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How ConnectWise Automate Helped One Company Find New Revenue Streams and Improve Customer—and Employee—Satisfaction
Need Computer Help
Today, Need Computer Help is a thriving managed services provider (MSP) based in Texas and Louisiana. But when Andrew Albee, a Remote Support Engineer, first joined the team in 2016, things looked a lot different.
Need Computer Help, a Texas and Louisiana-based MSP, made its money hosting virtual servers and doing on-site, break/fix work—but in doing so, it was barely breaking even.
On the advice of an employee, Need Computer Help adopted ConnectWise Automate®, allowing the company to tap into recurring revenue streams, cut back on expenses, and more.
Using ConnectWise Automate, Need Computer Help was able to adopt a services-oriented approach. In just three years, business has grown and profitability has skyrocketed.
“In about three years, we went from barely breaking even to our owner buying a boat.”
Andrew Albee, Remote Support Engineer, Need Computer Help
“ConnectWise has really made our lives a lot better. Not only has it made our customers happy because of our response time, but we were able to cut back on travel expenses. We were also able to cut back on payroll, which is always a big expense.”
Andrew Albee, Remote Support Engineer, Need Computer Help
“When I started out at this company, they were just a bunch of guys running around in cars trying to fix stuff,” Albee recalled. “We were basically breaking even—or we were losing money.”
Back then, Need Computer Help hosted cloud servers and performed break/fix work in the field. This severely limited how many clients it could take on, since technicians could only handle jobs within a certain radius. And the more time they spent traveling to and servicing clients, the more their efforts squeezed company margins.
Albee quickly realized that this business model was not sustainable. The company he’d previously worked for had used ConnectWise Automate for remote management, and he suggested that it was worth exploring whether this solution could help. Need Computer Help decided to try it out—and the rest, as they say, is history.
“In three years, we went from barely breaking even to our owner buying a boat,” Albee said.
Upselling Existing Clients
From manufacturing companies to accounting firms, Need Computer Help already had a diverse client base that relied on virtual servers. After adopting ConnectWise Automate, the company realized it could upsell existing clients on new managed services offerings, rather than having to find new customers from the get-go. .
“We were able to go to the clients and say, ‘Look, right now we're hosting your server,’” Albee said. “‘Who's looking after the workstations?’”
To help clients see the benefits of the new services, Need Computer Help offered them a brief trial period. Now that the company has established firm foundations in this space, it no longer relies on trials. But in 2016, that gamble paid off.
“Once clients got on, most of them stayed on,” Albee said. “90% of them saw the benefits because if they had an issue, we were right there.”
Over time, as the company’s client base grew, Need Computer Help found that it was also able to upsell clients using its managed services on its legacy offering: virtual server hosting. This allowed the company to maximize per-client revenue.
For example, after putting ConnectWise Automate on one clients’ system, Need Computer Help found that the company had physical servers its leaders hadn’t known about. Since the company had offices around the world, employees were forced to use VPNs to access these servers.
“We were like, ‘Ok, your servers are getting close to end-of-life,’” Albee recalled. “‘This is what it's going to cost you to replace the server, or this is what it's gonna cost for you to put everything in the cloud. If you put it in the cloud, you never have to worry about another user calling you up saying they can't get into the server. They’re going to call us.’ The CEO is like, ‘Great, sign us up!’”
Improving Customer Satisfaction
After experiencing the benefits of ConnectWise Automate, Need Computer Help quickly added ConnectWise Manage®. Combined with the IT Glue integration, the company has created a smooth and scalable workflow that makes it easy to document and resolve issues—and to get clients in the loop.
“Not only do we see the benefit, but our clients see the benefit, too,” Albee said. “It works really well for us. And this way, anytime the client says, ‘I need more information on my network,’ we can pull together a run book from that and just email it out to them.”
ConnectWise Automate has allowed Need Computer Help to adopt a more proactive approach. Before, if a client’s hard drive crashed, it lost everything. Now, using ConnectWise Automate, Need Computer Help gets notified anytime there’s a smart failure in a client’s hard drive, allowing the company to notify the client and send out a tech to resolve the issue. As a result, the client experiences just an hour of downtime—not a devastating and potentially irretrievable data loss.
By running reports through ConnectWise Automate, Need Computer Help can also give clients a heads-up about which machines need to be replaced. This increases clients’ ability to plan—and reduces any blindsiding by sudden expenses.
“We’re able to sit down with clients and make plans as to life cycle replacements based on the information that we get from ConnectWise Automate,” Albee said. “It does wonders for the upsell-ability.”
This proactive approach has dramatically improved customer satisfaction and helped Need Computer Help establish a reputation as a trusted advisor. For Albee, this is one of the biggest benefits of using ConnectWise Automate.
“Yes, it does generate revenue for us, and yes, it does make our company more successful,” he said. “But I've always prided myself on supplying the best possible service to my customers—and this product actually helps me do that.”
ConnectWise Automate has also made employees’ lives easier by reducing tedious busywork. Albee, for instance, has found that the ability to script means he no longer has to manually uninstall blacklisted software on clients’ systems.
“I could go into ConnectWise Automate and say, ‘I don't ever want this program to be on anything that we're managing,’” he said. “Then the script that I’ve set up will automatically uninstall that program. And it runs every night; the next time that computer comes online, that software should be uninstalled. If for any reason that ticket gets to be more than two days old, it pops over to our help desk and then we see it—but otherwise, we never even have to look at it.”
Since techs can now resolve issues remotely, Need Computer Help can service far more clients with far fewer techs. Employees are happier because they spend less time on the road and have the option to work from home, and the company’s margins are significantly better.
“ConnectWise has really made our lives a lot better,” Albee said. “What used to take about 10 people to do, we can now do with four without a problem. Not only has it made our customers happy because of our response time, but we were able to cut back on travel expenses. We were also able to cut back on payroll, which is always a big expense.”
Getting Out of the Break/Fix Trap
Albee is glad that his company is no longer stuck using the break/fix model. Every year, this approach becomes less sustainable or profitable.
“Anybody trying to make a living on break/fix right now—unless he's by himself working out of his garage—he's not gonna make it,” Albee said. “By doing break/fix, your customer base is very limited. You're limited to the local area that you can get to. With ConnectWise Automate, we're supporting people in Mexico. We're supporting people in California. We're not tied to where I can drive.”
ConnectWise Automate has opened countless doors for Need Computer Help already, but Albee is confident that the benefits will only keep coming.
“This is all monthly generating income that wouldn't be there otherwise,” he said. “And there’s so much more that I know that this can do.”
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