The allure of working with a managed services provider (MSP) is that companies can outsource their network management, infrastructure, and security needs to an experienced partner and trust that their needs will be taken care of. This means that in order to keep customers satisfied, MSPs themselves must successfully juggle an ever-increasing number of responsibilities. Running an MSP business is fast-paced and it can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are six tips that will make managing your MSP company much more efficient so you can service your customers with ease.
1. Make sure you can handle remote monitoring
Most businesses have fully transitioned to remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many MSPs themselves are also working from home. This means a sharp uptick in tech tickets as employees continue to adjust to their home setups and a lack of on-site service visits from their MSPs.
As such, if you haven’t already, investing in remote monitoring and management software as soon as possible is essential. Look for a solution that offers unattended access, support for multi-monitor workstations, and cross-platform support. These features will make it easy for you to resolve your customers’ issues, no matter where they are.
2. Take documentation seriously
Proper MSP documentation is hard to enforce because employees often don’t fully realize the benefits and importance of these practices. While documentation may not seem to provide immediate benefits to technicians, they are key processes that help create a strong foundation for your future MSP business.
MSP documentation best practices provide a centralized hub in which all technicians can access the information they need, improve security, increase agility, and more. To make operations run a little smoother each day, educate your employees on the benefits of having a documentation system and invest in an effective IT documentation management platform. This tool will boost efficiency and make it easier to stay organized, which makes it easier for everyone to do their jobs.
3. Organize onboarding
If your company experiences a lot of employee turnover, you know how time-consuming onboarding can be. Luckily, documentation best practices can help with this as well. If all relevant documents are stored in one location, new employees know where to turn if they have questions—this means shorter formal onboarding sessions and less manager time spent answering frequently asked questions. Organized onboarding processes bolstered by self-learning through documentation help everyone get to work quickly and easily. A centralized location for customer knowledge in your PSA or IT documentation management tool also helps speed up onboarding by giving all technicians access to the information they may need when working with clients.
4. Reevaluate your ticketing process
Ticket management is at the foundation of an MSP company, but it can get messy very quickly without a clean, streamlined, and efficient approach. To move tickets through your workflows easily and keep customers happy, create a strategy for how you’ll prioritize tickets and categorize them based on urgency. To continue to keep everything moving smoothly, MSP technicians need an easy way to diligently track statuses and keep customers informed. It can also help to lean into automation to maximize efficiency and free up technician time. Use template messages whenever possible and invest in a professional services automation (PSA) solution that automates ticketing.
5. Sort out billing ahead of time
MSPs can make their jobs easier and shave days off the billing cycle at the end of each month by finding better ways to bill. Look for a ticket management solution that attaches a time tracker to each ticket so technicians can automatically log how much time they spend resolving issues. When it comes time to bill your clients, MSP billing software makes it possible to easily export each invoice based on the time tracker, batch invoice, and even integrate it all with your existing accounting software—no more billing disputes or complicated invoices.
6. Encourage self-service
One of the best things you can do to make managing your company easier is realize you don’t have to handle everything yourself. Often, your technicians will come across the same common issues again and again. Repeatedly solving small issues can be tedious for your techs, and customers will dislike waiting for a tech to solve a problem that they could’ve fixed themselves.
You can make troubleshooting faster and easier for everyone by giving your customers the resources to resolve their own technical difficulties. Build a robust (and searchable) knowledge database, offer a customer portal, and publish accessible answers to frequently asked questions. Making all these things available to your customers will make your job much easier and help keep your customers satisfied.
Choosing the right managed services solutions
These six tips can help take your MSP business to the next level, but making sure you implement them all properly can feel like a second job. SolarWinds® MSP Manager is a powerful, scalable, and affordable PSA solution that will make managing an MSP business look effortless. This software includes the capabilities you need to provide prompt, high-quality service to your clients without bogging you down in the minutiae.
The software has a built-in scheduling tool that makes it easy to keep everyone in your workforce on the same page about upcoming customer services. You can add appointments to your calendar and fill in pertinent details with just a few clicks, and the appointment will automatically populate in iCal. You can then export that appointment to Outlook, Google Calendar, or whichever scheduling platform your technicians use. All appointments are up front and accessible in MSP Manager’s clear interface, as well as mobile app. For recurring site visits and tickets, you can automatically schedule them in MSP Manager so nothing falls through the cracks.
MSP Manager seamlessly integrates with SolarWinds RMM and top accounting software so you can create the remote monitoring and PSA product suite that suits your business’ unique needs. To learn more about MSP Manager and dig into its ticketing, billing, or scheduling features, try it free here for 14 days.