Scaling up to offer 24-hour technical IT support comes with some unique considerations that range from cost and staff to strategy and planning. The strategy you choose needs to take into account your customers’ needs, the hours of coverage and your business goals and expansion plans.
At Inbay we are seeing a large increase in MSPs extending their service offerings to 24/7 coverage due to flexible working brought on by the pandemic. But, MSPs that are looking to extended their service offering also have to consider other aspects of their business, not just their services.
The content for this article comes from Inbay’s ‘CEO Geek’ video series. These short videos are delivered by our very own CEO who covers a variety of topics including top tips for MSPs, industry news and key trends. Matt is proud to be something of an IT geek after working in the IT industry for over 20 years. Matt started his career working as a technical systems engineer, right through to running the technical delivery centre and sales team for a large MSP for 8 years. Matt has also worked within the IT channel with Datto and more recently Inbay.
In this video Matt Takhar will be covering ‘The top 5 considerations when extending your services to 24/7’
Your top priority when extending your service offerings is your staff. Ask yourself this, will your staff want to work the hours you are now covering?
Many MSPs tend to have a call roster instead of keeping the office open overnight. This is an easier and much cheaper option for businesses to take and is more convenient for staff. Some businesses have an ‘opt-in’ option for their staff. However, we suggest you have a balance of level two engineers and senior engineers on every single night shift in case a complex issue happens.
You need to remember, your staff aren’t going to work extra for nothing, so you need to consider overtime rates and what you are going to pay them. As your engineers always need to be near a phone, have a laptop ready and maybe get to a customer site, maybe you should consider paying your staff a retainer as they’re on call.
With your engineers working 24/7 you need to consider how you are going to be pricing your customers without eating into your profit margin.
You need to first consider if you are offering your service to all users for your customers, or is it going to selected users. Some of your customers may not want some members of staff to have out of hours support, then again, they might. We suggest you offer both. If you’re offering select users, then make sure you have a simple way of tracking who is authorised and the process around it for your engineers.
When offering your services to the customer and everyone that works there it is best to add it as a percentage increase to your standard support rate.
3. The ‘what if’ situation
There are many ‘what if’ situations you need to consider when extending your services to 24/7 that you won’t be able to cater for on day one.
To help limit your ‘what if’ scenarios we recommend that you have a separate number for your out-of-hours service or your phone system authority diverts at a set time, ideally playing an automated message for your customers to go through to your on-call engineers. By implementing this you have already crossed off some of your what if questions.
It is also very important to have stand by engineers in case one falls sick and cannot attend work, this then eliminates another what if scenario and your customers will still be able to have their issue resolved by your stand in engineer.
4. Your go to market strategy
Your marketing strategy depends on the type of 24/7 service you are providing. If you are offering your services to everyone then you can simply communicate your services out to your customers via a newsletter email campaign with all the relative information they will need. If you are only offering to select customer then we suggest you get your account managers to call them direct and attempt the upsell.
Having customer facing documentation which clearly explains how the service works and sets clear expectations is key. This means your customers will know when they will get a call back from your engineers.
5. Your customers
Your top priority is your end user experience, what should that look like and how would you want it to work if you were the end user.
Always think about the customers point of view when being their provider and the expectations you have set for them. For example, make your on-hold message is clear and not too long. Your customers will no doubt be calling you when they are having an issue, so resolving getting them through to the right person as quickly as possible is key.
A properly executed 24/7 IT support service desk can make a huge difference to your service offering and bottom line. It is vital that you take the time to get the right people in place and set up the relevant processes to ensure excellent service delivery.
It is easy to see how overwhelming implementing a 24/7 Technical IT support service desk can be, but fear not, you can outsource this service to Inbay. Inbay’s Service Desk is offered across any time zone, in-hours, out-of-hours or 24/7. Our flexible approach means that you can tailor our offer to match your client’s individual requirements. You can use our 24/7 service to cover any combination of hours across your client base. Where it be for all customers or just a few.
Gain complete peace of mind knowing that a highly trained team are on hand when your clients need it most, ensuring your service levels remain high and your customers happy.
Find out how Inbay’s 24/7 service desk can help your MSP business and contact us to arrange an assessment call.