Don’t Let These Pitfalls Sabotage Your Communications Strategy

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Implementing your Communications Strategy may seem like a light, straightforward topic. All you have to do to go live is by activating the Workflow Rules (WFRs), right? Not quite…based on our experience, MSPs often hit a few common snags along the way which can sabotage successful implementation. 

What type of snags are we talking about?  

Here are some examples: 

  • Notifications going out without Summary notes.
  • Customers saying they are not receiving the emails.
  • Customers have HTML turned off on their email system.
  • Employees not following the process, so Customers continue to be in the dark.

What is the solution for your MSP?   

Follow a multi-step rollout: 

1. First, activate all notification Workflow rules but limit the recipients to Internal personnel only. The benefits of doing this are many: 

  • When something goes amiss, it is less embarrassing. 
  • The Customer experience is introduced to the Support Team first. 
  • The Support Team is given time to form new habits. 

Note: This will feel like there’s a lot of emailsIt’s because internally, you are seeing all the emails for all CustomersRelax, when you turn on the new Customer-Facing Communications Protocol notifications for the pilot group, or all Customers, they will only see 2-5 email notifications, not the hundreds you are seeing. 

2. Select a small group (4-6) of your best CustomersThe ones that will partner with you and be brutally honest. 

  • Meet with them and give them a heads-up on what you are trying to do – improve the Customer’s experience. 
  • Add pilot group Customers to the active WFRs for the Acknowledgement, Reviewed and Assigned, and 3-Step closing process notifications. 
  • A week later, check-in with them, listen to their comments, and make adjustments where needed.* 
  • Add Pilot Group Customers to the active WFRS for the Waiting …, On-Hold, and Escalation notifications. 
  • A week later, check-in with them, listen to their comments and make adjustments where needed.** 
  • Add Pilot Group Customers to the rest of the active WFRS – Dispatched Remote, Dispatched Onsite, Scheduling Reminders, and Note Added notifications. 
  • A week later, check-in with them, listen to their comments and make adjustments where needed.*** 

3. Remove the Pilot Group only Customer list from the WFRS, as the Pilot Group signs off on the new notifications, and in essence, activates the notifications for all Customers. 

  • *After the Pilot Group signs off on the Acknowledgment, Reviewed and Assigned, and 3-Step closing process. 
  • **After the Pilot Group signs off on the Waiting …, On-Hold, and Escalation notifications. 
  • ***After the Pilot Group signs off on the Dispatched Remote, Dispatched Onsite, Scheduling Reminders, and Note Added notifications. 

4. For the existing old notification Templates and WFRS: 

  • Inactivate them, as you’re going live for all Customers. 
  • Wait a week to be sure there is no need to roll back. 
  • Delete them. 

Note: When it comes to inactivated WFRS (except the two RMA WFR’s), it is best to delete them. It takes more time to review and figure out what they are and aren’t doing than it does to simply create new Workflow Rules from scratchNow is a good time to go through a full WFR review and: 

  1. Delete any inactive WFRS. 
  2. Verify anyone that has not fired in 3 months or more is still needed. 
  3. Review the remaining WFRS to make sure they are working correctly. 

Review the remaining WFRS to make sure that someone is paying attention to and using the notification being sentIn other words, the recipient does not have an Outlook rule to delete or file without it being read. 

communications strategy

Know the Benefits of Good Communication 

We’ve highlighted many times the key advantages of good customer communication within your MSP, and it’s worth mentioning again. Some of the rewards you’ll reap include:

  • Keeping your Customer up to date 
  • Reduced Churn (HDI CSR course) 
  • Improved Tech habits  
  • Less Noise & Chaos 
  • Stable rhythm, leading to operational efficiencies 
  • Encouraged Real-Time Time Entry 
  • Consistent Customer Experience – no matter who is on the phone 
  • Increased levels of Customer trust…stronger partnerships 

This list and so much more can be chiseled down to two core benefits of a great Customer-Facing Communications Protocol:

  1. It provides a great Customer Experience 
  2. Technicians meet a higher standard of Service to the Customer 

We know by implementing this Customer-Facing Communications Protocol:  

  • Profits are increased by $160 per Managed Service Customer. 
  • Customers are better partners – and the noise plus # of Duplicate tickets dropped by 80%. 
  • The Techs are more efficient and happier because the Customers are easier to work with. 

Sounds like a win-win to us! 

How do we know…? Because we only do one thing, and we do it very well: We guide MSPs, using the Autotask software, to resolve Service Delivery issues. 

Steve Buyze | Better Times

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