Risks You Might Face As An MSP

Are you concerned about how to manage your IT services projects? If so, you’re not alone.

Sales are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 9% to an impressive $282 billion by 2023 – which means demand for MSPs is growing rapidly. Now that should make you a fortune, right? Of course, after all, most companies hate dealing with complex technology and would be happy to have an expert take care of their IT services – BUT unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

As you focus on the potential payoff, you also need to consider the challenges and threats to your company’s future growth. Below are the some risks that threaten the progress of managed IT service providers, and how you can overcome them to stay ahead!

1. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is critical if you want to maintain and grow your customer base. Referrals are the best way to attract new customers, and with many managed services now moving to a subscription model, it’s easier than ever for a customer to cancel your service in favor of a competing service. Even with annual contracts, making sure your customer is not only satisfied, but actually happy with your services should be an important and ongoing part of your relationship management. Customers are human, and humans hold grudges, and a bad experience in September will hit them hard the next time they renew their contract in June. In this article, learn all about how to attract more customers.

2. A major security incident

There is no way to eliminate 100% of a security risk. That being said, how you respond to and communicate a major security incident to a customer can make all the difference when it comes to mitigating cybersecurity risk. Always have everything documented.

3. Inability to adapt

A very important capability of an MSP is to keep costs down by standardizing existing workflows. Standardizing workflows means – as a first step – identifying the best possible process for a recurring activity and documenting it clearly. While you should stick to standard offerings as much as possible, you should be flexible enough to accommodate customer requests for exceptions and customizations. One particular widget or setting may be so important to the customer that they will consider replacing you if they can get it elsewhere. While this doesn’t mean you have to accommodate every customer request, at least be willing to consider it, and don’t be afraid to ask the customer to cover some of the cost if it’s significant. The may think it’s a simple option to toggle and not understand the complexity behind their request.

4. Not offering what the customer wants

Do you have an optional or supplemental service that you offer but your customers aren’t asking for? Did you consider that they might not know you offer it or not understand what it means? Advocate for your services, especially those that set you apart from the competition. Distribute a monthly newsletter, or when you meet with your client, go into detail about the things in your portfolio that they don’t yet use. Surprise yourself with how many upselling opportunities you’ll get when your existing customers find out that you can do whatever that is.

5. Using the wrong tools

A revolutionary platform, the ultimate help desk software, the best automation solution for IT service management – new tools are constantly coming onto the market. They have a consistent advertising promise: Everything will be better. But will it really?

Most MSPs face the danger of overtooling: there are multiple tools for one task, often not even widely used in the enterprise. Since MSPs usually work month-to-month and are paid monthly or annually, unused gadgets eat up valuable money. It also puts employee productivity at risk. Those who have to learn new tools on a regular basis neglect their work for the time being.

Admittedly, it is important to regularly review one’s own “toolbox”, try out new solutions and sound out their suitability for the company. But it is even more important to regularly evaluate the tools used to date. A 6-month cycle has proven effective for this purpose. After a short introductory phase, the software solutions should be used regularly, i.e. record a sufficient number of log-ins. Otherwise, they are just a cost factor and should be abolished.

Using the right tools

XEOX is a cloud based modern remote monitoring and management software solution for IT teams and professionals to gain better visibility and control over all critical assets in their company’s or customer’s IT environment. This advanced RMM tool allows to manage various IT assets automatically and remotely from a central location using any device.

The software is equipped with tools that streamline repetitive IT support and management tasks. It enables automated deployment and installation of software packages to endpoints, computers and users without causing disruption. XEOX simplifies patch management processes with instant endpoint scanning, patch distribution and patch compliance reporting capabilities.

IT teams and professionals gain a complete and clear view of their entire network. They can monitor the activity of users and devices connecting to VLAN networks and receive notifications about switch port status and availability. Efficient endpoint management also allows them to detect and fix problems on their Windows endpoints immediately. XEOX also has a mobile app that allows them to track and troubleshoot issues, perform tasks, and access important alerts anywhere.

6. Not responding to your customers

Nothing upsets a customer more than being ignored. No matter how busy you are, even if you can only send a brief email promising to get back to you, acknowledge each request for information, set a time when the customer can expect a full response, and stick to it.

7. Succumbing to the shortage of skilled workers

Recruiting employees is a challenge, especially in technical sales. If there are prolonged staff shortages in the sales teams, this can limit the company’s growth.

On the other hand, the wrong people can possibly damage the company’s reputation. Every person in sales represents the company at trade shows, events, seminars and on every sales call. These people spearhead the company and must be able to represent it well. In addition to a serious appearance, this also includes being able to competently answer at least basic questions about the services offered.

To get a better handle on the risk of bad hires or open vacancies, companies need to optimize their recruiting processes and onboarding. They should also support sales staff with metrics that make job performance transparent to management.

In the current situation with a candidate market, companies should also be mindful of other risks, such as stalled recruiting and employee burnout due to staff shortages and increased workloads. One path to successful hiring is alternative recruiting strategies beyond job ads:

  • Searching business networks or a referral program is helpful: when employees refer a new candidate to the company, they receive a reward.
  • Companies should know the average salary for the respective positions and what applicants usually value. They can then make competitive offers.
  • Investing in the workforce, for example with additional training and certification, is helpful.

The above are some of the risks facing your business that can cause customers to jump ship and go to the competition. All of them are from the customer’s point of view. So if you think one or more of these don’t apply to you, think about how your customers see things.

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