What is an Acceptable IT Help Desk Wait Time?

If you’re here reading this, you’ve probably had some experience with the unusual or excruciatingly long response time from your help desk. Perhaps, you’re trying to find reasons to outsource an IT help desk service for your company. If you’re out here trying to see why IT help desks can take time to respond, we are going to help you by listing some important factors in the inner workings of an IT help desk, along with what you can expect from it. However, you should not get discouraged to seek out a help desk’s assistance just because it might take some time. Let’s revise these factors and how you can overcome them. 

For an average help desk issue that is reported via email, there are three stages: acknowledgment, response, and resolution. These three stages cannot be morphed into one like many customers expect or hope. The acknowledgment stage does not take long, and with regular help desk employees, it shouldn’t take longer than five minutes. They’ve immediately received your ticket, and now they need to start preparing the response. 

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One of the most monitored metrics with any help desk is the average first response time. This sends the message to all potential and current customers that they see you and your problem and that they are on it. An unresponsive help desk will have a lot of problems and lose a lot of their customers’ trust if they don’t try to improve their average response time. Average response times need to be kept really short and getting there might be tricky. If a help desk usually takes 15 minutes to respond, but one report took 5 hours, then the average response time metric would suffer significantly. 

However, the biggest problem lies in the fact that they won’t always be able to instantly resolve the issue at hand. Sometimes, it can take a few hours before the issue can be resolved completely, especially if the problem is complex. Quick responses do not always bring you a solution. IT technicians who are qualified to help you should not take longer than an hour to tackle this issue. However, many users are accustomed to coming across help desks that are incredibly understaffed, which means that the wait times will naturally increase. This does not apply to all help desks, thankfully. 

If you get stuck on a call with a help desk, the wait can be almost unbearable at times. This is why choosing the right IT help desk support is vital, so that your business or users won’t suffer major consequences. Apart from allowing you great IT support, outsourced help desks will track down and catalog any problems you might have experienced in the past. They log these issues in an effort to find possible underlying problems and solve them. Your help desk will help with customer service satisfaction rates, technical issues, security issues, and plenty more. It’s a great way to optimize your operations without overwhelming your users or employees. 

Make sure when choosing your IT provider, that expectations are set from the start and that SLAs are put into place. This way, you know what to expect, and if they’re not hitting their SLAs, then a bigger conversation needs to take place. 

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