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By Brian Gillette · May 24, 2024

How to Lose a Managed Services Client

When I was selling managed services, the lowest hanging fruit was always the customers who were unhappy with their current MSP.

There was one stand-out reason why I was able to scoop up customers from other MSPs so effectively. It wasn’t because most MSPs are bad at their job of delivering managed services; it was because most MSPs are terrible at communicating with their clients.

Often MSPs operate under the assumption that no news is good news when it comes to support requests from a client. As an MSP, you’re working hard to prevent catastrophe from ever occurring.

The problem is that most customers don’t fully know, and thus do not fully appreciate what you do for them. They may not see your face very often either if everything is working as expected. This is where an MSP becomes vulnerable.

Out of sight, out of mind.

If you can't control this narrative, they will start to tell themselves a story that they don’t need you. You’ve got to make sure they know what you're doing to protect and support them, the proactive measures and dedication to their uptime.

They’re not getting scored on, so they start to believe that they don’t need a goalie.

MSP Customer Perception

"Why am I paying this IT company so much? I don't even send them any tickets anymore. Should I ask for a price reduction? Our situation has stabilized, maybe we should look for a less expensive contract or cheaper provider."

At this point in the customer's journey, you've properly onboarded them, but are you doing all that it takes to retain them for the long term? Proactive communication and relationship management fall on the shoulders of the MSP. 

There's a few things you can start emphasizing in your regularly scheduled client meetings;

  • Stability - In their recurring costs, cost savings, and in the availability of services you provide
  • Insight - Into the customers current situation and what can assist their future
  • Interest - Let the customer speak, they are the hero of their own success story

Yes, it's your responsibility to explain exactly where their money is going. But while “responsibility” sounds like more work, it's a huge opportunity. It's a path to uncovering additional opportunity and increased monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Don’t get it twisted;

We can’t use fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to communicate the value of our otherwise silent efforts. We must use affirmation to turn the unseen value into perceived value to make it tangible in the customer's eyes. Highlight your wins, milestones and achievements - and back it up with numbers. 

What your client thinks you're doing is more important than what you're actually doing: so make sure that these two things are one and the same vision.

Quantify your benefits before some salesperson tells them a story with an ulterior motive. As my mother used to say, sometimes you have to "toot your own horn", because nobody else is going to do it for you.


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