It’s frustrating, isn’t it? When you have to (repeatedly) prompt your customers to register their issues using your MSP support portal or email.
… and preferably not by emailing you on your personal account.
… or by calling you or your support engineers.
The way ticketing happens in an MSP business makes it very difficult to not just register the ticket with all the needed details but also to stay updated on each ticket’s status at all times and keep track of the time spent on each ticket.
Not just that, in addition to these unclear and ad hoc support requests — that need a lot of back and forth over lengthy email exchanges and multiple calls — the barrage of daily alerts your RMM raises makes ticket management an even bigger struggle for any MSP.
And if you happen to be among the 60% of MSP companies that serve about a hundred clients, you already know how chaotic ticketing can get, moving back and forth between your customer facing tickets and your RMM alerts.
But because tickets lie at the core of your MSP business, handling them in isolation can seriously impact your MSP business’s productivity and profitability.
So let’s see how an integrated ticketing system can benefit you. But first, let’s look at the different sources of MSP tickets and the tools they must seamlessly work with.
The different ticket silos in an MSP company
In the ideal world, all your MSP clients would use just one channel to request support.
But we all know that’s hardly the case.
In fact, broadly categorizing, there are three sources of tickets for an MSP business. These are:
The “web” tickets: These are the support tickets your clients raise from channels like emails, live chat, and your MSP support portal. Technicians, too, can raise these tickets or follow up tickets based on their work on the site and so on.
The “phone” tickets: These are the support tickets your clients somewhat raise by calling you or their contact point in your MSP company. Such a ticket could be of a client calling your support engineer and saying that their server is down and they need immediate help!
The “RMM” alerts or tickets: These alerts or tickets are the ones your remote monitoring and management solution creates based on its routine, automated checkups.
The tech stack these different tickets silos must work with (and why!)
At the very least, your “ticketing” tools (such as 1) your MSP support helpdesk that registers your web, chat, and email tickets, 2) your VOIP-enabled support channel that registers any tickets raised over the phone, and 3) your RMM tool that registers all the automated alerts/tickets it generates) need to interact seamlessly with the following solutions:
- Your MSP time-tracking tool (or tools): Because your “ticket time” makes the most of your billable time, you need your ticketing tools to work with your time-tracking tool(s). This can get tougher if you use a general purpose helpdesk tool like Zendesk or Zoho, and easier if you use a helpdesk system custom-built for MSP businesses (such as SolarWinds N-central, or Kaseya) that let you log the time spent on a ticket with start and stop time entries.
- Your billing/invoicing tool: Again, because your “ticket time” is fully billable (or considered billable work under a fixed price agreement), your ticketing tools need to be able to talk to your billing tools so that all the ticket time tracked gets passed along to your billing/invoicing tools for billing purposes.
- Your CRM tool: Finally, because an MSP business is a people-first business, your ticketing tool must integrate with your CRM tool that has all the data about your relationship with your clients. This integration helps you offer more personalized responses to your clients’ tickets and follow ups.
As you can now understand, building an optimized MSP infrastructure is only possible if you keep “ticketing” at its core.
The logistical and business advantages of integrated ticketing for your MSP
Getting your ticketing tools to “talk to” your other MSP business tools has many benefits.
Let’s first see how it helps with the logistics of your MSP business.
Here are a few examples:
- Automatic updates: If your RMM raises a false alert and you dissolve it, the updated status of the ticket reflects automatically in your helpdesk ticketing solution.
- Ease of billing: If an engineer offers support over the phone, the call time gets tracked, logged, and sent over to the billing software.
- Higher visibility: If your RMM tool and the client end up raising the same ticket, the support engineer can at least “see” the duplicate tickets.
And so on.
Now let’s look at the business benefits of integrated ticketing:
So, the single biggest business advantage integrated ticketing offers is that it brings together all the client data and helps you gain business intelligence.
For example, by just running a few reports, you can:
- Identify your most profitable clients who give you the minimum ticketing time.
- Find the characteristics of your highest-paying clients or the solutions that bring the most profits.
- Spot patterns or trends in your incoming support requests (to plan your resources better).
Finally, let’s see a few ways you can implement integrated ticketing at your MSP.
The solution: Investing in a Business Automation OR building custom integrations
The best way to start with the integrated ticketing approach at your MSP is to use a Business Automation solution like Computicate. At Computicate, we integrate with all the leading RMM solutions — bringing all your tickets to a single pane of glass.
Not just that, we also come with a full-fledged and powerful in-built ticketing system (with support for automated time-tracking and billing).
If you’d rather not invest in a Business Automation, your second option for achieving such integrated ticketing is to create a customized solution with all the tools you use. You could build such a system from scratch using the different APIs of your tech solutions (or by putting it together via a third-party service like Zapier). But remember the costs can add up really fast here!
Wrapping it up …
Integrated ticketing isn’t just good for your MSP company’s day-to-day business operations, but it’s also great for getting higher client satisfaction (and the growing repeat business resulting from it). If you’d like to know more about how a Business Automation like Computicate can help, please request a free trial.