As technology develops at unprecedented speeds, MSPs are in high demand, but the market is getting crowded. If you’re thinking of scaling up your MSP, you’ll have to do so strategically. Here are 7 common mistakes that fast-growing MSPs make:
1. Not explaining services well enough
One of the biggest setbacks IT service providers face is a disconnect between what clients need and what they’re asking for. Not everyone understands technical jargon, so some clients and organizations may not have the words for the services they’re looking for. Keep this in mind when selling managed services.
As an MSP, you’re in a position to easily identify issues that clients may not see, and put those issues in context. With clear communication, you can let your clients know what they need, and position your MSP as the solution.
Be clear about what you’re offering, and make the information easy to understand for every client, regardless of technical knowledge.
2. Being too flexible with service offerings
It’s reasonable to have a few tiered options when organizing your services, but you don’t want to go overboard. If you allow for too much customization, the execution process slows down and it becomes nearly impossible to meet your clients’ differing needs. While customization can be a good customer service effort, be sure to keep it in check.
For best results and streamlined services, stick to a few standard service tiers so that customers know what they can get, what is flexible, and what is not. This will limit confusion and lead to smoother business transactions.
3. Failing to measure success
Measuring success and KPIs is a must if you want to know how well your business is doing. Metrics to keep track of include net operating income, service department profitability, and average response time. Without feedback on these metrics, you won’t know what needs improvement, what’s doing well, and what can be tweaked for better performance.
Be sure to set reasonable goals and track progress over time. Soon, you’ll have a clear understanding of what success looks like for your business.
4. Having an underdeveloped marketing strategy
Marketing is an important part of any business, but it must be done well to work. MSPs can fail fast if they invest too much time and money in marketing before they have a solid client base. It’s okay to go slow — don’t attempt to market to everyone at once. Instead, create defined buyer personas to develop a clear understanding of your customers and their needs.
Over-promising almost always ends in disappointment. Unless you know for sure that you have the capacity to offer a service or product, do not offer it. Customers will be much more understanding about waiting for a product or service to become available than they will if you don’t deliver on your promises.
Exaggerating your ability to provide a service or product will usually end in underwhelming your customers, which ruins your chances of gaining customer loyalty and brand advocates.
6. Trying to grow too fast
Everything takes time, and steady growth is better than rapid, unsustainable expansion. If you take on more clients than you have the capacity (i.e. employees) to handle, you’re going to end up with plenty of disgruntled customers, not to mention frazzled and overworked staff.
Understaffing is a serious issue for growing MSPs, one that often results in a scramble to recruit talent — with less regard for quality. Without a focused hiring process, you run the risk of gaining new team members who may not be a good fit. Staffing experts can help you avoid this and other pitfalls, but it all comes back to taking your time and making strategic decisions as your company grows.
7. Neglecting the service side
As an MSP, you want to let your clients know how great your technology is, but your business is about more than just providing tech solutions. It’s also about building relationships with your clients to increase their satisfaction and loyalty.
Emphasize the expertise and quality service of your staff to set your business apart from other MSPs. Keep channels of communication open so that your clients know that their questions, comments, and concerns will be addressed and handled by a real team member in a timely manner.
Great IT services go a long way, but excellent customer service goes even further.
Over to you
As you scale your MSP, look for a partner who can support your growth. At Bolton Labs, we offer a variety of NOC and SOC solutions to help you scale quickly, and know the best ways to help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls like those above. Get in contact today.