Process —ahh, that word again. The word that makes most business owners and entrepreneurs cringe. But why?
One of the questions that invariably pops up when any group of MSP owners are talking is price.
What do you charge? How do you charge? What’s your best margin solution?
My answer to that question is fairly simple: Your services automation tool should answer those questions. You should be able to see the uptime (or downtime) of any solution you deploy with your customers, You should be able to easily see what products are consistently triggering support tickets, and which solutions are sailing along smoothly.
The cost of a solution isn’t its price tag, it’s the cost to your business to keep that solution delivering in your customer’s environment.
Many MSPs struggle with pricing because they don’t have or don’t know how to use the data from their own business. How do I know that? Because, in the early days of our own MSP business, This Solution, we were running blind. We were constantly trying to understand and, in some cases, micromanage our costs. The issue? We weren’t looking at our staff as a cost we could effectively manage. Instead, we were completely focused on what products we could squeeze more money out of. We also weren’t delving into where our products were adding to our costs by routinely demanding technician attention. It’s at the intersection of labor and product where most bad things happen for MPS businesses.
Tried, Tested in a Real MSP Environment
When we invested in the technology that became ServiceTree, we knew that having accurate, real-time data about each solution we deploy, in each customer’s site, was elemental to not only delivering a good customer experience but also pricing our services and offerings correctly to maintain margin.
That’s why our tool’s UI clearly shows data on each solution, its ticketing history and more. With our real-time data, MSPs can see what costs money—wasted tech time, troublesome products, needy customers (come on, we’ve all been there …). After you act to right the ship, you can then easily track the impact of whatever change you make—the data will tell the tale.
Sometimes a troubled business can make one simple change to staffing, to a product line or support level in a contract, and see a tremendous impact on their margins and, ultimately, the bottom line. Learn how our intuitive UI helps you see real-time data from your business and make seeing trends and hiccups easy.
One of the most difficult parts of owning a services business is developing, standardizing and then meeting SLAs. While most MSPs, including our own This Solution, have standard agreement levels with our customers. But even with standardization comes variances and exceptions within those contracts as we tweak for size or geographies, response time tolerance, unique vertical demands, etc.
Keeping tabs on those details can be painstaking and time-consuming. Perhaps more importantly, while executing against those contracts and SLAs is definitely a team effort, managing them is not. Unfortunately, many MSPs leave those details—which customer and project combination is a priority—to their tech team members to determine, which is not only ineffective but can be costly.
Let’s be clear, you hire your techs for their skill with technology, not to be the hallway monitors for your customer contracts. Asking them to do that is simply setting them up for frustration and your business up for potential failure.
Take the Guesswork Out of SLAs
As a manager, I want to have my SLAs integrated into my services automation tool. With ServiceTree, once a contract is in the solution, support tickets are intelligently routed by customer, project, SLA and more to ensure the right ticket is getting to the right tech at the right time. No longer will your techs have to look at a list of tickets from multiple customers and waste time trying to determine the next step.
Why is this important? Not only does our PSA solution enable the manager charged with coordinating your SLAs with a full line of sight into real-time activities tied to each contract, it keeps your technicians from having to look up each contract every time a ticket hits. More effective. More timely. More accurate. That is what a good services automation tool should do for your MSP business.
Want to see how we support SLAs in your business, check out our demo.