PROFILE: Putting Customer Service First
MX Consulting Services President George Kavgic describes how a BDR solution makes protecting customers' data easier and less time-consuming, adding margin to the bottom line.
By George Kavgic
Ask most MSPs why they got into managed services and they'll probably say they were tired of the constant fire drills they went through every time a client had a technical issue. As far as my company is concerned, though, fire drills are a big part of what's made us a success.
And I think it's fair to say we've been pretty successful since our founding 22 years ago. We currently have more than 500 clients throughout New England, 65 percent of which are local town halls, police departments, libraries, and other government agencies.
Without question, focusing on a specific vertical industry like that has really helped accelerate our growth. Our customers appreciate our deep understanding of their challenges and needs, so they've been very loyal to us. And since city officials are constantly exchanging tips with peers in other towns, our clients have been a great source of referrals too, so much so that we've barely had to do any marketing over the years to attract new business.
But the real key to our success hasn't been vertical specialization so much as our fanatical devotion to customer service. Every customer who contacts us about a problem gets a call back within 20 minutes, every time. And from there we do whatever it takes—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—to get them up and running again fast.
In other words, as a matter of corporate policy we treat every technical incident like a fire drill. And our clients love us for it.
That's why the best advice I have for anyone getting started as an MSP is to emphasize service more than sales. Put selling ahead of service and you may struggle with customer retention. Put service first, however, and the sales will follow, because your clients will stick with you and recommend you to other businesses.
Fast, Reliable, and Affordable
That's been our philosophy at MX Consulting since well before we started offering managed services. In fact, our dedication to our customers led us to begin offering many of the services an MSP provides, like preventive maintenance and proactive monitoring, years ago. For us, the biggest change more recently has been the quality of the tools available to help us support our clients.
Zenith Infotech's Backup and Disaster Recovery solution is a great example. We first learned about it at an IT conference roughly three years ago. At the time, most of our customers backed up their data to tape, and while we viewed tape as an important data protection technology (and still do, by the way) we were eager to supplement it with something that could restore operations more rapidly after a server failure, fire, or other calamity.
That's exactly what we found in Zenith's BDR solution. The system automatically performs fast disk-to-disk backups as often as every 15 minutes. If a client experiences a server outage, the BDR appliance's built-in virtualization software enables us to create a virtual image of the downed server in under half an hour. That's way faster than anything we could do with tape. Once we've fixed or replaced the original hardware, we perform a speedy bare-metal restore using the BDR solution's virtual-to-physical recovery functionality and our customer is back in business. Plus, the BDR solution is drop-dead reliable and affordably priced, two facts our clients really appreciate.
Greater Revenue, Higher Profits
Here's something that I appreciate: Zenith Infotech has proven to be one of our most dependable partners. Their support team shares our commitment to 24/7/365 service, so any time we have questions their engineers work hard to get us the answers we need quickly.
Perhaps the best part about Zenith's BDR solution, though, is the impact it's had on our balance sheet. Including it in managed service contracts has increased our average deal size, adding revenue to the top line. And the BDR solution makes protecting our customers' data easier and less time-consuming, which adds margin to our bottom line. I wish every product that we sell made that kind of contribution to profitability.
Looking ahead, we'll soon be testing Zenith's new SmartStyle cloud computing solution. Our clients are slowly making their way into the cloud, so we need to go there with them. Based on what I've seen so far, SmartStyle appears to be a great way to add lucrative new solutions to our offerings while helping our customers capitalize on the cloud's efficiency and simplicity.
To learn more about partnering with Zenith Infotech, visit www.zenithinfotech.com and click "Partner Programs."