Tigerpaw CEO Foxall challenges MSP partners to step up their game

Too many of Tigerpaw’s partners are not using Tigerpaw’s available tools, to improve customer service. As a result, Tigerpaw has intensified both its own education efforts and its encouragement of partners to switch to their Tigerpaw One complete suite of business automation tools.


Tigerpaw CEO James Foxall on stage at the event

OMAHA – At PSA vendor Tigerpaw’s sixth annual partner conference here, company CEO James Foxall used his opening keynote from the event to showcase the company’s initiatives to better educate partners to use Tigerpaw’s tools. A key part of this was an initiative to encourage partners to move to the Tigerpaw One full suite of business automation tool, which was originally introduced late last year, and which Tigerpaw is re-emphasizing at this year’s event.

Foxall tailored his address to the many first-time attendees in attendance, emphasizing that unhappy customers, which mean unhappy partners, are usually the result of partners not being properly trained on the product. Disgruntled partners who claim the product doesn’t work properly have typically never taken any of the available training, expecting it all to be as intuitive out of the box as Microsoft Word.

“To really manage your service operations better, you have to dig in,” Foxall told partners. “You have to learn how to use it properly. Out of the box, you can do very basic things, in terms of setting up accounts. But it’s not like using Word. You have to get the knowledge. And even Word has a lot of functionality beyond the basics that most people never learn to use.

“Our challenge was that we would sell a product, and they would be frustrated because the IT guy said stuff didn’t work, and we would check and see that he hadn’t done any of the relevant training,” Foxall continued. “We want to give the tools and visibility to stop that from happening.”

Foxall stressed the educational focus of the event itself in promoting this agenda

“The meat of this event is 45 sessions in three different categories – Business Building, Best Practices and Fundamentals,” he said. “For example, Business Building is about adding other lines of business, like managed print. If all you are doing in your business is a pure managed services model, you are at serious risk of commoditization.” Foxall asked the audience of several hundred partners how many of them were presently in managed print, and one hand went up, indicating an apparent need for this type of knowledge.”

Foxall also noted curriculum enhancements to the Tigerpaw Academy, whose membership currently consists of 2054 novices, 34 intermediate, 40 advanced and 55 masters members. The curriculum currently consists of 21 courses with over 325 individual videos and recorded webinars.

“We have added the ability as an administrator to look in and see the status of all your people in terms of training,” Foxall said. “You can see where people are, and have the ability to go in and manage their course load. You can also assign people specific courses to take, and then later can go in and see their progress.”

Foxall indicated that Tigerpaw had also added a system of badging and rewards over the past year to further incent partners to become educated.

“We have added gamification in an engine over the last year with incentives around rewards,” he said. “This is a points system which rewards things like watching videos and completing courses.”

Foxall also noted that Tigerpaw had upped its own game with respect to customer support. Last year he indicated that the average hold time on support calls was 12 minutes, 20 seconds. In 2016, they got that down to 4 minutes, 48 seconds.

“That is for a 1-800 number anyone in a company can call, with no restrictions, so that’s an impressive time,” Foxall said.

He also noted the significant decline in Tigerpaw’s average abandonment percentage – the percentage of callers whose calls aren’t resolved because they give up and hang up, for whatever reason.

“In 2015, the abandonment percentage was 18.5 per cent, which is an average kind of rate,” Foxall noted. “In 2016, we got it down to 10.1 per cent.:

Foxall also noted Tigerpaw’s significant improvement in their Net Promoter score, which measures whether a person would recommend a product or service to a friend.

“Last year, our Net Promoter score was 33, and this year it is 52.3,” he indicated.

Interestingly, Foxall asked the MSP partners present how many of them used Net Promoter scores in their own business, and no hands at all went up.

More problematically, several other metrics showed that many Tigerpaw partners are not using available Tigerpaw tools that would improve customer service.

“35 per cent of you are not running Tigerpaw Mobile, which is extremely valuable,” Foxall told the audience. “That’s a lot of people. Half of you are not using the Customer Portal, which is a great way to reduce support phone calls.”

Foxall noted that only 44.7 per cent of partners were using their Exchange integration.

“Not all of you run Exchange , but if you do, this is hugely important,” he stressed.

“75 per cent of you aren’t using the payment processor,” he added. “We can do this automatically, in a way that is completely compliant.”

Finally, Foxall said that only 58 per cent were using their email connector, which integrates all emails coming in from anyone at a specific customer, and appends into the customer’s Tigerpaw account.

“This blows me away more than anything else, since this is great value,” he stated.

Foxall said that because these tools do cost money, not having them was a budgetary decision for many customers.

These numbers are about the same as last year, indicating no real improvement has been made. That’s problematic because last November, Tigerpaw introduced a limited release of Tigerpaw One, a new offering that includes Tigerpaw’s full suite of business automation tools, to try to assist with these issues. Tigerpaw One’s impact on overall adoption during this last year has been limited because it was in that limited release. Still, Foxall devoted significant time in his keynote to a discussion with two MSP partners who had made the move to Tigerpaw One, talking about how they implanted it, and some of the positive results they are beginning to see.

“You will pay for this what you are paying for Livebridge [Tigerpaw’s legacy support program], to get all our tools,” Foxall said. Tigerpaw One also includes the updates, training, and product support previously charged separately under Livebridge.

“I want those stories about people not having the tools to do the job to go away,” he concluded. “Tigerpaw One can do this. And we have the Academy to help you use it.”