Pointing the Finger Won’t Solve the Problem



In the world of MSP and IT solutions, there are numerous if not dozens of potential layers, vendors, and support levels to any given product or service. When there are issues, having this many layers can often lead to various finger pointing and passing the buck. In the end, the customer could care less about whose problem it is and instead sees the MSP as holding the sole responsibility in any situation.

Rather than seeing this as a bad thing, the notion of sole responsibility is the foundation that MSP’s were built on. For this reason pointing the finger in any situation is never an option. Understanding how to speak with an upset customer is the key to delivering a service as promised.

Instead of using phrases such as “XYZ vendor is having an issue and we aren’t sure when the problem will be resolved,” use a phrase like “We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, we will provide you another update as soon as we have an answer or at x-oclock, whichever comes first.”

By owning the issue and providing the customer with regular updates, you are fulfilling your function as the customer’s IT department and showing them that they matter when issues occur. What you will find is most customers are much more understanding when you do not hide from the issue, and when you take responsibility and charge of the situation.

There can be the times when a customer wants to dig further and know the cause of the issue. If this is the case, make sure to provide a diplomatic and understanding tone and explain the situation without making it seem like anything is outside of normal procedure. This will keep things calm and allows you to reassure the customer that you are diligently working to resolve the issue.

Though all of this may seem like a diversion to the real problem, you should address any anger or disappointment with the vendor or solution provider directly. Showing this to a customer will do nothing more than flame the fire and cause them to direct even more displeasure with you.

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