By Mike Barecchia
When supporting IT systems it is very easy to get into “reporting” mode when alerting the customer of issues on their system. A lot of times, IT staff will report issues that are happening with a system to the customer. While the customer would like to know about these issues, they also want to know what can be done to fix them.
As an managed service provider, presenting issues to the customer without a solution winds up looking like an excuse for not delivering on whatever deliverable is in impacted as well as not taking advantage of the opportunity to grow business.
Managed Service Provider: All About Solutions
To avoid this trap, it is helpful to train staff to provide solutions with every problem. Something as simple as having a field for “solution” on the same document used to record the issue is helpful. Repeating the message to staff in each and every meeting also helps reminds folks that each issue needs a solution. The key is to make sure that everyone on your team is thinking the same way. For a manged service proveder, the mentality should be about being a solutions provider and not just minding the shop.
Why is this so crucial? As the provider of the operations support, why wouldn’t the customer turn to you for providing the solution as well? For example, reporting a slow link between sites is certainly helpful to your customer, but reporting a slow link along with a suggestion of how to improve link quality and/or speed is what keeps a customer your customer.
It is fairly straight forward that you would be able to pitch the solution from a cost and implementation standpoint. A project plan and cost analysis is also something you want to give your customer as well. The more complete the thought, the less thinking your customer has to do and the less likely they will shop the idea. Identifying issues without a solution and plan of execution is really just giving your customer a reason to go to your competition.