As an IT provider we simply can’t win…can we?

I recently read this article by Minda Zetlin – one that I know will strike chords with any IT Service Provider, but also something I’d urge anyone who engages with a support provider themselves to read.   It summarises the difficult balancing act that we, as service providers, have to cope with every day, but better still it suggests ways to resolve the age-old problem.   So MSPs I’d recommend you read and implement, customers I’d recommend you ask your service provider to think about applying some of these things.

The difficulty as a tech support company is this:

  • If you do the job well, nobody remembers you’re there.   You maintain the systems remotely, the systems are stable, the backup runs, performance is good and the users are content.   The trouble is, the business leaders see money being spent and seemingly nothing being delivered.
  • If you do the job badly you’re always firefighting – the business can see you’re working for the money but you’re not helping to create a stable, manageable platform.  They feel you’re never achieving anything, always fixing the surface issues and never the root causes, and they’ll feel generally frustrated with their IT.

The answer is so simple, but is something that I know from experience that a lot of technical people struggle with.  Communication.   It’s the most important part of any relationship, yet for many IT Service Providers it comes second fiddle to all the techie stuff that they’re good at doing.   I’ve been at the coalface with my support provider, Systemagic, for over a decade and I’ll be the first to admit that we took a long time to realise this, instead focussing on improving technical capability and concentrating on response times.   The realisation though was that the customers who value us and enjoy working with us the most aren’t worried about 15 minute responses becoming 13 minute responses, but instead enjoy talking to us, keeping in touch, communicating with our business and our people.

Minda suggests that the solution is easy and I completely agree – keep in contact with the customer, keep it short and sweet saving the “interesting techie stuff” for another time, measure and report on the service (every MSP needs good metrics but that’s for another blog post).   It’s all about communication.

Read the original article here:

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