What am I paying you for? The MSP’s Struggle to Justify their Fees
IT may very well be the most under-appreciated department in most companies. This goes for MSPs as well. In general, no one thinks they need dedicated IT resources until there is a tech emergency. No one notices IT when everything is going right, but the minute something goes wrong, IT receives the brunt of the finger-pointing.
Unfortunately for MSPs, many businesses tend to think reactively (“We need IT when something breaks”) instead of proactively (“We need IT to prevent things from breaking”). Because of this reactive mindset, it can be difficult for an MSP to convince business clients that they need proactive services, like data backup. They sometimes don’t understand that preventing a problem is usually easier than fixing a problem, and more cost-effective in the long run.
Business clients can be reluctant to pay for things they don’t think they need. Managed services are a perfect example of this. When things are working correctly, people don’t consider the factors that cause everything to run smoothly. For this reason, it can be difficult for businesses to see the return on investment for IT services, and it can be difficult for MSPs to defend the cost of their services to their clients.
How to Justify your Value to your Clients
You won’t always be able to accurately explain to your clients what you’re doing for them. Most of the time, the decision maker whose approval you need might not understand all the tech mumbo jumbo, or might have a thousand other things to think about while you’re trying to explain.
One way to convey the value of your services is through regular meetings to discuss how things are going and address any questions or concerns your client might have. Keeping these meetings regular (monthly or quarterly, for example) keeps you from being forgotten on a long list of contractors and vendors the business works with. Setting aside a dedicated time to meet with your client ensures that you have their full attention and prevents confusing impromptu meetings while you’re onsite for maintenance.
Another useful way to communicate with your clients is through easily digestible reports describing what you’ve done for them over the course of the month or quarter. Your clients might not always know the right questions to ask during your meetings, so you can help by giving them the information they need to know, in a simple, understandable format.
But how should you assemble these reports in a way that makes sense to your clients and doesn’t occupy an unreasonable amount of your time?
Introducing Gillware’s End User Reporting Feature
In the upcoming features release from Gillware Online Backup, MSPs will be able to generate easy to understand reports for their clients about the health and status of their backups. The tool allows you to schedule the reports and automatically send them to your clients.
MSPs can generate these easily understandable reports for their clients as often as they’d like (daily or weekly, for example). Most importantly, they can present this information to their clients as proof that their services have been working as promised, and their client’s business is being protected from data loss.
Additionally, Gillware’s Monitored Item feature allows MSPs to keep a pulse on their customers’ vital data items. By designating critical, frequently edited files, folders or directories to be monitored, you’re able to ensure that these items are being properly backed up. Monitored items are included in the end user’s report, so your client can see the backup in action.
When you can show your clients a report highlighting their specific data files, you can leverage the emotional connection people have to their data. The vague concept of a “complete backup” doesn’t mean as much as “your invoice files are fully protected”.
Using these reports makes it easier to show your clients what they’re paying for in a way that is easy to explain and has some meaning to them on an individual level. Justifying your value is no longer a challenge, but a regular reassurance to your clients.