Making the switch to managed services isn’t an easy transition. There are a lot of benefits to becoming a managed service provider, and there is no shortage of coverage on all the ways you’ll make more money and stabilize your company’s future.
And those things are all true, if you take the right approach and are prepared to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen the right way.
It’s Not About You
The move to managed services feels huge to you, and it should, but don’t forget that it’s also going to require a shift in thinking for your internal team as well as your current customers. Everything about your strategy, your communications, your pricing model, even your support tools will shift to meet your changing service model. It’s a long-term commitment that slowly shifts your business from one type to another, and there could be some bumps in the road along the way.
The name of the managed services game is long-term connection with current and new customers. You’re ready to walk away from one-off, unpredictable work to embrace great customer service for the long haul.
eBook - Get Your Hands on Best Practices Download eBook
Get Your Hands on Best PracticesDownload eBook
Do This, Not That
Jump in with both feet, but not before you have a chance to study these dos & don’ts that will help you find managed services success.
1. DON’T try to do it all.
Starting out as an MSP is enough of a challenge all on its own. Don’t make it harder by offering a ton of package options that frustrate your staff and confuse your customers. If you have more than three offerings, it just muddies the choices.
DO: Pare down your options to three or less, and then include customization based on each customer’s needs.
2. DON’T muddle your service offering.
If your package descriptions aren’t immediately clear, you’ll be on the phone with every issue your customer faces, whether it’s your responsibility or not. You could end up spending hours supporting outdated systems or unsupported options.
DO: Clearly define client requirements from the beginning so that your responsibilities and theirs are laid out in the service level agreement. To make life easier for you and your team, standardize your network and infrastructure requirements across all of your customers.
3. DON’T undercharge (or overcharge) your customers.
When you put an arbitrary price on your services—whether it’s based on what you think a customer will pay or what the market seems to offer—you’re selling yourself and your customers short. Overcharging means losing out on potential business, and undercharging means you could find yourself underwater sooner than later.
DO: Take into account all of your business costs from payroll and building expenses to software and hardware needs. Figure out your total operating costs and what it will take you to break even, or even turn a profit.
4. DON’T forget about scalability.
Relying on the same old tools, used in the same old way isn’t going to give you the flexibility you need to grow as a company. Don’t overlook the importance of finding the right solutions to keep your business running at peak efficiency.
DO: Rely on the right tools to guarantee the scalability of your business. Automation is going to play a key role in doing more without adding additional resources, which is a vital component to business growth.
5. DON’T assume the transition will be easy.
Your break/fix customers have a problem. They call, you fix it, and they pay. That’s it. Now you’re presenting them with a monthly bill, and if they aren’t sold on the value you’re bringing to the table, they’ll assume this is just your way of angling for more money, and they’ll be ready to jump ship.
DO: Make it clear that you’ll be providing effective & exceptional customer service, and that you’ll be proactively managing their systems to make sure problems never start. Keep your clients in the know with a communications plan that includes emails, phone calls, meetings, and presentations that help maintain their peace of mind.
The transition to managed services is a commitment to a long-term shift in your business model. With the right planning, you’ll have everything in place to make it go smoothly. Once you’ve nailed down your pricing options and communication plans, you’ll have the chance to test them out and perfect your service offering. Then you’ll be ready to reap the rewards of recurring revenue.