What does it mean to be easy to do business with?
And what does that have to do with Customer communications?
First, it comes down to ownership. You are not providing great Service to The Customer – or making it easy to do business with you if you do the following:
- Push responsibility off on the Customer to figure out how to navigate your organization.
- Fire off a Waiting Customer notification and do nothing until they respond.
Start With a Single Point of Contact (SPoC)
Start by establishing a Single Point of Contact (SPoC). This is not to be confused with that same person who should also be a Single Point of Coordination (SPoC), and in control of the calendars and assignments.
Setting up a SPoC in this way makes it very easy for the Customer to engage with you when needed. A single email address, URL, and Phone Number for all inquires is what this industry needs to provide great Service to the Customer effectively.
Asking the Customer to call the main number for business–related matters (Sales, Accounting, Management) and a different number for Service Delivery is the most an MSP should expect the Customer to do.
To be even Easier to do Business With, step up and communicate in a timely fashion before the Customer needs to reach out.
Bill Gates is quoted saying, “If the Customer calls for an update, Service to the Customer has failed.” That must be why Microsoft pushes out updates on a very regular irregular basis…
Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Customer
We’re not done just yet. Simply sending a data dump of ticket fields and calling it ‘notifying the Customer’ is also not a great Service.
Put yourself in the shoes of the Customer and provide the relevant information when it is needed in their journey from New to Complete. Information like: Who, What, When, and Where.
For Triage, answer these:
- What is the ticket title?
- Who has been assigned?
- When can the Customer expect the engagement by?
- Is it remote or on-site?
For Tech disengagement, answer these:
- What has been done?
- What are the next steps?
- Who will be engaging, when are they expected to engage by, and where is it (remote or onsite)?
- Any other notes that are of importance to the Customer?
At the time of completion, answer these:
- Who believes they have completed what work?
- Where is the survey?
The assumption is that the “when” is now – because good techs practice real-time time entry.
What About the MSP Service Delivery Team?
We have discussed easy to do business with from the MSPs’ Customer’s perspective, but there is another key Customer in the picture:
The Service Delivery Team – and they are the Executive and Service Delivery Management Customer.
So, how can you make it easy for them to do business with the MSP? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the automations.
Email Processing is common, but it still is not used everywhere. When it is used, it might not be optimized. By optimized we mean structured, so that not every Tom, Dick, and Harry is using the same email address. Your Vendors, Website, and other published places should use Info@MSP.com, whereas Customers should be given Support@MSP.com.
Other Ways to Make it Easy to Do Business With
Another place where automation comes in handy is in RMM scripting. This is a pay me now or pay me later situation. A tech that is good at scripting can configure the RMM tool to reduce the high alert ticket volume by 80%. This reduction is the noise that it takes a Tech to weed through each morning (or risk missing a Server Down ticket) just to send the tickets requiring engagement to the Triage queue.
Speed Codes, also known as Form Templates (or Favorites if you have been around long enough), is another place where we can make it Easy to do Business With. The best place is a Time Entry Speed Code that pre-populates the Summary Note with the What, Who, When, & Where framework.
I have used Ticket Categories extensively to make it easier for me to create the kind of tickets that I usually generate. The keyword here is I. Each group of Employees within an MSP has similar ticket processes. By creating a Ticket Category for each group, the ticket fields are repositioned so that the ones:
- Most edited are at the top
- Most referenced are in the middle (or vice versa if it makes sense)
- Least used are at the bottom
- Never used are hidden
It is also a good idea to review the Insight Panel options from time to time, specifically after every major release, because Autotask is adding more insights all the time.
Drumroll, Please…Now for the Granddaddy of All
Now for the Grand Daddy of the all Easy to do Business With, Workflow Rule automation, which makes it easy to do business with for both the external and internal Customer.
By building a Customer-Facing Communications Protocol, and automating the process using Workflow Rules, two significant goals are reached:
- It is easy for the Customer to be kept informed at each step in the requests’ journey from New to Completion.
- It is Easy for the Support Team to provide a consistent engagement / disengagement experience, no matter who is engaging at the time.
Customer-Facing Communications Protocol Workflow Rule automation fulfills the mission of improving the quality of work-life for Employees, improving Customer satisfaction, and boosting profits – all by being Easy to do Business With.
Where do you start on the road to be Easy to do Business With? By taking the Free PSA Self-Evaluation, of course!
Enjoy the read,