When your company mascot is a zebra with multi-colored stripes, it’s easy to guess how important it is for you to distinguish yourself from the rest of the herd.
So when Ryan Smith faced a massive expansion of his support team a few months ago, he knew what he had to do. Ryan is the service manager at CharTec, a StorageCraft partner and provider of hardware as a service (HaaS) and MSP sales training in Bakersfield, CA. In his two years at CharTec, he’s seen the company double in size.
One of CharTec’s unique offerings is a 24x7x365 help desk. The CharTec Help Desk operates out of Bakersfield, allowing MSPs to outsource U.S.-based phone support to their customers. As Ryan explains,
By outsourcing their help desk calls to CharTec, MSPs can provide more hours of support than they could by themselves, and do it without adding staff.
His support technicians handle help-desk calls, while the MSPs’ technicians handle onsite support calls.
Another popular offering is the CharTec Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution, powered by StorageCraft technology. The solution includes a BDR appliance, nightly virtualization tests, help-desk support, and full management and monitoring by CharTec. As the number of CharTec BDR customers has grown, so has Ryan’s support team.
Our mission is to help MSPs differentiate their offerings—stand out from the herd—with high-quality products and services. CharTec support technicians have to be the best. We had a core group of StorageCraft power users within our support team, but as the company grew, I knew we needed to take it to the next level.”
Stepping Up with StorageCraft Academy
While his StorageCraft power users could easily take care of their 700+ BDR customers, when that number jumped to 1,700, Ryan decided to do something different.
He required all of his support technicians to train and certify as StorageCraft Certified Engineers (SCE). StorageCraft Academy made it convenient for CharTec Help Desk technicians to get certified, with eLearning courses and online resource videos. According to Ryan,
Our technicians could take the courses at their own pace, whenever they could schedule the time to study. The SCE exam is also online, so we didn’t have to wait for a certain date or to travel to a different location to get certified.
Prior to the training, CharTec reps often had to escalate support calls to StorageCraft Technical Support. This caused delays in the resolution of the problem, decreased the customer’s satisfaction, and reduced the help desk’s productivity. With a growing number of BDR customers, Ryan knew that any delays in support would be unacceptable.
After the training we discovered that what we knew wasn’t necessarily the best practice. The formalized training eliminated a lot of bad habits and misunderstandings. Now, all of our techs have a baseline of expertise, so we can communicate better with each other and with our customers.
The SCE certification process also revealed that some technicians only thought they understood things. A few didn’t do well on the exam.
It was a reality check for everyone.
The difference in the SCE-certified CharTec team was immediately noticed by the StorageCraft Technical Support escalation manager, Kevin Steele. He reports:
I’ve definitely seen an improvement with CharTec support. They open cases that are much more difficult than before and are more adept at troubleshooting. I’ve talked with a few of the techs, and they’re very happy with StorageCraft Academy. The fact that it’s a requirement for all new techs to become StorageCraft Certified Engineers speaks very highly to the quality and credibility of the content.
Ryan agrees that the training content is high quality.
I would recommend StorageCraft Academy to any BDR support staff. The training is very clean and concise. It reaches that perfect balance between too technical and too simplified. You get the critical information you need to help your customers.
Improving Help Desk Productivity
Today, StorageCraft training and certification is required for every new support technician within their first 90 days at CharTec.
The improved StorageCraft product knowledge is helping the CharTec Help Desk provide faster responses to their BDR customers. Ryan says,
From our StorageCraft power users to the newbies, we’re all better equipped to handle disaster scenarios on the technical support end. And, we can manage complex questions internally, without calling StorageCraft for help.
By spending less time on each support call, CharTec is able to improve help-desk productivity and serve more customers.
Now everyone understands BDR and how to apply that knowledge. We have a clear understanding of how to troubleshoot and what to look for. The StorageCraft Academy helped us bring it all home with well-rounded training and an understanding of why we do the standard operating procedures.
With the CharTec BDR solution projected to surpass 5,000 customers in the next three years, Ryan is confident his technicians will be able to handle the new support demands.
Our team is well-versed in StorageCraft now. We can perform a server virtualization in less than 20 minutes, and handle most support calls in under three minutes.
Like its mascot, the CharTec Help Desk is standing out from the herd and helping customers do the same.
About CharTec, LLC
CharTec LLC was developed by CEO Alex Rogers specifically for IT service providers who support small to medium-sized businesses. The company built the largest MSP training facility in North America and created its HaaS program to provide custom hardware at no upfront cost to its partner base.
Their offerings to MSPs include:
- Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
- HaaS BDR
- SaaS BDR
- 24×7 Help Desk
- Unified Threat Management
- Website Development and Optimization
- Custom Hardware
- Sales and Operations Training
CharTec has been recognized as a “Best Channel Vendor” for 2012 and 2011, as well as “Best Channel Product” for 2011, by Business Solutions Magazine. In addition, the company received three Bull’s Eye Awards from Channel Insider and the “Best Hardware Product Award” from CompTIA in 2010.
CharTec is a sister company of ARRC Technology, a Master MSP for more than 20 years. Both are headquartered in Bakersfield, CA.