Do you reward your staff for doing a great job? The Top MSPs do

One of the top Elite partners I enjoy working with is an MSP based out of White Salmon, Washington called Radcomp. Over the years, I’ve worked closely with their manager of operations, Tyrell Midland. We’ve had all sorts of candid conversations in that time, but one we had last week I thought would make a great blog post. Tyrell manages his operation from a customer retention and customer happiness point of view, and he believes having well-performing technicians is one of the keys to happy customer scores. If the customer doesn’t get a pleasant experience, the technician scores often reflect that.

Customer experience monitoring

One of the things Tyrell said to me really struck home. He told me, “The key to success is to never lose the human element. It’s too easy to get lost in the data, metrics, and analytics, but at the end of the day, it’s all about people. If you take care of your employees and foster a healthy company culture, they’ll work harder for you, because they’re appreciated. If you treat all your clients with empathy, compassion and integrity, they will view you as a trusted partner and not just a vendor selling them a commodity. When the metrics start to matter more than people, you’re doing it wrong.”

In my first tech blog at N-able I started discussing customer experience monitoring. The  “too long; didn’t read” (tl:dr) on that is this: What data points are you capturing around the customer experience, and which ones are you capturing on your tech and sales teams? I think I was a little too concise on that part of the blog. I wanted to come back to today because I see a theme with top performing MSPs like Radcomp.

Whether you choose to use MSP CSAT tools like Crewhu, Crowdradial, Customer Thermometer, or Smileback, they all provide the ability to integrate real-time metrics into customer surveys that are taken with the utmost importance internally to the MSP and the service manager.

If the customer isn’t happy, well, no one’s happy. So what we need to do is find out what went wrong and work with the customer to correct it. It’s a beneficial cause of alarm for the MSP to investigate and make sure they’re working toward getting it right, and offers great escalation points for you to be proactive and understand how to address it.

Employee experience monitoring

Many of the MSPs I speak with don’t have a formal human resources department. Maybe you don’t either but you have someone in operations with some background in HR. Whether you do or not, you’ll have someone doing some human resources work because your employees are your capital to success. Ensuring they are happy, and they have methods to interact with management as well as being able to grow within your organization is paramount to having employees who feel engaged and valued.

When I worked for an MSP, we had a software platform that allowed us to reward other employees for a job well done. Everyone was given $10 each month that they could award to other employees. Month in and month out I saw the same people awarded $20 – $30. I spoke with them and started to realize they were the ones always going above and beyond each month.

The program was nice too. At the end of each month we could convert our bucks into an amazon gift card or donate the money to charities or other worthwhile causes. But it’s this gamification of employee rewards that I find fascinating. Gamification of services is a whole other future blog, but I feel like people just get it now.

To further the example, say you were on a team of service desk techs (L1s or L2s) and your employer needed to achieve a high standard of KPIs for the month. The MSP could simply incentivize your team by offering you “bucks.” Think about your KPIs like the tech profitable index score and CSAT scores, for example. If you were 205% profitable to the business one month, your team would each get $10.50 extra (everyone needs a score of 150% minimum).

Whether you focus on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, or both, if you are successful at running a services operation that has happy employees and happy customers, that is the best kind of business-to-business marketing. It’s also something to be proud of and will attract others to do business with you.

Jason Murphy is the N-central automation nerd at N-able. You can follow him on Twitter at @ncentral_nerd or on Reddit at u/ncentral_nerd.

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