The phone is a vital business tool that many businesses overlook, particularly managed IT service providers (MSPs). It’s common to hear MSP business owners ranting about how difficult it is to acquire leads. But the big question is, how easy is it to do business with you? Customers can feel infuriated when they call to give you money, yet you won’t pick up the phone. And when your customer representatives do, they have no idea how to mitigate the situation or transfer the call to the right professional.
Pick Up the Damn Phone!
According to Dave Sobel of MSP Radio, the less cluttered pathway to prospects currently is the phone. Unfortunately, many MSPs rely on email communication, which in most cases end up in a back and forth that doesn’t really auger well with some clients.
The telephone isn’t just a preserve for cold calling—it’s what connects you with your prospects and customers in a real and personal way. When a client picks up the phone to call your company with a problem or inquiry, are your help desk technicians able to resolve the issue on a first try? And if they can’t, are they able to transfer the call to you or the right professional to address the issue?
A high first-call resolution means that your technicians and customer support function promptly to address and correct customer concerns, which helps attract and maintain happy and satisfied customers.
While the first-call resolution isn’t the sole means to measure customer satisfaction, it provides some insight into your MSP’s effectiveness in addressing customer issues. In a marketplace where 49 percent of consumers switch providers due to poor customer service, picking up the phone and addressing issues quickly will ensure you stay competitive in this rapidly expanding market.
Stop Relying on Email as Your Default Platform for Quick Check-ins
Try using phone calls for those quick interactions instead of emailing your clients. You’ll be perplexed by how much you can learn about your clients on the phone. With a hasty email, you could lose a perfect opportunity to connect. For example, I doubt if an email reply can help you learn about your client’s daughter getting married next weekend and probably send a gift! Phone calls help you make personal connections and learn more about the people you interact with, including your customers.
Pick Up Calls in Times of Escalation
If a prospect is considering other IT options or a client is upset about something, sending out an email just fuels the agitation. You can’t hear your client’s tone and sincerity through an email. However, a phone conversation could win you a customer, save a client relationship, and mend a fence. In most cases, a call won’t worsen the situation, but a misunderstood or unclear email could.
Leave Voicemails Referencing Other Touch Points
Consider calling your prospects to introduce yourself before you send that LinkedIn request or email. If you can get them on the phone, that’s fantastic! But if you don’t, try leaving a voicemail that informs them what to expect from your next communication.
For instance, if you want to connect with them on LinkedIn or drop an email, let them know why. When you finally send the email or InMail, be sure to reference the date and time you left the voicemail. This approach will significantly increase your email open and response rates and help you build your network faster. Besides, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it might give you an opportunity to connect live with your prospects on the first try and win you that vital first appointment.
Monitor First-call Resolution
Each company will measure the first-call resolution differently, based on their specific customer satisfaction goals and the available data. Nevertheless, there are some common places to begin from. One way to measure your first-call resolution is to take the total number of phone calls successfully resolved on the first try and divide it by total calls. Alternatively, you can take the number of calls resolved accurately on the first try and divide it by the total number of first calls.
Additionally, you need to define what to include in the data clearly. For instance, you could include live calls and chat tickets in your data. Also, define what is considered “successfully resolved,” what defines a second call, and what it means if someone passing by steps in to help. Overall, setting precise definitions will ensure that the metric is beneficial to your MSP.
Best Practices for First-call Resolution
MSPs can take a myriad of approaches to measure the first-call resolution effectively and improve it over time. First, you need to train your staff to ask if all issues have been addressed adequately at the end of each call. This will help you know whether or not the customer considers the issue fully resolved. You could also introduce post-call surveys or follow-up emails to ask the customer whether or not they were satisfied with the resolution.
More importantly, you can leverage a CRM system to measure the first-call resolution by enabling the support agents to note in the ticket if they managed to resolve the case on the first attempt. Some CRMs even integrate with MSP software, making this process even easier. Additional tools such as call monitoring and recording may also help add extra data if needed.
MSP Marketing That Doesn’t Suck!
Let’s face it, most MSP marketing companies and marketers suck! They may charge you exorbitant amounts of money, and you’ll get nothing in return. And when things don’t work as you anticipated, they’ll never assume fault. The truth is, many IT service marketers have no idea how to get your MSP qualified opportunities.
Ulistic is a 12-year-old marketing company specializing in MSP marketing. We only work with Managed IT Service Providers, so we have the skills and experience to get you the leads you need to grow your business. Contact us today to speak with Stuart Crawford, CEO, who has worked in the MSP community for more than 25 years and is a renowned leader in the digital advertising space for MSPs.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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