Wrapping up on Microsoft CSP self-examination

The time has come to wrap up on Microsoft CSP self-examination. We’d like to help you heal your potential sore spots and accelerate your Cloud successes. Our previous post discussed the importance of education and consultancy in Cloud sales. Today we’re highlighting the fulfilment, management and support of your customer. Hype around customer life-cycle management shouldn’t go ignored. It could be a major differentiator in an increasingly competitive market.

Is customer on-boarding one of your sore spots?

Automating your customer onboarding process is essential for you to fulfil cloud orders to your clients’ expectations. Managing leads, quotes and orders over multiple systems fragments your operation, increasing your business risk. You could lose records, lose track of customers and processes or worse: suffer fraud. These are just some reasons that ‘integration’ is a buzzword among Microsoft CSPs.

Let’s not forget the added headache presented by manual provisioning! Today’s world is all about instant gratification so if you’re not picking up the pace, you’re risking your revenue streams.

Multi-channel processes

As if speed wasn’t enough, there’s now the added complexity of provisioning multiple technologies to multiple devices. Microsoft CSPs undoubtedly feel pressure from all angles. Factoring in reseller and self-service channels doesn’t make things any easier. The surefire antidote to all this is an automated system that addresses all of a CSP’s use-cases.


What about rating & billing?

Determining whether this is an ailment or not requires you to think about it from your customers’ viewpoints. When it comes to bills, they expect three things – accuracy, timeliness and simplicity. Nothing frustrates customers more than receiving bills that are difficult to understand or, even worse, reflect incorrect charges. Losing your customers’ trust could cause irreparable damage and there aren’t many cures for that so it’s best to not invite that kind of trouble.

Our experience shows us that a lot of CSPs struggle with recurring billing. It’s a new business process for those who were previously accustomed to once-off invoicing. If you’re of the belief that prevention is better than cure, you’d do well to train your key personnel early on in your transition or establishment as a CSP. Ensure that your billing process leaves no symptom ignored and that there are sufficient checks and balances in place to prevent chronic conditions later on.

Maybe it’s ticketing or help desks that get you down

Like with other products and services, customer service just can’t be ignored. If you haven’t yet designated a channel for servicing customer queries, you’d better attend to this – stat! Turnaround times and courteous engagement are the two cure-alls for this kind of condition. Most queries still find their way in through telephone calls or account management channels (although the odd chat-bot now and then seems to keep the status quo in your favour) so your systems should be able to adequately service these requests. You need to know that your system works for you and not against you.

Was this helpful?

This brings us to the end of our series on self-examining the health of your CSP business. We hope that we’ve helped you uncover and investigate some of your challenges at a deeper level. Please feel free to share your notes with us if you’re feeling a bit stuck on where to go from here. Take some time to reflect on all of the areas we’ve covered to make sure that you haven’t left out any of the details.