When starting up an MSP, a good phrase to remember for certain aspects of these models is the saying “you can run, but you can’t hide.” This particular phrase is apt in situations like ticket management and time.
In the industry, ticket time is like an invisible force. As MSP owners, we don’t know how many tickets we’ll get in a day, how long each ticket will take, or the nature of it until you pick up the phone or open an email.
Because there are so many unknowns to it, it’s so common that MSPs often waste a lot of resources on tickets themselves or projects to fix the issue. To ensure you don’t waste any more time trying to figure all of this out, here is one strategy that has proved to be effective.
Begin With Measuring
While there is no way to predict future behaviour, we are capable of analyzing behaviour from the past. Through analysis, you’ll be able to get an idea of how many tickets are requested per month per user.
There are a few ways you can go about measuring from there. Adding an RHEM could work but some find that the math doesn’t add up properly.
Alternatively you can look into ratios. They’re easier to calculate since you’re looking at support resources to seats in order to see how many seats a resource can manage. The problem with ratios though is if your MSP is noisy, you’ll have tickets on everyone’s service boards. Since every ticket is on everyone’s service board, it gets tough to manage.
The last method is going with a flat ratio that works for you. In general, if you can get ir right, one support resource should be able to manage at least 500 seats.
Regardless of how you’re measuring, you can then turn those numbers into practice.
Next Is Managing The Chaos
Ticket management clearly creates a lot of noise so putting the plan into action is about quarantining that noise.
Centralize Ticket Locations
What it looks in practice is having all tickets and alerts going to one border queue. Having the tickets all gather in a single spot rather than appearing on every person’s task board means you’ll be able to quantify the issue and have an idea of the volume you’re dealing with.
Look For Low-Hanging Fruit
From there, you want to be looking at low-hanging fruit that’ll lower reactive time. Things like escalations are ideal. Finding out why these tickets are being escalated off the support board is a good start.
From there you work downward. So the next step would be looking at tickets that take up over 35 minutes to resolve and figuring out why.
Having A TNT Mindset
The third step to managing the chaos is to have a TNT – today, not tomorrow – attitude. The goal is simple: make sure all the tickets you’ve received today are handled today. This ensures you have time tomorrow to do tomorrow’s tickets without worry.
One quick check to see how the team is managing all of that currently is to look at the average number of tickets and alerts are generated on a typical day. Then, compare that to the number of tickets that are still open by closing time.
Another good measurement is to have staff report the number of tickets closed each day in the morning huddle. Number of tickets closed should be a key metric in tech. It keeps people accountable and also allows people to look for reasons for why they can’t reach a certain metric.
Look At Workstation Policies And Laptop Installs
This is a giant black hole for several MSPs and it’s understandable why. If you include those things into your seat price, that is reactive time which is significant. You could be charging a flat fee or you may bill them hourly.
Regardless, you still need to look at this because when you’re including new workstations into monthly fees, there is a huge problem since many MSPs don’t accurately account for the cost in their costs per seat.
Manage Tickets Together
Whenever everyone is doing their own tickets or projects, everything is chaotic and managing tickets will be impossible. Each team member has to be on the same page for all of this to work. By implementing these things, you should be able to have a better way of managing tickets.
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