It recently occurred to me that one very simple step that we took as a company a few months ago has made life much easier for both us and our clients.
A common problem
Like many IT service companies, we prefer all requests for Support to come through a single point – in this case our free phone Helpdesk telephone number. Calls made this way can be prioritised, have triage run on them and get assigned to the best person to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We can resolve the most incoming support issues in the fastest possible time. We win, the clients win.
But no matter how many times you tell your client the benefits of this approach, more often than not (especially in the case of decision makers) they will simply take the route they find most familiar – that is to pick up their phone and dial the Mobile Phone number of the engineer they are most familiar with. One of two things then happens:-
- The engineer involved gets interrupted from whatever job he’s currently working on, takes the call, tries to help the client on the ‘phone but is flustered because he’s already working on another clients job, and eventually ends up with two clients unhappy because they aren’t the focus of attention.
- The engineer involved sends the call to voice-mail, and vows to himself to pick the message up later. He is so engrossed in his work, he forgets to return that call, and the client who left the message gets irritated that they’ve not been responded to quickly enough. OR the engineer is simply off sick or on holiday, so the call goes to voice-mail and gets ignored for a day or more. Same result but intensified – VERY irritated client!
If you’re a one-man-band, being both the business owner AND engineer, the above problem is probably very familiar to you!
Our simple solution
We suffered with this problem at my own MSP, and here’s how we resolved it.
- We turned off voicemail on our mobile phones, instead re-directing all busy/unavailable calls to the 24-hour Helpdesk number. Engineers are now told to send any calls from clients directly to busy and not be interrupted when working.
- We printed stickers advising clients of the Helpdesk number and stuck them at every client site on all PC’s, Laptop’s, Monitors, Printers – in fact, anything IT related at all.
Guess what? Nearly all calls now go through to the Helpdesk directly, and those few clients who still insist on calling engineers mobiles directly soon realise that it’s faster for them to simply call the Helpdesk directly too.
A simple solution!
What niggling issues have you experienced recently that were solved simply?