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Local vs. Offshore IT Help Desk Solutions

Matt Freymiller
02/17/2022
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We’ve talked about the benefits of outsourcing your IT many times. Once you’ve decided on outsourcing your help desk, another important question is whether an offshore or local support team is best.

We’ve all had good customer experiences and bad customer experiences. Thanks to modern communications technology, those experiences could be from a support team based down the street or halfway around the globe.

However, when it comes to offering consistent, quality IT help desk support, we believe there are certain benefits a local support staff can provide over an international service team. Here is what we’ve learned about offering quality IT help desk support from a locally-based team versus an offshore partner.

WORLDLY WISE

When it comes to customer service for consumer services, the truth is that many offshore organizations can be as good or even better than US-based staff.

However, for IT help desks servicing a technology-driven organization, there are benefits to locally based staff. Using an offshore model can deliver savings, but in the long run, your company will require IT service that is close by. The help desk will be able to communicate with onsite staff quickly and effectively, including engineers or perhaps vCIO who might be visiting customer locations. Working in the same time zone, they are available to share information with onsite teams and contacts whenever needed. 

The ability to become part of an organization as their IT team (or department) is another differentiator between onshore and offshore. Many companies want a single point of contact for all their IT requests. For example, at Elevity, we have organized our teams not as a service desk, but as dedicated pods, ensuring our contacts always talk to one of four people. The pod will know your environment and will probably know you personally, so you don’t need to waste time on introductions. They can dive right into whatever issue or question you may have.

KNOWLEDGE IS CONFIDENCE

To have confidence in an IT help desk, customers need to know that the support person understands the business and can support their users quickly. Local service providers are in a much better position to embed themselves within an organization and get a unique insight into the business. Each region has its own legislation or regulatory concerns, which offshore staff may not fully grasp.

With offshore services, there can be a disconnect culturally. This may result in misunderstandings when a user asks for specific support and the analyst delivers that support off a script rather than truly understanding what the user needs. 

In addition to the advantages of local service teams described above, traditional outsourcing and offshoring relationships are changing. Divisions between business and IT are disappearing, which means that offshore services are at a disadvantage in keeping up with your evolving needs. The pandemic has forced organizations to re-imagine the way they do business, and a partner in the same Area code and time zone as you will be able to visit your offices if needed, take meetings more easily and change with your needs.

For more information about the differences between local and offshore IT help desk services, talk to the experts at Elevity. We work with thousands of clients in our Midwestern service area and offer three ways to engage with our podded service teams, email, phone and live chat.

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