Technology has never been a more important part of managing a successful MSP. Your MSP platform is one of the main interaction points between your technicians and your customers. The PSA software you use should act as the nervous system of your business, allowing you to manage your business in proactive ways that control costs, generate predictable revenue, and delight customers. But just like any tool, knowing if your PSA is still competitive and running at peak performance and reliability is part of providing a differentiated capability in the marketplace. So how should you evaluate your current PSA? We’ll walk you through an easy-to-use framework that will make a review of your current software a breeze.
Is your PSA software meeting your original success criteria?
When you first selected your PSA you most likely had set criteria for what success looked like in your business using the platform. If you have been using your PSA for a long enough period of time (3-6 months) to gather useable data, you should be able to see if your PSA is meeting the success criteria you set during your selection process.
Success Criteria could include:
- Return on effort (ROE) - Does the PSA provide a good return on effort? Are you able to run your business with software that leverages resources, and delights customers?
- Return on Investments (ROI) - Does your PSA software provide a return on investment that exceeds its actual cost? MSPs have different margin and revenue targets, but whatever your targets are, you should be able to map them to ROI vs. Costs.
- Client Satisfaction - Are customers satisfied with their interactions via the software? Even if clients interact with the MSP indirectly, your software should be able to show client health, satisfaction, and adherence to service-level agreements (SLA).
Your PSA is part of a digital nervous system with your clients, and if it is not able to show in real-time client health, that is a major issue.
- Pain Points - Most companies when looking for a new PSA software are looking to solve problems and resolve pain points. Has your current software resolved the initial pain points you were trying to solve when purchasing the platform? Are there new pain points that have emerged as the industry has progressed? Technology innovation is moving at terrific speed, and pain points that were thought impossible to fix technically, are often being solved as this software evolves.
- People - Hiring good people has never been more difficult. Staff are less loyal, less willing to put up with cumbersome technical solutions, and are looking to do work that is both intelligent and valuable. PSA software is notorious for providing capabilities that are difficult to configure, difficult to use and provide poor visibility into how things are actually working for the business. MSP providers also complain that a lot of PSA software is a hodge-podge of solutions that make it difficult to manage their business. Providing the right software to your technicians can make all the difference in your technicians sticking around, and not jumping to a competitor.
Does your PSA allow you to manage your business?
Your PSA should be the command center of your business. It should be making your business more agile, data-driven, customer-centric, and innovative.
- Agility - Your PSA should allow your business to be more agile. The user interface, the business processes, the analytics and reporting, and the overall system performance should support flexible models that allow your company to deliver on its goals. Too often PSA software is built on rigid frameworks that actually limit your company’s success.
- Data Driven - Data is becoming the heart of successful MSP businesses. Just like your body relies on its nervous system and brain to make lighting fast decisions, your PSA and the data within it can provide the exact same function. Your PSA is the command center of your business, and the data within it needs to be understandable and leverageable by every level of your organization so they can make the right decisions in real time. Once upon a time, this type of data utilization was seen as a major differentiator, but now it is becoming table stakes. It is a resource that really cannot be ignored.
- Customer Centric - Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You want to be relevant in their eyes, and to be seen as a trusted and indispensable partner. Your PSA either directly or indirectly is a core pillar of running a customer-centric business. Your ability to see customer health, be alerted to potential trouble, and stay proactive in the relationship is critical to customer satisfaction and reducing churn. Your PSA should be providing you with the insights and features that keep customers happy with the least amount of effort on your part.
- Tech Centric - Your techs are at the center of getting work done at your MSP. Making sure techs are effective and engaged impacts every part of your business. Your ability to manage technicians through your PSA allows for real conversations with techs backed up by data.
The smartest MSPs leverage their PSA software in ways that let technicians manage themselves by giving them data views, target adherence, and alerts to issues that provide the right type of performance outcomes.
- Innovation - Technology is moving at an ever-increasing speed. Making sure your PSA is innovating in the areas that matter most to your business can be a differentiator if correctly leveraged. Make sure that the vision and feature roadmap of your PSA software provider are heading in directions that matter to your business, and not their investors or other internal goals that aren’t mapped to making your business successful.
Does my PSA software provider meet my expectations?
Your relationship with your PSA software provider should be just as positive as you hope your relationship is with your clients. Having a great relationship with your PSA software provider can make all the difference in whether your PSA is providing the requisite value to your business.
Key criteria include:
- Overall relationship - Do you like working with your PSA software provider? Is the interaction positive? Do they listen to your issues and feature requests and provide solutions and insights that you actually believe?
As a customer, you should be in the driver's seat to make sure you get the level of attention you deserve. If you’re just seen as another number on their balance sheet, then you should consider re-setting the relationship by having more frequent business reviews, or you should look for a new PSA provider. Being in a bad relationship is just bad on multiple levels.
- Release of valuable new features - You want features that allow you to deliver valuable and differentiated service to your customers at ever-reducing costs. Too often PSA software providers don’t provide the features or provide the wrong features to make running your business more predictable and less complex. Pay attention to the feature roadmaps of your PSA software, are the right new features on the roadmap? Does the PSA software provider have a history of delivering features on time and with little to no bugs? Do you have the ability to request features, and if so, do you get confirmation on whether that request is accepted or rejected in the queue of feature requests?
- Ability to resolve issues quickly - There is nothing worse than having a software provider relationship where when there is trouble the vendor disappears. If you’re working with a PSA provider who doesn’t help you resolve issues quickly then it is time for a reset. Most software providers have service-level agreements with their clients, and you should make sure they stick to those SLAs. But the best software providers exceed their SLAs and are always looking for ways to exceed the expectations of their customers. You should expect nothing less than quick issue resolution from your PSA software provider.
- Additional Costs - Sadly some companies make their margins on additional services to their clients. Different pricing for new features and change requests for features that should be working out of the box or provided are major red flags to watch out for. If you feel like you’re being manipulated or gouged by your software provider then call them out on it. Pricing and services frameworks are always a construct, and you almost always work to get additional costs reduced or removed completely.
The Bottom Line
Your PSA software is a core delivery pillar for your business so make sure it’s meeting expectations is crucial to your business’ success. Analyzing your current solution to understand if it helps increase revenue, optimize employee time, improve morale, and delight customers will make it easier for you to manage your business. And if you find that the software you use is not delivering on these expectations– it might be time to switch.
Zest is the only PSA software that is built for best business practices. Zest is a streamlined, out-of-the-box solution that delivers professional monitoring and reporting to help you stay on top of your business.
Try Zest today- and discover a better way to run your business.