4 ways to improve your customer service as an MSP

Posted by Anne Campbell on Nov 2, 2016 9:26:00 AM

Be honest. Does your MSP provide exceptional customer service? Odds are you don’t. Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, explained at Content Marketing World last month that 80 percent of businesses say they deliver exceptional customer service, but only 8 percent of customers agree. That’s a major disconnect.

MSPs should see this as an opportunity. Jay pointed out that exceptional customer service is so rare it’s memorable, and that can work in your favor. By delivering memorable MSP customer service experiences, you can differentiate your MSP from the competition and grow your business by attracting — and retaining — more customers.

How to you make that happen? Here are a few ways to get started:

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Differentiation

Robin Robins: Starting with the right premise

Posted by Robin Robins on Nov 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM

The other day I was driving to my chiropractor when I noticed another burger joint had opened up replacing a previous restaurant that sold—you guessed it—burgers. I suppose the other one failed and was forced to shut its doors like many restaurants do because of tight margins; it’s truly one of the toughest businesses to turn a profit. And although I don’t know the owners of the new restaurant, I’d be willing to bet that they reasoned to themselves that THEY would surely do better than the last place because they had better burgers, a cleaner store, and maybe friendlier staff. Maybe they have some special kind of beef they use. Who knows. And the new factor may boost them up a bit for a few months from people wanting to try something different, but if they don't have a way of sustaining themselves through smarter marketing in getting new clients and KEEPING them coming back, I give them another 1-2 years before the place is being gutted and replaced by a Starbucks.

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Topics: Differentiation

How to use Compliance-as-a-Service to set your MSP business apart

Posted by Stuart Crawford on Nov 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

It seems like every day I get a call from a stressed out IT service provider asking how to differentiate themselves from their competition. After all, in a world where 99.9 percent of IT service organizations all say the same thing and offer similar services, how do you create separation and win new business opportunities?

In a recent article on MSPMentor, Carrie Simpson from Managed Sales Pros offered some very timely advice — Go Niche! And I couldn’t agree more. This is something we stress over and over to our clients here at Ulistic. The few that actually heed the advice and go deep into one vertical are rewarded with industry leadership and a more well run managed IT services organization.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Differentiation

How reframing the conversation can help MSPs and their business clients

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Aug 24, 2015 1:41:00 PM

When we need help, many of us tend to get ahead of ourselves and overlook the true nature of the problem in the process. I recently asked my doctor for a podiatrist referral to fix a sharp pain in my heel, only to have him deduce that the pain was tennis-related, and offer a few hamstring stretches to do before each play. The fix was simple, effective, and affordable.

You might recognize this tendency to self-diagnose in many of your customers, and the mix of challenges and opportunities it can present for IT solution providers. The key to capitalizing on these opportunities is to take a step back and consider the larger business backdrops behind your customers’ problems and challenges.

Here’s why it’s important to reframe the conversation.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Professional Services, MSP Marketing, Sales Process, Differentiation

Recipes for Success: Learn how to simplify the way you package your MSP offering

Posted by Anne Campbell on Apr 28, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Recipes for Success is a monthly series of step-by-step guides designed to help managed services providers improve and grow their businesses. Each month we’ll introduce a different recipe that will walk you thorough how to tackle a specific improvement. Stay tuned for the companion video series Remix, where you’ll get expert advice on how to take the recipe to the next level. 

Let’s face it. As a managed service provider, your life can be complicated. Between keeping up with help desk tickets, managing routine backups and maintenance, and fielding other customer requests—not to mention trying to sell your services to new prospects—you have an impressive amount of tasks to juggle.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Business Development, Differentiation, Recipes for Success

Ask Intronis: How to differentiate my offering

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Mar 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Ask Intronis is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. Submit your questions by emailing AskIntronis@intronis.com.

Q: I am finding it harder and harder to stand out from the competition. What can I do to differentiate my services offering when I talk to new business prospects? The managed services business is a crowded marketplace, so I want to make sure I can bring in new business and expand my customer base. 

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Topics: Differentiation, Ask Intronis

3 Lessons from the Nor’Easters ConnectWise User Group

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Feb 20, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Despite the Arctic temperatures outside, attendance and spirits were high at the annual Nor’Easters ConnectWise User Group meeting at the Hilton in Hartford, Connecticut. You couldn’t escape the familiar complaints—the snow, the roads, office closings—but these were just icebreakers (so to speak), and all conversation quickly turned to such topics as growing business, scaling and simplifying operations, and keeping clients up and running. Along the way, I learned three important things.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Differentiation, Events and Webinars

MSP reinvention: Why you shouldn’t settle for success

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 20, 2015 10:54:13 AM

You’ve built up a healthy business helping entrepreneurs get the most of their IT. Your clients find solid value in your services and pay their bills on time (for the most part). Your people are diligent, creative, and thrive on collaboration.

Congratulations. You’re a star.

Still an opportunity exists for you to pursue new levels of customer enthusiasm and company growth.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Business Development, Cloud Industry and Technology, Buyer Targeting, Differentiation

How do your grow your business in a crowded MSP market?

Posted by Manny Veiga on Jul 25, 2014 12:42:00 PM

We've written a lot on this blog about how important - and challenging - it is to stand out in the IT services market. The barrier for entry into the market isn't terribly difficult so there are a lot of IT services providers out there competiting for the same group of clients. How do you grow in a crowded field?

We presented a webinar on this very topic earlier this week. Stuart Crawford of MSP marketing consultant Ulistic was our presenter, and he shared a number of proven strategies to expand your MSP business in a competitive market in a webinar titled "The Competition is Fierce! How Can Your MSP Win New Business?"

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Topics: Differentiation

Data point: 37 Percent of partners report high competition

Posted by 2112Group Reports on Feb 19, 2014 11:10:00 AM

Everyone who works in and around the technology channel knows it can be a tough environment in which to make a living, especially from a competitive perspective. While the channel population may be shrinking and the dynamics changing, partners still need to be fully prepared to grow and sustain their businesses under ever-present competitive pressure.

According to The 2112 Group’s 2014 Channel Forecast: The Shrinking Channel study, 37 percent of solution providers report having at least seven or more direct competitors, and 27 percent report having more than 11 regular competitors. The vast majority say they compete with at least four IT channel companies on a regular basis. (See chart below, which shows the number of companies against which solution providers compete regularly).

While smaller solution providers have fewer regular rivals because of their more defined competitive sets, the overall implication is that channel competition levels are high even if solution providers have not been good judges of competition levels historically.

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Topics: Differentiation

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