How to demonstrate business value to your clients

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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?”

[tweet_box design=”default”]Do you know how to deal with the dreaded client question “What is it we’re paying you for?”[/tweet_box]

How can you demonstrate business value to your client?

Anyone who is familiar with this scenario will know how frustrating it is for you as the MSP. You’re delivering business value. 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. You don’t demonstrate business value to your clients.

It’s time to start reminding them.

Using 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.

Schedule 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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