Professional Services Automation (also known as PSA) with an integrated ticketing system is the route to super-charging your IT services. It bridges that all-important gap between being operationally savvy and also being great at customer service and experience. But don’t just take our word for it.
We recently talked to two successful MSPs, Piero Oliviero from Digibyte, and Stan Ferguson-Smith from Lookout Support and Solutions. Both of these IT gurus are using the Atera ticketing system to see true business gains. Here are some of their top benefits and features.
Digibyte went from being a small company to being an IT giant with more than 2,000 customers. This kind of scale is tough, especially without taking its toll on the company culture. This is a common challenge for companies, managing the balance between embracing growth and keeping to your identity as an MSP or IT service provider.
Your customer may be used to speaking to you on the phone or sending a direct email for example, and suddenly you want them to use a larger or more automated system such as a call center. But as Piero said to us, “You just can’t grow at speed via emails!”
Our Professional Services Automation has met that challenge head-on for Digibyte. The ticket system, and in particular the email forwarding approach means that customers still see the value of getting that personal attention, and can keep sending emails, with a dedicated technician alerted to solve problems or answer questions. On the back end – Digibyte can manage customers at scale using tickets, ensuring that nothing gets lost.
Improve Customer Support and Communication
Whether you prefer to speak to your customers on the phone, or you love the ease and flexibility of written communication, a ticketing system can help you build out a multi-functional customer process that delights and supports.
For Stan, it’s all about “making a better experience of IT.” So, at Lookout, the customer can use the PSA to log a ticket, and then Stan can begin fixing the problem immediately, whether that’s pre-loading the right scripts, starting a software install, or sending password-protected documents. When he then picks up the phone to speak to the client directly, as he prefers to do, the client is amazed at how quickly the solution has been provided. “The technology is there. It’s all about using the system to its advantage, and helping clients feel that it’s easy and seamless.” Think about how this can be used for better collaboration too so that even a brand-new technician or support engineer on a customer account can quickly get up to speed and access the context that they need to provide a winning customer experience.
Piero had a similar story to share, where technicians can still pick up the phone to speak to the customers directly when they choose, but with the ticketing system and PSA as a tool to visualize and maintain even unmanaged devices, Digibyte can see everything at a glance before the call, so that they can make better use of that ‘face to face time. For managed devices, they can connect to the PCs ahead of time, too.
Behind the scenes, your business has a detailed service history for each customer that can help you to improve your relationships with your end-users and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Get Better Insight into the Business
Another benefit of using a PSA tool is the level of information you can see swiftly at any time. Stan uses this at the beginning of his day, to plan out his workload and see at a glance what needs his attention. “From my phone, I can immediately see what alerts we have and prioritize. This has a huge impact on my daily life and saves me a lot of time.” Businesses can also create a ticket straight from an alert if an issue needs further investigation, or you want to bill for hours or communicate directly with the customer.
Another benefit is the way that MSPs or IT service providers can use the ticket timer system to log the number of hours they have worked on specific client accounts, which is great for any customers who aren’t utilizing managed services.
Stan also spoke to us about how he uses ticket surveys to create an explicit stream of data from his customers on how they are doing after a ticket, something that is incredibly valuable for customer education and business insight. One useful tip he passed on was to get feedback on which customers are happy to be surveyed, and then set up the rules so that the automation auto-excludes any customers who don’t want to provide feedback. We love that advice, as a way that you can isolate your brand champions and advocates, without adding friction elsewhere.
From a business point of view, this data is also valuable for measuring the success of your service on both a high level and granularly too. When everything comes through a centralized platform, you can analyze data and get reports that can help you to understand customer satisfaction, response rates, repeat challenges, escalations, and more. You can also take a deep dive into specific customer history, whether that’s because it’s time for your QBR, to get a new technician up to date on a customer, or to understand a challenge.
Create More Streamlined Operations
Ticket automation rules are a powerful way to manage your ticketing system, and can also help you to channel tickets to the right teams or technicians. Piero gave us a valuable example to share of how Digibyte has made this work for them.
“We saw that sometimes when customers were requesting new offers or services, this was getting missed. There’s so much to get done in a day, and technicians aren’t necessarily salespeople! In response, we have used Atera’s ticketing automation rules to set up a specific service tier for sales or upsell opportunities. We have set up our automation rules to highlight tickets where customers are using certain keywords, and this will go to a different queue via an email address configured for this purpose – email@example.com for example. Technicians can focus on helping customers with support queries, and we know that sales or upsell opportunities aren’t being missed.”
Integrate with RMM tools
We have found that what really takes PSA and ticketing capabilities to the next level is when you can intelligently use them in tandem with Remote Monitoring and Maintenance (RMM). At Lookout, Stan uses the script library in tandem with ticketing for example.
“When a ticket comes in through the PSA with a specific request, I can start with a quick search in the script library, or reach for one of the five or six scripts I use on a weekly basis, such as software installation, or document management scripts. It enables someone like me, who is great with a flashing error light but not so great at writing code, to go find things that help me out.”
The ease of use of a solution that brings RMM and PSA together makes for a technology that is greater than the sum of its parts. Simply put – you can do more with a full-suite RMM and PSA than you could achieve with one or the other independently.
How to Get More Out of Atera’s PSA
Atera’s PSA and ticketing system is fully customizable, and Stan told us for example that it took him just 3 hours to get it set up and ready to go. However, it’s also important to think about how to make it valuable and easy from the client-side. Stan gave us another great tip that we would love to share with you all about how to fill out those blank ticket categories that you’ll see when you get started.
“Speak to your customers! I spoke to mine and said, ‘if you were sending a support ticket about X or Y, how would you categorize it?’ After all, what speaks our language as techies won’t necessarily be easy for the end-user to understand. If your customers find it too tough to log a ticket, they just won’t. They’ll pick up the phone and call, which will tie up your technicians. If you step into their shoes and create categories based on their context, you’re making the ticketing system a lot more user friendly.”
Other benefits of Atera’s PSA include:
The Customer Portal: Create your customer portal, customized to your brand. Your customers will be able to open tickets, track the progress of open tickets, and access self-serve capabilities such as your knowledge base or customer education offerings. The customer portal can easily be accessed by your customers through a customized URL or by enabling the helpdesk agent.
Chat Functionality: Increase Help Desk efficiency with a chat feature that can be used to instantly communicate with your customers when they need support or guidance. Support multiple customers at once, enable file and video transfer to get more information in real-time when you need it, and generate tickets directly from your chat window to escalate an issue or pass it over to another member of staff.
Want to learn more about creating helpdesk tickets? Here are the six ways helpdesk tickets can be integrated with Atera!
Join us on our upcoming webinar: “Ticketing Webinar: Rule Your Helpdesk” right here. Learn how using your helpdesk functionality can take your business to the next level!
Want to know more about utilizing our powerful PSA? Speak to us, anytime.