Well, it is only good news, but this is marketing after all, so that is why it is GREAT, AWESOME, STUPENDOUS news.
Seriously though, it is so good to hear the Virus is leveling off in Italy, South Korea, and China. This shows us that we WILL get through this and in time, life will return to the new normal.
Boosting Morale – We All Need It
Each day, each hour, each moment…we have choices on how we are going respond to what we are all going through. The key here is ALL. While no one I personally know has the Virus, I also do not know anyone not impacted by the Virus.
I always Work-From-Home, exercise in the house or the park nearby, use Amazon, view Amazon Prime, and only shop for groceries. I do go to National Parks, love bagging New Hampshire White Mountain peaks, and follow the Red Sox very closely. So even my life has been impacted by the Virus. But nothing compared to those WHO HAVE THE VIRUS and ALL the caregivers also impacted beyond words by this situation. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM.
Admittedly, I was in the dumps for a week or so. Maybe you can relate. First, I was concerned for the business, then heartbroken as the number of deaths rose. I found myself paying too much attention to Crisis News Networks and scrambling to figure out what to do and how we could help.
At some point, I was able to put the head trash away and focus clearly on what we could do to help. Writing seemed blah, regurgitating what others had said, and too late as the Ticket Tidal Wave was upon us. I tried to look into my proverbial crystal ball and see what MSPs are going to be facing once the initial wave crashes over them. The cloud of uncertainty that hangs over all of us was all I could see.
So, I made a decision. First, to be encouraging to those around me (Family, Friends, and the whole SDB-C Team). I started sharing verbally what I know about navigating the crisis with anyone who would listen…focusing on being positive in every conversation and recognizing the good that is going on around us. Because good is there – we just need to pay attention to it.
This led to suggestions and creative thinking about what we can do to help. In some cases, we gave away our work product to help MSPs that were in very bad shape. Second, we are doing “Ask the Expert” conference calls. Third, we are writing more/better “How To” articles that have in–the–trench experience and that go much deeper than just stating the obvious.
Where can you start?
Well, you can start by walking up zooming to the first exhausted (and they are all exhausted) Tech you see and tell them how much they are respected, appreciated, and encourage them. Be authentic. Be honest. Be specific. Share your true gratitude for the work they are doing. Let them know they are loved for who they are and what they do.
P.S. This is more to pick you up, than for them – but you will be surprised, as it is a twofer. Try it, you will like it – Mikey.
At MSPs, Ticket Tidal Wave Counts Leveling Off:
We have been monitoring Ticket counts over the last 8 weeks. This gave us a benchmark for the pre-virus averages, the initial spikes as the Stay-at-Home orders went out, and now we’re seeing them level off to a temporary level.
I say temporary because someday soon we will be returning back to co-lo work, as the President of the United States and I am sure other Government Leaders have promised (hopefully it is not a campaign promise). As people go back to work, ticket counts will come back down, but never to the level they were before. Mostly because, now that we are a Work-From-Home world, some will never return to working from a building again.
This means in the long run, the MSP industry will be OK, and in more demand than ever. However, we are all in a cashflow crunch and desperately trying to keep the MSP industry labor force working as we are needed.
I would be shocked if some MSPs are not working out deferred paychecks in exchange for a bonus down the road. We must keep the computer networks up, or our Customers (those that are still working, and those waiting to restart) will be hurting even more than the economic impact.
Be patient with your Customers, they are the ones struggling. We have work, and we have business, so we will be OK. What we have is a cashflow crunch, which is the death of a business in a normal economic environment – but not this one.
Be creative, partner with your Employees, find a way to get through this as a Team. And remember to respect, appreciate and be grateful for the people that stuck with you, both Customers and Employees.
The New Norm: Closing Brick & Mortar Doors
What percentage of businesses will close the Brick n’ Mortar doors and stay with the Work-From-Home model? No one knows for sure, but it will be significant – maybe 30%? And 30% would not surprise me in the least, as we are already hearing of businesses getting out of their leases, now that the move to remote workers has been accomplished.
What does this mean for an MSP?
A Service Manager said to me earlier this week that he cannot wait for the ticket volume to return to the old averages. I quickly pointed out – that will never happen. There are way more tickets supporting Work-From-Home business than Brick n’ Mortar.
There is also a difference in ticket type (remember not all tickets are created the same, so why do we only have one workflow for tickets). Work-From-Home business ticket volume is more end-user type, connectivity or getting to apps and files. They are the biggest culprits along with password resets – which in the new world will have to be automated.
So, with an estimated 30% more Work-From-Home business, how does that equate to ticket counts? That depends on how well your recommended technology stack is structured to support the model.
The best things you can do for your Customers Right Now
#1: Stay in business, of course.
If we do not stay in business, we will not be able to help anyone (duh).
#2 Answer the phone.
Hearing a voice goes a long way to feeling you can help. We are all in survival mode, feeling alone, feeling like we are so little and that no one cares. Hearing a voice breaks through all the feelings and instantly builds a rapport.
#3 Help today – settle the bill tomorrow.
We are all concerned that the project work we are doing will be expected to be part of the managed service agreement. Put that out of your mind. Yes, some will push back, but the goodwill you are sowing by not worrying about the bill will go further and bring a bigger return than the few that won’t pay the bill.
#4 Communicate – Go Figure:
- How you are delivering Support Right now
- What you are doing to keep them working, productive and SECURE
- How you can be a Resource beyond the current agreements/services
In these very chaotic times, we hope this helps.