One of the most frequent complaints from MSPs is that they are drowning under a pile of IT tickets. You probably understand this pain all too well. Maybe your employees are working through a high number of tickets per day, yet they still face more fires to put out.
More IT tickets lead to increased stress and less profitability. Learn how to combat these high numbers with the following actions.
Assess Where You’re Losing Time
If your employees are spending all of their time on IT tickets, why is that happening? What are the most common tickets they see? What questions do they regularly face? Before you’re able to rectify these problems, you have to understand them. Know where and how you’re losing time.
Usually, MSPs lose time in a downward spiral of reactive support. A pile of tickets comes in, and your team members want to get to every single one in a timely fashion. It’s impossible to get through that stack of tickets before there’s a new fire to put out.
Being stuck in this reactive vortex leaves no time for improving the company, implementing new MSP processes or working to become a top managed service provider.
To get a good picture of how you’re losing time, calculate your RHEM, or reactive hours per endpoint per month. This essentially entails determining how many tickets were created each month and how much time was spent on them. Once you know that number, you have a foundation for improvement.
Hire A Technology Alignment Manager
Most MSPs don’t employ or have a designated Technology Alignment Manager (formally known as a Network Administrator). If you’re one of these MSPs, fix that today. If you’re not able to hire a new employee, redistribute responsibilities and designate a Technology Alignment Manager (TAM) among your existing team members. This individual implements and aligns your company’s technical standards and best practices across your client base. That’s their sole focus.
Keeping your clients’ systems constantly aligned and proactively updated is a big, time-consuming position. But, there’s a huge payoff for your company. Many IT tickets that come in could be eliminated if your clients’ systems were working properly due to proactive network management.
Also, a TAM allows you to take a proactive approach to system management by regularly upgrading technology and networks for your clients before problems arise. Your clients’ technology needs are evolving regularly, so making proactive upgrades is essential.
Align Your Standards
Try to eliminate problems before they happen. Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. You’ve calculated your RHEM, so you know how much of your time is lost to being reactive. Take proactive measures to fix this.
Create standards that your clients’ technology must meet in order to be considered “running properly.” Develop a checklist that allows you to review their technology periodically. These are like check-up questions you would answer at the doctor’s office to help your doctor determine if anything is wrong.
If you regularly review a client’s environment with these check-up questions, you’ll be able to identify red flags more easily. Then, when technology is out of alignment with your standards for a properly running system, your employees know to install upgrades or repair issues. Most importantly, you are able to clearly convey the business risk your clients face when their technology is out of alignment.
Once standards are aligned and tickets are minimized, you open the door to a real business conversation with your clients. You’re able to guide them to a more productive IT model and increase the possibility for non-recurring-revenue work, like additional projects. When you have time on your hands to relate with your MSP clients, you develop stronger relationships that last.