If your managed services provider (MSP) company has yet to adopt an IT ticketing system—or you’re dissatisfied with the performance of your existing help desk software—this guide is for you. There are many reasons why an MSP’s customer support measures might be failing or falling short. They could, for example, be causing customer downtime with slow ticket resolution, have a high likelihood of human error, or be unnecessarily resource intensive. Whether support requests are getting lost in the chaos or you’d simply like to minimize manual technician labor, the right IT ticketing system can help you deliver fast and cost-effective customer support.
To help you determine whether your MSP could benefit from implementing an IT ticketing system, this article will showcase a range of challenges your MSP might be facing and describe how the right help desk solution can help you overcome them. But first, it’s important you understand what a ticketing system is and how your MSP might benefit from implementing one.
What is a ticketing system?
An IT ticketing system is a software solution designed to help customer support representatives manage support requests and tickets effectively. IT ticketing systems—also known as help desks—keep track of customer requests and communications across multiple channels, creating dedicated tickets to streamline and organize customer support activities. With an IT ticketing system, your technicians will be able to manage requests more easily and efficiently. This will help improve technician morale, reduce labor costs, and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty down the line.
IT ticketing systems automate many aspects of the customer support process, saving technicians hundreds of hours of labor and enabling them to focus on more value-adding tasks. For example, some ticketing systems automatically generate tickets for technicians to populate them with the relevant information from customers. Some advanced IT ticketing systems can even automatically convert an email received from a customer into a support ticket.
Although most IT ticketing systems come with an upfront cost, they are a wise and low-risk investment. This is particularly true for MSPs, because an MSP’s reputation is directly impacted by the quality of its customer support services. In the long-term, an IT ticketing system will almost certainly save you money in the following ways:
- Reduced need for additional support technicians, which also reduces salary and training costs
- Improved scalability at a minimal cost
- Increased customer loyalty due to ease of communications and faster resolution times, resulting in less lost revenue
- Improved reputation, leading to higher conversion rates and service uptake
- Happier staff, resulting in lower staff turnover costs
If you choose a cloud-based IT ticketing system, the benefits are often even more extensive. A cloud-based IT ticketing system can enable MSP technicians to provide support from anywhere in the world, at any time. This allows you to offer your technicians greater flexibility, and your customers more accessible, convenient services.
How do you know when to consider an IT ticketing system?
Every business works differently, so you may be wondering how you know if an IT ticketing system will be cost-effective for your individual company. Below, we have outlined a number of scenarios or challenges that may indicate your MSP is in need of an IT ticketing system.
1. YOU’RE STILL TRACKING YOUR SUPPORT TICKETS IN SPREADSHEETS
Tracking tickets in a spreadsheet is inefficient for a number of reasons. Firstly, the tracking process is often as time-consuming as actually resolving customer issues themselves. An IT help desk software tracks your tickets automatically, saving your technicians a lot of time otherwise spent constantly updating spreadsheets manually. These spreadsheets can also be prone to human error, and a simple typo or miscalculation can quickly derail productivity. By relying on automation, help desk tools can help you avoid errors and the downtime they may cause.
2. TICKETS ARE RECEIVED VIA A SHARED INBOX
Shared inboxes for ticket gathering are neither intuitive nor collaborative. Although you and your colleagues will be able to view communications between customers and other technicians, you will not be able to see if another member of your team is currently trying to submit a reply. This could result in duplicate work, wasted time, and miscommunication with customers. With a cloud-based IT ticketing system, you can collaborate with team members from anywhere and at any time, with updates synchronized continuously to provide real-time insight into all correspondence with customers.
3. ADDING OR MODIFYING USERS IS A CHALLENGE
If your current ticketing system requires you to wait on your IT team to add a person to your inbox or delete someone from a customer group, this can put significant limitations on technician productivity. With cloud-based professional services automation software, you can perform important tasks immediately and without assistance.
4. YOU AREN’T ABLE TO TRACK INVENTORY AND PRODUCTS
If you can’t track your customers’ inventory and products from within your ticketing system, your technicians will be forced to ask repetitive questions to gain insight. This can lead to lengthy, time-consuming, and inefficient conversations. If a customer accidentally gives technicians the wrong data or a technician mistakenly enters incorrect information, this can halt the resolution process and cause significant delays. IT help desk software with asset management capabilities automatically tracks inventory information from within one solution, boosting efficiency and improving the customer experience.
5. You don’t offer customers self-service options
Many customers prefer to try to solve their own issues before submitting a service ticket, and modern customers increasingly expect MSPs to provide self-service options. An effective self-service solution can increase productivity and efficiency for your help desk. If accompanied by a comprehensive knowledge base, a self-service option can even reduce the number of tickets your team receives. Self-service solutions, which are included with robust IT ticketing systems, allow customers to track their own tickets and sometimes even resolve their own issues. This reduces the likelihood of your customers becoming impatient or inundating technicians with unnecessary follow-up emails.
6. YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO ANALYTICS
Advanced analytics can give your MSP key insights into how your support technicians are performing, which can inform your business decisions. For example, analytics may help you identify technicians who aren’t performing as they should be so you can retrain them. Alternatively, these insights might help you understand which customers seem to be less satisfied and might be at risk of leaving—which gives you time to improve their experience. With a data-driven IT ticketing system, you can take proactive action to improve performance on an iterative basis.
7. YOU AREN’T LEVERAGING AUTOMATION
In the digital era, automation plays an important role in most businesses and the services they provide. A good IT ticketing solution will leverage ticket automation to route tickets to appropriate support technicians more efficiently. This leads to faster resolution times and higher technician productivity—which ultimately results in happier customers.
8. REGULAR SLA VIOLATIONS
If you are repeatedly violating SLAs, you have a clear issue on your hands. Violating SLAs can cost your MSP a fortune, damage your reputation, and lead to loss of revenue. Ticketing solutions feature built-in alerts, helping you meet SLAs and minimize violations to get your MSP back on track.
Get started with an IT ticketing system
Your customer support activities walk hand-in-hand with your quality of service, representing the face of your organization. If your company has a reputation for providing poor customer support, this can have a disastrous impact on customer retention—and your overall revenue. After all, there is nothing worse for an MSP’s image than tickets getting lost or being overlooked. If this happens regularly enough, customers will begin to lose faith in your company’s ability to meet their needs.
SolarWinds® MSP Manager can help you overcome the scenarios listed in this guide so you can restore customer faith in your organization and its services. MSP Manager is a cloud-based IT ticketing system that goes far beyond basic ticketing capabilities to allow you to offer incredible customer support. This IT help desk software with asset management capabilities can be integrated with other solutions—including SolarWinds RMM and popular accounting systems—to deliver an all-in-one IT management solution.
In addition to functioning as cloud-based professional services automation software, MSP Manager also allows you to establish your own brandable customer portal. The portal can be accessed via a dedicated mobile application and features an intuitive interface. It provides quick ticket creation and ticket status updates, making it easy for customers to stay informed throughout the process.
To improve the efficiency of ticket creation and resolution, MSP Manager includes quick timers for easy time tracking, automated email-to-ticket creation, automatic ticket routing, and much more. MSP Manager also helps you streamline and customize your billing by allowing you to generate batch invoices and exports, as well as create sample invoices.
Whether you’re struggling with just one of the scenarios listed in this guide, or all of them, the right IT ticketing system can help you streamline support to everyone’s benefit. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly tool that can scale with your company as you grow and deliver significant cost-savings, look no further than MSP Manager. MSP Manager is easy to use and was designed specifically for MSPs. Try the 14-day free trial to give it a spin.