It’s official over 2,000 MSPs have implemented a CX solution. The mouse pad is dead, long live delivering a modern customer experience.
In the space of two (2) short years the MSP market has seen the emergence of the next big category of software for their stack – called CX (Customer Experience).
In this time four (4) fast growing vendors have emerged; Invarosoft®, CloudRadial, HelpDesk Buttons and DeskDirector to provide a variety of CX solutions to the market. Innovative ‘early adopter’ MSPs have flocked to plug the enormous gap between the PSA and the User in their stack with over 2000 MSPs selecting one of these vendors to super-charge their PSA.
At this rate, it won’t be long before the CX category joins the ranks of the most talked about platforms; PSA, RMM and Documentation as the fourth (4th) big category that every MSP sees as a ‘must have’ in their stack.
The first reason comes down to the fact that MSPs are now realizing they are customer services businesses in technology – not technology businesses. As such the incumbent method of using mouse pads and stickers with your contact details on them as the front-end customer experience doesn’t reflect a modern consumer technology experience.
The concept of moving away from being a ‘NOKIA analog MSP’ to something more resembling an ‘IPHONE digital MSP’ is where the market is heading.
Customers want a ‘wow’ service experience not a ‘meh’ one.
It’s clear now you can’t attend a new business meeting telling clients you’ve got the right experience and team to differentiate yourself. If you’re going to stand out it’s not going to be your stack, it’s going to be your customer experience. MSPs are now understanding this and aligning their sales and services approach to a modern digital consumer experience.
It’s why companies like Electric.AI have raised millions of dollars to deliver a modern experience using Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Players like Invarosoft and CloudRadial are building out complete platforms enabling MSPs to reduce stack costs by giving them a series of stand-alone tools under the one hood.
Tools like vCIO, CSAT, Live Chat, Identity Security, Bookings, Secure Messaging, Web Forms, Push Notifications can all now be replaced with a stand-alone CX Platform saving MSPs $100’s every month in the process.
Now MSPs can get a Client Portal that is completely customizable and integrates with O365. MSPs can show tickets, approvals, Microsoft licensing, device listings, service catalogs, training and knowledgebase information which until the CX platforms arrived has long been the domain of enterprise ITSM tools like ServiceNow.
When you add the ability to do Live Chat, Ticket Push Updates (sends a push message when the PSA ticket is updated) and Push Notifications across Desktop and Mobile, MSPs are seeing the benefit of cutting through the noise of email and delivering a modern digital experience to the user.
When you integrate a vCIO Platform into a CX Platform it now appears the result is 1+1=3.
The reason is the traditional approach to vCIO tools is a backend tool which produces a very detailed report in a document. Now MSPs are benefiting from being able to present their findings and recommendations inside the Client Portal making it more visible to the client and helping to increase sales and reduce churn.
Interestingly by front-ending a PSA with a Desktop, Mobile or now Microsoft Teams App, you’re giving users an easier way to log tickets ensuring the MSP receives the correct information.
This means a massive improvement in productivity by getting the key information, (ticket categorization pre-filled, screen capture, screen recordings, device diagnostics and form data), completed nicely in the ticket.
When you layer over the top Self-Service Bots, Training Bots and Smart Engineer Bots MSPs can actually reduce tickets, reduce support calls and use automation to drive a change in user behavior.
The MSP CX category is probably the most interesting to observe since it’s been a hot bed of innovation and R&D.
From agent to agent Live Chat, Web Chat, AI, Bots, Automation to secure 2FA messaging and integrating with Microsoft Teams, these vendors are rapidly producing technology advancements that the PSA and RMM tools have been slow to produce.
It’s this alchemy of not only delivering a platform focused on CX but providing the MSP with tech-tools they can use to be more productive plus the added benefit of reducing stack bloat which is turning the CX platforms into a ‘must have’ addition to the MSP stack.
So what does the future hold for MSPs and the CX category?
Well it’s clear the MSP market is starting to agree by voting in their 1000’s to modernize their CX approach.
If we were to look through a crystal ball 3-5 years in the future, the MSP of the future will quickly move away from their analog ‘Nokia’ approach to a modern digital ‘iPhone’ approach. The market has spoken loudly that CX is important, so it’s only a matter of time before the wider market catch up with this underground movement which is spilling over into the mainstream.
MSPs will need to consider whether staying with the incumbent Nokia MSP approach is destined to be a winning strategy or not. Time will tell, but our bet is innovation will win since 2000+ MSPs have already voted by adopting a CX Platform, so it’s probably more a decision of ‘when’ versus ‘if’ the majority of MSPs will follow suit.
The mouse pad is dead, long live a modern customer experience!
Jamie Warner is the serial entrepreneur and is currently CEO of fast growing start-up Invarosoft® and Chairman of MSP, eNerds®. He launched eNerds in 2000 and has grown the company organically to over 45 staff and $9 million in revenue across 4 cities. eNerds has also won many awards including SMB Partner of the Year six times in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 at the ARN ICT Industry Awards. Invarosoft recently won ‘Start-up Specialist of the Year’ at the ARN ICT Awards 2020. Jamie has been a member of Entrepreneurs Organization from 2009 to 2020 and served as President in 2014/15 for the Sydney Chapter.