Friday, 4th December 2020

Insight Holds the Key for MSPs Focused on Customer Satisfaction and Business Efficiency

By Ali Peracha, Vice President and Founder, ITBoost, a ConnectWise company.

Customer satisfaction now sits centre-stage in deciding the reputation, success and even survival of businesses in contemporary society. Where previous generations on the receiving end of poor experiences wrote letters of complaint, or turned to journalists and consumer rights groups for redress, today’s customers use the power of digital technology to take satisfaction - or the lack of it - onto the public stage.

This integration of technology into the fabric of the customer experience puts tremendous emphasis on IT teams to build infrastructure with the visibility to identify, manage and solve problems before they affect satisfaction. Documenting the multitude of applications, managed endpoints, network configurations and users has become critical to the ability of organisations to keep customers engaged, informed and happy. This is just as critical for MSPs as any other sector - get it right, and the sky’s the limit; get it wrong and revenue can quickly suffer.

Yet, MSPs must also be careful to balance customer satisfaction with business efficiency. Establishing equilibrium between these two priorities is an ongoing challenge to organisations across the sector, but when tech pros have easy access to information, they can gain insight on anything from billings and budgets to user satisfaction and customer feedback. Providing this kind of robust reporting to clients or managers enables them to make strong, data-driven decisions regarding technology and business operations.

However, problems and bottlenecks in complex systems can be invisible to day-to-day administrators. This in turn weakens the ability of the wider organisations to make the right decisions or provide the best support.

Fortunately, IT professionals don’t have to turn up to in-person interviews around the office to understand what’s going on with critical business technology. Today, software and automation can be used to collect data from all corners of the network. By gaining insight into every level of operation, decision-makers can make the right choices for their users and their business.

Compliance is critical

Today, customer satisfaction measurements are so important to an organisation’s health that the ISO 9001 dedicated an entire compliance section on the topic. As of last year, organisations meeting the standard are required to use management and satisfaction software to help ensure quality.

Specifically, a regimented set of guidelines specifies the need for documentation that is detailed and frequently reviewed. The ability to poll data and create an action plan to address a state level of satisfaction, for instance, is also essential. Users of IT documentation software rely on it to provide powerful insights into sales, billing and finances, operations, and projects to help them meet this critical requirement.

Knowledge is power

This need for insight also extends to issues many MSPs will be familiar with, not least that of wasting capital on unnecessary goods and services. For instance, when software is licensed, it is typically done in bulk purchases and often without accounting for which users need the application to successfully do their job. With the capability to document the network and determine which users access specific utilities, licensing software can help clients reap immediate savings. The ROI gleaned from this activity can cover the entire first-year cost of the documentation solution.

Moreover, tracking all devices such as computers, tablets, desk phones and anything else plugged into a network is a difficult task at best. But, it becomes almost impossible without the ability to automatically review all networked devices at any given time. IT documentation software, partnered with a Remote Monitoring and Management solution can successfully run through complex networks to create an inventory of all connected devices. Staying on top of issues like security and update patch releases, hardware obsolescence, and physical device locations becomes easier with a complete view of the company or support client’s asset inventory.

This enables MSPs to seamlessly transition services for accounts between multiple support representatives with client information readily available to whomever takes the call. Details such as current patch and update levels, equipment and application inventory, and network configurations can be securely stored for clients. This allows support reps the ability to resolve issues and restore functionality. With the ability to automatically create detailed network diagrams, ancient sketched-out versions are no longer needed.

By delivering the detailed information that is essential for business strategy, as well as the benefit of having everything in one place, proper asset management can positively impact client and end-user satisfaction.

However, even the most committed of IT professionals are subject to human error. This is particularly evident given the time and effort it takes to perform a manual inventory and documentation of corporate technology which makes it difficult to guarantee accuracy. Manual efforts can also become unreliable due to interruptions to support end-users, errors in capturing data, and the potential to do favours for specific users. Automating the full documentation process guarantees complete and error-free accounting of all activity on a client network.

In reality, every interaction with a client is a sales opportunity, and IT documentation software empowers IT departments and MSPs with the ability to easily demonstrate their value. Earning trust and accountability with clients becomes much simpler with the ability to review issues such as customer issue response times, lost ticket volume, closure of service tickets and requests.

In a wider sense, documentation software enables MSPs to have more sophisticated conversations with clients regarding potential risks to their business. In the event of a specific technology issue, for example, business risk analysis tools demonstrate the cost that a data corruption occurrence can have on an organisation’s productivity and profit. By

establishing the relationship between operational insight and customer experience, MSPs place themselves in the strongest possible position to drive their businesses forward.

Hybrid cloud is a popular solution among enterprise grade businesses, but it is not a one size fits...
By Jesse Stockall, Chief Architect of Cloud Management at Snow Software.
By Rob Tribe, Senior Director, Western Europe & SSA, Nutanix.
By Sanjay Castelino, Chief Product Officer at Snow Software.
By David Newbould, Director of Cloud Strategy, EMEA, Tech Data.