Everyone knows how valuable a Good Customer Communications plan is and its impact on reducing CHURN at MSP’s. To take your IT MSP to the next level, we recommend leveraging the PSA tool to automate the Customer communication process.
This is more about consistency and providing a great customer experience than it is about saving time and energy. With a solid Customer Communications plan in place, automation can easily reach both of these goals.
Is your IT MSP incorporating these key elements of a strong Customer communication plan?
- Clear, concise, and easy to read formatting
- A Banner and Subject line that tells them why they are receiving the email
- Information that is only pertinent to what they need to know
3 Quick Reminders before talking about Automation
Before we jump into the Customer Facing Communication flows, here are three quick reminders related to automation from previous discussions:
1. Tickets with “New” Status:
All new tickets are sent to the Triage queue for Triaging. The exception is Monitoring / Backup Alerts, which are first sent to the Monitoring Alert queue for evaluation.
2. Monitoring / Backup queue:
There are two status outcomes from the Monitoring Alert queue:
- Complete (Issue is a duplicate, self-healed, or remediated via script)
- Move to Triage Queue for pre-engagement processing
3. Triage Queue:
There are three status outcomes from the Triage queue:
- Request for Information
- Ready to Resolve
- Scheduled: On-site or Remote
Request for Information workflow:
Following the Request for Information path out of the Triage queue, the Customer facing communication elements include:
- Request for Information tickets are moved to a Waiting Customer Response status or queue.
- A preformatted Request for Information notification is automatically sent to the Initiating Resource.
- The Resource edits the Request for Information notification by deleting non-applicable requests or adds other information requests that are needed; and forwards to the Customer.
- When the Customer responds with additional information, the status is changed back to “Customer Note Added” which then returns the ticket to the top of the triage queue or widget.
Ready to Resolve workflow:
Following the Ready to Resolve path out of the Triage queue, the Customer facing communication elements include:
- Both Incident and Service Requests (that can be engaged on without scheduling) are moved to a Level 1 queue.
- An automated Acknowledge notification is sent directly to the Contact in the Ticket, with engagement expectation statements and ticket variables.
Scheduled: Onsite or Remote workflow:
Following the Scheduled path out of the Triage queue, the Customer facing communication elements include:
- If Status is “On-Site,” then an Automated notification is sent directly to the Contact in the Ticket, with On-Site scheduling language and information.
- If Status is “Remote Scheduled,” then an Automated notification is sent directly to the Contact in the Ticket, with Remote scheduling language and information.
Setting a Reminder
If scheduling is more than a week out, a reminder notification is sent two business days before the scheduled engagement to the Contact in the ticket in order to remind them of the scheduling.
Non-Automated 1-on-1 Verbal Communications:
At the time of engagement, the Technician/Engineer is expected to contact the Customer by phone:
- Before all engagements
- During the engagement if necessary
- Prior to disengagement
After disengagement, there are three status outcomes:
- On Hold
Three-Step Completed Communication workflow:
Note: Following this automated process of ticket completion significantly reduces the waste of non-billable Technician time chasing Customers to validate satisfaction prior to completing the request.
Following the Completed path out of the Engagement, the Customer facing communication elements include:
1) Complete, which fires off a sequence of Automated notifications:
- a) Customer Validation
- b) Pending Close – 48 hours later w/o Customer Validation
- c) Complete – 24 hours later w/o Customer response
Following the On-Hold path out of the Engagement, the Customer facing communication elements include:
2) On Hold, which fires off an Automated notification directly to the Customer with the last Summary note included.
Last but not least…Escalation
We’ll end this article with the Escalation path out of the Engagement. The Customer facing communication elements for this path include:
3) Escalated, which then fires off an Automated Escalation notification directly to the Customer with escalation language and information (such as who is engaging and what are the next steps).
We hope this information has been helpful in reducing what can be an overwhelming concept down to a few systematic touch points. Touch points that based on our experience builds trust, warm, and confidence with the Customer, and reduces the probability of them moving on to another Service Provider.
Want a FREE set of 9 notification templates? Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. If you’re unsure of other areas you need to improve on, take our PSA Optimization Self-Evaluation checklist.