Develop a Staff of Problem Solvers

There’s a lot of talk about educating customers about the value of managed print services, but that’s only half the challenge. VARs and MSPs must first adequately train their internal staff so salespeople can deliver the right message to customers and other employees know their roles in helping to grow the MPS business.

“It requires some education,” says Michael Trevisan, president of Atlantic Office & Laser Products Inc., a Beltsville, Md., Xerox Peak Partner and provider of print management solutions to businesses in the greater Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area.

Senior managers must also understand that a commitment to managed print requires investments in time and money. The right partner program will ease those burdens with classes, online resources and one-on-one coaching designed to bring internal staff up to speed. But in the end, employees will be able to handle any support issues that arise with managed print and be well-versed in the terminology, pricing and other important aspects of managed print, Trevisan says.

But before you send personnel off for enlightenment, make sure they understand the big picture. Service contracts come with a range of issues that don’t exist with traditional hardware support. For example, customers look to managed print providers to assist them in new ways, including being able to solve their ongoing business problems. “If you provide a viable solution, you are a consultant, an asset to the client, and costs become secondary relative to service provided,” Trevisan says. “It is most important to [developing] loyal customers.”

A service mentality is important for long-term MPS success—have you gotten your staff there yet? What worked and what was a huge flame out?