Surveys Let You Know the Score

Managed service providers are often so focused on reselling new products and services and pitching their own new products services to clients that they can easily overlook a key step in retention and procurement of customers. What's that step? Well, it's the old "how am I driving" customer outreach. Online surveys can be particularly effective in giving an MSP a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses, as well as customer satisfaction.

The cool thing is that you don't necessarily need a fancy-schmancy polling firm or an overpriced integrated marketing company. Net Promoter has score survey that has gained popularity as a Web-based benchmark that gauges customer attitudes and links survey results to a metric that helps companies use it improve their own profitability.

CSK Technologies uses Net Promoter to survey clients at the end of each quarter. Typical survey questions include the basic 1-t0-10 scale of satisfaction, as well as an overture to the customer on whether or not they'd like to be contacted regarding grievances, for instance, if a score is 8 or lower. Additional questions include satisfaction levels of core applications and network monitoring and helpdesk response efficiency.

Indeed, it helps to keep track of your performance and either improve service or remediate deficiencies. One sure thing is that customers will keep track of the performance of the IT service company they are paying to make their business better.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on April 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM0 comments


SMBs, Back Those Apps Up

The evolution of the cloud has opened up all types of bells and whistles related to dealing with workflow management, application implementation and maintenance functions and data and content storage up there. So, for an MSP focused on growth and new revenue-generating business lines, it's easy to get caught up in joining the fray.

But as cloud services ramps up, the time-tested staple of manged services remains back up and disaster recovery (BDR) services, especially for SMBs. Dialing it down even further, if an SMB has fewer than five employees but revenue exceeds $1M per employee, there's ample opportunity for BDR rollouts. Here's why: Despite some small companies raking in a cool million/employee, they still have pretty simple processing environments that have a need to aggregate, track, store and protect data.

According to a Q1 survey from Symantec, most SMBs fitting this profile have little to no business continuity or disaster recovery plans or architecture.

So depending on the recovery time objective (RTO) of a given company, it may do an MSP that is moving into cloud services some good to hold off on bells and whistles and instead, sound the trumpet for an industry staple that has been driving growth in the first place. After all, even in the cloud SMBs still need to back those apps up.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on April 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM0 comments