Maybe you are one of those IT firm owners who seem to fully understand their staff and are satisfied with their work efforts, with no complaints. Life on the inside of your business couldn’t be better.
Congratulations. You’re a rare breed.
Because for the rest of us, getting our techs to follow direction and to do things that they don’t feel like doing can be a daily challenge. When discussing these problems with the owners of IT support firms, the problems I hear are repeated time and time again… techs who refuse to enter support tickets on time, they forget to account for the time and work detail spent on jobs, they fail to keep good and open communication with important clients, and continuously fall behind in maintaining client records and databases.
I’ll never understand it... A tech will spend hours on end working on a mind-numbingly tedious issue like doing a virus and malware cleanup, but then refuse to spend three minutes reporting the service call details.
Most IT company owners, while they may complain about these problems, understand that their technicians are their most important assets. Besides doing the tough work, they are on the front lines interacting with your business clients and keeping them happy. While this is an important focus, if they don’t do a good job communicating with your clients, this could cause a loss in your business.
A lot of IT company owners try to resolve this issue by hiring new technicians, who they think will be better able to follow the rules. Unfortunately, most of the time, this solution doesn’t work. You might get lucky and find the rare diamond-in-the-rough employee who does a fantastic job of following the rules, but more often than not, you’ll just be fighting the same battle with a new opponent.
Instead, you need to look at the problem from an internal point of view and realize that the problem isn’t necessarily your techs, but instead may be with the way you run your business. If you design and implement simple to follow programs and systems that allow your techs to report and communicate easily, you’ll solve the major issues without needing to train new staff.
To do this, automate your processes using a Professional Services Automation (PSA) application. A good PSA will allow your techs to input their job details on site at the clients’ location or even by using their phone to update their records before they return from the job site.
Having an easily accessible, web-based ticketing system can make it infinitely easier for your staff to follow standard operating procedures that as they wrap up a job, to do so, they must fully account for their actions and hours at that very moment.
Besides implementing a procedure that is easy to use and understand, both you and your client can receive an immediate report showing what has been done, how long the work took, and the diagnosis.
A good PSA will also help to cut down on the time spent on the invoicing, You’ll have all of the tech’s service calls pre-entered, and the PSA makes short work of converting these reports into easily generated invoices.
To provide top-level service to your clients, you need to have open lines of communication and reliable information. While your techs are an important part of this process, you should rely on quality systems to help you to ensure that the clients are well taken care of in areas that are not always strengths of our computer consultants.