Help For Your Help Desk: 5 Tips For MSPs


Whether customers are facing business-critical IT issues or simply need a little extra support, providing a great help desk service is essential for the success of an MSP. By having the right people, technologies and practices in place, MSPs are able to work more productively and resolve issues in a timely manner, which leads to higher customer satisfaction.

Without the backing of an effective and responsive help desk, MSPs cannot secure or measure customer confidence. Here are five important tips to ensure a more positive, productive and exceptional help desk experience for all involved:

1. It’s Your Time To Shine

Whether you’re called upon as a “first responder” at a critical IT moment, or under more routine circumstances, go the extra mile and showcase your technical acumen. If your processes are streamlined and effective customers will take notice and you’re likely to secure more business and referrals from them in the future.

2. Everything Is An Emergency

As far as your customer is concerned, everything is an emergency. By resolving problems quickly, you minimise the impact on business so speed and efficiency should be top priorities. Make sure that you have the right tools in place to be organised, aware and able to resolve things quickly.

3. Quality Is Key

Start by determining common call drivers so you can easily identify which issues are recurring. You can then plan ahead to address them quickly or even automatically. Also continue to educate customers about self-service functions such as password reset, access to resolved tickets, suggested answers, training videos and customer portals. Ongoing client education allows you to reduce the time spent on routine problems and focus on more serious issues.

4. Performance Metrics Are Powerful

Evaluate your services and look at your numbers regularly. First establish clear goals and areas for improvement. Ensure everyone is aware of these goals and timeframes. Typical improvement areas might include understanding which customers are driving the most tickets, identifying the most common requests and uncovering the types of issues that are most time consuming.

Customer feedback will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your services and gain a unique perspective on your performance. The help desk is your most critical and visible offering so it’s important to survey end users at the end of each support contact, or at set time in the year. The feedback can be used to assess technician effectiveness, review and revise procedures and measure changes across key performance indicators.

5. Prepare & Plan Ahead

It’s important to constantly update your help desk. Start by being proactive with tickets. If there’s something you can add to a ticket to help the next person who encounters the same problem in the future, add it into the system. If it’s a complex issue, consider creating a more in-depth knowledge based article or video tutorial to help end users or other technicians solve that same problem. Again monitor for recurring issues or problems that plague particular customers so you can offer a more tailored service.

Like everything else in business and in life, keep the lines of communication open. Constant communication between you and your customers leads to better cooperation and will allow your businesses to thrive together in partnership.

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David Weeks

David Weeks is Channel Strategy Manager for N-able by SolarWinds. For the past six years, Weeks has served N-able and its partners across the IT channel. He works closely with the company's top tier partners and major accounts worldwide to understand their needs, provide insight into current market conditions, and to offer strategic sales and marketing recommendations. A regular presenter at N-able’s global and regional summits, Weeks is passionate about ensuring the success of N-able's partner base.