Niche
A retail outlet will have have different technical support requirements to a software company.
For example, a startup business may only need tier 1 and tier 3 IT support, while a larger company might need all five tiers.
The tiered IT support system is a hierarchical arrangement of IT staff according to their skillset and the technical support needs of the business.
Define The Skills Your Business Needs for IT Support Managers
Poor IT leadership has the ability to affect the entire business. Therefore, you must define what you want in an IT Support Manager, including strong technical knowledge, strategic thinking, excellent communication, and good listening skills, managerial skills, conflict management, and the ability to find talent to add to the team.
Create Growth Opportunities for Your IT Support Team
Your IT support system, must include strong technical knowledge in handling software, training your team when new software is introduced and fixing simple and complicated issues.
In addition, they should have the skills to automate customer service procedures, automate marketing efforts, setting up automated inventory and stock recording, and more.
The roles of support staff and managers are fundamental to a business' survival; hence, you must create avenues for them to learn, grow, and become more productive and efficient problem solvers.
The Implications of Not Having a Sound IT Support Team
Without an efficient IT support team, your business may suffer aggregate negative impacts of a few IT hiccups. Let's look at these real-life business situations where the absence of proper IT support affected the business.
1. A customer support agent who doesn’t understand the technicalities of the business
A tier 1 IT support team member handles minor technical tasks and hiccups, while they learns more about the business network and structure from more experienced IT staff; hence may not have sufficient technical knowledge to help customers with their issues.
The implication of this is in three folds:
1. Customers will become frustrated because they feel they are more knowledgeable than the support staff.
2. The resolution time frame will considerably increase because the tier 1 staff will have to escalate the issue to a more experienced customer support team.
3. The company’s reputation may take a hit, suffering consequences including bad reviews and loss of clients.
The Tiered IT Support Team
The primary approach to building IT support is through the tiered system. Different companies modify the tiered system to suit their needs, depending on the company size, structure, and technical needs.
In this system, IT support teams are divided into different tiers, and each tier has its roles and methodologies. The tiers are from tier 0 to tier 4.
Tier 0: Roles include user retrieved information and self-help. Users can access important resources through email, social contacts like Twitter and LinkedIn, and web forms. Customers can easily find information from self-help tools, automated emails, blog posts, and instruction videos in this tier. If an issue isn't resolved in Tier 0, it can be escalated to Tier 1.
Tier 1: Includes service desk delivery and the basic help desk resolution. Unresolved Tier 1 issue can be escalated to
Tier 2: In this tier, customers can access thorough IT support from very experienced IT personnel.
Tier 3: In Tier 3, product and service technical experts resolve escalated issues from Tier 2.
Tier 4: Outside IT support for problems that are not within the capacity of the in-house IT teams.
Collaborative IT Support System
The tiered IT support system faces some criticisms, including: employee boredom, escalation time, customer frustration when they realize that they are more knowledgeable about a company's product than a level 1 or a level 2 tiered IT support staff, and minimal opportunity for growth since every employee work within a certain tier and may not have the opportunity to grow into a higher tier.
While these concerns are legitimate, they do not remove the importance of a structured IT system in a business. Collaboration, a system where a team can collaborate on technical issues, is a different structure from the tiered system. Collaboration enhances team communication and productivity. It also allows lower-level IT employees to deescalate problems beyond their natural expertise.
IT Support frameworks differ from business to business. It also differs from place to place; hence, IT support Melbourne may differ considerably from IT Support Brisbane. Choosing an IT support structure is an overwhelming decision; do you want to know more about implementing IT support for your team? Powernet is a prominent MSP with an incredible IT support team. You can get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you.