Wilkins IT Escalation Procedure

Official Procedure for After Hours or Emergency Support

Emergencies happen. We want to and will be there for you when disaster strikes. Sometimes we can’t answer the phone because we’re busy helping another client or it’s 2am… we need sleep too.

There are specific ways to get help from us no matter the time of day. For example, we have special routines built into our phone system that alert us if the same phone number has called us twice in a row.

Here is how to alert us in emergency situations where you need assistance RIGHT AWAY.

PLEASE NOTE: After hours emergency situations are billed by the hour and are typically 2x the standard hourly rate. Most of our managed service clients have an after hours agreement that outlines the rate and time when a request is considered after hours. If you do not have a document titled “After Hours Escalation Agreement” then the default emergency rate applies as listed above.

Our After Hours Contact Policy

First things first, please open a ticket. You can start the ticket as you’re calling if you like, but we need to be able to track the issue and request in our system. This ensures we keep all details pertinent to your issue in one place. Not having a ticket submitted will only delay resolution of your emergency. You can open a ticket anytime from our easy to use help form at http://help.wilkinsit.ca (or by clicking “Submit a Help Ticket” under our Support menu above).

Secondly, call us. Right away. You can click the “Call Now” button on our menu or dial the phone number on our support page. When you submit a ticket, the form will ask you after “Is this an emergency? Call us NOW!” If it is after hours, you will get a different message then our standard greeting. You will need to start and after hours support request by pressing 2. You will then be read a prompt which is essentially what we talked about above with labour and support times. If you agree with this message then it will ring our after-hours desk. 

Third/Lastly, if we don’t answer, LEAVE US A VOICEMAIL! This is important for us to be able to understand this is an emergency and needs to be dealt with. If we don’t call you back within 20 minutes, call us again. In 6 years in business, we have never needed this option (or any after-hours support options) but they are here for you to use if you need them!

So what does “after hours” mean?

After hours is anytime outside our normal business hours of 8 am to 5 pm. After hours situations are determined on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances. As a small business in the IT world we are almost always “online” and can help with your needs, we just like to stay within business hours for regular requests.

Wait, I have an emergency, but are you really going to charge me?

The short answer is yes. This is completed on a case by case basis, but there will be an additional charge for the after-hours support unless we explicitly 1) State the specific situation with you in the After Hours Escalation Agreement or 2) State in writing within the ticket that the support is at no charge, such as “EMERGENCY - NO CHARGE” or “EMERGENCY - REGULAR CHARGE”.

 

I have a 24/7 service with you (Internet/ Voice/ Website), I should be able to call you whenever I need you!

 

Your absolutely right, BUT we are a small business and quite simply need to sleep just as much as the next person! This doesn’t mean your service is left unchecked while we are getting some Zzz’s. We have monitoring equipment and automated facilities that keep track of and fix any issue that arises with services that should be “always on”. Any 24/7 service is also monitored by staff that are not on our support desk to ensure that your stuff stays running smoothly. Chances are that if something does go down it is an incident we can’t solve such as a power outage or other disaster level event that our monitoring staff are already working on. 

In most cases, if you notice a service is down, our teams are already working on it before you even realized it was offline. Usually, it’s already coming back online or will be soon. We regularly review Service Uptimes with our vendors and if they are below 99.9% uptime we put them on review as a vendor. They understand this going into business with us and most of our vendors have a financially backed SLA, which means if there is prolonged unplanned downtime, then we are compensated (and so are you) for the lack of service. This is where the importance of tickets come into play. Opening a ticket when something isn’t working right gives us the ability to track it and our teams that work while the main staff is “off the clock” can pick up the ticket and service you quickly and efficiently. 

Furthermore, some of our services come with 24/7 support so if you do have a question for lets say Office 365 at 10 pm at night. There is a phone number for you to call. You would have gotten this information when we started the 24/7 service. 

 

But I don’t have an “After Hours Escalation Agreement”

 

That’s ok. If you don’t have one, it means we either need to 1) Get one signed with you, or 2) We don’t need one with you for a variety of reasons. Do not hesitate to call us or open a ticket to discuss. In most cases, we just need to work out the agreement, and are more than happy to do so! 

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