Guest Column | July 16, 2020

The One Soft Skill MSPs Must Identify For The COVID-19 Workforce And Beyond

By Nicole Berg, Field Nation

Coronavirus COVID-19

Technicians can be your greatest asset as well as your greatest expense; the Work Institute conservatively estimates that the cost to lose a U.S. worker is $15,000. Amid COVID-19 that number may even be greater given the unique customer interfacing challenges that technicians are facing with each state’s social distancing rules. This presents a potential incalculable loss to your MSP’s reputation. In fact, HDI’s Customer Representative Training course estimates that 80 percent of customers leave their service provider because of the lack of service to the customer or customer experience – not because the MSP lacks hard skills such as technical expertise. To improve customer retention rates and decrease technician turnover, MSPs should focus on identifying, screening, and communicating the soft skills technicians will need to succeed now and into the future.

Emotional intelligence is one of the top in-demand soft skills identified by LinkedIn for 2020. It is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. For MSPs, this means identifying employees who can empathize, anticipate and prepare for the health and safety concerns customers may have with on-site servicing; compliance is one thing, but candidates who possess the emotional intelligence to transform social distancing concerns into a relationship-building opportunity will be better set for the future. What’s more, technicians that can turn on-site interactions into high-quality customer experiences will further strengthen their company’s brand reputation. These positive exchanges will boost customers’ peace-of-mind, reassuring they are well-supported by professionals equipped to address unforeseen events, from pandemics to cybersecurity attacks.

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