How to deal with MSP Help Desk Emergencies

From busy phone lines to data breaches, a quality MSP will be able to respond to emergencies with professionalism and swiftness. Problems are what make MSPs thrive; their ability to deal with emergencies is what will make or break them, and set them apart from their competitors. 

The readiness and effectiveness of an MSP in an emergency situation comes down to the policies and procedures that an owner set up. The better these are, the better the MSP will perform.

But it’s not as simple as writing out these policies and procedures. There are three crucial steps to ensure MSPs handle an emergency thoroughly:

  • First is the ticketing type that determines the emergency thresholds
  • Second is having a dispatcher that can manage all the tickets
  • And lastly is a well-defined procedure that allows for timely and successful solutions to these emergencies.

Covering these three things will turn panic into order as staff can know or readily access this information. For these steps to be effective, having a member’s responsibilities outlined and a structured ticketing system helps. Furthermore, having tracking workflow and updating clients regularly on the progress can instill confidence in staff and clients while in their most vulnerable time.

First, Define the Ticket

Not every ticket is an emergency. In many cases a ticket can be addressed by a single individual rather than a team of three or four. The key is to be able to distinguish between what is an emergency and what isn’t; defining the tickets helps significantly with this.

Using ticketing systems from Freshdesk or similar platforms ensure tickets are documented and tracked. This also makes it easy to classify and ensure the first person that manages the ticket is the only person that manages it.

From there, staff need to distinguish between an urgent and non-urgent request.

A priority system can help with that and varying degrees of emergency can be based on the following:

  • The priority itself (i.e., something must be done immediately versus tomorrow or later in the day.)
  • Response – specifically how much effort is needed to find a solution to the problem
  • Level of authority or expertise needed – can a technician do the job? Or will a manager or the MSP owner need to step in?

Just as an MSP can educate their staff, they can do the same with clients as well. When an MSP educates clients and staff, they empower them and will approach the situation in accordance with the severity of the issue. This can be further reinforced through the number of communication channels clients have to an MSP.

Defining tickets become easier when you empower and educate staff and clients to the best ways to get in contact based on severity level. One way to communicate that is simply informing what channels are appropriate for urgent needs or not urgent needs.

Urgent needs can go from an instant message or chatting face to face, a phone call, or an email with URGENT as the subject. 

For non-urgent needs, a video meeting booked in advance, an email or using the ticketing system would be appropriate.

Second, Hire A Dispatcher

Any MSP with over five technicians should have at least one dispatcher. A dispatcher keeps help desks running smoothly as they handle the intake of tickets so other technicians don’t need to. Dispatchers then coordinate how tickets move through the system to guarantee procedures are followed.

Overall, dispatchers are the backbone to any help desk since they:

  • Ensure tasks are finished.
  • Oversee timeliness of tickets being resolved
  • Check how tickets are moving and identify why some are stalling
  • Handle emergencies
  • Coordinate calls and emails
  • And assure proper documentation

To assure these duties are fulfilled swiftly, arming dispatchers with the following best practices will help – especially in emergency situations:

  • Proactivity when notifying everyone in management and executive levels. Anybody who is a stakeholder in the company needs to know about this.
  • Have the dispatcher immediately bring in the best technician for this issue.
  • Have a system in place to ensure all procedures are being followed.

Other Procedures to Consider When Handling Emergencies

Beyond a good ticketing system some other best practices when handling emergencies are:

  1. Checking on customers every 30 minutes – Getting a steady update on how the situation is being resolved is crucial. Dispatchers can maintain communication through this as well.
  2. Bringing everyone in – When an urgent ticket comes in, the response must be immediate and overwhelming. Dispatchers assign technicians and managers to prioritize the issue and do everything to solve it.
  3. Doing everything possible – An IT support company is hired to help clients in disaster situations. To ensure customers made the right investment everything must be done. Beyond that the response should be calm and comforting and reassure the client feelings. Clients need to feel like they are in safe hands.

About MSP Corp

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Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.