Inspiring IT teams to be CSAT ambassadors is a never-ending journey for MSPs that want to bridge the gap between technical expertise and best-in-class people skills.
In any professional services field, CSAT or “Customer Satisfaction” is part art and part science. In the IT services industry, your MSP can have all the technical know-how in the world and fail miserably if its client experiences are transactional, rushed, and impersonal.
No one likes to feel like a number or sense condescension or detachment when engaging with subject matter experts.
Integris is committed to a People First approach to CSAT and strives to transcend negative IT support stereotypes in all facets of our culture.
Leadership continuously advocates, reinforces, and refines the development of IT support ambassadors. The following examples are culled from our most recent leadership meeting celebrating, supporting, and training CSAT heroes.
CSAT Ambassadors Prioritize Empathy Over Technology
To master the customer experience, IT support heroes prioritize empathy over technical expertise.
This approach generates comfort, trust, and goodwill through every step of the IT support process. Why? Because clients judge the quality of our brand on feelings – not bits, bytes, browsers, and backups. Every time clients touch our brand; they evaluate the entire encounter from start to finish. And no one recalls the technical steps. That would be impossible.
Maya Angelou captures the essence of our aspirations: “People will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
At Integris, we’re constantly pursuing this “X Factor” to delight clients with an approach that makes a lasting impression.
Perception is Everything
Since perception is everything, we’re encouraged not the judge what constitutes a good experience for our clients. While we may get every step in the technical resolution process correct, it doesn’t matter if the client’s perception is negative. This is where humility and introspection inform a quest for continuous improvement.
We embrace the timeless wisdom of Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armor – “Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets.”
CSAT Ambassadors Master the Little Things
When you master the little things, you have more latitude to pivot when circumstances change.
Being pleasant, honest, and compassionate goes a long way when smoothing over rough edges.
Kevin Vitale, Director of Managed Services Concierge, recently shared a personal experience from his first visit to a fancy restaurant.
On a Saturday night, Kevin took his wife to a place rumored to be the best in town. After making reservations and arriving on time, they were still waiting to be seated after 45 minutes. At that stage, Kevin’s body language was transmitting heavy dissatisfaction signals which caught the attention of the owner.
So, the owner approached him, made an introduction, and said, “Hey, I want to apologize for the wait, but primarily I was hoping to get to know you guys. Firstly, I want to make sure you have some drinks to get you started. I am going to clear some room at the bar and make sure you have somewhere to sit so you’re not standing anymore. And as soon as the next table opens, I’m going to make sure you get that table.”
Kevin liked that although the restaurant was completely packed. However, the owner seemed calm, reassuring, and 100% committed to making them feel comfortable and solving this problem.
Kevin really loved what the owner said next: “When you sit down and see the back of our menu, we say our mission is that when you come here, you feel at home. And I know you don’t feel like that right now. So, I’m going to do everything I can for the rest of the time you’re here to make you feel that way. We appreciate you spending your Saturday night with us, and we want you to come back.”
Making it Right on The Back End
Shortly after being seated at the first open table, Kevin immediately ordered a seafood appetizer. The owner took note and brought out an additional (and complementary) seafood appetizer, explaining, “This is a new menu item we’re considering. It’s currently in the testing phase. I know you like seafood. Please tell me what you think about it.”
The owner also followed up with two more freebies. Kevin passed on the dessert but took him up on the cappuccino. And left reflecting on how well this guy over-delivered on the back end. Most of all, Kevin appreciated that he solved this problem and made it right on a very human level.
The owner understood that Kevin and his wife weren’t just two patrons that needed to be seated but they were two people. And making them feel comfortable and have a great experience was this restaurant’s goal. Before Kevin left, he made a reservation for next month and planned to bring his entire family.
Learn More: Why Caring is Not Enough with Kevin Vitale
CSAT Ambassadors Focus on Controllable Factors
CSAT ambassadors focus on controllable factors because we live in a world of surprises.
It’s easy to tell when a product is defective. Services are a different story since they’re delivered by people (with fluctuating levels of energy and good cheer), managing hardware and software integrations (with fluctuating levels of uptime, reliability, and interoperability).
At Integris, we place our bets on the power of people to finesse the predictable vagaries of technology. We control how we respond when things go sideways to move the ball forward.
Managing Expectations from Start to Finish
Managing expectations from start to finish creates an unbreakable customer service connection with all brands, especially industry leaders.
- Disney’s flagship theme park is consistently magical.
- Apple products are consistently simple (and easy to use).
- The Ritz Carlton is consistently ultra-welcoming.
- Chick-Fil-A is consistently delicious and convenient.
Integris studies these organizations to emulate durable best practices that encompass every phase of the engagement process: from prospect to new client to long-term partner who grows with us.
Each encounter is time-based and aligned with a deliverable.
From Day One, You Always Know What You’re Getting
- Discovery Session – We listen carefully to understand your challenges, pain points, and business aspirations.
- Strategy Session – We reconvene to review what we heard and explore how our approach will improve your business outcomes.
- Technology Assessment – Integris engineers perform a deep IT system inspection to identify risks, gaps, and strategic opportunities to overcome operating obstacles.
- Solution Presentation – We present our findings, recommendations, and a contract with exact pricing. We also commit to your start date and address any concerns via a Q&A with your executive team.
- Kick-Off Meeting – You meet with your new IT partner, review the simple process to request support, and begin next steps to activate the IT service transition plan.
Focusing on controllable factors and managing expectations continues as we guide our customers on a journey toward greater operating maturity.
Learn More: Integris IT Project Management
Cultivating a Durable Cultural of CSAT
Cultivating a durable CSAT culture is a process that requires intentionality, clarity, discipline, repetition, and communiques that accommodate different attention spans and media consumption habits.
Integris sets goals to keep CSAT thought leadership front and center. And we hold all levels of leadership accountable by tracking outreach efforts and confirming participation with stakeholders.
To facilitate distribution through all corners of our organization, we roll out longer training sessions for monthly, companywide town halls and shorter training segments for weekly meetings in local offices.
Customization is critical. We love getting creative with formats and delivery systems by employing a mix of PowerPoint decks, Teams’ messaging, memes, short videos, emails, SharePoint sites, and blogs (like this one).
Please schedule a discovery session to explore CSAT best practices and other ways to inspire your IT team.