Getting your techs to enter time

I’ve worked in IT for 20+ years. I’ve worked at large enterprise systems integrators, small IT support companies, and run my own consulting group. I’ve run teams of 5 and teams of 50. No matter the place, no matter who I talk to in the industry, one of the most common issues people struggle with is time management and timesheet entry.

What strategies have people found successful in getting people to enter their time be accountable to this responsibility? Also, how do you manage your workload so that you don’t feel overwhelmed?

Here are a few I've found successful.

1. Explain why it’s necessary

It’s amazing how much a little bit of education can change someone’s feeling about having to do something. When onboarding someone, explain to them, “We need you to enter your time. Without your time entry, we can’t create invoices for the clients, which means we don’t get paid. So it’s pretty important. This is why I’ll be persistent about you getting your time entered.” Even if you don’t need the time entry for invoices, just substitute the WHY on the time entry, explain how it fits in the company process. If people realize it’s not time entry for time entries sake they may put up less of a fight.

2. Make it easy

The more cumbersome the time entry is, the less likely people will be compliant with the process. This kind of true of anything, but if time entry is important to your business, you need to spend the time to remove the fat/overhead from the process.

3. Prioritization

One of the major reasons people get overwhelmed is a lack of focus. There is only one thing you can do at a time. (check the research multitasking doesn’t work) Focusing on what is important. Making small gains feeds momentum. Anytime someone showed up to my office overwhelmed I loved working with them to write out on the whiteboard all the things they felt they needed to do. We would discuss urgency and importance of each. Stack rank the top three things and send them on their way. “Focus on these three first. If you need more help come back and see me after.” Usually, they just needed perspective to break out of the overwhelmed state. They rarely came back soon for help with the next three things.

4. Train them

What makes humans amazing is our ability to contemplate and influence the future. We are terrible at influencing the past, but we sure do spend a lot of time on the past. Switch your thinking and focus on the future. Train yourself and your staff on how you want things to be done in the future, then give them feedback to ensure they follow their training. Forget about what people have or have not done. Focus on what you want them to do. Train them, support them, and coach them.

I’m passionate about helping MSP techs gets more done with less stress and a sense of greater control, so I built the MSP Productivity Accelerator Course. It teaches you techniques of the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and how to manage your workload in the Connectwise. I did this type of training in person a lot and people always found it helpful. If you want yourself and your team to be better at managing your time and staying on top of the work in your PSA check it out.

How Customer Surveys Create Better Customer Service

How do you know you’re providing excellent service? You can’t just go by your gut here. The quality of your customer service is defined by what your customers say about your service. So how do you get that feedback from your customers? How do you measure your customer satisfaction (CSAT)?

 Do your customers like you?

Do your customers like you?

Why should you care about customer satisfaction?

New business from word of mouth is the cheapest and most rewarding marketing you can do. Satisfied customers are the best way to reduce attrition. As competition increases, costs decline, and technology gets more standardized, the best way to truly differentiate yourself from the noise is through remarkable customer service. That’s how you create, what Seth Godin calls, your purple cow

Like most things in business, you can’t improve something if you don’t measure it. Your customer experience is no different.

“What gets measured gets managed.” - Peter Drucker

The lack of focus on customer experience from most MSPs in the industry creates a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition.


"As a result of this pressure to improve the customer experience, many MSPs are devoting more resources to IT/technology roles than sales and marketing. Surprisingly, a full half of those surveyed say they don’t prioritize the customer experience when evaluating their managed-service offerings, and one-quarter don’t measure customer satisfaction at all…. How can you retain customers if you don’t even care enough to see if they’re happy with the way you’re servicing them?"

-- Channel Futures article "New ConnectWise Research Shows MSPs Are Underwater"


The Negative

According to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner, businesses only hear from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. So if you hear a lot of negative feedback, it’s probably much worse than you realize, but even if you don’t hear negative feedback, you’re missing a ton of feedback points. This fact is even more relevant when you consider 95% of people who have a negative service experience will share that experience with peers. 

Managing negative feedback on your service serves a critical function in protecting your brand reputation and gives you an opportunity to correct any negative points of feedback.

The Positive

On the flip side of customer service feedback, according to RightNow, 86% of people are willing to pay up to 25% more for a service if they have a positive view of the service. A Bain & Company study suggests that just a 5% increase in customer retention rates can result in a 95% increase in profits. This makes sense when you consider the high client acquisition costs of new clients vs. increasing the lifetime value of a current customer.

Most businesses use surveys to collect feedback from their customers. In the MSP industry companies often use the Connectwise client surveys or Autotask customer surveys. This is a decent first step since some feedback is better than none, but what people find is the number of people that actually complete a customer survey is frustratingly low. Email surveys can give you a 5% completion rate on average. Which simply does not give you enough to work off of? 1-2 surveys a week, will not give you the data you need to find issues, make changes and wow your customers.

Simple is better

What if a simple change to your survey process would allow you to get over 50% survey completion? 

A typical customer satisfaction survey is a link that opens a webpage and asks you to complete a multiple choice survey. These are often multiple pages as well. Even if the customer is inclined to click on the link in the first place, over half of those people will bail out before completing the survey. Anything more than one click is asking too much of people.

Using a one-click survey like this one from SimpleSat dramatically increases the likelihood of the customer giving you feedback. 

 Simple Customer Satisfaction Rating

Simple Customer Satisfaction Rating

They don’t need to go anywhere or fill out any forms. They simply click on one of three graphics that visually describe their satisfaction with your company. 

This simplicity of interaction reduces the friction between the client giving you feedback by not requiring a lot of time or effort on their part. You don’t need a paragraph of text, you don’t need to score their feedback across 6 different questions. You only need to know the percentage of people that are happy versus unhappy with the service.

Recovery

There is a hidden opportunity in having more negative feedback. After all, you can’t fix a problem you didn’t know existed. SimpleSat has a beautiful dashboard that empowers you to view feedback, customer details, a team member leaderboard and overall satisfaction stats.

This helps you keep the pulse of how people perceive your service. If you get negative (or neutral) feedback, create a workflow that alerts the service manager right away. Reach out to the user and hear them out. Make all efforts to resolve their complaint. People are trained not hear back from the companies they work with, so when you respond quickly you can win their confidence.

Real-time website testimonials

 Publish customer feedback to your website with one click

Publish customer feedback to your website with one click

After you set up a good process to take care of negative and neutral feedback, you should make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the positive comments you’ll be receiving. 

SimpleSat makes it easy to publish these comments directly on your website with the click of a button. No more out-of-date website testimonials!

 Fresh Testimonials right to your website

Fresh Testimonials right to your website

Customer Experience as a superpower

It is not likely a client would refer you to a peer in their industry because you have great technology. In many cases, the people running the businesses you support do not care about the technology. The hired you, so they Don’t have to care about technology. What they DO care about is if they get value for the service you provide and if their staff complain about the service you provide. The quality of the customer service you deliver and the client satisfaction with that service is the only true differentiator you have in the IT support industry. Make customer service your business superpower. Measure it, improve it, and win your clients love in the process. 


For more info on the simplest customer satisfaction survey system in the industry check out SimpleSat and sign up for a free trial today.