Throughout Freshdesk’s journey, we’ve placed a high emphasis on listening to our customers. 7 years down the line, we’re still finding lessons to be learned in the way they interact with our product. Take Jeremy Morgan, for example, who uses Freshdesk’s reporting features to analyze client contracts and figure out which ones need to be adjusted, renegotiated or dropped entirely.
I’m Jeremy Morgan, and I run Quality Computer Services. We’re a small Managed Service Provider in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, and we manage the IT infrastructure of small businesses. Servers, routers, networks and so on – we help them be more productive with their technology.
Most MSPs charge by the computer, user, or service. We used to do that as well, but it wasn’t working out for us – that either made us overpriced or far too underpriced and customers wound up using us like an unlimited service. So we switched back to a traditional retainer model – customers can lock in a certain price, as long as they accept the obligation of a monthly minimum for the next 12 months.
To give you an example, one of the options we offer is the Gold Plan. Under the Gold Plan, if the customer accepts a minimum obligation of $560/month, we’ll give them an hourly rate of $70/hour (for a minimum of 8 hours). So it’s always that hourly rate for them, but they have to maintain that minimum every month. This system’s done really well for us, but it does mean that it’s extremely important for us to keep track of our billable hours because that’s how we get paid.
And that’s where Freshdesk comes in.
Once you get the hang of it, the way that the time-tracking is set up in Freshdesk is really intuitive. When we first tried out this system, we started out by tracking hours in Word documents – which quickly devolved into a total waste of time. Once we switched to Freshdesk, the ability to run reports timekeeping options it provides (and the ability to run reports instantly) were far more effective and organized.
We primarily use it to keep track of our commitments and the demands that our clients have been placing on us. Freshdesk to share monthly reports with our customers showing them how much of our time they’ve used through Timesheet reports, and we’ve used the Freshbooks integration to invoice them for it. When we first ran our customers through this analysis, we found out that our hourly rate had gone all the way down to around $15/hour for a couple of them – way below the level that we should have been charging. So we were effectively losing out on better business by wasting our time on clients that were being grossly undercharged – which was a real wake-up call!
Freshdesk is primarily a ticketing system, I know; but it’s been so much more for us. It’s helped us determine which contracts to maintain and which ones to avoid, which has been exactly what we’ve needed to ensure that we stay profitable and efficient.
Data, and data reporting, is critical – whether you’re a multinational corporation or one with just a handful of employees looking to scale to the next level. We wholeheartedly subscribe to this view; in fact, we’ve got an upcoming webinar on metrics in support – sign up here.
In Jeremy’s case, with a small business that was looking to optimize its operations, using data to drive big business decisions proved to be very successful.
Do you use data or reporting to influence decisions like this? If so, let us know!