Do you have a dedicated service dispatcher on your team? You may not… yet. But Erick Simpson is here to talk about why a dedicated dispatcher is well worth the investment, how to know when you’re ready to make that hire, and best practices for the role.
Erick Simpson is a former MSP who now consults with IT service providers and channel vendors all over the world. He worked at Microsoft for a time, helping to educate and engage Microsoft partners. He has served on advisory councils to the likes of Cisco, Intel, and CompTIA. For a number of years he ran something called MSP University. So Erick is very, very well versed in the channel and has lots of great insights to share with us today.
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My chat with Erick is coming up later in the show. But first, our 1 Thing segment, where we hear from an MSP about 1 thing that’s made a difference in their business. Today, we have Neil Holme, owner of Impact Business Technology.
1 Thing (#MSP1T)[01:32] Neil Holme is the founder and chief geek for Impact Business Technology.
[01:41] Neil says you should design, build, and maintain every network as if it’s a showcase of your talents.
[02:06] You want everything that your clients see to be as good as it can possibly be.
[02:21] Impact’s business is fueled 100% by referral. They don’t do outside sales, they don’t do marketing. Every installation they do is a showcase.
[02:44] They put all of their time and resources into making their client networks as good as they can possibly be.
[02:55] Not only does it eliminate the need to do marketing, a great network generates fewer support calls and makes troubleshooting easier, so it reduces costs across the board.
Improving MSP Efficiency With a Service Dispatcher: Interview With Erick Simpson[04:26] The dispatcher role is a vital role within an MSP because it holds the responsibility and for lifecycle management of every incident, including scheduling and rescheduling, service delivery, and maintaining the SLA (service level agreement) with clients.
[05:00] Left to themselves, most technicians will cherry-pick tickets off the service board and that isn’t a good idea.
[05:17] It’s the dispatcher’s responsibility to manage ticket assignments, load balancing, and performance monitoring.
[06:37] A service desk manager is typically more senior. The dispatcher might report into them, and they might also manage project managers and program managers. A service dispatcher is specifically focused on coordinating service delivery.
[07:23] The most effective and successful MSPs that Erick has seen have a dedicated dispatcher, sometimes more than one.
[07:54] It makes sense to look at getting a dedicated dispatcher when you have 70 to 100 tickets coming in per day.
[10:26] Leveraging automation is great, but we still need a human touch. The system can do what it’s designed to do but it can’t do anything if a technician doesn’t respond or works on the wrong things.
[11:25] A good dispatcher needs to be a master of space and time. They need to be organized and great at scheduling and assigning tickets.
[12:40] A dispatch role could be remote, but it’s better to have the person onsite interacting with the team. They learn much faster that way and get more integrated into the flow.
[14:37] Tools that a dispatcher would use include the MSP’s ticketing system. They may also have to work with calendar systems and project management tools.
[16:11] The dispatcher needs to be trained on the applications, the PSA solution, the ticketing system, and the project module if they’re going to help schedule projects. They also need to understand the types of incidents an MSP typically receives and how to assign those. They need to understand the service level tiers and each technician’s ability.
[18:13] The more mature MSPs and the higher performing or best in class MSPs will have a dispatcher. It’s a natural evolution over time as your MSP grows.
[19:17] If you’re getting upwards of 70 tickets a day, take a hard look at bringing on a dispatcher. The role will pay for itself because it helps increase efficiency and productivity.