The high cost of IT agent onboarding and how to save

IT support agent onboarding onto support tools at her remote workstation with ease and efficiency

 

Keeping costs under control by being as efficient as possible is a mission-critical goal for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and their IT leaders. That's why when selecting IT solutions, IT leaders typically look at tools that offer the most functionality for the lowest price. But that approach fails to account for the costs of training your employees to use the tools, which is a necessary part of realizing their full potential. Let's explore ways to manage the many challenges of onboarding new IT support agents/reps in the most cost-effective way.

When technology is complex, costs increase

Complexity within your technology stack always brings direct and indirect costs, not just around integrating IT systems but also around training new employees in how to use them and then manage them over time.

A common way that tech stacks get overcomplicated is through an abundance of tools. More technology means more training costs when your SMB onboards new agents/reps. For example, several market leaders in MDM and RMM require 60-75 hours of classroom experience, just to reach basic certifications. That doesn't take into account the time it takes to configure and learn the best way to use these tools for your organization. So if you’re onboarding a typical MDM and RMM point solution, learning those two programs alone would take about 17 business days (doing nothing else) for a new hire. If you were to take the average level 2 agent (L2) salary of $30/hr, the cost of onboarding a new agent/rep onto just those two programs alone would be over $4,000.

The costs of managing your stack go far beyond just getting your new employees to adopt and learn them, of course. Some tools, like network monitoring software, requires at least 1-2 dedicated employees with the full-time job of just managing a single tool.

Bottom line: More tools, more cost.

Turnover is a high cost

In an ideal world, you’d onboard new IT support agents/reps and your SMB could spread out the high cost of training them over multiple years of increased employee productivity. That’s why you hired them in the first place, after all. But unfortunately, agent turnover rates are quite high in IT support, as every IT leader well knows. You could be investing a lot into training employees who simply churn before they’ve become productive and return your investment.

According to HDI’s The State of Tech Support in 2022, more than 1 in 3 (34%) L1 agents will leave within their first year, while the rate for L2 agents is more than 1 in 5 (21%). When you factor in the costs of losing your investment in people's productivity before any ROI accrues, needing to onboard and train replacement agents (who have no productivity to offer at the beginning), and potentially seeing them churn down the road, the accumulating costs are breathtakingly high. And as we just covered, the more complicated your technology stack, the more challenging it is to train people to use your tools, and the more likely your “onboards” will become “off-boards.”

The solution: Simplify, simplify, simplify

The 19th-century writer Henry David Thoreau offered some timeless advice that can easily be applied to modern IT leaders looking to "rightsize" their stacks: “simplify, simplify, simplify.” It’s hard to put that advice into practice though, because the world is filled with so many cool and shiny tools that promise SMBs the world, as well as so many business challenges that tech tools might address. Any IT leader with a budget, like a holiday shopper with a credit card, can shop until they drop. That's unwise and inefficient.

If more IT tools means more complexity and more costs around training new agents/reps, the solution is to consolidate your support tools into fewer and simpler tools that can deliver the same (or better) functionality with greater usability.

The key is to make sure you’re being intentional about which IT software you select. You’ll need to start with your business challenges, the specific use cases your SMB and IT support agents need to solve for. Then, as much as possible, choose tools that address multiple use cases and go with platforms that consolidate various tools into one solution.

Compare the alternatives:

The more vendors and programs you tack on, the more complexities and costs you’ll have related to training, and the more opportunities for seeing your agents/reps churn. Not to mention the worst problem of all: having more vectors for data breaches and other cybersecurity risks that malicious actors can exploit.

Or:

Consider adopting GoTo Resolve for all of your IT management and support needs, as well as your SMB’s goal to drive cost efficiency and quality tech support. Not only does GoTo Resolve consolidate multiple tools into a single, secure platform, like remote monitoring and management (RMM), remote support, camera sharing, and helpdesk ticketing, but it’s also easy to use, quick to learn, and made to fit SMB budgets. Learn more about how GoTo Resolve can help.

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