Portland IT Service Company Joins Ulistic For In-Depth Discussion
Ulistic's Stuart Crawford recently chatted with Nick Hess, whose company SureTec offers technology support for large and small organizations in Portland, Oregon, Washington, and Ohio. https://www.suretecit.com/ The other side of the business, SureTel offers exceptional VoIP services. https://www.suretecit.com/business-telephone-services/
The business communities that Nick looks after have, like everyone else, been severely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. Now that things are opening again, Nick shares some of his top tips for business success.
Focus on customer needs
Nick's first concern is always his customers. Rather than assume that a one size fits all service will suffice, he recommends a partnership approach. Nick understands the local community and culture, as well as the needs of the individual businesses. And that is a big part of the success of SureTec and SureTel. The company partners with a wide range of suppliers. They support Microsoft 365, but also Google G Suite, which suits many businesses better. The most important criteria is that they will only they only recommend solutions that they would use themselves.
SureTec ensures that his clients have round the clock support to keep their businesses running. When he found that it was challenging to support his customers in the Eastern timezone, he acquired a company in Dayton to cover them. That's how serious he is about meeting specific customer needs. Nick says,
Nick believes that his team learned these valuable lessons from the Dayton acquisition, which could be useful for any MSP looking to expand.
Look carefully at the existing employees. It's not necessarily an advantage that they have been there for ten years if they don't do things the way you want. Both they and the customers are likely to be confused by the changeover.
If they want to leave, make it easy for them. Staff will often quit anyway after a takeover. It's a small industry – it will do you no harm to part on good terms.
Put one of your own managers in as quickly as possible to retrain and introduce the new values.
Give first, and you will reap the rewards
Nick believes in doing things differently. Not afraid to try new things with prospect acquisition, SureTec offers a 30 days free trial. This gives both sides a chance to see if the relationship is a good fit. Most clients sign up, and with a retention rate of over 98% giving more than customers expect is clearly paying off. Other value-added services include weekly site visits to clients to check everything is running smoothly, and the addition of special projects to their standard managed services.
Ask for feedback
According to Nick, asking your customers for honest feedback is incredibly Important! It is where your innovations are going to come from. Many of SureTel's VoIP clients have been involved in improving the service with requests for new features, and solutions on how to unify different processes within their businesses.
Keep things in your own control
The SureTel business came about because of customer needs. Nick and his team wanted to give a better service but we're determined to control it themselves in order to maintain a quality offering. Setting up SureTel expensive and difficult, according to Steve, but worth it. The platform is supported by their own IT side which gives clients exceptional value for money. Ticket response is less than a minute and advice is from a local level 3 tier technician. The reliability of the platform is first class because they have special permission to host Google Cloud.
SureTel has been a huge support for customers during the COVID lockdown. As Steve says, people were able to pick up their phones and head off home!
Steve had some interesting observations on the role of MSPs going forward. He is concerned that there appears to be falling trust in MSPs with firms rehiring internal IT staff. He believes that this is part of a cycle that MSPs have to ride out. So many MSPs did a poor job of supporting firms in the Pandemic crisis because they were overextended, and now we have a backlash.
The solution is to collaborate fully with your clients. Offer full support or co-managed support. Putting someone full time at the client premises is also an option.
Work collaboratively with other services providers to keep things professional and never poach.
Ulistic loves to work with innovative local companies like SureTec and SureTel. Speak with Ulistic today to learn more about our business development, marketing, and sales services for managed IT service businesses.