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IT support help desk response time

IT support help desk response time

How long will it take to solve our IT support issue? This is one of the most common questions we are asked. IT support response time and resolve time can drastically differ from one IT company to another.

While IT issues have differing levels of urgency, many businesses may be paying for IT support, but not receiving a reasonable response time or service. Even worse, not receiving a simple fix until the next day. If your IT goes down or there is an inefficiency, then business operations are potentially hindered. Downtime, due to a slow IT response comes at an expensive price. Many organisations are left waiting. Even a slow response to a simple question, such as technical advice, is unhelpful.

If your IT support has a slow resolution time, then it is time to ask questions and benchmark against the industry. Both outsourced IT companies and in-house IT departments should measure their response time and resolve time. In this article we will explain:

What is IT support help desk response time?
IT support response time and Service Level Agreement (SLA)
What is Superfast IT support response and resolution time?
How we keep our response time to a minimum

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What is 'IT support help desk response time'?

For businesses with internal, in-house IT support, the general rule is, the bigger the organisation, the slower the response. Waiting 4-8 hours for a response is considered normal or typical in medium-large-sized organisations.

When we are asked this question, it’s typically referring to how fast an outsourced IT company can respond to a reactive technical support issue. A reactive technical issue could be a computer, network or printer problem that just occurred. This is where an IT company offering IT support (also known as managed IT service) has a help desk that responds to day-to-day IT issues.

A customer service team or help desk made up of computer technicians are ready to respond to calls or emails and help either remotely or via a site visit. Today the vast majority of issues are handled remotely. Here at Superfast, 95% of IT issues are remotely troubleshot. Every IT issue is logged onto our database and a timer begins, so internally we can log against a number of KPIs including the response time and resolve time.

A response time is the amount of time it takes from first logging an issue with IT support, through to when an IT technician first begins working to resolve the challenge.

The resolution time is the time it takes from first logging an issue with IT support, through to the resolution – when the issue is solved.

IT support response time and Service Level Agreement

A service level agreement (SLA) establishes expectations with your IT company so both parties know what to expect. It will detail information about the level and quality of service you should expect. A service level agreement (SLA) will detail:

  • Maximum time to receive the first response
  • Maximum time to resolve the issue
  • What IT issues are considered a top priority (and needs the fastest response) and what are lower priority
  • Hours you are covered e.g. 24/7 or Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

It’s important to consider that an SLA contains the maximum time frame. As our name suggests, we pride ourselves on fast response, so we solve the majority of issues well before the agreed time limit, typically within 1 hour.

It is also worth noting that the ‘timer’ for the response time only runs within the hours that you’re covered/contracted. So if you have an IT issue on Friday at 7 pm, unless your agreement is 24/7 and covers weekends, your timer and response time is paused until Monday morning. I advise that your SLA is reviewed in detail prior to signing a contract so that priorities and timescales fit your business needs.


What are Superfast IT support response and resolution times?

Our IT support response times are:

  • The majority of calls are answered within 10 seconds.
  • The majority of challenges responded to within 10 minutes.
  • Our IT support resolution time is typically less than 1 hour.

 Our standard service level agreement resolve times are:

  • Priority 1 issues: Resolve within 4 hours
  • Priority 2 issues: Resolve within 8 hours
  • Priority 3 issues: Resolve within 24 hours

Priorities are defined by their urgency and impact:

  • Urgency relates to the number of people affected. If an entire business is affected then it is a high priority, if only one individual is affected it is low priority.

Response time urgency

  • Impact relates to how operations are affected and if there is a temporary workaround.

Impact of response time

IT support priority examples

Priority 1

Business operations have stopped or heavily affected, for example, nobody can send or receive emails

Priority 2

A department business is affected but can still work, for example, Sage is running slow and is affecting the finance department.

Priority 3

One individual is affected, but can still work or a changing needs setting (that does not immediately affect operations).


There will be times when issues are classed as ‘low priority' but need urgent attention. We will work with you to find a flexible solution in these circumstances.

Timescales for other work

There will also be tasks that are not reactive, such as adding or removing users or buying new equipment, where the work has a specific timescale rather than a response time KPI. For example, it is agreed that a user is removed by the end of their last working day unless they have an immediate departure.

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on providing a fast response and great customer satisfaction. In fact, we changed our name to Superfast IT because we were told so often that our service was quick compared to other IT companies they had used. Here is what Nick Hancock, MD of NPA 24/7 had to say about our response times:



How we keep customer service response times down

There are a number of processes and techniques we have adopted to keep our customer service response times to a minimum.

  1. Know your IT infrastructure inside out

    When we onboard a new client, we take the time to understand their IT systems inside out. This means if an issue occurs, we have data we need at hand to respond. Processes individual to the business are created and also logged in our database to ensure we follow an agreed set of instructions every time. We will also save photos, videos and voice recordings about your IT to improve our internal communications and provide a detailed reference that helps us to save time and improve our efficiency.
  2. Establish Processes and Responses for Common Problems

    In the name of efficiency, we are process-driven. Common customer problems, such as password resets or adding a new team member have set processes to ensure a fast and consistent resolve.

  3. Proactive resolves

    Many minor issues can be prevented with regular communication. We schedule regular calls with our clients to provide them with the time to ask questions and get the answers outside of our reactive IT support. This encourages proactive IT support and ultimately fewer IT niggles.

  4. Measuring and monitoring response times

    We monitor our customer service levels. Measuring our response and resolve time are two of our main KPIs. We pride ourselves on providing a top-notch service so our KPIs are closely monitored to ensure we continually improve how we work.

  5. Customer satisfaction survey

    After every IT challenge, we request feedback about how we have done via an instant traffic light feedback email. It enables us to quickly gauge our client's satisfaction levels and ensure that service levels remain high.

  6. Investment in training

    Training and continuous development are at the heart of our business values. Our team is encouraged to learn, with 20 days of training set aside every year to gain further qualifications or complete CPD activities.

  7. Seasoned specialists to tackle technical or complex issues

    Highly technical issues are solved by our more experienced staff members. For example, we have cloud, cybersecurity and telephony specialists. They have their area of expertise and can quickly resolve any challenges related to their specialism.

Looking for a new IT company?

If your IT issues are not resolved within a reasonable timeframe then your business is not as efficient or productive as it could be and it's probably time to begin intervention or look for a new IT partner. Schedule time with one of our experts and take advantage of our 6-month money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with our service.

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