10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your MSP Service Delivery

When it comes to IT service delivery there is a lot that can either go right or wrong. An optimal client experience can increase retention rates and the average lifetime value of a customer. One single negative client experience, however, can send customers into the arms of your fiercest competitor. So how can we prevent this from happening? How can you create a culture of client satisfaction for your whole MSP operation and enhance service delivery? Eschewing these 10 common pitfalls is a start…

1. Not Requiring Customer Reviews or Quarterly Business Reviews

Customer reviews are very important and, in some cases, required by the terms of your Services Agreement. I am personally in favor of face-to-face meetings, or as a backup plan, will leverage video chat systems to hold client meetings. Treat customer reviews as a time to find out what you are doing well and what needs to be improved. Please keep in mind that these check-ins are not meant to regurgitate your stats and tell clients how awesome you are. The purpose of quarterly business reviews (QBRs) is not even to try to upsell customers on your new offerings or widgets, but rather to gauge the current level of client satisfaction.

You can uncover problems you didn’t know existed or new opportunities to demonstrate your value during these meetings. Sure, you can go ahead and talk to them about ditching that ol’ tape backup in favor of cloud backup – but save it for the end. Keep the meeting personal and informal, and remember: let them talk. All you have to do is listen.

2. Not Reviewing Agreements Yearly

It’s necessary to have an “all hands” operational internal audit process each year to verify your agreements and solutions, and see how they are working out for you. Are they profitable? Do they get the job done? Come up with a checklist of all of your offerings, and make sure that everyone who should have them does have them. It’s also a good time to ask your vendors if there are new pricing agreements and to ensure that what is being covered is properly accounted for in your system. Review your managed IT services agreements to verify that you are charging clients the right amount.

Very often you will find that you are overcharging a customer, or more commonly, undercharging them. Many MSPs do à la carte or fixed pricing, where it’s a single cost for “all services,” but customer growth or attrition can sneak up on you. MSP agreements need to be able to flex both ways with the customer. If a given client had one server and 25 users last year, how do you handle growth now that they have three servers and 66 users? Auditing yourself and your process should be a priority for your team.

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