Understanding the Different Levels of IT Services and Support Tasks

IT Services | February 9, 2024

It only takes seconds for a normal workday to turn into something catastrophic. This is especially true concerning your company’s network. There’s no shortage of hackers looking to procure sensitive data from businesses of all sizes.

Leveraging outsourced IT services is a great way to help ensure your business operations continue running smoothly. However, it’s essential to understand the different levels of IT services and support you’ll receive. These involve different scenarios and courses of action.

This will help ensure you can fully utilize the professional you hire. Let’s explore the key information you should keep in mind.

Tier 0

You might find it surprising that this level of IT support doesn’t require much support at all. Tier 0 mostly involves user-retrieved information.

For example, you could find support information on a provider’s website to help you overcome an issue. This typically comes in the form of detailed product information, blog posts, manuals, and FAQs. Users can also use specialized apps to access service catalogs.

These allow people to request relevant services without directly involving IT staff. Social media forms and emails can also be utilized to send requests. Some companies even provide customer forms that allow users to crowdsource answers to their problems.

This minimizes the amount of input required by IT professionals. Tier 0 support requires minimal IT staffing needs. A major requirement is having development knowledge to create web pages and forms for your users.

Tier 1

This level involves basic help desk services. The problems you encounter in tier 1 often lack complexity. For example, a tier 1 request could involve simple usage issues where someone is unfamiliar with how to properly utilize an application.

A good way to think about this level of support is that it involves problems that are just serious enough to require assistance. Lower-level technical personnel can typically handle them, so your IT staffing needs won’t be substantial.

Even staff members without technical training can follow scripts to provide support. If no solution can be found, personnel can escalate the incident to a higher level.

Tier 2

This stage is where you’ll begin to find more comprehensive technical support. Experienced technicians will help users overcome complex issues. A great example is an application that continuously throws an error for unknown reasons.

To provide the appropriate level of support, your IT staff will need to have deep knowledge of the service or product and questions. However, they don’t necessarily need to be programmers or engineers.

This means you don’t have to recruit people who helped design or create the product. As with tier 1, you’ll need to escalate issues to a higher level if you can’t find a solution to the problems. This is true for both hardware and software.

Tier 3

To handle tier 3 issues, you’ll need to employ experts who understand the product inside and out. These issues typically require the highest level of technical resources.

For instance, a major issue with an application could require the development of a new feature. Technicians who handle tier 3 problems will attempt to duplicate the problems and determine the root causes.

They do so by examining the product’s code, specifications, or designs. The more information that’s included in the support ticket, the easier it will be for the technician to handle the situation. After the cause of the issue is identified, you can decide whether you want to create a new fix or leverage existing options.

If a new solution is created, the process should be fully documented so tier 1 and tier 2 technicians can use it in the future. Chief architects, engineers, and creators are often the individuals who provide this level of support. Due to this, it can sometimes be difficult to assemble the personnel required to handle tier 3 support.

Tier 4

Tier 4 support refers to any type of support that isn’t offered by the organization. For example, your company might not offer machine maintenance, printer service, or vendor software support. You’ll need to work with preferred vendors and business partners to handle these situations.

When looking for vendors to partner with, be sure to do your research. Otherwise, you risk creating unpleasant scenarios for your customers and employees if they have technical issues.

Common Tools

Quality IT support services will use a handful of powerful tools to resolve issues. Understanding these can help you better implement them in your organization. Listed below or some of the most notable.

Automation

Few tools provide the same utility as automation. Not only does this allow you to provide support more efficiently, but it also minimizes the chance of human error. It’s recommended to automate as many of your tech support processes as you can.

The last thing you want is to perform menial tasks repeatedly. It’s worth noting that improving your efficiency also improves availability. If your team can’t accommodate new support requests, they can quickly add up.

Self Service

As previously mentioned, lower levels of IT support allow users to serve themselves. However, your customers should be able to quickly find the information they’re looking for.

Regardless of how much information you store on your site, it won’t mean much if people can’t locate it. Adding a search bar is a great way to ensure users can access the required info. This allows you to save your resources for more serious issues.

Ensure you include tutorials or guidelines on how to use your self-service portals. The easier you make this process to understand, the faster your users can resolve their problems.

Live Chats

Live chats should not be scripted or use AI. They should connect users with a qualified professional who can assess their problems and provide relevant solutions.

In many cases, speaking with a professional can help users quickly get back on track. Keep this in mind when moving forward, as it’s one of the most important tools you can integrate.

Establishing Tiered Technical Support

There are certain nuances to be aware of regarding how you establish tiered technical support. You’ll need to handle them correctly to get the right results. Let’s explore them in detail below.

Define Top Staff Skills

The better you understand your IT staff’s skills, the easier it will be to create the right team. This will help you assign roles to the most suitable professionals. For example, you could place your software engineers in tier 3.

Define Management Skills

Without the right management in place, your operations could easily go awry. High-quality managers will have strong motivation, experience with conflict resolution, and strong communication skills. These traits are non-negotiable.

If your current management doesn’t fulfill these criteria, consider outsourcing your organization’s management responsibilities. This will help you reach your goals without causing unnecessary strain. In some cases, it might be the only way to hit target metrics.

Create Growth Opportunities

Formal training, mentorships, and continuing education are amazing growth opportunities. These allow your teams to cultivate their skills and provide better results, such as improved cost efficiency. You should periodically assess your team’s performance throughout the year to determine if they need access to more resources.

Set Time Limits

This is a great way to help you determine when you should escalate a problem from one tier to the other. For instance, let’s assume your staff has worked on a tier 1 issue for 30 minutes. If it takes longer than this to resolve, you should escalate it to a tier 2 problem.

You must let your IT staff decide when to escalate, however. Certain nuances might make it more appropriate to leave an issue in a certain tier.

Finding IT Services and Support

To get the best results, it’s essential to work with the right service provider. This allows you to avoid pitfalls you might’ve otherwise encountered. One of the most important attributes to consider is their past reputation.

See what other people online have to say about the experiences they had. This will provide valuable insight into the results you’ll get. You should also consider their pricing structure.

You often get what you pay for when working with IT services, and it’s best to avoid the cheapest options. However, this doesn’t mean you have to spend as much money as possible. There’s a point of diminishing returns regarding what you spend.

Instead, you should look for someone in the middle of the industry’s price range. This will allow them to meet your needs without stretching your budget.

Do they specialize in working with companies like yours? Different businesses will have different IT needs, and they must understand the nuances of your situation. With enough due diligence, you’ll find the best option for your needs.

Improve Your Services ASAP

If you aren’t working with the right provider, you won’t have access to the right IT services and support. Be sure you find the ideal choice for your situation as soon as possible. This will help you avoid many pitfalls you may have otherwise encountered.

EMPIST has nearly two decades of multifaceted technology experience. Our professional team is ready to help you implement the right solutions and scale your business. You’ll learn more about the many benefits we provide when you book a consultation today.

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