The value of an MSP business is determined by proper delivery of service and efficient implementation of protocols. Consider the latter: when technicians go into a situation performing a service they’ve done before, do they completely reinvent the wheel or is there a system of categorization in place to help diminish the time spent implementing solutions?
Tips on Improving Service Delivery
There are a number of ways to maximize service delivery, including:
• Keeping extensive, well-organized, easily-searchable records
• Minimizing unnecessary expenses (trim the fat)
• Following the example of other successful MSPs
• Implementing a balanced technological upgrade regimen
• Providing proactive service delivery solutions
• Employing cloud computing solutions
• Being flexible in service delivery parameters
Your MSP business should have a database categorizing all clients and their cases. You want to maximize your data collection opportunity by sopping up all the information you can get from clients, and wringing it back into a database. You can have forms available which the technician in the passenger seat fills out to and from the client. Outbound, you should have categories like:
• What’s the client’s issue?
• What’s the best fix?
• What’s your estimated time of repair?
… etcetera. On the other end, confirm initial questions. This should be applied in conjunction with an established protocol which is continuously developed based on the differing cases your IT service encounters.
Find Areas Where You Can Save
As you develop your MSP, you’ll find certain areas where there isn’t enough concerted effort in implementation, and others where there’s too much. It’s all fine and dandy to keep reports as earlier mentioned in this writing, but you can definitely go overboard on it. There’s a paperwork balance defined by effectiveness and service delivery. If paperwork is clogging up operations, cut it back as much as you can. Additionally, you don’t want redundant departments. You want an employee force that’s specialized and aimed at specific areas of operation. And you want backup solutions if employee A can’t come in on a given day.
Follow Other MSPs’ Example?
Look at successful, streamlined MSPs operating either parallel to you, or in competition with you. What are they doing different, and is it feasible for your organization to appropriate some of their protocols and fit them to your business? There’s no reason to entirely invent a new means of service delivery when a perfectly good method is being used by your competition. While there are certain proprietary means of service delivery, for the most part, you’ll find that service delivery protocols aren’t of this nature, and can be utilized by multiple agencies. No one has a monopoly on the cash register. Sure, you might have to buy one, but there’s nothing infringing operational protocols between one department store using cash registers from cash register seller A, and another using essentially the same register from seller B. It’s the same with many installation and maintenance protocols. Find what the most efficient service providers are doing, and do the same.
Proactive Upgrade Regimen
Technology progresses at a rate that’s regularly predictable. Just consider Moore’s law and plan accordingly. Keep in mind that it’s not always cost-effective to go with the full “new” solution right off the bat; you want to wait until the bugs are worked out. Find your sweet spot after a new solution is unveiled, and you can predictably upgrade at the most effective intervals.
Proactive Service Delivery
Don’t wait for your clients to have a digital engine failure, ensure their computing motors are souped up continuously, and not only will clients stay with you longer, but you’ll also save yourself the hassle of random repairs (for the most part).
The cloud saves time and money for everybody, pure and simple. It will net you additional clients as well. It’s a wise service delivery approach to take.
Don’t let your MSP business become rigid over time. This is easier said than done, and will require proactive application of all the suggestions outlined here, and those additional needs individual to your business. You want to be able to upgrade as necessary, so be careful that your business always has that level of flexibility.
Robert Naragon is the Founder and President of ITQue, Inc. (pronounced “i-teek”), an IT company based in Campbell that provides IT Support in San Jose. ITQue provides a wide range to IT services to San Jose based companies. And ITQue provides IT consulting to help small and mid-sized businesses in San Jose increase productivity and profitability with customized, flexible hybrid cloud and IT solutions. Prior to ITQue, he was the Founder and President of VistanetIT, Inc., also based in Campbell, a Managed IT Service Provider to small and medium-sized San Jose businesses.