Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week’s show includes:
00:00 The marketing advantage of a standard tech stack
09:13 How to use IT consulting to sell managed services
17:46 Compare your helpdesk solution to our expert’s statistics
Thank you to Jason Kemsley from Uptime Solutions for joining me to talk about how to compare the efficiencies of helpdesk solutions.
Jason is not only a director at Uptime Solutions, he also sits on the Comptia UK Executive Council and is an expert & speaker on outsourcing.
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Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.
Everyone ready? Everyone good? Yep? Okay, let’s do this. Three, two, one. Action. Welcome to the show. Here’s what we got coming up in this week’s episode.
We get all types of tickets from all types of end users from across those over 3,000 tickets. We have possibly the perfect set of data to have this conversation with.
That’s Jason Kemsley from Uptime Solutions. He’s joining me later in the show with some fascinating stats. You’ll be able to see how efficient your technicians are and also how normal, how routine your clients are. We’re also going to be looking at IT consulting and asking, can it get you a foot in the door with new clients before you try and sell them a managed services contract?
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.
Now, before I start this first bit, I must give you a warning and a caveat. And if you’re a longtime listener to the show, and thank you so much if you are, you will probably know this already. But if you are brand new here, if this is one of your first few episodes, welcome. I’m glad you are here. We have three years worth of the podcast for you to work your way back if you want to. But one of the things that you’ll quickly realize is that despite only working with MSPs on their marketing, I am not a technician. I never have been. I’ve never owned an MSP. I actually see this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
I’ve been here for seven years. I know the channel. I know a little bit about your world just through the power of osmosis, but I don’t really get technology at the level at which you get it. I couldn’t fault find. I couldn’t work through that process. I know the broad strokes. I know what the cloud is. I know what a ransomware attack is. I just wouldn’t know the technical things of what buttons and what software to launch to do them. Now, I tell you this because in this first part of the podcast, we’re going to talk about the advantages of having a standard tech setup. Let me explain what I mean by standard tech setup and then what I mean by the advantages.
Because I’m not talking about technical advantages, I’m talking about marketing advantages. Standard tech setup is where every client that you have must have exactly the tech stack that you want and you will not support anything else. There are a number of MSPs I know that do this. There’s one in particular, Owen, I’ve been working closely with over the last year. Hi, Owen. This is your shout out that you asked for on the podcast. His business is, I think, it’s two, three years old. He’s been in the fortunate position that right from day one he decided this is our stack. We want this kind of router. We want this cloud solution.
We want this antivirus. Don’t make me list all the things, but you know what I mean. He has picked out his ideal stack. When he starts work with a client, the number one rule, in fact it’s part of the sales qualifying process, is the number one rule is that whatever they’ve got gets ripped out and his tech stack goes in. Now, he will explain it to them in a very specific way, and we’ll come onto that in a second because that’s the marketing advantage we’re talking about. But you see where I’m going with this? He only has one set of things to look after.
Now, from a business point of view, this is really smart because Owen and his team, they only have to be specialists in the exact setup they’ve got, unlike most MSPs who have to support lots of different technologies, lots of different ways of doing things. And sure, some things are standardized, but you will have a legacy client that you’ve had for 10 years, 15 years and you’ll have a new technician today who has to support not only the new things you’re putting into your clients today, but also what you did for your clients 15 years ago because some of them may still have that tech put in. From a business efficiency and profitability point of view, that’s a very, very smart thing to do.
I’m sure you will tell me, and maybe you’re shouting at your device right now, that there are so many tech disadvantages of doing it this way. That’s fine. The tech conversation is not one we’re going to have. What I’m interested in is what are the marketing advantages of doing this? Does it actually hold you back? Does it stop you from getting new clients? If you say to someone, “We will upgrade you. It will be exactly this way of doing things and you will pay for that upgrade,” does that sound like insanity to you? I don’t believe that is insanity at all. In fact, I think that’s a very, very smart thing to do.
It all comes down to the confidence with which you talk about it and your ability to turn it into a massive advantage for your client. Because you’ve got to remember how ordinary clients think. Ordinary business owners and managers, remember, they don’t understand technology. They don’t get it. They’re kind of like me, but six years ago. Six years ago, I didn’t know what ransomware was. I didn’t know really what the cloud was. I couldn’t describe it to you. That’s where they are now.
Technology they know is a big part of their lives and their business, but they don’t necessarily understand it, nowhere near the level that you understand it, but not even the level that I understand it as a non-technical person. You have to understand that that’s where they’re coming from. To see how if you walk in and say to them, “We’re going to rip out all of your technology and replace it with our recommended technology,” that is an advantage. It’s not a disadvantage. Now, if they were technical people, if you said this to an internal IT manager, let’s say you wanted more co-managed IT, that approach wouldn’t work at all, would it?
An internal IT manager for a company is not going to let you change that entire company’s tech stack to suit you. They won’t do that because they’ve got the knowledge. They know what they know and they know what they don’t know. But ordinary business owners and managers, well, they don’t know what they don’t know. Therefore, they are more likely to be influenced by you as an authority. In fact, that’s the real power of you walking in and ripping out their tech in favor of your tech.
You’re saying from an absolute authority point of view, “We are specialists in this. We have put together the very best combination of services, software, and hardware, and we are already supporting this for 500 people around here. 500 people in 30, 40 odd businesses around here, they already have this exact setup supported by us. We are so expert at it, we can maintain it in our sleep. It means if one of our other clients has a fault at 6:00 in the morning, we can fix that fault, and then we can proactively stop that fault from happening across all of our other clients instead of you.
If a piece of software needs to be updated or a piece of hardware needs to be updated, again, we can test that with some of our other clients before we ever come to you. We’re never, ever in the dark about what’s happening with your technology because we are utter experts at it. And here’s the thing, Mr. or Mrs. prospect, we will not support you unless you use our technology, because our goal is to make your life easy and to make our life easy. This is how you make more money and we make more money.”
I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong in having this conversation with prospects about the way that you keep your profits good, not excessive, but you keep good profits is by reducing down the amount of work that you have to do and therefore the amount of disruption that they have to put up with. This is one of the benefits of having a standard tech stack, right? I think yes, it is a marketing advantage. It’s a brave thing to do, and it’s obviously easier if you start your business from scratch. I mean, would you do it with all your existing clients? I guess you could. I’m sure there are technical reasons.
Maybe there are days where you would love to just draw a line in the sand and say, “Right. From now on, we’re just doing this and we’re going to migrate all of our existing clients over the next two years onto this. And if they won’t migrate, then they’ve got to go. They’ve got to go and find another MSP.” I’m sure you’ve had days where you think like that. Obviously there are technical and profit advantages of doing, but there are massive marketing advantages of doing so as well. The most important thing is that you believe it.
You believe it so much that literally you would rather walk away from thousands of new monthly recurring revenue than support some other tech stack that you don’t really know as well as you know your own tech stack. That’s when you absolutely know that you believe it so much when you literally would leave money on the table because for you that’s not good money because it’s not your single tech stack. Do you know what?
If you do this or if you’ve tried it and it didn’t work or indeed you’re going to try it, I would love to have a talk to you about this because I’d love to put some real life examples on the show. Would you drop me an email and let me know? My email is email@example.com.
Here’s this week’s clever idea.
Let me share a really interesting question that an MSP asked me the other day. They said, “Paul, is it possible to use IT consulting as a way to sell managed services?” I had to think about that for a while because I thought, okay, that’s quite an interesting concept. You see, if you think about IT consulting or VCIO, it’s top level. It’s strategic. Well, if this happens to you, you’ll get an opportunity to go and work with the business at a very strategic level to talk to them, to consult with them, to advise them on their overall technology strategy. Obviously a part of that will be the hardware, the software, the services, the setup, all of the things that actually you deal with as a managed service provider.
Here’s the thing though, I think if you can get IT consulting gigs, because I know the upsides and downsides of consulting. Personally, I choose not to do a great deal of consulting because the downsides overweigh the good sides for me. The downsides of consulting are, of course, it’s a time suck. People are paying you a lot of money and they expect a lot of your time, preparation, and attention. It’s a massive time suck. Other downsides are that I think when people are paying you those big bucks, they want absolutely best advice. They almost feel like they own you in some way.
I guess, if you are going in advising a board on its technology strategy and they ask you to put a paper together, you can’t say, “Well, I’m a bit busy, actually.” You’ve got to do it. It’s a bit of a time suck. They owe you. Those are the downsides. Did I say owe you? They don’t owe you, they own you. Those are the downsides. The upside, of course, is being paid a thousand or a couple of thousand to attend a meeting. Because when you get a really good IT consulting gig, not only is it top level strategic consulting on the technology, but it pays really well as well. Maybe you’re thinking, “Oh Paul, I don’t quite have the experience to do that.”
Oh believe me, you do. Compared to the average board member, the average business owner, the average, well, exactly what we were just talking about in the last bit, they don’t know what they don’t know. How many times have you met an internal IT manager, so someone who’s supposedly in our world, and they just don’t have the depth or breadth of knowledge about technology that you do? You have such an advantage working across so many different clients, so many different platforms supporting so many people in so many ways that often internal IT managers, I’ve been told, they find that they get quite narrow and they lose that kind of up-to-dateness.
You’re probably a better strategic advisor than someone’s internal IT support manager. As long as you’ve been in this game for three, four, five years or so, you are perfectly capable of operating at a high strategic level. You might just need to put a suit on or maybe iron your shirt or something like that. You really do have to look the part, as well as actually deliver at a high level when you’re a strategist. The downsides then, it sucks your time. They own you. The upsides, lots and lots of money. That big question, can we turn IT consulting into a managed services contract, well, the answer is hell yeah, you absolutely can.
In fact, you owe it to that business to sell them your managed services because you are the best MSP at what you do in your area, right? I was expecting a kind of a, “Woo! Yeah, Paul.” Come on, let me ask that again. You’re the best at what you do, right? You’re better than all of your competitors, right? Can I hear a hell yeah? It’s always embarrassing when you do a bit of audience participation and no one’s participating. Anyway, you are very good at what you do, so you know that you look after your clients better than any MSP anywhere else could. Therefore, you do. You owe it to those clients that you’re consulting with to sell them managed services.
I realized this for the first time, it must be getting off for nearly oh 17, 18 years ago, at my last proper job before I started my first business. In around about 2004, I was working for a company called Johnston Press. They used to be one of the biggest newspaper companies, like local newspaper companies here in the UK. They don’t exist anymore. I was involved in their digital side, which was where they were desperately trying to make money out of websites, as in their own news websites, faster than the money was sort of moving into Google and online. They didn’t succeed in that, unfortunately. I lasted a year there.
It wasn’t fun/ but at one point, I remember there was a guy they brought in as a consultant, and I can’t remember what he was consulting on, but he was consulting. Wasn’t that interesting? Clearly he was consulting on something and we were paying him like 1,000 pounds a day or 2,000 pounds a day. I remember in about the fourth or fifth meeting… Bear in mind, this guy has pocketed let’s say 10,000 pounds at this point just for telling us what’s in his head. At some point, we had this epiphany. We realized we needed the service that his company provided. I’ll never forget that meeting. I can’t remember the name of the guy I sat with.
I think it was Dave. Dave and I were sat there and we’d had this conversation on the train the way to the meeting that we need the service this guy sells. Dave sat there and essentially Dave pitched to this guy along the lines of, “Please, will you supply us with your service?” It was insane. Here we were sat there as representatives of this 100 million pound a year company to a guy we were paying to be in a meeting and we were asking him, “Please, will you supplies for those services?” Because our perception was this guy has given us the strategy, he’s told us how to deliver it, the one thing that’s missing is someone to deliver that for us.
We want his company. We want his company to do it, because we perceived that if he’s the guy that has the strategy, then they’re going to deliver brilliantly. Can you see how awesome that is when you flip it round the other way? Again, I can’t remember what it was he did, some kind of market research or something, but they did go on and they had many, many, many thousands out of that business in their equivalent of managed services. As I say, you owe it to your client to give them the managed services that they are looking for. In fact, I think it’s easier to sell from the top than it is to sell from the bottom.
You think how difficult it is selling to a decision maker through someone else. If you’re meeting with someone who is compiling information before passing onto the decision maker, it’s almost impossible to get that sale, isn’t it? Whereas the very nature of top level strategic consulting is you are there at the top with the top decision makers. What I think you’ve got to do is just bide your time. You need to set out for them a strategy that you could deliver. Obviously it needs to be the right strategy for them, but I’m guessing it would be perfectly within your skillset or your MSP skillset to deliver that anyway.
You set out a strategy that you could deliver and you just wait for that right moment. It might be the moment they realized their internal team aren’t capable of delivering it, or their existing, their incumbent MSP, because it’s not unheard of for someone to have an incumbent tech support company and still hire a different person to be their strategic partner above them. You’ve just got to bide your time and wait for that opportunity. The one final thought I would have on this is if you are a consultant, you’re acting as a consultant and you go on to sell them managed services, don’t be cheap.
If you’re charging them 1,000 or a couple of thousand for each time you attend a meeting or whatever it is that you do, and then you come in at your normal managed services rates, which are perhaps competitively priced, you risk breaking the mystique, breaking the magic. When they know you as a consultant and they’ve come to trust you so much that they are not just open to taking you on to providing the service, but they are almost desperate for you to do so, the price must match that.
If you go in at too low a price, you will literally burst the bubble, the perception bubble that you’re great at what you do. People are used to paying top dollar for top service, for top quality, for top ability. That’s what you represent to them. You’ve already won that. It’s just a case of getting them to sign up for some managed services.
Paul’s blatant plug.
Let me keep this super simple. If you want to win tons more new clients, generate loads more monthly recurring revenue and be perceived as the number one MSP in your area, just go to mspmarketingedge.com.
The big interview.
Hi, I’m Jason Kemsley, and I’m the director of Uptime Solutions.
Jason, thank you so much for coming back onto this podcast, because not many people listen to this will realize just how much arm bending I’ve been doing to you over the last couple of months. I knew that you had some information, some stats which we had to get on the podcast, and I also know that you’ve been very selective where you have shared those. I know you’ve shared them privately with some of your clients. I know you’ve shared them at some of the most exclusive IT events.
Thank you so much for coming here onto this podcast and for I believe is the first time today actually sharing some of these stats in public. Now, before we get onto those stats and they do relate to how effective your technicians are and how much technician time you need per client, before we come onto those stats, I think we first of all need to establish your credentials. Just tell us a little bit about you, what’s your history, Jason, and what do you do right now with MSPs?
Well, firstly, thank you for having me, Paul. I’ve been listening for a long time and know how much value you give back, so I felt the pressure to make sure I bring the A game. Hopefully, it is that. I’ve been with Uptime since, oh, it’s been 13 years now. Brad was six months or a year in when I joined. I’m one of the two owners and current director at Uptime Solutions. We provide outsourcing services in regards to the help desk for over 180 MSPs, where it just keeps going up and up because of the demands of the world these days.
That is everything from, “Hey, I need help with some outbound work,” and we deliver that with our US, UK, and New Zealand offices, all the way up to, “Hey, I’m an MSP. I don’t want to touch the technical. I just want to focus on selling, the account management, and building value through just account management to make sure that they are always the go-to people for any questions.” We look at all ends of the spectrum. As a help desk, as you can imagine with the US and New Zealand factored in as well, we get all types of tickets from all types of places, from all types of end users. We have possibly the perfect set of data to have this conversation with.
Yes, exactly, which is why I wanted you to come on. Thank you so much again for doing that.
This data you have essentially collected, the 180 MSPs that you are looking after, just out of interest, how many end points or how many users does that relate to?
We work in two ways in the ways we work for our MSPs. We have consumption based billing and we have end user or device based billing. The most frustrating thing about my role or us as a company is I can never accurately tell you how many endpoints we look after, but I can tell you we’re in excess of 3000 tickets a month. What I’ve done is the data I’ve pulled, if you can see me, I’ve got it live on screen because this is live data that I pulled as of last week, everything we’re talking about when we’re talking about endpoints and tickets and your engineers, this is the latest and hopefully the greatest as well from across those over 3,000 tickets around the world.
I think that deserves a pause moment, 3,000 tickets a month. Everyone wants new clients, but they don’t necessarily want more new tickets. But 3,000 a month is insane. Just out of interest, how many people on your team are dealing with those 3,000 tickets? I know that one of the stats or some of the stats we’re going to go into later on help you to predict how many people you need, but how many people have you currently got looking after those 3,000 tickets?
We are 36 or 37 help desk only people around the world. We have a couple of value add things that we do for partners, et cetera, which skew our numbers slightly, and we’ll come onto the help desk people. I hesitate because we’re growing at a great rate and I thank everyone who trusts us for that, but we’ve just added another two last week. Forgive me, I might be one off. I don’t want anyone to come after me.
I don’t know. You come on this podcast. You’ve got live stats up on your screen because they keep changing. You don’t even know how many staff you’ve got. You have no idea of end points. I’m kidding. I’m just kidding. Right. Let’s get into the good stuff. We’re going to start with some stats for… Tell me if I’m right with this, Jason. This is how many tickets each level of your technicians should be able to handle on average. Is that correct?
Correct. Yep. We’re going to look at both sides of the spectrum, and we’re going to start with what you can expect from your level one to a level three people or what we expect, so hopefully a place for you to benchmark internally as well.
Okay, let’s jump into line one, first line, level one. How many tickets would you expect a first line technician to handle on a, I guess what, daily, weekly, monthly basis?
Well, our target is around 10 to 14 tickets in a day. And then when you’re measuring them, obviously you’re not measuring daily, you’re looking weekly, monthly, and that’s when you’re doing your sit downs and your catch-ups and your reviews. But it relates to 10 to 14, somewhere in that spectrum, per day that they can be completing. That is ticket is done, customer is happy, and the issue is complete.
For an MSP listening to this, if they have a technician who is significantly underperforming, so less than 10 tickets a day, let’s say six or seven tickets a day, and yet there is the demand, there are more tickets coming in, it’s not the case that there just isn’t the work there, do you see that as an immediate problem that has to be addressed, or in your experience, and obviously you’re running a lot of first line technicians, does it mean that actually you’ve got to delve into what are the reasons for this? Is it the person? Is it the clients? Is it us? Is it our ticketing system? Are there lots of factors you need to look at?
Absolutely. What I’ll do is I’ll come onto one of the key KPIs we judge our guys on internally, guys and girls, and we can talk about how that flips either way. Particularly for level one, level two and three is slightly different, but particularly for level one, if you’re not hitting those 10 to 14, and I’m assuming you’re quite a way off, you have one of two issues specifically of level ones. One, you’ve got someone that unfortunately isn’t very motivated or very bought into the culture or wants to drive success, or two, unfortunately, their base skillset, their base knowledge is just not there. There is no question. When you’re a level one and you have a level one ticket, there is no, is this with the right person?
A level one issue is a level one issue. As you grow up that changes, but you have a foundation of knowledge problem, which we see quite a lot surprisingly in the industry when we talk with MSPs, is a lot of people trying to elevate juniors far too quickly and wonder why they get stuck on a ticket for a prolonged amount of time. When that ticket, any ticket, gets to an hour of work time, for you to continue, Mr. engineer or Mrs. engineer, you have to get that peer reviewed from someone of a higher skillset than you to say, “Yes, please continue, or no, you’re going along the wrong path. I need to take it or head down this path.” That is a huge, huge thing that can help any busy help desk.
All of these things come in and compliment each other. But if you’re not getting the 10 to 14 tickets a day, you need to look at how many tickets are they doing, how long they spending on them, it’s probably a knowledge or a motivation issue I’m afraid.
I love the idea of the peer review because also that means you as the MSP owner running the business, the burden of reviewing that work is not all on you. You’re actually pushing it down to your team, which, of course, in itself becomes a training exercise. Because when everyone’s working together on looking at things, that’s great for bonding and it’s great for training as well. Let’s look at those second line technicians. If you expect your first line technicians to do 10 to 14 a day, what about your second line?
Second line, hopefully you’ll see a trend, but we’re starting to come down. The issues are getting more complex. They’re typically on average longer, and so slowly those number of tickets are coming down as we reach up to level three. For a level two engineer, we see typically anywhere from eight to 12 issues a day. Now, these stats are maybe not quite where people would expect. There’s a couple of things that go into these. One, every help desk does have some slightly premature escalations. You do sometimes get the first liner, they’ve escalated it, but actually it’s probably something that could be done with some ease. They get those quick wins in there.
Anywhere from eight to 12 is where a second liner sits, and that allows for a couple of those escalations that have happened a bit too soon to be done. And that’s actually super common is as a help desk engineer, as a technician, we want to help people and we want to help them as soon as we can. If we feel like we’re not able to make a big difference, I would much rather you escalated it and a level two done it really quickly than you held onto it for far too long, not knowing quite what to do. That allows a bit of that wiggle room, if you like, in there. The eight to 12 is about spot on what we see in a given day, week, month.
Okay, and what about third line?
As a third line, we’re going all the way down now. Third line is a super interesting one. You never want to KPI someone for zero, but I have seen days where a third line engineer may not complete a ticket because of the complexity of it. We all have that end customer that they have got an application that’s specific, it’s not documented. And when there’s an issue, you’ve got to reverse engineer it. You never want to KPI someone for zero, so we don’t. But third level three engineer are typically completing anywhere from one to four tickets per day.
Now, obviously one you would hope is fewer days than maybe four, but you get stuck on a long issue, you can have that one for the day. And then four allows for what is a pretty much normal transactional day for a third line engineer, a couple of hour, maybe hour, two hour tickets for the entirety of the day.
Yeah, this makes perfect sense. Now, you mentioned earlier about KPIs for your second and third liners. Do you share these stats with your team? Obviously they know they’re being measured because all technicians are being measured in terms of ticket completion, but do you share these stats with your team and whether or not they’re on track and how do you tie that into general KPIs, key performance indicators?
We do it in two ways. We do team-based goals and we do individual goals. As a team, if you are achieving your KPIs and let’s say it’s five first liners in a team, then hey, as a team, you deliver roughly, what is it, it’s around 60, 70 tickets. I’m not great at maths, apologies. As a team, that’s what you’re roughly able to deliver. There’s usually going to be someone that’s falling a little bit short. There’s usually going to be an A player that is a little bit above. But all in all, it works out, because ultimately we want them as a team to succeed and drive up as much what we call tribal awareness as possible.
That is trying to create a culture where people can thrive, people can grow, and we can bring anyone through the business up to whatever level they would like to be at. The primary goal is to drive this through a team goal and that is just a combined set of KPIs. You can just add them all together and you can find roughly where you want to measure the team. Just when you’re trying to create that culture, you’ve got the willingness to help each other. Then when you’re having your one-to-ones and you’re having your performance reviews, that is when you’re looking individually at what they’ve achieved.
You can talk about remuneration, supporting their education, and further progression within the business. Day to day we’re not actively saying, “Hey, you haven’t hit your KPIs.” That’s absolutely not the case. We are looking weekly is how we do it in our… We use EOS, so we have level 10 meetings. We look at the team KPIs and we show how the individuals added together to meet that KPI. The team get to see how each of them are doing and they get to pick one up. If someone’s falling a bit short, they’ve had a bad week, they go and pick him up or her and they help them.
And if someone’s having a great week, they celebrate that person. How are you doing it all for us and try to create that team culture. The individuals and the KPIs are used when we’re talking performance review, remuneration, those types of things. But otherwise, were looking at team level, but it consists of all of their individual stats.
Yeah, love it. Let’s now look at the other side of the coin because I think it’s when we introduce the next stat you’re about to tell us and combine it with these stats you’ve just given us, that’s where some secret source really starts to come in, because you now have the ability to estimate how many tickets you’ll get on average per user that you support.
Absolutely. There are two elements to knowing what your help desk is doing, not doing. I meet so many MSPs that wonder, hey, are we delivering enough, or they think, hey, we’re not delivering enough, but it’s not based on any data. Hopefully that helps build a, are we at the line? And if we are not, that’s where the line should be and we’re not reaching for a crazy number by putting it in. The second part of this is, but what can we expect? When you put the two together, we can work out pricing maybe. We can start to look at both ends of the spectrum.
Going back now to 2020 or 2019, what we’ve thought was really important was to start to track what is the typical number of tickets we would receive per person per month from an end user. That allows both sides of the coin. We get to see what is the demand and what we’re able to deliver on average. Everyone knows COVID times happened. And just before that, we still had the data, so we got to go back. Just before COVID, we were seeing on average 1.2 tickets per person per month, and this is the latest up-to-date data I have. If you had a 10 person organization you were supporting, on average, around 12 tickets a month you could expect to receive from them.
Going into COVID, like everyone expected, it absolutely shot up. It went through the roof. Everyone got super busy. No one had enough time, and it got to just below 2.5 tickets per person per month. I don’t want to stay on that year because we were trying to forget it. Let’s fast forward to today. We still had the IoT devices that we never had pre-COVID to the scale we have it. We had home printers, a lot of remote working, a lot of hybrid working, unplugging a dock, moving. We’ve seen that now settle at 1.4, 1.45 per person per month. What does that mean? Well, this year, 2023, next year, 2024, all of this is going to continue.
At roughly 1.4, 1.45, we’ve settled now and the data seems to be fairly consistent. If you have a 10 person organization now that you’re bringing on, you’re expecting 14, 15 on average tickets per person per month. That’s a two to three ticket increase, which isn’t a huge amount. But when you factor in that you were maybe looking at 12 before and then you scale that up to 100 users, 500 users, 1,000 users, it does eventually make quite a difference. We’re talking 15, 20% roughly extra demand on our help desk, and I would argue maybe possibly not 15, 20% more revenue.
Yes, yes. Putting these two things together, and I’m about to ask you something which I guess is your specialty as a business, because when you take on a new client, which is an MSP, you’re taking on hundreds, if not thousands of users in one go. But theoretically, you could put these two sides of the equation together. You can say, “Right. We’re going to take on another 20 users, and we now know that that will produce 20 times 1.4… Let’s go with just 1.4. 20 times 1.4 tickets per person per month.” Oh, I wish I picked an easier sum. I’m as bad at sums as you are.
Let’s go with 10. We’re taking on a 10 user business. We’re in MSP. We’re taking on a 10 user business. That’s going to generate 14 tickets per person per month. That’s right. Yes, isn’t it?
14 tickets for the whole company.
There are people listening to this thinking, these are the simplest sums ever. Why can’t you do them? We’re under the pressure. We’re under the pressure. You know you’re going to generate on average 14 tickets for that new client every single month, and you know now how many tickets your different level technicians can handle. Tell us how you put those two pieces of information together to help you assess capacity, whether or not your technicians are genuinely too busy, and how it helps you plan ahead, because we all know that recruitment is a very long exercise these days.
Absolutely. Hesitant to say it’s a little bit easier for us than it is for most MSPs. We have the benefit of luxury of scale or quantity of scale now, however you want to phrase it. We typically do always need the next set of resourcing and are getting it before we actually need it. Sorry, just put it the other way around. We have an academy. We have lots of things. We have a constant engagement process. I mean, I don’t want to throw sales in here. I’m sure it’s saying you talk about a lot, Paul, but if you have a steady pipeline, it actually makes that recruitment pipeline just as easy as well. We have quantity of scale, and so we have the ability to take this data across a plethora of end customers.
As an MSP, let’s say this is your first customer, it might be your 10th customer, it’s not going to be as exact, and I don’t want you to bank on it being 14 quite like I’m saying. There are two things to consider and that is size of customer. If they’re a 10 person organization, there’s a good chance they are what I would consider a higher risk company. It depends on their business maturity, their business operations as to how quiet or noisy they’re going to be. If they’re quite mature, they’ve got a lot of processes in place, they spend that money and they need to on equipment, issues are going to be less.
When we talk about going for the bigger customers, the 100 users, actually in relative terms, they are quieter than the 10 user per person on average because they have the maturity, they have the group policy, the process, the in-tune, all of those good things that go behind it. If you look at the type of customer you’re getting in, Google search whatever, see what type of industry they’re in, you can pretty much make a good assessment of how professional mature do we think they’re going to be, right? They’re going to be 14 tickets. I think that’s a good number. They fit about par. Maybe they’re in the retail sector, which is about an average space.
Then I go and take into consideration, right, I’ve got everyone hitting metrics in this team and we’re green, green, green, green, green, and I’ll come onto that calculation in just a second. We’re green, green, green and we’re delivering 100% SLAs and we’re delivering our average response time is 20% of what is in our contract. Then you know I’ve got some wiggle room. I can I hate to say eke it out, but you can add a bit more on there. This is all about complimenting each other and complimenting all of the stats together.
Once you start to work out, right, I know roughly what they are, 14 tickets per person, per company, per month and you know right, as a team, we are hitting our KPIs and this is roughly where we can aim, it’s completely realistic and we can definitely target it, then you can say, “As a team, we’re hitting our KPIs and our SLAs are fantastic, or we’re not hitting our targets, we’re not hitting our team targets, which means maybe there’s not enough tickets. Let’s get them more tickets,” which is the dream scenario. But putting the two together, you now have a complete picture of what they need and potentially what you can put on them before it becomes a bit too much.
Obviously you always want to allow a holiday, a sickness, those types of things. It gets a little bit more complex as you get further into it. But as a starting point, hopefully I’ve just shared some stats that you can go and look at internally and say, “My level ones are hitting this. My level twos are hitting this. My level threes are hitting this.” Tie that into the next customer you’re quoting and then watch how they marry up. You should hopefully see, yes, we could take that, or no, we can’t take that in a relatively straightforward fashion. It is a repeatable process, process, process, process. Once you get familiar with it, you can repeat it time and time again.
Jason, this is absolute gold dust. Thank you very much. Now, obviously what you do as a business is you take a lot of this hassle and stress away from MSPs. Just briefly tell us what Uptime Solutions does, get into just a little bit of the detail and tell us how can we get in touch with you.
Perfect, thank you. We’ve been providing outsource services for over 12 years now. It is the core. It is everything that we do, and we provide it channel only to MSPs around the world, all the way from the US all the way down to Australia and in the UK. We do that using our UK, New Zealand, and American offices. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to bring that premium element into the outsourcing space. When your customer calls, they get a friendly person into the phone ready to help them and ready to deliver a customer-centric experience.
We’re trying to change that mold that outsourcing has to be a cheap item, that maybe quality is not the first thing they think of, and hopefully we’re succeeding in that.
What’s the best way to get in touch with you, Jason?
Look, I got so busy talking about me, I didn’t even talk about how. Grab me on LinkedIn, Jason Kemsley to you on LinkedIn, or please feel free to find me an email. I’m more than happy to have a chat about these stats and how they measure internally for you. It doesn’t have to be a sales question. I’m more than happy to help however I can. You can get me at jasonk, K for kilo, @uptimesolutions.tech.
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