Ticketing system and PSAs for new/small MSPs
Every new business has some growing pains as they are starting up. There is a certain learning curve they must face, and sometimes we learn through hard experience. A good example of this for MSPs is where to move to a PSA and get those tickets out of your inbox.
Illustration: Karthikeyan Ganesh
Email works, right?
A lot of managed services firms fall into this trap. In the beginning, when you’re small you have a lot of clients email you direct. Maybe you’re a one-man show, or maybe you have a shared mailbox that is looked at by a few technicians. Almost universally this is how MSPs start.
Then hopefully you pick up a few more clients. The volume of emails increases. Perhaps the number of people monitoring and working on those requests increases as well. There are more and more unread messages in the inbox and things start to pile up. It’s difficult to keep organized and to know what has been worked on or responded to.
As the company grows a little more, the problem compounds. More users, more tickets, more engineers. Some requests start to fall through the cracks completely. Customers don’t get a response. You start to get angry phone calls. Growth may stall as you work to correct some of these customer service issues. All the while your staff is getting more entrenched with a system that isn’t scalable.
Time for a PSA
If this sounds familiar, then you’ve gone way past the time to implement a PSA (Professional Services Automation). We recommend that you plan to do this from the very start. It may seem strange to put a tool like a PSA in place when there are only a couple of folks on your team, however, you’ll be investing in a scalable solution that will have your employees on the right track and ensure better service to your clients from the very beginning.
PSA offers so much functionality that you simply don’t get having tickets go to an email inbox. It allows you to better manage your relationships with your clients, track engineer time spent, assign tickets to your team, and even build in alerts if a ticket isn’t responded to within your set thresholds.
This allows you to keep your team accountable and your clients happy. When you boil down what most MSPs do, they are customer service organizations that happen to do computers. Providing an excellent customer experience is paramount for an MSP’s growth. PSA is an essential tool that allows you to do so effectively.
Advantages of Early Adoption
If you take the leap and adopt a PSA sooner than later, you’ll enjoy several distinct advantages. Migrating all open requests from your inbox into a PSA system can be a huge hassle. The larger your organization is before adoption the more difficult a process it can be. Early adoption can save you a potentially messy migration later.
PSA also allows you to scale your business more quickly while providing a high quality of service. With early adoption hopefully, you can avoid those angry customer calls that can stall out your growth and have more time to focus on customer acquisition and strategy.
Lastly, a PSA can be an important tool to manage your team. If adopted early, you can save the time of retraining them. The reporting you can get out of a quality PSA also allows you to better manage your team, have visibility into your most important clients, and add some accountability to your organization.
Once you’ve decided to put a PSA in place for your MSP it’s time to get it set up. The initial setup of your PSA is important and will affect the utility of the tool as well as your service results. Here are some tips to get it right the first time.
Most PSA solutions will have ticket-workflow features. Take your time to ensure these get set up correctly. Review your SLAs on the helpdesk and set standards for escalation paths and timelines. Make sure that those get translated into workflows so that your tickets move through the organization as you want them to.
In addition to workflows take a close look at your RMM tool if you’re using one (If you’re not, you should). Make sure that RMM and PSA talk to each other, and that alerting tickets are flowing properly from one to the other. Taking the time to make sure that your PSA is configured properly from the beginning will help make sure the transition is successful, and that it saves your team time while allowing you to deliver a higher level of service.
Sum it up
Making the move from tickets via email to a PSA system is critical for an MSP. There are benefits from making this transition early in your company’s journey. It will allow you to better serve your customers and streamline your workflows as a company.
“Organic growth is fun until it really, really isn’t.” A quality PSA and RMM solution will help propel your MSP forward past organic growth by delivering consistently excellent service. Decide to make the move today. You won’t regret it.