NewCMI Ltd, known simply as CMI, has become renowned in the UK for helping businesses to grow through innovative IT and dependable support. The company has enjoyed phenomenal growth – it now boasts 100+ employees and a client base of 400+ companies across the financial services, manufacturing and professional services sectors.
Key to CMI’s growth is the quality of service it provides to customers, which it evidenced with aplomb this year, winning the Managed Service Provider (MSP) of the Year 2019 Award at the Connect IT Europe event. CMI had to demonstrate excellence in a multitude of disciplines in order to win the award, against hundreds of other MSPs.
The gift of feedback
CMI understood from the very beginning that, in the words of Warren Buffett, “feedback is a gift.” It didn’t want to fall into the trap that that MSPs face when they find themselves relying on low-response, skewed survey feedback. When surveys are issued quarterly the response rate surveys are typically low and the MSP ends up relying on anecdotal feedback to defend their position and ultimately their contract.
Memories have been shown to decay rapidly; consumers frequently recall a company’s actions and communications inaccurately. CMI recognised this and looked to seek feedback from users in a fresh and unobtrusive way. They knew that the best option was to get real-time customer feedback from the point where the IT support service is actually delivered.
Initially it used an integrated feedback tool that was built into their PSA (Professional Services Automation) Autotask, but it wanted to find a tool that looked more modern and had a better reporting functionality.
CMI found their ideal solution when they acquired an MSP called Solsis in 2017 – Solsis was using the a 1-click email survey product from Customer Thermometer. CMI was so impressed by the interface, experience and insight that it rolled the tool out across the whole company – integrating it into Autotask and using Customer Thermometer’s plug-ins for Microsoft Teams and Slack, as well as its web hooks and API.
Michael O’Neill, Managed Services Director, CMI:
“We were hugely impressed with Customer Thermometer’s modern and engaging interface, and the data we could glean at the touch of a button. The product is easy, clean to use and implement. It has truly enabled us to benefit from the gift of feedback in real-time. By getting instant insight, the latest issue or emergency doesn’t derail the entire team’s performance. The power of real-time corrective action to protect contracts is phenomenal. A customer who gets a call, an apology and a rectification after something has gone wrong is often a customer (and an advocate) for life.”
Customer Thermometer has become a central component of CMI’s CSAT programme. It’s data is used to feed into an array of staff reward projects. For example, for each gold star the team receives, CMI contributes £1 into a ‘staff pot.’ A red star means that £5 is taken from the pot. The total is calculated each quarter and is normally is excess of two thousand pounds. The money then pays for a staff event/ staff entertainment.
All managers and directors get an immediate notification if a customer hits a gold or red star, with agreed processes to follow. When there is red star the relevant manager follows up immediately. It’s processed in the same way as a pre-complaint and it’s evaluated to see if it constitutes being directed to the Continued Service Improvement team, should there be an opportunity for wider learnings or an implementation of a new process.
Gold stars are celebrated internally – the recipient gets a virtual ‘slap on the back’ from their team leader. Many employees have Customer Thermometer KPIs as part of their career development plan.
Michael O’Neill adds:
“We treat customer feedback extremely seriously. Obviously, the goal is to achieve the maximum number of green and gold stars and incentivise staff accordingly. However, the insight from a red star can be hugely valuable and we can assure customers that steps have been taken to learn from it. Ensuring that they feel listened to and that we truly value the feedback is the first step to resolution.”
Boosting customer retention
Customer Thermometer is also proving invaluable with client retention. Its survey is embedded in the 5,000+ tickets we deal with every month, as well as embedded into various other customer touchpoints. Each month every client gets a ‘vitality report’ that outlines the scores it has given CMI to evidence the company’s performance and client satisfaction.
Michael O’Neill, concludes: “As an MSP you can build out your advanced services and complete your solution offering by gradually upskilling and growing your service suite. However, “service experience,” is subjective to each customer and how they feel will ultimately dictate whether they want to stay with you or grow the contract.
“Customer Thermometer enables us to take the pulse of our customer’s satisfaction, so we can ensure they are satisfied. Given that our growth comes more from existing clients than advertising and promotion, it’s product is absolutely fundamental to our operations and future. We look forward to long and fruitful relationship.”