MSPs or managed service providers have retained their position in the IT services market largely owing to the value they bring to the table. This includes consulting, advisory, and dedicated professional services that are often well regarded by businesses of all sizes.
With competition continuing to intensify, and the disruptive forces of COVID-19, AI, and no-code / low-code platforms, creating exceptional value isn’t just good business, but a prerequisite for survival in this space.
There are a number of ways MSPs can go above and beyond when it comes to building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers. In this article, we go over a few tried-and-tested practices that have long yielded the best results.
Businesses prefer working with a one-stop-shop for all of their IT needs, and as such, MSPs who offer a comprehensive suite of services are well regarded.
Most businesses find it tedious to work with multiple vendors and service providers for different requirements, with the added complications of coordination between them, making an multidisciplinary MSP with a single point of contact highly preferred.
The range of services should ideally include everything from network management and security, to backups, recovery, and a support desk to cater to any and all customer requirements.
A key value added service for most business IT requirements is regular monitoring and management of relevant systems. With observability and monitoring tools in place, MSPs can substantially enhance productivity for their clients.
MSPs have plenty of opportunities to enhance hybrid cloud utilising data analytics, adding substantial value to businesses with hybrid cloud deployments.
All of this is possible if a managed service provider develops a broad range of expertise across various domains, tools, and solutions, to best serve their customer’s requirements.
In order to retain customer relationships over an extended period, MSPs should strive to identify and resolve potential problems before they have the chance to materialise.
Most enterprise customers look for a seamless, friction-free experience when it comes to their IT systems, which can only be ensured with a proactive managed service provider.
This is also a key reason why businesses still prefer working with MSPs, over direct relationships with tool developers, for a more customised, personalised, and priority service.
The only way to dispense the best advice to clients is by being current and well updated with the state of the industry and latest trends yourself.
Understand that client’s are essentially paying for a problem to be solved, and it is up to the MSP to identify the best course of action to deal with the same.
Navigating the enterprise tech landscape is no picnic, which is all the more reason why MSPs still remain relevant to the broader industry, in the face of self-serve platforms with onboarding solutions that most SAAS tools already come with.
The only way to continue delivering exceptional value to businesses of all sizes is by continuously evaluating and improving your own services. This starts with the feedback received from clients, but goes a lot farther, encompassing the overall impact your firm or agency has had on the client in question.
Oftentimes, it is not the tools, technologies, or their effectiveness, but rather the responsiveness, professionalism, and proactiveness displayed on the part of the MSP that most appeals to clients. Clients trust MSPs with their systems, processes, and data, and it is the job of the MSP to retain and then build on that trust.
Pushing overpriced solutions with the best margins might enhance your bottom lines for the time being, but in the long run, it is only about delivering cost-effective, efficient IT services that help and aid businesses.
In the age of digital transformation and broad secular tailwinds in favor of AI, ML, and blockchain technologies, managed service providers will continue to remain a critical cog in the tech supply chain.
Staying ahead of the intense competition in this market, however, requires delivering exceptional value to customers, by going above and beyond what peers and newer entrants would do.