Common customer retention issues for MSPs

February 05, 2021 Common customer retention issues for MSPs

By Captain's Chair

MSPs, short for Managed Service Providers, provide services to organizations for Information Technology (IT) related processes and functions. To retain clients, MSPs do their very best to fulfill their contracted obligations for the organization. However, sometimes client retention fails. Here are some possible reasons why this happens, as well an overview of how to solve these particular issues.

Clients may perceive the MSP is not performing all their contracted obligations satisfactorily. This is usually the result of miscommunication between both the client and the MSP.

A typical MSP will hold onto 93% of their customers each year and will lose the client when a “surprise” occurs – something unforeseen or an incidence of poor customer service. Most relationships have very little contact between parties and the communication occurs only when problems arise.

Perceived Value
An MSP working proactively to reduce the issues and system down times for the client, may find the client try to renegotiate or cancel the contract at the time of renewal because the client doesn’t see the value of the MSP services any more. The client may say “why should I continue to pay you $xx when you are servicing half the number of tickets as last year?” or “for the number of tickets you are servicing now, your competitor will do it for $xx less.”

Missed Tickets
If the tools used to service the client are sub-par, even the best MSP may miss a ticket or a pattern of tickets that lead up to a big issue. Over time the client may lose trust in the MSP’s ability to service the organization.

Value-Added Services
The MSP market is very competitive. To stay on top, an MSP has to offer more value than its competitors in the same price range.

What can be done to solve these issues?
We would be remiss if we didn’t state the obvious: the Captain’s Chair Client Dashboard and Account Management Dashboard will help solve all of these problems:

  • The Client Dashboard provides an easy-to-understand view of all the work being performed by the MSP in support of the client’s technology environment.
  • The Client Dashboard provides transparency, which lends itself to more healthy communication between the client and the MSP.
  • The Client Dashboard provides information about Service Levels, which reinforces the perception that the MSP is providing excellent service.
  • The Client Dashboard also provides information regarding the assets, warranties and subscriptions owned by the MSP client, a value-added service.
  • The Management Dashboard provides a clear picture for the MSP of all the activity with the client, in real time. A call from the MSP to the client about a major new issue is much better for the relationship than a call from the client to the MSP.

MSPs who wait until the Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR) to contact the client may be surprised to find a disconnection between both parties on the value of the services provided. A client who doesn’t have a clear picture of the day-to-day services performed by the MSP may only have the quarterly reports and employee feedback of the MSP’s services when it is time to renew the contract.

An MSP with a good, clean dashboard provides the client with a daily reminder of the MSP’s good service. An MSP with a good, clean dashboard to monitor the client’s operation has the information necessary to be proactive in terms of service as well as client communication.