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Rethinking 24/7 IT Support for Your Law Firm: Is it Really Worth It?

Jason Clause
Jason Clause
|
June 05, 2024

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Optimizing IT support: Why less is sometimes more for your law firm

Key takeaways:

  • You may pay for hours you don’t use.
  • After-hours support staff may be sparse.
  • This leads to long wait times on the phone and no solution for your law firm.
  • When hiring an MSP, always ask for metrics and benchmarks.

Always-on availability is a requirement for service industries today. Much business is done online - whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, your customers expect that convenience. Your ability to provide what they want and when they like it can mean the difference between success and failure. So, that 24/7 support option might tempt you when your IT vendor is dangling in front of you.

Regarding your IT, many IT managed service providers (MSPs) offer 24/7 support, which sometimes carries extra costs. Superior service? Maybe. Helpdesk access, better customer service, and faster response times? We’ll see.

Does your law firm need 24/7 IT support, or will business-hour support work for your organization? Let’s explore. 

24/7 vs. Business hour support

With a 24/7 support plan, you’re paying in advance to staff a nightshift help desk you may rarely, if ever, use. Do you need it? Most law firms or other businesses open early and close in the evening. To accommodate, IT companies create swing shifts to staff these hours.

How we do it at Endsight

At Endsight, our regular operating hours are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., which offers a 14-hour business day that limits the need for our clients to call during off-hours.

Have an after-hours emergency? Rather than paying an entire crew to wait for calls, we have small team on-call for any after-hours emergencies. We call in more experts if the situation requires more resources. This makes things financially efficient for both you and us.

This means you’re never paying for time you’re not using “just in case something happens.” With Endsight, you only pay when you have a critical emergency and need middle-of-the-night IT support.

So, what are you paying for when you purchase 24/7 IT support?

Graveyard shifts in most companies mean a skeleton crew, and IT is no different. So, what kind of support do you get? Some IT support help desks outsource their after-hours support to call centers operated by those with little support knowledge or capability and no knowledge of your network.

Like most support hotlines, you’re asked to press one button after another. Getting a live person can waste precious time and usually ends with you opting to set up an appointment time. Another downside is the lack of training – these folks are just following a script, and if your problem falls outside of it, you’ll have to wait until your MSP opens in the morning. 

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Getting expert engineering help after hours may be impossible.

After-hours support is typically limited, and the person who answers the phone isn’t always the person who can fix your problem. This leads to being transferred around, at best, repeating yourself. At worst is the common practice of telling the caller that staff will “be right on it” when they merely create a ticket to be worked on the next business day.

Hidden fees with limited support

Limited support can lead to hidden fees. If your MSP contract says only limited service is offered between certain times, you could find that emergency fees are added to any after-hours calls because the MSP will have to call in additional resources.

For example, my washing machine broke recently. I called to repair it – I have an extended warranty offering a free evaluation. However, when the technician arrived, he told me fixing it would cost hundreds of dollars. The parallel is that a 24-hour help desk will likely only identify the problem, which isn’t worth paying for. 

Is it worth the wait time?

A 24-hour grocery story means there are plentiful options to visit the store and find you’re the only shopper. You’ll also notice that staff is sparse as well. It’s the same with MSPs.

Many MSPs will take a calculated risk by taking on more clients than they can staff during off-hours. That’s because they know most calls will come during regular business hours. So, instead of getting quick help, you’ll have to deal with automated recordings and extended hold times.

So how long should you have to wait? Most MSPs don’t advertise their wait times, but before you sign up for a 24/7 plan, make sure they don’t have a wait time that becomes extended due to demand.

When evaluating an IT vendor’s help desk service and availability, ask for the metrics for their help desk and a clear picture of what their 24/7 support offers. If they don’t have the metrics, move on – you need to know how after-hour support differs from business-hours support and how much longer it will take you to get the expert help you require. 

Bottom line: not all hours are equal

When choosing an MSP, looking at the financial fit and the support quality is essential. Many make promises they cannot keep. If you’ve looked at their plan and it doesn’t say how they are staffing after-hours and can’t provide a benchmark for their services, you’ll have to rely on client testimonials. If they can’t provide those, ask about current clients they can contact. 

IT support must align with your law firm's business model. Do your research to find which MSP can provide the accessibility, customer service, and limited wait times you need. Not all MSPs are created equal.

At Endsight, we deliver premium IT management and support to small and medium-sized law firms and other businesses. We aim to provide an excellent operational experience to mission-driven organizations that do incredible things for the community and beyond.

With us, you get a customized solution that aligns with your needs, goals, and budget - nothing less. 

Our average response time is less than five minutes when you use our Response Center.


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