5 Tips For Better On-Call Support (in 2021)

On Call Support

Your enterprise needs on-call support, but it often struggles to achieve its desired results. Yet, the longer your enterprise waits to improve its on-call support processes and procedures, the greater the risk becomes that a minor outage could cause substantial downtime.

Bonus Material: Advanced Escalation Example PDF

Ultimately, your enterprise needs seamless on-call support processes and procedures. With the right tools at its disposal, your enterprise can ensure each on-call engineer is instantly notified as soon as an incident occurs.

Plus, on-call support team members can use these tools to communicate and collaborate with one another to ensure the incident is fully resolved, as quickly as possible.

When it comes to on-call support, it helps to understand its value to your enterprise and its stakeholders. Now, let’s examine on-call support and its impact.

What Is On-Call Support?

Thanks to on-call support, an enterprise has anywhere, anytime access to IT administrators, security operators, and other team members at designated times. On-call support ensures these team members are available to address incidents 24/7. So, if an incident occurs during or outside of normal business hours, an enterprise’s on-call support team can address the issue right away.

On-call support is closely tied to on-call management. To understand the correlation between on-call support and management, let’s consider an example.

If an outage occurs outside of normal business hours, certain team members may be available to address the incident during this time frame. Although on-call support staff members are accessible, it may be difficult to reach them if an enterprise lacks effective processes and procedures. In fact, if an enterprise lacks a reliable incident management platform, it may be nearly impossible for on-call team members to get the notifications they need to respond to the incident without delay.

Today’s enterprises must simultaneously prioritize on-call support and management. In doing so, they can develop and implement processes and procedures that account for both elements. They can also ensure that these processes and procedures work in combination with an incident management platform or other tools that allow on-call team members to quickly and easily receive timely, relevant, and accurate alerts.

What Are the Benefits of On-Call Support?

The benefits of on-call support can be significant, and they include:

1. Cost Savings

On-call staff members are readily available to respond to incidents and minimize their impact. As a result, they can prevent an incident from causing lost productivity, along with associated revenue losses.

2. SLA Compliance

On-call staff members understand the importance of maximizing uptime in compliance with service-level agreements (SLAs). They can monitor service levels around the clock and take preventative measures to optimize service levels. The result: on-call team members can limit downtime that can cause SLA violations.

3. Customer Satisfaction

On-call staff members can mitigate issues before they cause outages that impact the customer experience. As such, they can ensure any issues are immediately resolved, and customers can enjoy consistent experiences any time they engage with an enterprise.
To realize the benefits of on-call support, it generally helps to plan as much as possible. That way, an organization can implement the right processes and procedures to ensure its on-call staff members get the support they need to do their jobs correctly.

What Are the Challenges Associated with On-Call Support?

An on-call support team’s success is typically predicated on the processes and procedures it uses. If an on-call support team cannot maintain ongoing communication throughout an incident, team members may work independently to resolve the problem, which can increase the time and costs needed to mitigate the issue. Or, if on-call support team members are unsure about who is available to handle a service request, an issue may linger, leading to long-lasting harm to an enterprise and its stakeholders.

There is a risk of alert fatigue for on-call support team members as well. For instance, if on-call support team members receive incident notifications outside of their work shifts, they may be prone to tune out these notifications. They may be more susceptible to miss out on urgent and important notifications during their work shifts, which may make it exceedingly difficult to resolve major incidents.

For on-call support teams, it is paramount to consider how they want to manage notifications and ensure only available team members are alerted about incidents. This ensures that on-call staff members can take the necessary steps to resolve incidents and mitigate their effects on an enterprise and its stakeholders.

On-Call Support Tips

There are several things that your enterprise can do to help its on-call support team accomplish its desired results, including:

1. Define Team Member Roles

Ensure each on-call staff member has a clearly defined role. This can help your enterprise ensure that only relevant staff members will receive the right notifications, every time.

2. Determine Primary and Secondary Responders

Figure out who should be notified about different types of incidents at different times. Ensure that primary and secondary responders are established for incident notifications and verify that these notifications can be escalated to the appropriate parties as needed.

3. Establish Schedules

Create schedules that account for who is available to respond to incidents during and outside of normal business hours. Update these schedules regularly to ensure staff members are available to respond to incidents at all times.

4. Track Results

Encourage an on-call support team to monitor its daily, weekly, monthly, and annual performance. Team members can track Mean Time To Detect (MTTD) and other metrics and use these insights to find ways to continuously improve.

5. Leverage an Incident Management Platform

Provide on-call support team members with an incident management platform that they can use to stay connected throughout an incident. The platform can work in combination with the team’s everyday systems and help team members get the most value out of their on-call management processes and procedures.
At AlertOps, we provide an incident management platform that is flexible, intelligent, and simple to use. Our platform is designed to help enterprise teams route alerts to on-call team members, create and manage on-call schedules, and more.

AlertOps can help your teams take on-call support to the next level.


Share