Is Your MSP staffed by “Standout IT Service Pros?” Look for These 5 Traits.

managed services providers
  • February 8, 2017
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The start of a new year is a great time for taking stock. And, with digital transformation continuing to sweep through companies large and small, technology is a great place to start. Big-time CIOs and IT-savvy leaders of small- to mid-size businesses (SMBs) alike know the latest technologies – such as cloud services, mobile devices and security solutions – will be critical for operational efficiency and competitive advantage in 2017 and beyond.

They also know they shouldn’t face these challenges without expert help. As we’ve mentioned many times in this space, there’s no reason SMB leaders shouldn’t hold their IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to the same high standards corporate leaders require of their IT support teams.

So, what traits should your MSP share with the “standout IT service pros” of the corporate world? Technical expertise should be a given, with a versatile, adaptable skill set that mirrors today’s rapid-fire business environment. A working knowledge of your business should, of course, come from you. (Not sure how to provide this insight? See our post “Answer 5 Critical Questions for your MSP.”)

But how about those vaunted “soft skills” given so much press in today’s business magazines? We reviewed posts by Creating IT Futures and ITBusinessEdge and gleaned these five traits that separate “standout IT service pros” from the crowd:

  • Passion for Solving Problems
    Technology exists to solve problems, and the best IT pros love a challenge. But they don’t limit their interest to technical issues. They’re curious about other areas of business. When they hear about business snags, they say “tell me more,” “let me help” and “I have an idea.”
  • Drive for Continual Learning
    Problem-solvers always search for new approaches and tools. The best IT pros look for the newest gadgets, teach themselves the latest techniques, and get certified in the best solutions to demonstrate their commitment to continual learning.
  • Penchant for Building Relationships
    The best IT pros won’t be content to sit in a server room, without engaging you and your staff in person, over the phone and online. They know relationships across your organization build trust that smooth the implementations that solve problems.
  • Desire for Making Recommendations
    The best IT pros share their expertise and their opinions. They present choices and options but have the confidence in their experience to make recommendations, explaining benefits and risks so you’re assured of the merits of their proposals.
  • Knack for Collaboration
    The best IT pros know their sweet spots and find experts inside or outside of the team with the proper knowledge when it’s needed. They know how to explain problems, strategies, recommendations and other matters in ways colleagues and clients will understand and appreciate.

Perhaps the best indicator of standout performance from your MSP’s support team is poise. When your IT service pro calmly and assuredly use phrases such as “Let me look into that. I’ll come back with recommendations.” You’ll know you’re in good hands.

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ITinflections is a blog that covers a wide range of technology-based articles IT in the workplace, focusing on small- to medium-sized businesses.

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