25 Aug How To Handle After Hours IT Support for Small Businesses
After hours IT support for small businesses is the new normal for modern commerce. Whether they be solopreneurs or an SME, small businesses have an increasing need to operate, expand, and cater for clients in different time zones and who work irregular hours.
The need for commercial speed is real. Freshdesk, a global customer service software provider, found that more than 80% of customers expect a response within 24 hours.
The pandemic proved this demand is not about to wane anytime soon. According to the Nexthink Experience 2020 Report, 70% of technology leaders reported large upticks in their IT ticket volume during COVID-19. About 77% of these tickets required help with virtual private network (VPN) issues, 65% with video calls and 51% with WiFi connection.
Therefore, IT support after 5.00pm – especially in the case of emergencies – is critical to meeting client demand in the pandemic and post-pandemic era.
Below, we’ll outline how to provide after hours IT support to small businesses – including what steps you need to take to provide an effective service that helps the business succeed.
Providing After Hours IT Support for Smaller Business: The Steps You Need to Take
A remote service desk offering an after hours service ensures the wheels of a business can keep turning, keeping their own stakeholders happy – no matter the time of day.
There are many questions to ask when deciding how to provide an IT support service once business hours have come to an end, so here are some steps to take.
1. Think strategic about customer demand
Figuring out the best type of after hours service for a business will fundamentally depend on the demands of the stakeholders of that business (for example, customers or clients).
Are the customers interacting with the business at night, on the weekends or only during the day? Does the business have clients halfway around the world, operating on different time zones? Smaller businesses will very likely have clients who work after hours.
Does the business’ employees require internet usage after hours, like on their mobile phones and laptops? Is this limited to only a handful of employees or every single one of its staff members? Entrepreneurs who wear many hats (and often do all the work themselves) will likely be working very long hours in the efforts to grow their business. Some industries, like healthcare and entertainment, never sleep at all.
It is probably unnecessary to have a full-blown 24/7 support from the get-go. But having a robust after-hours IT support tech team who can respond when needed (especially in emergencies, such as a system outage) is a must.
2. Determine which IT support meets the demand
Once you’ve nailed down exactly what demand that business needs to meet for its own stakeholders, you can then start to think about what service would be most appropriate.
This could include:
- An incident-based support line – a customer hotline that responds to particular issues or incidents that may require an immediate response (for example, an emergency like a data breach). IT teams will work to fix those issues as they come up.
- Instant chat help – if a business is more open to online instant chatting to solve their IT issues, providing an instant chat line is also useful. This will keep a written record of the problem being solved, and can also be useful if an IT specialist needs to direct a small business customer to a particular hyperlink on their browser.
- Pre-recorded video tutorials – a small business might be trying to install software late at night but might be having some technical issues with the set up. Providing them with video tutorials that they can watch at any time (and that answers frequently asked questions) could be a helpful and cost-effective way for them to achieve a solution.
- Knowledge base – having an easy-to-read, navigable and entertaining knowledge base where customers can revert to if they need assistance after hours is another useful way to provide after hours IT support.
- Offline query lodgement – if an issue arises for a small business after hours, but does not need to be dealt with urgently, a business customer could lodge a ticket offline. An after hours IT support company can then look at the query the next day, as it has already been pre-lodged in their systems. All the customer has to do is lodge, forget and await to hear a response.
After Hours IT Support Sydney: There When You Need Us
Our Total Computer Technology offers after hours IT support services when you need it most, depending precisely on the circumstances of your business.
Our standard operating hours are 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday. but we also offer extended hours from 5am-midnight throughout the week.
We also offer an emergency 24/7 coverage for those small businesses who need an immediate incident response team at their fingertips in case things go awry.
Support is essential for any business’s reputation, so make sure you have the best team of experts behind you.
Eager to learn more? Reach out to the team here at Total Computer Technology and we’ll offer a tailored support plan that meets your business’ needs.