Ask any MSP business owner what their #1 priority is (at any given time!)… and they’ll tell you:
It’s to retain existing customers.
Well, firstly, because keeping your current MSP clients is a LOT easier than finding and converting new clients.
And secondly because repeat business is the lifeblood of service businesses like MSPs. They don’t just bring predictable revenue each month but are also easier to upsell/cross-sell to, as they already trust you and your services.
So what does it take to retain all or most of your existing MSP clients?
Above everything else, it takes offering STELLAR CUSTOMER SERVICE. Consistently.
And one of the best ways to offer such service to your MSP clients is to power it with a great IT help desk process and platform. In fact, by just optimizing your IT help desk, you can dramatically improve your customer service experience. This ensures rapid and quality support for all your clients, thereby securing repeat business! So let’s see a few actionable IT help desk optimization tactics you can try today.
MSP clients raise tickets via multiple channels.
Sometimes, they’ll use your ticketing portal. And at other times, they’ll simply send you their “urgent, critical” support requests via emails, chat line messages, or over phone calls to your technicians.
And don’t forget the tickets/alerts your RMM tools generate. These need to be catered to as well to make sure your customer’s systems continue to be available, preventing more Helpdesk tickets.
This means that to optimize your IT help desk, your first step is to make sure you register every incoming ticket or alert over all these different channels.
You can do so by going with integrated ticketing. Integrated ticketing means integrating all your ticket channels through a PSA solution like Computicate PSA. Or by creating a comparable workaround using third-party integration services like Zapier (connecting all the sources of your tickets to a central ticketing software), so that no incoming tickets fall through the cracks!
Optimizing ticket handling
Once you’ve set your MSPs IT help desk to receive all the tickets and alerts from all possible sources, it’s time to work on optimizing how your help desk supports your customers.
You can start off by having your IT help desk system automatically assign the applicable SLA to each ticket based on the client type, machine, etc. With this, you can send them an automated email acknowledgment of their ticket. And share with them when they can expect their ticket to be updated (based on the response times fixed in their SLAs).
Your next step is to route your inbound tickets to the right technicians that have the proper knowledge to handle the request.
Most companies have a very simple ticket assignment process where tickets are assigned in the order they arrive at the support agents in a round-robin fashion.
However, this isn’t the best way to handle ticket assignments for an MSP, because MSP tickets vary greatly in their nature as well as in their impact. For instance, a ticket about a data breach or a site disaster ticket or one about the failure of backup recovery takes precedence over those requesting for cloud storage upgrades and others. The former tickets need immediate attention (aka highest priority) and so must be immediately addressed by the most skilled technician specializing in those kinds of tickets. Not facilitating this would mean not making help available on time and leaving the client in crisis (and your contract in jeopardy).
A good ticket assignment solution for MSPs is the one that uses skill-based routing. With this, you have a manager who considers a ticket’s “gravity” and assigns it to the most skilled person for the job and sets the right priority.
After putting out all the “fires” that can cost contracts, you can implement a tiered support structure for the rest of your tickets.
In a tiered support structure, all the inbound tickets go to tier 1 where they’re either resolved or escalated to the higher tiers. The higher tiers have more skilled and expert technicians that can resolve the more complex issues.
So, for example, a tier 1 support agent will help a user reset their password. And a tier 4 support agent will fix a cloud migration issue.
Optimizing for performance
By optimizing your help desk you’ll ensure speedy and quality resolution. This makes sure that every incoming ticket and RMM alert is registered properly. It also optimizes your ticket assignment process so you give each ticket the kind of attention and resources it deserves,
But customer service is something that you can keep optimizing if you seek feedback from your customers and observe the recurring themes that come up in the feedback.
When you start collecting feedback, you’ll be surprised to find that you can address a lot of feedback. This will help improve how your technicians work on your tickets and will increase quality.
For example, maybe many of your customers say that the resolution took longer than the suggested timeline. In that case, you might want to use a help desk like the one that comes with Computicate PSA as it gives you a reasonably good estimate of how long an issue resolution can take (by learning from the past tickets that were similar).
Or, if your customers complain that there was little communication, then you might want to set up canned responses. And suggest your technicians send them from time to time to keep the customer in the loop while they work on the tickets.
The help desk optimization opportunities that you can spot via your customer feedback are invaluable. So start collecting it. You could use a tool like Delighted that helps you set up 100 surveys each month for free. Alternatively, Computicate PSA has a built-in NPS rating system that automatically collects your customer satisfaction rates and allows you to map them against customers, engineers, support lines, etc.
You should also survey or seek feedback from the clients who switch to another service provider. Doing so will help you zero in the key reasons for “churn” in your business and address the ones that relate to the quality of support.
Wrapping it up…
At Computicate PSA, as former MSP business owners ourselves, we know that the MSP business is a service business (and not primarily a technology business). And we also know that an MSP help desk does a LOT of the heavy lifting when it comes to offering some stellar customer service!
And that’s why when we built Computicate, our PSA solution for MSPs. We powered it with a state-of-the-art help desk with features like integrated ticketing, time-tracking, automatic SLA detection, and technician workload prediction. Plus more others that are custom-built keeping the unique help desk needs for an MSP business.
By using a help desk solution like Computicate PSA or setting up and optimizing yours so it works similarly, you won’t just make your day-to-day business logistics simpler, but also retain (and grow) your MSP client base. Sign up for Computicate’s free 14-day trial and take our help desk for a spin! And watch your client satisfaction level (and your retention rate) improve significantly.