At a certain point in the growth of an MSP’s business, there comes a time where the demand for client support outpaces the time (and profitability) of existing MSP resources, ultimately resulting in the need for Help Desk capabilities.
But how should MSPs acquire these capabilities? There are a number of options available, from acquisition to partnership to building it out oneself. However, out of all these options, a partnership with an experienced Help Desk vendor can provide some of the best margins and ROI. Meanwhile, an acquisition can put a business into debt it may never recover from, and building out an in-house help desk solution can lead to skyrocketing general & administrative (G&A) expenses that may make business growth increasingly unprofitable.
So, when is it time to partner for Help Desk services? Here are four signs your MSP business may be ready.
1. Customer Satisfaction Metrics Are Low
Your growth is great and annual recurring revenue (ARR) is increasing, but you’ve started getting more complaints from end users—a metric you do not want to scale proportionately. If your current clients are having a bad experience, then you are at a significant risk for churn. Instead, evaluate your process for fielding end-user support requests. If you’re finding this is a major pain point for you, partnering with a help desk vendor who has the resources and expertise to field these support requests can alleviate these pains and allow you to deliver a better customer experience.
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2. Support Costs Are Increasing Too Quickly
Perhaps you’ve not fully committed to building an in-house help desk center yet, but you’ve hired one or more people to field request for user support. You’re now in an endless cycle of hiring to scale as you add new business, leaving each new contract you close less profitable, as it must equally cover the cost of its own support. Simultaneously, if these new hires do not have an influx of support calls, you could be footing the bill for labor you don’t always need—hiring for peak capacity yet underutilized at every other time. Instead, it would be far more profitable to partner with a help desk vendor for a steady, predictable price over time that won’t leave you exposed to the financial risks of service peaks and troughs, hiring to scale, etc.
3. There’s Not Enough Time/Resources for Strategic Projects, Technical Work, Etc.
When it comes to technical support, your in-house business has finite resources; you can only work with the technicians you’ve hired, and that’s limited to their respective skillsets and experience. If user support takes up too much of your techs’ time, they lose the opportunity to focus on valuable, revenue-generating projects and other important client work. Or, if they choose to focus on this client work and ignore user support, your client satisfaction will plummet (see sign number one). Either way, your profitability is going to suffer if your techs can’t complete their work or if your customers can’t receive the support they need. It’s a catch-22 that can only be solved by partnering with a help desk vendor that can scale resources as needed.
4. It’s Not Financially Feasible to Build an Adequate In-House Solution
You have a clear demand for end-user support, but your funds are not so full that you can hire, house and scale a fully-equipped, in-house help desk center. Let’s be clear, most MSPs are also in this category, and those who can afford this often choose not to, for all the reasons listed above and then some. An in-house help desk center is a massive commitment to infrastructure and service delivery that can quickly become overwhelming and unprofitable. With capable, qualified, and affordable help desk partners in the channel, why risk the financial investment for a less profitable solution?
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, your business is at a crucial inflection point. It’s imperative that you discuss your options for a help desk partnership that will offer your clients the best service available with margins to keep your business profitable. And, if you fall into this category, Continuum has extensive Help Desk capabilities to meet the needs of MSPs of virtually any size or type.
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