For years, enterprises have been eager to transform the way that they do business. What drives this desire has been their need to meet rising customer expectations. Digital transformation has been key to this in recent years, which has not been primarily about technology or saving money – it’s been about improving the customer experience.
One result of this is that managed service providers (MSPs) increasingly connect their systems with their customers’ systems. Doing so ultimately improves the user experience in a number of ways, helping managed service providers that integrate strategically to stand out in the value that they offer.
So, how are MSPs reaping the rewards of their customer integration efforts?
1. Faster Onboarding for Rapid Time to Value
Too many managed service providers find themselves in perpetual implementation purgatory. What worked (finally) to onboard one customer has to then be rebuilt from scratch for another. Onboarding looks different from one customer to another, so providers find themselves reinventing the wheel with new customer implementations.
Implementation engineers toil over manual processes. So, their managers start looking for ways to automate this repetitive work. Customers wonder, “Now that they’ve got our money, what are they doing over there, anyway?”
Lengthy onboarding is trouble for both customers and the managed service provider. Drawn-out projects take up staffing resources, decrease customer satisfaction, and postpone the go-live date. Because the customer cannot realize value until the implementation is complete, they become less likely to purchase additional services from the provider.
For faster onboarding, the managed service provider needs to automate defined, formalized processes. They can do so through a simplified integration solution that uses pre-built IT service management (ITSM) processes.
Here a standardized integration model gives providers a blueprint for repeatable integrations. When providers integrate with their customers faster, they onboard those customers more quickly, leading to faster time to value.
2. Managing Knowledge More Efficiently
When managed service providers replicate the knowledge bases of customers, they can onboard customers faster. But they can also maintain those knowledge bases more efficiently.
Customers regularly update their knowledge base by modifying articles and by creating new ones. But managed service providers need access to those knowledge articles too, especially when they function as the IT service desk for their customers’ users. To avoid the swivel-chair approach (e.g., emailing or other copy-paste methods) that wastes time and introduces human error, a managed service provider can integrate to replicate changes to the knowledge base automatically.
When events take place with widespread impact, the customer requires instant communication with their users. The customer can write a knowledge article that addresses the emergency. Then, with the automatic synchronization of knowledge in place, the managed service provider has instant access, giving the service desk accurate information as agents support users.
3. Delivering Additional Services
When managed service providers deploy smart, strategic integrations, they can solve problems and open up opportunities. Consider a managed service provider that acts as the IT service desk for customers and the customers’ users.
By integrating various customers’ systems to the provider’s database, that provider can now calculate averages for a variety of benchmarks. The provider identifies the average time across customers for key metrics such as customer wait time, customer satisfaction, first-call resolution rate, and so forth. This is valuable data that the provider turns into benchmarks, letting the provider market not only visibility into those benchmarks but also additional services that can help improve the customers’ processes.
But this kind of integration is just one that results in the offering of additional services. Another kind of integration that backs up data might let a managed service provider deliver ITSM tool upgrade assistance. Another integration to a customer’s CRM system could let a provider offer additional customer support.
4. A Better Customer and User Experience
The desire for digital transformation and a better customer experience is driving managed service providers to connect with their customer systems. As already covered:
- Through faster onboarding, customers benefit from realizing value quickly.
- Through better visibility of knowledge, customers’ users get needed support instantly.
- Through the delivery of additional services, customers embrace new ways of meeting their business needs.
It’s an exciting time for MSPs, as new opportunities and new resources become available. All of which help to improve managed service provider capabilities in delivering a better customer and user experience.
If you would like to learn more about how managed service providers are connecting with customer systems to deliver customer value, please check out The Unrivaled Guide to Service Provider Integration, a 60-page guide on all the ins and outs of connecting systems.