Managed services are still one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry. Hiring a managed services provider (MSP) means businesses can focus on core competencies instead of bothering with complex back-end IT processes.
With a range of offerings like cloud computing, data security, network monitoring, systems management and more, MSPs can give businesses IT solutions for a range of issues they might encounter on a daily basis. But, as a managed services provider yourself, you have your own fair share of challenges.
Put simply, both your business and your client’s business can benefit if both parties can come together to achieve a common goal. But mistakes on your part can spell disaster for everyone involved! Don’t let these possible pitfalls stop you from achieving success. Here are seven mistakes you need to avoid to stand out as a reliable service provider.
1. Assuming the Client Understands or Wants to Hear Technical Jargon
MSPs often make the mistake of assuming that their clients understand all things technical. But not all clients are aware of the intricacies associated with IT, so they might not be able to clearly state their needs or communicate their problems.
Make sure you address this knowledge gap right from the beginning, and remember to speak in simple terms and avoid jargon.
2. Not Discussing Expectations and Outcomes
Just like assuming complete understanding, managed IT services providers can assume that their client is aware of what the outcome of a particular action or service might be because they understand technicalities. On the contrary, most clients have no idea of either the benefits or risks associated with your tools or processes.
In the event of a mishap or failure, you can’t expect your client to stay calm because the outcome was expected. Stay on the safe side by communicating pros, cons, risk factors, and associated costs beforehand.
3. Selling and Not Delivering
In a bid to secure new clients, MSPs can make the mistake of over-promising or selling expertise they lack. Not following through on what you promised can sour relationships with clients and can even cause you to lose business or land you in the middle of expensive lawsuits.
Instead, focus on selling solutions and technologies that you are capable of providing. If a client asks whether or not you provide a particular service or work with a certain technology, avoid beating around the bush. Just be frank about what you can offer to benefit their business.
4. Not Being Flexible Enough
No two businesses are alike, so your managed services solutions won’t be exactly the same for each client. You might have clients who are willing to pay only for services they require, while some clients may want you to provide end-to-end solutions.
A successful MSP is able to provide clients with customizable plans and services to fill gaps in their in-house team. So, be flexible and offer varied types of managed services and a range of plans to suit client needs.
5. Being Too Flexible
While it’s important to be able to cater to the varying needs of clients, it’s also necessary to have standardized solutions in place for smooth service delivery.
Be flexible wherever possible, but not at the cost of efficiency. Establish ground rules and list proven techniques your staff can turn to to bring about results effortlessly.
6. Not Performing Consistently
Being a managed services provider is all about ensuring that everything is running as smoothly as you promised. If your client feels that you aren’t on top of the game, they might discontinue the partnership.
Don’t focus solely on the number of issues you’ve resolved; how prompt you are at providing the right solutions is what matters most! You need to be proactive to ensure problems are avoided before they turn ugly. This will not only give you breathing space to handle tasks efficiently but will also lower client losses caused by downtime.
7. Ignoring the Service Aspect
A startling number of managed services providers fail to understand that they aren’t selling just products—they’re also selling a service. Focusing on technology and product performance is fine, as long as you’re only promoting products.
As an MSP, you can’t bank on the efficiency of products and let technology do its own thing. You need to actively sell the expertise, knowledge, and reliability of your staff so your clients know their business is in the right hands. Strengthen relationships with your clients by asking for regular feedback and implementing changes as needed.
Successful managed services providers go above and beyond to cater to their clients' needs and provide high levels of support and service. This not only ensures greater client satisfaction, but also helps the MSP to hold its own in a fast-growing industry.
So, now that you know some common mistakes MSPs make and what you need to do to avoid them, it’s time to get started on doing what’s right for your business and your clients.
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