Help Desk Pricing

Service Estimates and Key Cost Factors

Relying on 16 years of experience in IT support, ScienceSoft is ready to estimate the help desk budget and deliver professional support of your apps and IT infrastructure.

Help Desk Pricing - ScienceSoft
Help Desk Pricing - ScienceSoft

Help Desk Pricing in Brief

According to ScienceSoft’s market research, the cost of IT help desk setup varies from $740,000 to $1,300,000 for mid-sized businesses. More than a half of this budget is spent on staffing. On average, a help desk specialist’s annual salary varies from $39,000 to $56,000 after taxes. In addition, there is a relatively high turnover of help desk agents, and it costs about $12,000 for a company to replace a single help desk engineer, which includes finding the right candidate as well as spending time and resources on their training.

Considering such high expenses on establishing and maintaining an internal IT help desk department, more and more business today are turning to third-party vendors to outsource the entirety or a part of the service desk function to them.

Being a mature help desk services provider with 16 years of experience in the field, ScienceSoft describes the specifics of outsourced help desk pricing and reveals three proven cost reduction strategies.

Main Help Desk Service Levels

Before establishing a help desk process and calculating the budget, it is important to clearly understand what support levels you need to cover:

Resolving simple issues like password reset, app installation, user management, access management. L1 agents are expected to escalate any more complex issues to the next level; they also create and maintain user knowledge bases.

Dealing with more complex issues escalated from L1, e.g., software configuration, basic network issues, software performance monitoring, software licenses verification and setup, root cause analysis, servers administration, and more.

Resolving complex issues on the code level and providing advanced technical support to deal with issues related to IT infrastructure, enterprise solutions, technical processes and policies.

Key Components of Outsourced Help Desk Service


Discovery stage

Costs: free of charge

Upon first contact, an outsourced IT support vendor conducts a pre-service discovery that includes:

  • Identifying help desk needs and required level(s) of support (L1–L3).
  • Evaluating user requests volume, urgency, and complexity.
  • Deciding on the scope of help desk support activities and the optimal pricing model (monthly package, price per ticket, T&M).
  • Defining the help desk KPIs (first response time, user satisfaction score, resolution rate, etc.).



Transition phase

Costs: $1,500–$5,000 as a one-time payment for the process setup (L1); L2–L3 expenses may vary greatly depending on the complexity of your IT infrastructure and apps

After signing the SLA, a help desk services provider will:

  • Analyze your IT infrastructure and applications, processes and documentation.
  • Define the scope of activities within the required support level(s) and the responsibility transition schedule.
  • Decide on the team composition (the number of support engineers and their qualifications) and organize the necessary training for the help desk team.
  • Choose and configure the ticket management software and, if necessary, introduce software customizations.
  • Run a demo of help desk services delivery.



Service delivery

Costs: starting from $6 per ticket (the total monthly fee depends on the chosen support level, package option, etc.) + costs of ticketing software licenses

The help desk team will:

  • Process the incoming requests on the corresponding support level according to the defined service level objectives (SLOs).
  • Escalate complex issues to higher support levels.
  • Gather user feedback.
  • Create knowledge bases, FAQs, and self-support articles.
  • Regularly report on service delivery according to the defined KPIs.
  • Introduce improvements to help desk services.


Factors Affecting Help Desk Costs

Based on ScienceSoft’s experience in help desk projects, these are the key factors that influence help desk prices.

  • The complexity of applications and IT infrastructure.
  • Help desk support levels: L1, L2, L3, or their combination.
  • The help desk team size and competencies.
  • The required support languages, the need for multi-language support.
  • Help desk time coverage: 24/7, 12/5, 12/7, 8/5, after-hours support.
  • The number of tickets per month.
  • SLA terms: response time, first contact resolution, tickets per month, etc.
  • Communication channels, number of voice and non-voice interactions, and calls duration (if any).

Outsourced Help Desk Cost Estimation: A Rough Sample

Interested in specific numbers? ScienceSoft shares ballpark costs for L1 help desk services (as it is the most frequent scenario for outsourcing):

200 tickets

1,000 tickets

2,000 tickets

Monthly costs

Price per ticket

*The estimates provided are not ScienceSoft's official rates for help desk services. We calculate the cost of each project individually, based on our customers' specific situations and needs.

Want to Know How Much an Outsourced Help Desk Will Cost You?

Please answer a few simple questions about your help desk needs. Our team will quickly calculate the cost for your case.

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Select support level(s) you need:

Select the needed time coverage:

Select the expected number of tickets:

*Which languages should your support agents speak?

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How to Reduce Help Desk Costs

Provide users with self-support options

69% of users prefer to resolve as many issues as possible on their own. To meet their needs and reduce your help desk expenses, create and maintain an easy-to-use knowledge base with FAQs, user guides, and tutorials. Regularly updating the existing knowledge base is more cost- and time-efficient than involving a help desk specialist every time someone needs to change their password.

Automate IT support processes

Set up an automated ticketing system (like Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Zendesk). This will help you to not only reduce the costs and free your help desk specialists from manual tasks (like filling out user information) but also decrease the response time and improve user satisfaction.

Outsource your help desk partially or entirely

With an experienced help desk provider, you can reduce help desk expenses by up to 40% and increase ROI by 50% due to efficient IT support, reduction in user errors, and increased resolution rate.

About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, TX. We provide L1-L3 help desk outsourcing services since 2007 to help companies reduce support costs, increase user adoption, and improve satisfaction rates. ScienceSoft relies on mature ISO 9001-certified quality management system ensuring result-driven and transparent service delivery. We guarantee the safety of the data entrusted to us with our unfailing ISO 27001-backed information security management system.