The customer experience is the critical way in which companies distinguish themselves. Customers are more aware than ever that they can get a product from a variety of places, and they are likely to choose the one that delivers it at the right price and at the highest level of convenience. In order to provide the level of technical support that delivers the best possible experience, many retail companies are turning to an outsourced help desk.
Retail companies know that if their systems are down, even for a short period of time, they not only risk the sales that would have taken place during that time but also future sales as customers may remember their past experience. When faced with a choice of whether to use a company with a slowly loading website or having to re-enter their payment information, the customer may opt to try a competitor.
As a result, retailers know what’s riding on their technology. In order to ensure systems and applications are always ready for an interested potential customer, retail companies are increasingly choosing to utilize an outsourced help desk. Here are a few reasons why:
Better Use of CIO’s Time and Resources — When using an outsourced help desk, the chief information officer (CIO) is able to release that aspect of their responsibility and focus more fully on the features and innovations that will deliver a better customer experience. Their time is freed up to develop a vision for the direction of the company and consider the potential for new technology that may help other departments in the retail corporation realize their goals.
Retail has become more technologically dependent, with CIOs managing an omnichannel supply chain, including functions related to buying and merchandising, as well as product information management and order fulfillment. What used to be a role that was mainly concerned with infrastructure to support enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems has become intricately involved with all stages of retail management.
Improved Availability — As the hours for purchasing extend around the clock, so must the technological support to equip stores and websites for sales. A retailer may not want to staff their help desk around the clock, but outsourcing the assistance to a third-party help desk allows technical help to always be available.
Not only are customers making purchases at all hours of the day and night, but IT may also be supporting employees working non-traditional hours. Mobile sales employees and remote staff members, as well as on-site employees that may be taking a laptop home or accessing files on a smartphone, all require support from a help desk. Retailers find that an outsourced help desk supports employees’ needs.
Cost Savings — Employing a help desk in-house can be costly because, besides the salary and benefits of employees, you are also often paying for support at times when you don’t actually need it. Technological support needs tend to come in waves and surges, not a steady, evenly timed stream of application and systems problems.
Retailers often experience a seasonal element in their sales, whether they are a clothing company that sees a surge during the holidays, or a lawn mower dealership that sells more mowers in the spring. Those jumps in sales often correspond with a jump in help desk needs.
You only pay for the help desk assistance you actually use, so those times when you need more help are offset by when your website is steady and your phones are ringing less frantically.
Expertise — As your systems receive frequent updates, or you implement more new solutions, it can be difficult to keep your IT help desk up to date. An outsourced IT help desk may be the answer. Retailers often partner with an IT help desk provider that specializes in retail support and possibly even in a specific type of retail, such as clothing or furniture sales.
Scalability — A retailer that is growing is not able to add in-house IT staff at the same pace as their growth. After all, no IT professional is looking to start at one hour per week and only add hours as the retailer increases sales. Thankfully, that’s exactly what an outsourced IT help desk is looking to do for you. You can scale up or down and your invoice is adjusted to charge you only for the amount of help desk support you require.
Retailers know customers have high expectations when it comes to their experiences with the company. As CIOs have become more and more responsible for this experience, they are recognizing the need for someone else to handle the everyday troubleshooting and maintenance that can come up with any IT environment.
If you’ve been considering an outsourced IT help desk for your retail company, take a look at this free e-book from SinglePoint Global. We can help you evaluate your help desk needs and assist you in leveraging the best solution to support the customer experiences you want to deliver.