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April 27, 2022
April 12, 2022
Performance

How to deliver a more consistent service as a managed service provider

Secure new clients, increase recurring revenue, and attract and retain the best talent with our guide to delivering a more consistent service.

~ 0 min read

As 2022 speeds by, the targets you’ve set your MSP business may seem even further out of reach than they did in January. The plans you’ve put in place to attract a larger number of new clients, increase recurring revenue, and attract and retain the best talent just aren’t working. The problem could be that your business operations lack consistency. Read on to find out how to address this and deliver a more consistent service.

1. Team performance management

Let’s start with the people driving your business – your employees. They are highly skilled individuals working in one of the most challenging working environments there is: protecting your clients from a cyberattack. Their performance is incredibly difficult to assess and as a result, many organisations cut corners in appraisals and reward & recognition. This is not recommended and can lead to a host of problems that will dramatically affect the consistency of your delivery such as errors, skills gaps and stagnation, staff departures and major resourcing problems.

With the cybersecurity industry currently facing its biggest skills gap to date, you cannot afford to lose staff.

How effective are your appraisal methods? It may be wise to take time to consider a new approach to measure the performance of your teams and, while you’re at it, ensure you have solid employee progression plans in place too. This will not only help to ensure that all staff are clear on expectations and maintain high levels of performance, but it will also mean that you can plan for future skills gaps or growth opportunities and resource accordingly.

2. Foster a culture of continuous improvement

Encourage your team to constantly strive for better performance, and provide them with the resources and support they need to improve. We talked above about the need to reward and recognise employees for their efforts but by putting in place extra measures to publicly praise those who make significant contributions to improving the quality of your service delivery, you could go even further.

This could be done through intranet announcements, employee of the month awards, companywide emails from your CEO, and more.

3. Enhance your training opportunities

While a great deal of experience can be gained in doing the work, without proper training first, bad habits and errors can form.

Ensuring that your team is properly trained is one of the most important things you can do to deliver a consistent service. If you cannot afford to invest in extensive training programmes for every member of staff, why not look into internal mentoring programmes or online courses? While much cheaper, they will still being a great deal of value.

4. Get in tune with how your clients are feeling

If you’ve read our guide on developing deeper client relationships, then you’ll know how important it is to build a solid understanding of their challenges and opinions through satisfaction surveys, regular face-to-face contact and honesty at all times. Every client has their own challenges and priorities and being able to stay ahead of their complex IT needs is key.

It's very easy when the workload is overwhelming to overlook these steps and take the fact that the invoices are paid on time as a sign that clients are happy. This is not ok.

While close client contact can be invaluable in identifying new growth opportunities, it can also be a great way of identifying service issues early on. A client may spot an underperforming team member or poorly executed action far sooner than you will, so take the time to speak to them and address small issues in delivery before they become disastrous.

5. Quality control

Establish and enforce clear policies and procedures for each client and programme and ensure they are accessible to every member of staff to refer to when necessary. Make sure everyone on your team is familiar with the policies and procedures, and offer training if needed so that you can hold them accountable to following them.

While performance management on an individual level is important, establishing metrics and benchmarks for each team to hit will be important too in keeping a close eye on quality and consistency.

6. Automate where possible

It’s unlikely machines will ever entirely replace humans in the world of work but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embrace technology wherever you can. Particularly if by automating certain tasks, you eliminate the chance of error, thereby providing a more consistent service to clients.

Not sure which tasks you can automate? One of the best candidates for automation in the vulnerability management field is vulnerability prioritisation. According to research, it can take an average of seven hours to prioritise the vulnerabilities associated with just 250 assets. For your clients’ inventory, we expect this to be significantly more.

RankedRight eliminates this wastage of time by automating the process. By following rules set by the user, and enriching MSPs’ clients' scan data with the most up-to-date vulnerability intelligence, RankedRight prioritises vulnerabilities in order of criticality and delegates them to the most appropriate team to resolve. This means a more profitable way of working for managed service providers and a more efficient and effective vulnerability management program for your clients.

Not only that but it ensures your rules of prioritisation are adhered to every single time a new scan is completed. One of the challenges of running manual triage with the high staff turnover in cybersecurity is that every time a new person takes charge of the prioritisation process, new ranking decisions are created – this inconsistency could be the cause of the next breach affecting your entire client base.

Don’t underestimate the importance of consistency. Take the actions above and book a demo with RankedRight today.

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