I like to see other MSPs succeed. I want them to adopt our Golden KPIs, to help them improve their operations. I encourage them to publish their monthly results on the web and in social media.
Great customer service creates a healthier industry.
I have a problem when I see MSPs mislead their prospects. I see published KPIs that are, at best, stale. They may even be fictitious. I see no updates either.
Here’s an example.
Here are Air-IT’s February 2018 KPIs, as published on our Website. They cover those metrics most relevant to client satisfaction and contractual requirements.
A local competitor has the following metrics published on their web site:
It’s great to see that my message is reaching local MSPs, and that we consequently have healthy competition. Healthy enough to report a better performance than ours for the most part.
As you will see, their KPIs are very similar to ours, though the titles are slightly different. No problem.
But there’s one measure that is missing. It’s a significant one: reactive tickets closed.
Think of an obvious example. If you closed 10 support tickets, each represents 10% in whatever KPIs you’re measuring. It’s easy to provide great customer service with 10 tickets. So, with a bit of care, it’s easy to achieve 100%.
With 2500 tickets in a month, 100% is not an easy achievement. If other MSPs are anything to go by, it would be unique and exceptional for most KPIs. Alternatively, it could mean the criteria, used to say what counts, set the bar too low. That’s another reason why honesty is so important.
Let’s park that one for now and give them the benefit of the doubt and say they matched us in performance! There are several things that stop me from being impressed:
- They have closed far fewer than 2500 tickets;
- They don’t have enough resource to handle that volume of work
- They don’t have a Professional Service Automation (PSA) system or specialist apps that tracks data sufficiently to produce accurate statistics;
- My research suggests that they have a very unstructured service department.
You’ll have got the picture.
We know from our own experiences and those of all the other UK MSPs we’ve worked with, that hitting the sorts of results in these published KPIs is very difficult. It requires maturity as an MSP, and a lot of pain ensuring that your PSA is working efficiently and the data within it is complete and accurate.
It’s a chaotic nightmare to do this, with constant honing-in to get more reliable and accurate results. Most MSPs have a long way to go, and not for want of trying.
There are a few reasons why there should be a change in the values for the KPIs you publish.
- Over time, as you get better data and metrics, there will be a change in the numbers you report.
- And if you’re transparent and honest about the results, you’ll look to make improvements in you processes too. The improvements will manifest as changes in the numbers.
- And with best will in the world, very occasionally, exceptional things will happen beyond control, so you will get results that my go down or that are better than usual
If you were to look at the published history of KPIs for our competitor you we’ll see that they have the same KPI results going back beyond last September.
What are the odds of achieving that consistency… none, improvement in measurement or data quality… none, improvement in operations or efficiencies… none, fluctuations in resourcing or service quality?
I am sceptical, to be honest.
It’s ironic that I wrote an article on KPIs last week, and stressed the importance of transparency and being honest with yourself. I’d suggest that these guys with the unchanging results don’t get it.
These sort of MSPs need to take a good look at themselves and start being honest. Dishonesty is no way to improve and no way to serve the business community. It’s a poor effort and disappointing these days when MSPs kid themselves, their clients and their prospects. Fake KPIs are just Fake News!