#DoItNow: Futureproof Your MSP with Innovation

The COVID-19 disruption has influenced businesses around the globe to accommodate social distancing. And, with thousands of employees working from home, new patterns of customer expectations and employee behavior have emerged during the crisis. The current economy is a residue of a tremendous economic shock and burden. MSPs can only overcome such challenges by introducing innovation in everything, right from risk-mitigating technologies, business practices, to strategies that improve customer satisfaction and retain them.

As the founder of a business that successfully navigated the last great recession, I am confident that only MSPs with a strong innovation instinct will win the day as we work through the current economy. No matter how unfortunate it is, the COVID crisis is an opportunity for all MSPs to find new markets and introduce new products. This is the time to revisit your customer management, product catalogs, and compliance status to create a bigger impact and value for your clients out there.

Transition from MSP to MSSP

We all are aware of how cybercriminals are taking advantage of the pandemic to step up attacks. So, think of offering security services and tools that can help your clients shore up their defenses outside the firewall. While your first reason to provide security offerings can be keeping your clients safe, making the switch from MSP to MSSP will translate into increased revenue as you up-sell and cross-sell your existing security services.

You should also take advantage of the quiet economy to revisit backup and data recovery protocols internally. Rigorously train your team on phishing scams to remind them that while they may be working from home, they still need to maintain proper security protocols.

Rethink Your Business Offerings

The true path towards standing out in today’s economy begins with discovering what makes your business offering unique. Think about the potential of a list of new offerings given the changing business landscape. Get knee-deep in the dialogue with clients to understand what their top-of-mind concerns are. Use this understanding while re-packaging your offerings. Along with this, keep calculating numbers like your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a client for better decision making.

One way to add value is by bulking up your offerings. The more managed services you can offer to your clients, the better. Apart from obvious MSP offerings, making strategic advising part of your service bundle can also be your key differentiator. I would suggest you consider adding end-user software training to your services mix. Establishing someone in your business as a Virtual CIO (vCIO) could also be a golden ticket to opening new revenue streams in exchange for the domain knowledge you already have.

Be Creative with Client Management

Think about how you can be a resource during tough times. Remember, this is the time your clients are going to remember. This is the time when they will decide to stay or switch to another service provider. So, at this point, do your best to create a personal experience at each moment — from onboarding a client to contract renewal — and every moment of the journey in between. Make extra calls and invest time in talking with them. Remember to truly listen during those conversations, you’d be surprised the business nuggets hiding in those calls.

Make the most of customer satisfaction surveys to let your clients know that their opinion matters to you, making them feel valued. With surveys at multiple points in the customer journey, you’ll have actual data about what exactly resonates with clients, which will eventually help you uncover service gaps.

Consider adding a client loyalty program, a month-free upgrade, early access to new services, and exclusive content as personalized gestures. Also, continue educating them in the form of webinars, tutorials, and videos showcasing your thought leadership in an ongoing nurture campaign.

Recheck the Compliance

This is also the time to focus on recession-proof verticals like law and healthcare to provide better service at a better price. Many MSPs serve these verticals, but when it comes to having a well-rounded compliance offering, most fall short. Believing offering a simple risk assessment makes one compliant is far from the truth. A risk assessment is just one small component of becoming HIPAA compliant.

Numerous compliance experts are out there to help you handle a risk assessment. Regardless of who you go with, use the data from well-done risk assessment to bridge the gap between HIPAA clients’ expectations and your existing capabilities.

Final Thought: By focusing on innovation in everything you do, your MSP can notice substantial increases in overall stability and profits, both in the middle of this crisis and beyond.