Image Above: Corey Kerns, Collabrance Vice President and General Manager, reviews different MSP items with the front office team.
We recently surveyed managed service provider’s (MSP’s) on concerns they have when it comes to outsourcing. When it comes to the IT Channel, there are always mixed reviews about whether or not to outsource. As an outsourced partner, our job is to understand MSP’s objections and make sure they are NOT a concern for our partners.
For every outsourcing concern, Collabrance takes the approach to turn it into an opportunity to help MSPs achieve greater success. Here’s how…
To no surprise, customer service is a huge concern for MSPs when it comes to outsourcing – as it should be! We always encourage every prospect of ours that whomever they choose to partner with, to ensure their company’s culture aligns with theirs. How you treat each other as a team is only an indicator of how your customers will be treated.
Within the first 90 days of a new Collabrance technician coming onboard the team, they become HDI certified. Today, all Collabrance Help Desk technicians are HDI certified. This training sets high standards for technicians to provide first-class customer service to end users. After all, we hire for attitude first, aptitude second. We believe you can train anyone to do the job, but you can't teach behaviors. A great customer service experiences requires technicians who are able to empathize with the end user and be passionate about resolving their IT issues quickly.
As a GreatAmerica Company, our team is encouraged to provide the same “GreatAmerica Experience” to every individual at every interaction. The results have allowed Collabrance to maintain an average 97% customer satisfaction rate. After every IT issue is resolved, end-users are surveyed to evaluate our service and provide feedback for continuous improvement. To keep service top of mind, the satisfaction rate is a measurement that is also factored into our monthly bonuses as a KPI.
End-User Comment Examples:
"Thank you for all your patience and quick ability to do what I've been begging our other company for 3 years to do! It's nice to have resolutions to issues in such a friendly and quick manner. Thanks bunches!"
"Our company just switched to your service and in the short less than 2 weeks I have contacted your company 4 times for copier, scanner, shared drive problems and to set up my email connection on my new iPad. EVERY interaction has been friendly, professional and quick to fix the issue. I also appreciate your emails with ticket information that are detailed and easy to understand. Thank you for providing great service in this service lacking world!!! I for one appreciate YOUR GREAT SERVICE. Keep up the great work, you are off to a great start!"
"Very helpful and walked me through every step. I’m so glad we went with your service, thanks again!"
You built your MSP business to where it is today. You’re proud of your company, and you know it better than anyone else. Partnering with an outsourced provider can be risky, so how do you balance control? Like our parent company, GreatAmerica, the Collabrance model also believes that you the MSP should maintain ownership of the customer. Collabrance is a private-label Service Desk and NOC that see’s ourselves as an extension to your team. We do everything we can to help you enhance your reputation and build your business. If you’re not successful, either are we.
As a Master MSP, Collabrance was built to help MSPs scale their managed services faster. The Collabrance Help Desk is able to resolve 95% of end-user’s IT tickets remotely. This helps free up our partner’s technical resources and allow them to focus on revenue generating activities like project work. Our partners are able to go-to-market as a larger MSP with Collabrance as an extension of their team. They enjoy the benefits of not having to hire, recruit and train employees, but trust Collabrance to always be fully staffed. The cost of partnering can be significantly lower than an MSP trying to hire all the in-house support and headcount needed. Our account managers also act as ‘virtual sales managers’ to help keep your team on top of their numbers and opportunities. We train sales reps on how to show the value of their solution so you are never competing on trying to provide the lowest price. Our partners are able to successfully sell their managed services offering at an all-in price of $110-$200 per user per month. We recently reviewed our Partner’s financial performance and found that our best-in-class partners are achieving over 50+% gross margin on services and 60+% overall gross margin.
In any relationship, transparency and communication are key. GreatAmerica and Collabrance are transparent companies from our no-wall policy to monthly company performance reviews. Same goes for our partners. To help keep open lines of communication, each partner is paired with an account manager who is available on a regular basis. Ideally, we like to see weekly meetings setup to help identify opportunities and add value as a member of your team. These calls sometimes include just our account managers, but can also include anyone else who needs to be involved. Just like we recommend MSPs do quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with their customers, we also do QBRs with our partners. The Collabrance Leadership Team is also regularly communicating with partners to share best practices and listen to their needs so we have a mutually beneficial growth strategy. Outside of personal interactions, we also give partners access to an online portal filled with documents and tools they can use in their managed services business. Collabrance regularly release new quarterly enhancements for our partner to keep our offerings dynamic and competitive. Monthly eNewsletters also highlight important topics for partners to keep top of mind.
With all the different technology available in today’s industry, it’s rare to find an MSP who has an exact tech stack alignment. When MSPs are looking to outsource, they have invested so much time and money building their offering to just start with a clean slate. Standardization is important, but there also has to be flexibility. Collabrance reviews each tech stack opportunities on a case-by-case basis. Some technologies are more flexible than others like with firewalls, backups, workstations and email platforms. For customers, what they need in a tech stack also varies. Collabrance recently just launched new flexible solutions to help MSPs capture more opportunities with the understanding that not every SMB customer needs the same type of IT support.
If you’re a progressive MSP who sees outsourcing as an opportunity rather than a concern, contact Collabrance today to discuss options to scale your business faster with a dedicated partner.
Corey Kerns, Vice President and General Manager, is responsible for the overall vision at Collabrance, and oversees sales, marketing, operations, strategic leadership and financial performance. In 2015, Corey joined Collabrance as the Senior Finance and Operations Analyst. In this role, Corey was responsible for developing and monitoring key performance indicators, as well as assisting in the evaluation of profitability, efficiency and automation strategies. Prior to joining Collabrance, Corey started at GreatAmerica in 2011 and served as the Senior Business Unit Analyst for the Connected Technology Group. In this role, Corey led all activities with respect to financial controls and evaluating the financial implications of the business unit’s operating strategy. Corey received his B.A. in Business Administration from Wartburg College and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa.