Virtual Help Desk Support Beyond Three Tiers

 In Help Desk, Virtual

In a perfect world, users would always remember their passwords, applications would never crash, and the network would never go down. Unfortunately, that isn’t the world most businesses operate in. Even the smartest users occasionally have trouble logging in, the best-designed applications encounter an unexpected situation, and the highest-capacity network gets overloaded.

When those situations occur, you need a help desk team that’s able to address your problems and get your users working again. A virtual help desk team with remote access capabilities is able to gain visibility into the problem and work to solve it without needing to be on site. These expert teams can handle three tiers of support—or more.

The Tiered Support Model

Help desk support services typically use a tiered model of support, with increasing levels of knowledge needed to investigate and resolve problems. This allows the help desk to efficiently provide support, with their most experienced staff working on the most challenging issues.

“Tier 0” is sometimes used to describe self-help capabilities such as FAQs and online password reset mechanisms. There are commonly three other tiers of support:

  • 1st tier support to resolve basic front end issues, such as assisting users who can’t log in. The help desk at this level gathers user data and attempts to determine the underlying problem. Although generalists without in-depth knowledge of a product, this level of support can usually resolve common issues by following a cookbook of solutions.
  • 2nd tier support to address more challenging technical issues. Problems requiring 2nd level support need additional troubleshooting and analysis, provided by staff with specialized knowledge of the product.
  • 3rd tier support to address backend issues or problems the 2nd level of support is unable to resolve. These problems require expertise in the product and technology plus creative thinking to pinpoint the source of the problem and develop and effective solutions.

Problems that can’t be resolved by a given level of support are escalated to higher support levels. Smoothly working support teams handle this escalation transparently to users, with no need to repeat the problem details or diagnostic tests that were already performed.

In some support models, there’s an additional 4th tier of support to handle problems that can’t be resolved by the support team. This support level reaches out to the product vendor for additional investigative support and identification of a resolution.

When the fourth level of support is required, virtual help desks typically hand off the responsibility to the vendor support team and leave it to the customer to follow up with the vendor and make sure the problem gets resolved.

Prescient Solutions virtual help desk is different. We stay on top of the problem and work with the vendor until the situation is under control. We also don’t limit our services to standard applications. While our engineers hold certifications in technology and common vendor products, we also take the time to learn your custom applications and provide support for them as well. Contact us to learn how our virtual help desk services can keep your employees and technology working smoothly.

Additional Resources

The Magic of IT Services

The Best Help Desk May Be the One You Can’t See

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