hosted desktop support team

Part 1 of 2

It’s so easy when we’re purchasing a product or service to be blind-sided by the uber-slick, key item for which we’re purchasing. For example when we’re buying a new car, TV subscription or a house! I mean, when we’re signing on the dotted line and parting with our hard-earned, this new item is so shiny that we don’t always fully consider aftercare and support service as a key factor in our purchase decision. “Oh, it has a warranty – we’re covered” …sometimes the warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s written on!

However if you speak to anyone that develops an issue with their new car, house or broadband; it’s the aftercare that can truly make or break their purchase.

When we speak to prospective new customers for the first time, we always like to communicate that our Hosted Desktop service comes with two key elements:

  1. A platform to migrate all of your data and applications to the cloud, running on your own server that we host.  This is the tangible product.
  2. A “managed” support service that ensures your hosting services and business are truly cared for. I.e. an extension to your team in our own staff, that get to know you and your business.  This is the all-important support service.

People are sometimes enlightened when we highlight point two – the support service.

It seems a cliché, I know, but for us our Hosted Desktop service is all about the customer support. In fact, our support-team members are at the core of our business and are our key players in our day-to-day operations. For example, our senior technical engineers behind the scenes and our senior management are constantly looking to them, as a barometer of how well our systems and ultimately customers are operating.

Put plainly, if our customers are happy – we’re happy!

We do however have the benefit of having many years’ experience of what makes happy customers. We’ve also thousands upon thousands of closed support tickets, which have taught us a thing or two over the years!

We therefore have distilled the following 11 points which we believe make for a fabulously good support experience for your Hosted Desktop service:

1. Excellent Communications Between You and Your Provider

It goes without saying that to resonate with people, you need to be able to communicate clearly and easily. For example, we only ever employ support engineers whose first language is English, which happens to be the primary language of the regions of customers that we serve.

In our opinion there’s little more frustrating than trying to communicate challenging subject matter, which is then being compounded in difficulty by communication issues.  It can make for a stressful situation!

Whether it’s the spoken or written word, it is key that support staff are able to communicate with you, the customer, clearly and eloquently.

2. Target Response Time

We’ve all had experiences whereby we’ve raised a support call, only to subsequently be greeted with radio silence. A day passes, then another day and then we start to think:

  1. Did they get the message?
  2. Is the issue beyond them?
  3. Do they not care?

It’s not a good look for the service company for starters. But more importantly you’re a damsel in distress that isn’t getting the service required.

In the case of your business, the lack of response will soon be costing you time, which is of course money.

In the case of your Hosted Desktop service, it could be:

  1. A locked user account
  2. A broken printer/scanner
  3. A software program update
  4. A new member of staff
  5. A data breach

All of which may require immediate attention under the correct circumstances. 

It’s therefore super-important that your Hosted Desktop service comes with a robust target response time for your support requests – one that suits your business requirements! 

For example, we have a target response time of 30 minutes and 95% of our tickets are dealt with inside this time frame. Furthermore if a support case is considered urgent, we deal with it immediately.

Having such a responsive service ensures your business is running optimally with no IT issues slowing down you or your staff.

3. Easy to Use Support System

We, like many service businesses, use a third-party tool to handle our support desk. In particular, we use a familiar product called Zendesk which we’ve used for many years now, and for good reason!

With the support desk being so central to our business, it’s mega-important we use a tool that can handle the many threads of conversation efficiently. 

But more important than this, is that customers can engage with us easily and that conversations can be made with clarity.

Whether customers contact us via telephone or email, a support ticket always gets generated in Zendesk and this allows for:

  1. Engagement of parties on a communication thread. Be it Cloud2Me, the customer or indeed a trusted third party that the customer may wish to engage. An example of this is their telephone provider or a software vendor. This way we can all be buttoned into a single thread and collaborate efficiently.
  2. A written trail of conversation and events. A digital paper trail of sorts.
  3. The ability to upload attachments between the customer, support engineer or trusted third party.
  4. The customer being able to reference a previous ticket to help solve their (or a colleague’s) similar issue.
  5. A support case history which the customer and service provider can review over time.

Ultimately the more efficiently multiple parties can communicate and collaborate, the quicker a problem can get resolved. Ensure your Hosted Desktop supplier uses a great support desk system for your service.

4. 24/7/365 Support Coverage

Sometimes we just have to burn the midnight oil…

Whilst generally people like to work a regular working day, let’s say 9-5 (echoes of Dolly Parton), the reality is your business is often going to be operating outside of these core hours. Whether you’re an: 

  1. Accountancy practice
  2. Recruitment consultancy
  3. Engineering firm
  4. Estate agent
  5. Legal practice

If we’ve one thing in common, it’s that we all have deadlines to contend with. What’s more is that we should all expect the unexpected, often at the most inconsiderate time!

Typically, a service desk will supply your support service Monday – Friday during cores hours. We for example have a service desk which is amply resourced Monday – Friday, 8AM – 6PM – these are our core support desk hours.

These core service desk hours usually account for 99% of the support calls, which are dealt with efficiently, as per usual.

But you’re wondering about that remaining 1%, aren’t you? Well usually, this 1% of support calls is from a customer urgently requiring:

  1. A staff member’s account disabled
  2. A software program updating
  3. A key printer working that’s gone offline
  4. Access to a folder or staff member’s email

All of which are usually straightforward support calls for the service desk, but if the service desk have gone home, your urgent problem will remain urgent, until the service desk is back in!

That is unless your service desk operate a 24/7/365 service.

With such a service, you’ll never be without assistance for your business. This can make an enormous positive difference to that deadline or urgent problem.  An industry-specific example of where this is invaluable is the accountancy sector that has peak months throughout the year, such as in January.

We began to offer the 24/7/365 service to all of our customers 3 years ago and whilst it is seldom used by customers, we have saved the day many times for them. The feedback from our customers is that it has been “invaluable”.

Therefore when you’re seeking your Hosted Desktop supplier, ask yourself whether you require this level of round-the-clock service coverage.

5. High Calibre of Support Staff

There’s an interesting paradox when it comes to finding great technical support staff. When I think of IT engineers, I immediately think of the “IT Crowd”; technically talented yet slightly awkward folk! This is stereotyping of course.

That said support engineers need to have some key personal attributes to be effective on the “front line”. Some of these traits include:

  1. Friendliness
  2. Attentiveness
  3. Patience
  4. Keeping calm under pressure
  5. Great communication skills

This is before we get started on their technical acumen and experience! Which is of course also hugely important.

The reality is that when you’re reaching out for some technical support, you’re probably already under some form of pressure. The last thing you need at this point is somebody helping you that’s impatient, inattentive or incompetent.

You want a support person that’s going to solve your issue promptly, with a friendly demeanour to go with it.

Before subscribing to a hosted service, there’s little harm in trying a couple of mystery shops to their support team. Furthermore, speak with a couple of existing clients to gain impartial feedback on the calibre of the support staff members.

Continue to Part 2…

  • “When I was looking for a hosted desktop solution, I wanted something that was reliable, secure and affordable. I shopped around the market place and Cloud2Me came up highly on all accounts.”

    Peter Bradley – Director
    Integral Talent

  • “We would certainly recommend the services Cloud2Me supply. Much less hassle than building our own cabled network, and Cloud2Me are very quick and helpful when responding to any questions.”

    Tristan Haines - Director
    Zepho Enterprises

  • “I was amazed at how quick the hosted desktop works, faster than my laptop! I love that I can have a pure business desktop which I can access from my windows desktop, home MAC and iPad. Cloud2Me has been a perfect solution provider. ”

    Graham Forbes - Director
    Interesting Apps

  • “I would highly recommend services from Cloud2Me. They’re good value, but most of all the service is excellent. There’s always support available at the end of the phone and Cloud2Me always go that extra mile to help out.”

    Charles Cridland – Director
    Your Parking Space

  • “We were initially cautious and uncertain of the security of working like this – this is something we have swiftly put behind us, the system is completely secure and reliable. Based on our experience I would highly recommend this service to anyone considering an ‘office in the cloud’ with Cloud2Me.”

    Bryn Towns - Director

  • “The technical support provided by Cloud2Me is great. Furthermore, I find the service offered by them to be very flexible and tailored to meet our individual needs… The way we are able to access our server wherever we are has transformed the way we work.”

    Dwain Coward
    Coward & Co Solicitors - Senior Partner

  • “I have not had any hitches and any maintenance they carry out never disrupts the services. The customer service is fantastic, even when I email late on an evening I still get a quick response that night, or first thing the next morning. I highly recommend Cloud2Me and their services.”

    Jody Nicholl
    Boolas Bakery

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