You’ve Got Customers… Now What?
MSP business efforts risk losing clientele by not maintaining clients after conversion. Even if you know what you’re doing, you’re in for a process riddled with complexity. Also, you’re likely to encounter clients who refuse to give you full responsibility because they don’t yet trust you, which can hamper the onboarding process. You need to prove yourself to clients so they can trust you. Part of doing that comes in defining a client life cycle before you acquire a new customer.
Your life cycle design should have several elements defining it. It should give exposition to varying services you provide, as well as what kind of products you have available. You want to encourage clients to increase the services, they use your MSP for, as time goes by, but you don’t want to force them. If you’ve got a game plan in mind, beforehand, you can drive— or suggest— clients to start with certain services that naturally lead to others.
Many MSP life cycles incorporate four graduating families of services. What you can do is tier them based on baseline needs and expand from there as clients begin to trust you. The four primary echelons of service provision include:
- Basic Break-Fix Support
- Responsive Services/Fixed-Rate Support
- Services That Are Proactive
- Fully Managed Service Solutions
Many clients seeking IT support from an MSP business are just looking to have IT insurance in their back pocket for when device “A” goes on the fritz. Sometimes fixes aren’t that expensive to effect if the break is not dire.
This is often going to be the least profitable service for your business. You’ll catch flack for it because clients won’t affect proper maintenance on devices; meaning many fixes predicate replacement.
If you run an engine without changing the oil for 90,000 miles, it’ll likely seize up and be effectively totaled. You’ll lose 210,000+ miles from that car. Many businesses don’t realize there is necessary maintenance for their tech and, as a result, they don’t apply it. Then, their systems “crash” and are totaled out. Ultimately, the client pays more than they would have under managed support.
This is a step up. Get clients on board with break-fix support and keep an eye on them until they’ve reached a financial sweet spot with your organization. At that point, if you lose them when you pitch the next step you haven’t substantially damaged yourself. Then, you pitch them on remote monitoring solutions, etc. Demonstrate how responsive monitored services can identify operational issues, curtail them, and extend the life of client technology; effectively saving them money.
Services That Are Proactive
After you’ve had clients in the “Responsive Services” realm long enough, it is time to inform them about the advantages regularly scheduled maintenance make available. What you can do is show, over the course of your relationship, costs pertaining to repairs. Then, you can show how proactive services may have prevented some of those repairs. The client should have a high quotient of trust in regard to your MSP by now.
Fully Managed Services
At this point, your client should have complete trust in your services. As a matter of fact, it’s likely that your MSP is providing support for quite a few different client needs. Now you can point at other areas that you have the ability to manage, pitch them with a cost-benefit analysis, and come away with a client who has entrusted full tech management to your MSP.
One selling point you might consider pertains to freeing up internal tech solutions the client is already using, provided they are already using such solutions, of course. When IT experts aren’t stuck playing troubleshooting and maintenance catch-up, they can focus on core company needs: innovating, expanding, optimizing, and ultimately increasing profit for the company.
Applying Your Client Life Cycle
You don’t want to force this, but you do want an end-game to direct you. Think of it as a joke: setup and punchline. Your MSP business will better be able to direct client buying if you have a life cycle end-game in mind, as you’re going about securing new customers.