Moving from break-fix to managed services
MSP’s Guide To Happy Customers
An MSPs’ ability to work effectively at their job depends on their technical expertise. However, their ability to ensure customer satisfaction is what will maintain current clients and win over future ones. Clearly, a successful MSP is more than just technical expertise. So, given this reality, MSPs need to be strategic about how they approach their task.
By reading through the points below, MSPs will gain insight into how to improve communications with their clients as well as establish a more profitable business.
Switch from break-fix to managed services
One of the first goals of an MSP is to change the customer’s perception of their service provider. That’s because customers often approach MSPs with a certain amount of distrust. They feel like every time they have a problem and contact the MSP, they are hit with a bill for something that they did not expect. This break and fix model inevitably hurts the MSP’s ability to maintain customer satisfaction.
These unexpected charges inevitably lead to a loss of trust. Instead, MSPs need to move to a managed service model where they work to prevent unexpected events from coming up This plan will provide the client updates on all key stages of the incident resolution process. Moreover, the MSP will be proactive to make sure there are as few incidents as possible.
Buy into automation
When repetitive yet necessary operational tasks are shifted from humans to machines, the work is completed instantly and without the risk of errors. Meanwhile, skilled personnel are freed up from minutiae and are able to apply their advanced knowledge and expertise to more critical projects.
Minutiae are remedial tasks such as routine maintenance, software upgrades, disk updates, patching or end virus remediation. By spending time on these sorts of minutiae rather than automating them, MSPs are wasting their valuable hours that should be spent doing critical work. MSPs need to put man-hours at a premium.
MSPs should focus their time on projects, planning, training or designing plans that advise customers how to grow. In essence, MSPs must focus their man-hours on revenue generating activities. Routine disk updates and maintenance are not activities which fall into this category.
Developing a strong onboarding policy
Another key component of improving customer satisfaction is developing a strong onboarding policy. Onboarding defines the process of how new customers get integrated into the MSP’s workflow. The onboarding process includes straightforward tasks such as cataloging of a customer’s infrastructure, migrating the customer to a standard set of technology offerings, refreshing old hardware and rolling in standard MSP toolsets.
However, the most important aspect of onboarding is documentation. MSPs need to document the key processes at any client they take on so that when the client’s technology is not functioning properly, any one of the MSP’s engineers can come in and properly assess and diagnose the problem. This documentation includes important items such as site details, site plans and credentials for logging into important software.
These expectations should be articulated during customer training so that the customer is apprised of how to contact the MSP and what to expect when they call during business hours or after hours. How long should they expect to wait until someone returns their call?
In emergencies, time is of the essence and even if you cannot immediately respond to an event, as an MSP you must provide the perception that you are on top of the issue. Customers need a way to reach their MSP. If customers do not perceive that the MSP is working on a crucial issue, they will be unhappy and find someone else to solve their problems in the future.
To effectively stay on top of customer issues, it is important to have the proper technologies in place. These can be a combination of PBX systems linked to critical on-call platforms or ticketing systems linked into critical alert management platforms. The decision ultimately depends on the customer being served. However, every minute of downtime is expensive so responding quickly is of the essence.
While ensuring customer satisfaction sounds like it should be straightforward, anyone who has worked as an MSP knows that customer satisfaction is the secret sauce that separates one MSP from another.
As an MSP yourself, we hope you can use this guide for insights on how you can create your own formula for customer satisfaction. The amount of focus you give to each obviously will vary based on the number of employees in your company and the amount of capital in your possession. However, you ignore these points at your peril. Make sure you find ways to intelligently bring them into your practice so you can start to improve the satisfaction of your customers.
Download our whitepaper to read more ways MSPs can improve their customer happiness.