The Aspire Aspect
Power Up Your Customer Experience with Managed Services
By Lorraine Azzinaro, Chief Operating Officer, Aspire Technology Partners
In addition to increasing productivity, performance, and profitability with Managed Services as I shared in my previous blog, Managed Services play an important role in improving the customer experience. The answer to why is simple: The less you invest (time, money and resources) on IT, the more you can focus on your core competencies and the real purpose of your business, thereby increasing your value.
Sticking with my earlier example, if you are a plumbing supplier, you can focus your resources on delighting your customers with increased and reliable service. The key to success is seeking a Managed Services Partner that feels the same way about customer experience and acts on it. You want your partner to invest in a customer-centric approach to your managed services.
We at Aspire have created an entire Customer Experience team that sits outside our Managed Services organization. Their entire job is to be internal advocates for our customers, ensuring our customers are satisfied and that we are holding up our end of the bargain when it comes to the services we manage on their behalf.
Our Customer Experience team makes sure our customers are receiving regular comprehensive reports, going beyond simply recording and reporting metrics, but providing confidence that we are proactively reviewing and recommending IT improvements. Speaking from experience: Most IT contracts contain service level agreements (SLAs) and other metrics and then those contracts get put on a shelf. If the client doesn’t have a highly-trained IT staff with the knowledge and availability to monitor and review these agreements, what good do those SLAs do the organization?
We hold our Customer Experience team outside of our Managed Services Group and we expect them to represent the customers’ voice inside our operation. Aspire takes the most proactive step of holding ourselves accountable, through our Customer Experience group, so our clients don’t have to worry.
Our Customer Success Managers are empowered to challenge our internal teams on their performance metrics and drive root-cause analysis on any matter that did not go as expected.
We work with our clients to define the challenges they’re trying to solve and the desired outcome they hope to achieve and work to mitigate concerns and uphold those SLAs. Once you understand the desired outcome a system or process can be established to drive the company to that destination.
There are three standards that you should consider when reviewing Managed Services partners for your organization:
- Are they experienced and up-to-date? A Managed Services company must have IT staff that maintains certifications and training to be consistently up-to-date on the latest technology. This requires the partner to have an extensive budget to invest in their employees. Otherwise, this becomes a huge and unnecessary investment for your organization.
- Are their experts in-house? If you are already outsourcing your IT needs to another firm, why would you want that Managed Services firm to then subcontract? There are a few issues with subcontracting. First, your company may be paying too much for the same services that a firm with in-house experts would provide. The second is more important when an emergency arises. You don’t want your company, employees, and, potentially, customers to be left waiting while your partner chases down their subcontractors to alleviate the issues.
- Are they proactive? If there is a problem, or if there is some other thing that your organization might be doing that can improve its IT performance, you should expect your Managed Services Partner to reach out to discuss the problem, solution, or recommendation. The partner should be thinking ahead, not just be reactive to your current needs.
At the end of the day, it is your Managed Services Partner’s job to meet your growing customer expectations by advancing new ideas and technologies to provide you with a strategic advantage in the marketplace. You want them to focus on technology so you can focus on your core competencies.
If you would like to learn more about how to leverage Managed Services to improve your organization’s customer experience, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Aspire provides customer-centric managed services, working hand-in-hand to achieve your business’ IT goals. You can also visit www.aspiretransforms.com for more information.
Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.