A satisfied client is a productive client and having a protocol to follow in order to maintain satisfaction is a must for any healthy business. Managing your communications and anticipating or avoiding incidents should form the backbone of the relationship between an IT supplier specialised in network management and their client.
If it’s true that you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes then incidents have to be seen as a source of useful data for your company. The more data you have about their business, the better the service you can provide, and the more the client can improve the service they offer.
The present article is less about finding the best solution to specific problems and more about establishing a procedure to follow which you can apply in disparate situations. Your ability to manage incidents in a coordinated way conditions the relationship you have with your clients, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to establish best practice in incident resolution. You’ll gain the trust of your clients and, in turn, cement a long-term business relationship.
How to proceed in the face of an incident
When an IT support company is informed of an incident a process of analysis, detection, correction and tracking is activated. The following steps can be seen as a mental model, a useful how-to guide, and a road map for all parties to follow, allowing all to see at which stage the process is at.
1. Reception: Respond to the incident ASAP; compile information about the failure and assume any applicable responsibility, with particular reference to the task of solving the problem. An apology to the client establishes empathy and should show understanding of the seriousness of the situation. This incident may represent just another ticket for you, but for your client it’s their business. The human touch is as necessary in IT as in any area of commerce and should be the first step to maintaining client satisfaction and ensuring that the subsequent process is collaborative rather than combative.
2. Analysis, detection and correction: Once the incident has been reported these three steps will ensure that you allocate the correct resources to the problem. Providing a timetable to the client, outlining the timing of the resolution also allows them to plan for when their business is 100% operational again and avoid any possible downtime.
Timing is key; the sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can start working on it. The attention you devote to the problem indicates your commitment to keeping your clients happy, and the shorter the resolution time, the higher your client’s satisfaction.
3. Tracking: The problem has been solved but the process doesn’t stop there. Again, you require feedback from the client to determine whether the problem has been solved to the client’s satisfaction. In many cases, solving one problem engenders others.
Note that any incident or complaint on your client’s behalf represents an opportunity to get practical data on your own service levels and a better idea of the image you project, and where you need to strengthen your services.
Implanting a ticketing tool (software designed to deal with network incidents) is currently standard business practice. Integria IMS is not only another ticketing tool that streamlines and simplifies this kind of service, but also integrates project management and inventory functions in a complete package.
Below are a few of the tasks you can carry out using an incident management system such as Integria IMS:
. Create, track and visualize tickets.
. Automate routine tasks using powerful workflow applications.
. Receive notifications on same.
. Create, update and track incidents via email.
. Manage your service quality and automate replies via SLAs to cover your business’s requirements.
. Customization throughout the tool, based on multiple fields which permit fine-tuning to your specifications.
. Guarantee service satisfaction via the quality evaluation system.
. Security and credentials, segmented according to roles, profiles and groups.
. Reports that give easy access to information, chart trends and permit intuitive visualisation of your network, helping to identify areas for improvement.
For more information about Integria IMS, visit integriaims.com