“Answering the Call” - Making sure your customers are heard
As I am sure you have heard, responding quickly and professionally to your customers is of vital importance regardless of whether you are a Managed Services Provider or still doing mostly break/fix work. That is an easy thing to say, and it was easy to implement 15 years ago when the primary avenues of communication were still telephone and fax. Communication has evolved rapidly in the past 15 years. Now there are more ways to communicate and they are exponentially faster. Some examples of these new forms of communication are:
- Social Media
- Automated alerts
This creates additional complexity for the MSP. The MSP now has to monitor more lines of communication and respond faster than ever. With all that complexity and the need for greater speed, it is crucial to have a system in place to keep track of “incidents”.
This is where your service desk comes in. Your service desk takes those inputs, either automatically or manually entered, and tracks them from “cradle to grave”. The first step is getting as many of your inputs as possible entered automatically. Emails, a customer web portal and monitoring alerts are common sources of automated input. Some service desk offerings have options for linking to social media, chat, and voice-to-text. If necessary incidents can be entered into service desk manually for those situations not covered by automation.
In addition to workflow, customer communication is key. Making sure that your service desk notifies clients when a ticket is created by them or on their behalf is critical. Then the application should allow you and your staff agents to communicate quickly and easily with clients and record those communications.
Most importantly you must complete all open tickets and “close the loop” on all your work. Without closing tickets properly you do not have confirmation that work was done to conclusion. As an MSP owner this type of workflow control allows you to scale your business and technicians while allowing you to make sure they are conforming to your work standards and that no customer requests fall between the cracks.