Stephen D Buyze

“Empowering Managed Service Providers to Increase Profit”

4 Workflows to Help You Manage ALL your MSP Customer Requests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so what we do as IT Managed Service Providers is not exactly Rocket Science, but when did we become smarter than Doctors?   

Think about it for a moment: If we went to our Doctor or the Emergency room for all medical issues, and we were all ushered into the same waiting room, then called on a first-come, first-served basis (or maybe the most disruptive, disturbing person in the waiting room goes first), many of us would die before receiving the placebo we so desperately need.  

Accident victims need to go to the front of the bus, while cosmetic surgery goes to the back of the bus, along with the highest rates. The medical procedures are the same if you have insurance or not what changes is the quality of care and who pays for the bill 

Oh, and if you are having a baby, that needs to be planned for, executed, and closed out 18 years later (assuming initiation has already happened). Last but not least, we would all be better served if we had recurring family doctor visits.  

Now, how does this analogy tie into your IT MSP? Keep reading and it’ll all make sense.  

IT Service Delivery Roadmap
From our perspective the most important IT Service Delivery metrics are always:

– Resource Utilization

– Service Level Agreements (SLA’s)

– Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR)

– Reactive Hours per Endpoint per Month (RHEM)

For a glimpse at how you can leverage these four metrics, subscribe and download our IT Service Delivery Optimization Roadmap right here.  

How Can We Serve Our Customers Effectively?  

Why do we serve our Customers any differently than how the medical industry serves us? We should not. Although the Emergency Room is different than elective surgery, than having babies, or Family Doctor visits, they each have their own process of determining and delivering the best and most efficient care (here the word most economical is not in the vocabulary).  

It seems, if you are a nimble MSP (i.e. the ones with fewer than 5 Techs), it is a waste of time to pause and categorize Customer Requests into four workflows: 

  1. Incidents 
  2. Service Requests 
  3. Projects 
  4. Recurring Visits 

The reason other MSPs are not so nimble is they are swimming…no, drowning in requests that they have not paused, triagedor categorized.  

With that said, just when does it make sense to pause, triage, and organize Customer Requests?  

Well, always! More importantly, why should you?  

Read on to find out … 

Pause, Triage, & Organize: Handling Customer Requests 

The number one reason for pausing, triaging, and prioritizing Customer Requests is, not all requests are created equal. If we continue to treat them the same, dumping them into a single queue, working through them as fast as we can, we will never get off the hamster wheel.  

The second reason is, the most efficient way to address requests is to create different workflows depending on how they are categorized.  

The third reason is, if its in the best interest of the MSP to expedite delivery, you need to know what the delivery is before you can determine what expediting would look like.  

The most important reason (as MSPs who do pause have discovered), is that IT Service Delivery can be optimized.  

Optimized means: 

  • The best and most professional work environment possible. 
  • Customers are appreciated and treated with respect, with needs met 97% of the time.  
  • And last but certainly not least, bottom-line profit is maximized. 

Note: Profit is maximized when – Techs are billing $256K each per year, and the labor that’s needed to support Managed Service Agreements is below 2 Techs per 1,000 Endpoints per Month. 

The reason for dividing Customer requests into four workflows is because of its positive impact on Service Delivery Operations:  

  1. There is less wasted time and confusion. 
  2. Automation can help you even further. 
  3. Reporting provides management with the information needed to make both strategic and tactical decisions. 

As long as all requests are in the same queue, not one person or software can tell the difference, and therefore:  

  1. What to do next only happens with conversations and lost time. 
  2. Nothing can be automated. 
  3. Nothing can be reported on. 

I struggle with encouraging nimble MSPs (the ones with less than 5 Techs) to divide Customer requests into four workflows (Incidents, Service Requests, Projects, and Recurring Visits).  

If it’s just us and everyone works on everything, would it not be better for us to just engage and meet the Customer’s expectations?  

This, as opposed to slowing down to process the request. Keep this in mind: changing the mindset and optimizing IT Service Delivery can take as little as 6 weeks for a nimble shop. Once the shop grows to having six techs, it takes months. 

This finishes the why we optimize IT Service Delivery, which served as an introduction to the series. Next week, we dive in and start talking about how to optimize, beginning with an in-depth article covering how to segment the Customer’s requests into the four workflows. Stay tuned! 

IT Service Delivery Roadmap
From our perspective the most important IT Service Delivery metrics are always:

– Resource Utilization

– Service Level Agreements (SLA’s)

– Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR)

– Reactive Hours per Endpoint per Month (RHEM)

Don’t forget to subscribe and download your very own

IT Service Delivery Optimization Roadmap here.  

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