How ServiceNow helps MSPs hit their EBITDA targets

How ServiceNow helps MSPs hit their EBITDA targets

Service Management is at the core of MSP strategy

ServiceNow has become the go-to provider for organisations that need to professionally manage interactions and automate processes for suppliers, employees and customers. This is no less the case for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Service providers in the tech space are increasingly putting their trust in ServiceNow to achieve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

Further, owners and investors of many MSPs are busy preparing their assets for the next financial event by adopting ServiceNow, ensuring digital preparedness that will deliver the required EBITDA, which in turn primes the business for the next stage of growth. Investors also see the opportunity in having the appropriate fully integrated Service Management technology in place that will allow for fast integration of acquired assets in a rollup strategy.

Turn customers on 

Digital transformation is a well-established business strategy that organisations are either already pursuing or planning to implement. The benefits are all-encompassing, multi-faceted, and suffice to say are considered essential in developing a competitive edge in the digital economy. This is no different for MSPs, because technology “IS” their business, so customers expect them to get this right and won’t tolerate a poor customer experience.

In fact, turning on your customers, from a digital perspective, is an imperative that few industry sectors can resist, and one that ICT services depend upon. This has elevated the adoption of ServiceNow by MSPs to a strategic, boardroom level decision. MSP owners and investors, along with their C-level colleagues, are discussing ServiceNow within a digital transformation context, as they grapple with the need to better serve customers and find new revenue opportunities while reducing operational costs. This has become the holy grail to EBITDA success.

Win loyalty with a better customer experience

Inefficiencies, driven by manual processes that allow for human error, resulting in poor service, are no longer tolerated by business customers who want high quality interactions from their tech service provider. We have become accustomed to the very best in customer experience from the consumer-tech products we buy, and this is what businesses now demand from the MSPs that serve them. They expect to be served via a portal full of rich information and don’t want to have to call an account manager or support line every time they have a question or need something.

Customer expectations now require MSPs to have the latest portal technology that delivers everything the customer wants under a single login, allowing them to self-serve for all their daily needs. Sophisticated customer portals include the latest and accurate information about the customer account, as well as the full catalogue of services, with prices, available to them. Customers can purchase new services or change existing ones, then track and monitor their progress online. Technology that can deliver service automation is the only way to support a modern customer experience, such as this.

ServiceNow changes the way we work for the better 

In the past, so many repetitive tasks were done manually by teams of people who were needed to run and support an MSPs back, middle and front office operations. This allowed for human error, unnecessary task replication, time wasted fixing avoidable issues, inconsistent data and long lead times to provision services and implement change requests. All this ‘swivel chair’ activity resulted in the ultimate indignity of increasing levels of customer dissatisfaction. Everyone was working hard just to stand still, but despite best efforts the customer was constantly being let down.

The World Works With ServieNow

Daily firefighting is a negative activity that causes stress and demotivates staff, while short-changing customers with poor levels of service. In this situation, employees are rarely afforded the time to better understand and help customers solve their business challenges. Implementing ServiceNow, positively changes all outdated methods of working that must be modernised through service automation.

Service automation can replace manual processes with efficient and reliable workflows that maximise the desired business outcomes. This delivers high quality employee and customer experiences, freeing time for empowered staff members to add value to customers. It is that added value which positively impacts the nature of the customer relationship, elevating the service provider to partner status. A valued partner, with a differentiated customer experience, can start to charge a premium for a more desirable service that other providers cannot match or compete with.


The EBITDA squeeze 

The big squeeze on MSPs is caused by increasingly complex customer needs on the one hand, starkly contrasted by the operational imperative to deliver reliable services cost effectively, on the other. These conflicting pressures need to be closely managed to deliver the required EBITDA levels back to owners and investors.

When implementing operational improvements, it is important to follow through and connect the back-office right through the business and then on to the customer, in a complete end-to-end process. This ensures the benefits of any process improvements are exposed to and experienced by the customer. For example, it would not make sense to automate slick change request processes internally, while customers continue to contact the support desk by email or telephone. 

To maximise the benefit, and the return on investment, of any new process initiative, the customer must feel the improvements directly with a positive experience. This allows customers to take control and digitally engage with the process themselves, which saves time, frees the support desk from inbound calls, eliminates the opportunity for errors and cuts operational costs.

Invest for success

Service Management technology, such as ServiceNow, must be regarded not only as an investment but as a competitive imperative that will deliver back significant returns. It encompasses the critical factors necessary to unlock future success, by delivering the high quality experiences both employees and customers demand, resulting in better profitability.

MSPs must provide the facility to empower their staff with appropriate Service Management technology, that will in turn engage customers with transparency of information and the ability to self-serve via a single customer portal. The customer portal is a fundamental touchpoint that many other success factors feed into. The quality of the portal experience will liberate new sales opportunities, almost impossible to create without a high-quality presentation layer that customers can securely interact with 24/7.

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