Grrrrrr!!! That’s how customers feel when they can’t get online, can’t figure out how to connect their devices, and can’t do what they need to do…right now. So, they call their Managed Service Provider (MSP) to solve their technical issues, not realizing that all the software, firmware and hardware changes that happen daily within their network of devices are likely the real root of their technical problems.

Unfortunately for the MSP, they get blamed for the technology issue and must spend time and resources digging into the root cause even when the MSP is not the source of the customer’s technology problem. Even worse, the MSP gets the negative customer satisfaction scores because they are, after all, the face of all that technology in the eyes of the customer. It can be a costly, time-intensive, and overall lose-lose situation for the MSP.

Here are three critical things an MSP, or any technology provider, can do to improve customer satisfaction, increase efficiency, reduce costs and increase revenue.

TIP 1:

Offer a premium technical support package as part of a monthly service fee. Expanding the scope of existing customer care to incorporate non-network related issues is typically too costly for the MSP to consider. Offering premium technical support as an independent product or as part of a home-service protection plan is a great way to meet customer needs while creating a positive financial impact. Either offering gives the MSP options so they can effectively diagnose and solve the customer’s tech issues – even those that live in the customer’s network, not with the MSP. And, if you do it right, you’ll reduce overhead, increase revenue AND improve your CSAT numbers. Win-win-win, right?! Here’s the trick: you must have the right partner to make this transition of customer support successful.

Here’s a great example of a successful, outsourced tech support partnership: An MSP’s current Premium Technical Support business had stagnated, and they were considering making a change. They reached out to Support.com and decided to deliver high-quality technical support through a North American-based team. The MSP actively coordinated with Support.com in order to streamline the transition, and they were able to launch a new program in just over 2 months. The key is having a vendor that is willing and able to jump into your business and make a transition quick and seamless so that your customers and internal teams continue to be effective, while making it painless for you.

TIP 2:

Work collaboratively within your own organization and with your tech vendor’s experts to understand why the number of subscribers to existing technical support packages is not what you expected, especially when the number of out-of-scope technical issues hitting the customer support team is on the rise. Generally speaking, either customers do not understand the nuances of support plans – what’s included, what is not, who they should be contacting for which issues, or your customer support teams are overwhelmed with the number of different options they have to present to the customer, leading to an inconsistent offer rate.

In the case of this MSP, the Support.com team of experts and the MSP decided to test a solution to both of these issues by bundling an inside-wiring protection plan together with a technical support subscription for just a few more dollars a month than the basic Protection Plan.

The bundled offer eliminated coverage confusion and simplified the customer care solutions, which in turn increased both the offer rate and adoption by consumers. Delivering additional customer value and reducing costs through this simplified sales approach increased customer acquisition by six times the company’s previous sales records. This kind of bundling increases subscribers, which translates to a significant increase in revenue.

TIP 3:

Pick the right tech support vendor. Make sure they understand your products, technology, and customers, and that they are willing and able to be a true partner to your business. Also make sure that their tech support team is of the highest quality and has access to the most current tech support information – not just for your products but for the thousands of products in your customers’ technical ecosystem. Ensure that your vendor has a platform where the experts, both in your organization and in the vendor’s, can easily validate and share best practices or tribal knowledge. This way, every single member of the team is armed with the best information to solve customer issues — and delight customers in the process.

An MSP could engage with Support.com to generate incremental recurring revenue from the new tech support packages, as well as cost savings from the deferred calls related to customer-owned technology problems. We’ve seen this have a significant impact on customer satisfaction, delivered through extraordinarily high Voice of Customer (VoC) scores and Net Promoter Scores® (NPS)*“Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.”. In the spirit of client-vendor partnership that is focused on long-term success, partners should work together to engage with customers to reinforce the value of the technical service package—creating more loyal customers in the process.

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