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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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The Secret to MSP Success

Posted February 21, 2014by Joel Kennedy

business-secretsAs a managed services provider (MSP), it’s your job to provide your clients with the best technology for their business. To do this, you must be knowledgeable in two areas…technology and their business. Many MSPs know technology inside and out, but they don’t always think about what’s best for the client. Sure, you might be able to convince them to purchase an extra server or 5 extra desktop devices, but do they really need these devices? Ultimately, is this really better for your business?

The secret to being successful as a MSP is to make your clients successful, not simply sell as much as you can!

What Goes Around, Comes Around

The best MSPs work to make their customers’ businesses thrive. A prosperous business makes owners happy for obvious reasons, and their IT solutions are an important component of their successes. This benefits MSPs in three very essential ways:

  • Happy clients are more likely to keep you as a provider. If you’re contributing significantly to the stability and growth of a client’s business, why would they consider looking for a different provider? Happy clients mean higher retention rates, which translates into a dependable customer base that truly trusts your expertise.
  • Happy clients offer more referrals. Any concern you may have over asking for referrals vanishes when you’re working with clients who are thrilled with your offerings. In fact, they’re not only likely to volunteer referrals with enthusiasm, but they’re also likely to recommend you to their peers on their own. Here are some tips for building effective referral programs.
  • Happy clients continue expanding their service contracts. A customer who sees clear, positive results from your solutions will feel confident in your technology expertise, which makes it easy for you to upsell them on additional services. Businesses will always need help adopting and implementing new technologies, and if they’re happy with your current solutions, they’ll be very likely to work with you to implement new systems, thus growing your revenue.

The Opposite of Break-Fix

One of the reasons why managed services are growing so rapidly is because it improves on many of the downfalls of the break-fix model. Managed services allows for more consistent revenue, which makes it much easier to plan for your fixed company costs, like rent and salaries.

More importantly, the managed services approach solves the fundamental issue with the break-fix model: relying on your clients’ failures in order for you to gain revenue. If you want to enjoy a healthy business relationship with your clients, it’s best to add to their successes, not be there to fix the failures (and not to rely on those failures to earn revenue). Managed services give you the opportunity to provide a solution that makes your clients more successful as a company and helps you establish better business relationships, thus leading to long-term success.

Act As One of Their Own

As a MSP, you’re in charge of selling your clients an IT solution that fits their needs, not squeeze as much profit as you possibly can out of them. To do this effectively, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Acting as if you’re a part of their company will allow you to make better decisions as a MSP, and allow you to provide a more effective overall IT solution. Understanding your clients’ needs (and then exceeding their expectations) is one of the keys to MSP success. By managing their technology solutions and allowing them to focus on the core of their business, you set the stage for them to become more successful. Ultimately, this will make you a better partner, which will lead to a happier client, which leads to long-term success for you.

To end, I’ll leave you a quote from Jeff Bezos:

“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

Jeff Bezos has built a Fortune 100 company on the principle that aligning with the customer’s needs is the best strategy for long term success. I think it’s worked out pretty well for him thus far…


What's helped you find success in managed services?


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