Categories
Professional Appearance

Look Good, Feel Good

Look Good, Feel Good

By: Dan Tomaszewski

Let’s face it, there is a stereotype that follows us as geeks. However, as geeks we can still have a professional appearance and it can go a long way in the eyes of others, most especially our clients. As an added bonus, when we look good, we feel good. While dress codes may vary based on an employee’s role, there are some small things that we can all do to have that professional appearance that will make us look good and feel good regardless of whether we dress in business attire or business casual.

While some employers set standards for their employees, many don’t and this is especially true in the IT industry. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. This impression plays a big part in the view clients, and potential clients, have about your company as technology professionals. People do judge a book by its cover and this impression will help them formulate a decision whether or not you are capable of handling the management of their technology. Besides the impression to others, the way we look has a big impact on how we feel about ourselves. This impact can have very positive results in both the quality of work we perform and the outlook on our life at home and work.

Everyone has an employee or two that have the look and don’t need any coaching. It would be great if all our employees had this trait, but we were not all created equally. Molding our teams to have that professional appearance is entirely possible, but the standards need to be set. If we don’t set the standards, then who will? As with anything, once standards are set they need to be enforced across the board otherwise nobody will take them seriously.

When it comes to standards, there are two types of standards that need to be set. First, you need to decide on the dress code for different roles within the company. For example, for your technicians, you may choose to have everyone wearing button down dress shirts with your logo embroidered, black dress pants, black belt, black dress shoes, and black dress socks. This all depends on the look you want to portray to your clients.

Besides the dress code, there are other important factors that have an impact on looking good and feeling good. These are all small things from a personal appearance perspective that relate to how you look versus what you wear. These include areas related to hair, eye glasses, facial hair, make-up, shirts and pants, socks, and shoes. We have included a Look Good, Feel Good sheet that explains these in further detail that you can use at your company.

When you put in place standards, it’s less about rules and more about helping your team look good and feel good which will go a long way in how others view your company.

Use the PDF document below as a resource:

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Categories
Proactive Management

Crystal Ball vs. Magic 8 Ball

Crystal Ball vs. Magic 8 Ball Support

By: Dan Tomaszewski

Welcome to the world of proactive technology management. Being a Managed Services Provider is nothing like being the traditional IT provider. The entire mindset is different not only for your company, but also for your clients.

Your clients are used to coming into the office each morning, and picking up the infamous Magic 8 ball, and shaking it to see if their technology is going to work that day. It’s always an office joke to guess how many cups of coffee can be consumed while their computer boots, or if the computer will crash just minutes before a big presentation is due.

As a Managed Services Provider you are working to deliver an entirely different type of experience for your clients. Instead of sitting back waiting for the phone to ring you are proactively working to make sure they don’t have to call you with problems. It’s more of a Crystal Ball approach to managing technology than a Magic 8 ball.

Of course, delivering the Crystal Ball approach to technology management doesn’t mean that your clients will never experience issues ever again. Unfortunately, technology is technology and it’s not black and white. There are countless shades of gray in between. Regardless of how much proactive support you provide, there is no magic wand that will eliminate all problems. However, this approach will significantly lower the number of issues that a client will experience as compared to the Magic 8 Ball approach.

As a managed services provider, you have selected a remote monitoring and management tool (RMM) that can help give visibility into your client’s technology environment. This RMM tool is what helps you provide the Crystal Ball approach. One of the goals of the RMM when it comes to the Crystal Ball is being able to identify issues before your client does. Often, a client’s workstation or server is speaking about issues. However, only in a language that technology professionals understand. These are often small issues that can go unnoticed. If left untouched they may snowball into larger issue that can not only cost time but money.

Depending on the RMM, you will need to set up monitoring alerts that will give you vision into these small issues. You can choose to monitor for everything and suppress alerts that may be deemed insignificant, or you can start by monitoring for nothing and add alerts that you feel would be the most beneficial. There are different reasons why one would choose one approach versus the other. One primary reason is based on the size of your staff and the ability to handle the volume of alerts that could be generated. In either case, it’s best to have these alerts generate tickets in a separate monitoring alerts queue in your Professional Services Automation (PSA) software.

The process of reviewing and taking necessary action is the most important step to delivering the Crystal Ball approach. If you are going to paint this beautiful picture of how you manage technology to your clients, you have to deliver on it. This must be part of your daily process, as it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of delivering reactionary service.

When your focus on being proactive and delivering Crystal Ball service, you will build a reputation for delivering a level of service unlike the competition. There is nothing more awesome that being able to get an alert that a client’s workstation is showing signs of hard drive failure that you can resolve before disaster strikes.

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