Here are some of the things that drive people crazy about working with IT service companies:
“An automated attendant answers the phone”
“Nobody answers the phone – the call just goes to voicemail”
“The person who answers the phone can’t help because he is a receptionist or a dispatcher”
“It takes forever for someone who can help me to call back”
“The guy who usually helps me is not available”
“The person that ends up helping me doesn’t know what he’s doing”
“I don’t know what this person is doing or if he’s even working on my problem”
“He took forever to fix my problem, and the next day the problem came back”
“When someone finally fixed my problem, something else broke”
While speaking to a group of IT service providers earlier this year I mentioned our service teams. Several people interrupted me to ask, “Why does MyITpros have service teams?”
The question surprised me because we’ve been doing it for so long, I’d come to take it for granted. It took me a minute to remember back to when we started and why.
I could have answered them with the list of bullets above, and ended with this statement:
“When you have service teams and operate them the way we do, you solve client problems faster and better, and remove all these things that drive people crazy.”
They also asked what our teams look like and how they operate. I told them that each of our service teams is comprised of at least four and no more than six people. We balance the experience and expertise on each team with the right mix of Help Desk, System Administrator and System Engineer personnel.
Every client is assigned a service team when they sign up with MyITpros. An experienced Systems Admin or Engineer from your team becomes your Account Manager, but is not the only person that will do work for you. Supporting you is truly a team effort.
How Service Teams Benefit Our Clients
Our list of things that drive people crazy can be categorized under these headings:
- Response time
- Resolution time
- Quality of service
In each of these categories, our teams model provides a higher level of service to our clients. Here’s how.
The number one hot button for clients of any kind of service company is response time. The first thing we do to ensure a fast response, good communication and timely resolution of service requests may seem simple, but the effect is powerful.
When you call MyITpros during business hours, a member of one of our service teams always answers the phone. We don’t even have a receptionist or a dispatcher, so the first voice you’ll hear is that of someone whose job is technical support. This person is responsible for getting you to an appropriate and available team member as quickly as possible.
Whether you’re working with a one-man shop or an IT service provider with 20 technicians, when you rely on one person for support, your experience is more likely to be disappointing. When only one person is familiar with your people, your business, your systems and processes and unique preferences, you become dependent upon that one person’s knowledge. If that one person is busy with another client, or out sick, or on vacation, you feel it.
When four or five or six people are familiar with you, when they work and collaborate closely on your account day to day, when they know each other very well and have clear paths for escalating support to another, better resource seamlessly, your service requests are started and finished faster.
“Also, having teams allows each team member to focus on fewer accounts. Imagine if every Help Desk member was responsible for taking calls from any and every user at a hundred clients," says Matt Rohler, Director of Operations at MyITpros. "He would not be as intimately familiar with a client environment when a user calls for help.” And he wouldn’t have others sitting close beside him who also know the client well and are there to help quickly if needed.
When you call MyITpros for help, your Account Manager may be out, but someone from your service team will always be there. This is a great benefit for the teams as well. “Team members know that when they go on vacation, they can really GO ON VACATION and not come back to a pile of work” says Rohler. “If you’re sick, you don’t have to worry about things getting done – you know the team has your back.”
“The breadth of experience on a team is a really important for our clients,” says Bill McCharen, President. “When there’s a total of 30 to 40 years’ experience on a team; when one guy is really good at networking, one is really good with servers, one is great at malware removal, it makes a huge difference.” Things get done right when the right person is doing the work.
Excellent communication with clients begins in the hiring process, and thrives in our teams setting. During interviews we look for culture fit and communication skills as much or more than we do for technical skills.
Every day, team mates collaborate and communicate constantly. The client ultimately benefits by being asked good questions, listened to well, having their questions answered and getting their problem solved effectively. It’s just the way we are – we’re communicators by nature, practice and habit.
Quality of Service
All of these things add up to a higher quality of service. One person simply cannot do what we do as well as we do it with teams. When teams are done right, a powerful synergy occurs. One plus one equals more than two.
In this blog I’ve focused on benefits from the client point of view. The target audience is organizations that use managed service providers (MSPs).
In my next blog, the audience is MSPs and people who work for them, or who think they might like to work for an MSP. I’ll share many of the benefits we’ve experienced as a company, and the benefits the team members experience in a team environment.
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