The Service Desk and IT Support Show: Focusing on the customer

Dave Sobel

This past week was the Service Desk and IT Support show at Earls Court, and the masses descended on the conference center despite the Tube strike!

As part of the sessions, I had the pleasure of delivering a lecture focusing on lessons learned from MSPs on delivering world class service.

Customer-MarketingDuring my lecture, I focused on three major areas: Positioning your organization, selling what they want, and where your organization needs to go. Drawing from both industry data and MSP experience drove a clear direction on how to best drive business forward.

MSPs and service providers are being asked for their services to help customers understand technologies. Cloud computing and virtualization are the most requested technologies for SMBs to understand. Managed services, however, remain in the list, with 45% of customers viewing it as complex. Combined with their desire to reduce the cost of IT and reduce the number of staff, this provides a high level, education oriented opportunity for MSPs.

When interviewed for the most recent CompTIA Trends in Managed Services study, end customers cited the concept of a “virtual CIO” as key to their needs. Bringing in someone who has that expertise, who is distinct from the organization, was a key differentiator, and plays perfectly into the concept of delivering value. As a value proposition, it’s certainly stronger than a “mere” trusted advisor – where advisor can be confused with a consultant, rather than a CIO as part of the team.

With that positioning, MSPs can focus on the cloud and mobility opportunity as deliverables that end customers are looking for now. 81% of interviewed end users understand and value the importance of a local provider, and are dramatically more aware of cloud services as compared with one year ago. When interviewed, they cite that the cloud is “simply a better option” for service delivery – a powerful driver, causing 63% net high demand.

Ultimately, however, the goal is to be focusing on the customer via the idea of delivering a user management experience. Cloud and mobile is driving the conversation, but the goal is to ensure users have their data available to them from anywhere on any device. Survey after survey show a focus on employees as a key driver, and security an area of confusion. Bringing the user’s data to them in a comprehensive, secure platform where they can be productive as needed is the ultimate customer service goal, and one savvy MSPs are focusing on.

It was a dynamic conversation, and brought a number of great questions. It’s also a theme I’m a big believer in, as those who are readers of our blog know. Focusing on the end user as a complete experience is how to differentiate to a whole different level.

 Were you are the Service Desk and IT Support Show? Tell us about it with a comment below!