No matter if you’re a rusted-on client who would never switch or someone looking for a new Managed IT Service Provider, these three steps will deliver more value without adding extra cost.
1. Get them on-site more often.
One of the best ways to get more value from your MSP is to get their staff out to your location(s) more often to work for a day or more. The reason it works is that it allows personal bonds to form between your staff and the MSP’s team members.
It also means that site-specific knowledge becomes ingrained in the support team, speeding up the resolution of all kinds of issues. Done right, you should expect a different team member every so often – the variation helps ensure that IP doesn’t get locked-up in one person’s head but is spread through the support team.
You should be able to negotiate a change to expectations with your existing provider to get someone on-site at no extra charge. This will involve changing your own expectations about when support tickets classed as Category 3 to 5 (in other words, not urgent ones) can be addressed, reserving them for the day each week or fortnight (or even month) you get a team member out to site.
2. Ask for self-service reporting including Net Promoter Score visibility.
Your MSP will be running a support management system. Ask for access to it so that you can examine the volume of tickets in the queue at any time and look into those that might be dragging. Perhaps there is more that can be done at your end to speed up the tickets. Often Category 3 to 5 tickets are waiting on more information from someone at your end to resolve them. You can motivate more action at your end to get those tickets resolved faster.
Your service provider should also be measuring their customer satisfaction score. At Computer One, we use a web application called Delighted (nofollow) to measure the happiness of our clients with the service they’re receiving. We track our average score over the last 30 days overall and by client.
You should ask for a copy of your team’s satisfaction score for the IT service they’re receiving.
You should also encourage your team to always rate their satisfaction, good and bad, when they receive the ticket follow-up email. Done right, your MSP will be monitoring the feedback religiously, looking for ways to improve.
And of course, this shouldn’t cost any extra.
3. Ask “What comes next?”
IT in your industry does not stand still. There’s always new technology that can add to your competitive advantage or make your business more efficient.
Your Managed Service Provider should understand your organisation well enough to produce an IT Roadmap (sometimes also called a Technology Roadmap). That’s a document that takes your overall Business Plan and forecasts your IT requirements in parallel to ensure that your technology matches your short and long-term goals.
Your IT Roadmap is a fundamental part of good governance and helps keep long-term capital expenditure as low as it can be to achieve your goals.
Without it, you may find you need step-change investment in technology that consumes too much cashflow at times, but that in-between your investments are too sporadic, leaving your team battling outdated technology for long periods.
It should cost nothing to have your Managed Service Provider produce an IT Roadmap. After all, they should be across your business operations, know your culture and be able to match your short and long-term goals to the appropriate technology solutions.
Try asking for these things from your MSP. If you can’t get them without extra expense, maybe your provider isn’t the best match for your organisation in the long-run.