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7 Ways Managed IT Services Increases Customer Responsiveness throughout the IT Service Supply Chain

Last modified: September 11, 2016

The Information Technology or IT service supply chain stands on the cusp of a new era of speed, agility, and functionality. Across the globe, companies are moving towards a higher degree of integration and visibility for maintaining compliance with any applicable rules and regulations. Additionally, startups and tech giants need to improve their baseline operations to reach the next level of growth, especially considering the projected jump in the freight industry in the coming years. Take a look at the top seven ways the IT service supply chain will increase customer responsiveness through managed IT services.

Return Merchandise Authorizations

Although no business wants to think about returns, returns are inherent within all businesses. Managed IT services allows businesses to use online tools and consumer self-service to help their customers obtain return shipping labels, gain RMA numbers quickly, and proceed with the return process. However, some consumers may be incapable of printing out such forms themselves, so this brings us to the realm of printing services. The managed IT service provider can automatically print out any applicable paperwork and labels for the RMA. Furthermore, you must consider how managed IT services may be used proactively to print out return shipping information and enclose it with the original shipment. Therefore, this eliminates the need for obtaining an RMA unless the consumer does not have the documentation anymore.

Customer Support

Everyone has become glued to their smartphones, and many consumers want the speed and tracking ability of engaging in a chat-service with customer support. Not only does this reduce the added expense of taking calls, but it allows customers to get assistance at virtually any time. This is an important consideration when looking into cross-country and international distribution in the IT service supply chain as well.

Think of a typical helpdesk operation. Someone calls in with a complaint, need, or request. An operator determines how to address the request and may transfer the call to the appropriate department. Upon receiving the information, a person within the technical assistance department finds the problem rests with a defective part. The call is then transferred back to the original helpdesk operator, who may then perform the RMA or refer to the call to a unique RMA department. The consumer has been transferred at least four times, and if you have ever been transferred when you need help, you have felt the consumer’s unbearable frustration.

Managed helpdesk solutions give you the option of reaching out to a centralized department for all of your user support and helpdesk needs. In our example, you can see how each step of the process takes time away from production and work responsibilities. By using managed helpdesk solutions, you can reduce your outage chances, which will improve your consumers’ experiences.

Reduce On-Site Storage Requirements

Through the use of the cloud, business owners can reduce their physical space requirements while enabling the rapid transmission of data to their suppliers. For example, 60 percent of midsize organizations can reduce the impact of operational budgets through use of the cloud. Furthermore, the cloud has a remarkable capacity for scalability, which further drives the influx of data to the cloud and improves performance.

Improved Physical Security and Performance

Since much of the IT service supply chain uses the cloud for data storage and transfer, which ultimately leads back to the respective data centers, you gain additional physical security. Data centers typically have extensive authorization procedures in place to prevent malicious people from gaining jobs and entering the facility.

Additionally, data centers are constantly thinking of new locations to build to reduce the need for extensive HVAC systems for keeping servers cool. For example, Microsoft and Google have built data centers Finland and Iceland, explains Information Week, and Facebook has built one in Sweden. These locations offer the same services at a reduced operating cost, which trickles back to your business and consumers.

Plan for the Unforeseen

All businesses need a disaster recovery plan, or they face going out of business. A single man-made, or natural, disaster can destroy a fledgling company, but managed IT services give businesses and consumers the ability to respond to a disaster immediately. In the case of time-sensitive transactions, managed IT services may divert resources from one location to your physical location to maintain uptime and reduce interference. This relies on the basic off-site location of data centers, which provide a safety net for your facility. However, you must still consider upgrades.

Simplified Upgrades

At the end of July, Microsoft released the latest, final version of Windows. The corporation promises to never release a future version, but Windows 10 will always be full of upgrades. This principle could be applied to your business as well. Managed IT services effectively turn your operations into a monitored upgrade. The provider can perform system-wide upgrades through backup systems without the need for downtime. Additionally, the nature of managed backups implies problems during the upgrade can be quickly identified, addressed, and removed if something fails to launch appropriately. Ultimately, consumers see any possible transitions as seamless.

Visibility

With dozens of watchdog groups on the prowl and the watchful eyes of consumers, you cannot afford to avoid the visibility spectrum. Unfortunately, the threat of a hack and security violation remains a constant variable throughout the service supply chain. However, managed IT services have the resources to eradicate these potential threats. For example, additional layers of security exist to protect the information of your business, your business partners, and your consumers when transactions are processed through the Internet. Therefore, the fee for using managed IT services is meek compared to the possible fines, penalties, and damages of lawsuits if something happens. Similarly, managed IT services may take on the brunt of the work by maintaining a record of all complaints and offering financial compensation to the affected parties if a breach occurs.

Customers will always be the driving force behind the IT service supply chain; however, managed IT services are bringing cost-savings to businesses, which ultimately translate into savings for the consumers. As a result, the use of managed IT services throughout the IT service supply chain will further drive consumer satisfaction and responsiveness into the future.

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