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How to demonstrate continuous value to your MSP clients

ValueWhen you first take on a new client for your Managed Service Provider (MSP) business, there tends to be a lot of work to be done.

In many cases, the new clients IT infrastructure has been neglected – servers crash through low disk space, workstations remain un-patched and run slowly. In short, IT is probably a considerable source of frustration to the client.

Within a short period of time working with this new client however, you bring their infrastructure up to date. You replace old network equipment. You re-configure workstations and servers correctly. You run routine maintenance and monitoring and bring order where there was chaos.

As a result, the client can finally use IT to get their job done! They are no longer frustrated by server crashes. PC’s run smoothly. They are grateful! You are a hero! Hurrah!

But as time goes on, a funny thing happens…

What is it we’re paying you for?

During the honeymoon period of your relationship with a new client, they may love you for easing their pain and making their IT infrastructure work for them.

But don’t be fooled – this adulation is fleeting. Over time the client becomes used to the fact their IT infrastructure seemingly “just works”. They forget the pain they used to feel, but they do see the money they pay you to maintain their IT Infrastructure leaving their bank account each month.

Then they call a meeting and they ask you the dreaded question “What is it we’re paying you for?”

How can you demonstrate value to your client?

Anyone who is familiar with this scenario will know how frustrating it is for you as the MSP. You work hard to keep their systems running. You work miracles in terms of uptime. You work long hours minimising downtime. Why don’t they appreciate the good work you do for them?

The simple answer is – they neither see, nor do they understand how hard you work on their behalf. Why? Because you don’t remind them.

It’s time to start reminding them.

Client Health Check Reports

Every day, send your client a health check report that demonstrates the checks you have undertaken, the systems that are working and the systems that are not working.

Don’t gloss over those systems that have issues. That backup that has failed? Highlight it. That service that hasn’t started? Let them know.

Why? So they are aware that with IT things DO go wrong, even after your hard work to minimise those issues. But when things do go wrong, you’re right there to help fix them.

Quarterly Business Reviews

Make sure to schedule regular visits (ideally quarterly) with your clients with a focus on discussing their business – the opportunities they see upcoming, the challenges they are facing, and how you can help them.

Meeting such as these firmly establish you as someone more than just the “IT Guy”. You become more than just the people who fix their computers. You become someone they trust to provide them with business advice.

Conclusion

By regularly highlighting the work you do to monitor and maintain your client systems through a Daily Health Check, you are reminding your client that YOU are responsible for things running smoothly – it doesn’t just happen by magic. What’s more, you are reminding them that with the best will in the world things still go wrong with IT – and when it does go wrong, you are there to help minimise their pain.

Add that to the value that you can provide by regular meeting with your client to discuss their business, and instead of being taken for granted – you’ll continued to be valued as a trusted business advisor long into the future.

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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
Why not find out more about how I can help your business. You can also check which events you can find me at or read one of my books.

Comments

  1. Man, I have lost two! new clients because they exactly asked that f* question.
    Before we got on, they had a mess and since we fixed all of the problems and looked over the network… three months passed and they said they wanted to cancel…. and they did.

    I don’t know, we were sending daily reports and I’m still trying to figure out what would be the best way to act so this won’t happen again. You know how hard is to get a client to sign a managed service agreement.

    Anway, thanks for the wisdom Richard!

    • Hi – thanks for the feedback, and sorry to hear you lost a client in this situation. It sounds as though they forgot the pain they were experiencing before you undertook the remedial work (which is not uncommon) so it may be worth bearing this in mind with your next Managed Service client and helping them remember that pain at regular intervals. Phrases like “Let’s talk about your future IT plans so you we can make sure you don’t experience those problems you had before” might help. Good luck!

  2. Richard –
    This was a great post and actually gave me an idea for a post I’ve been thinking about. Thank you for sharing and for being the catalyst for an upcoming post!
    Eric

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