It’s the case in many industries – marketing, property, insurance and IT managed services to name a few – that no matter how qualified or experienced those offering a service are, there’s always a race to the bottom on price. For MSPs, the sector has become so commoditised that it’s almost impossible to stand out or demonstrate the extra value they can bring. So, in order to secure clients, the cheapest provider often wins.
That is not to say that those with a low price don’t offer a great and wide-ranging service but for those who want to deliver more for their customers and command a higher price for doing so, we have some advice. Here’s how to differentiate your MSP business.
If you want to get your current resource working harder for you, it’s wise to address any inefficiencies by investigating tools that will automate some of your team’s most time-consuming and mundane tasks. This will mean your team has more time back to deliver more for clients either by giving them more attention, getting through more tickets or having breathing space to do a better job overall.
One example of a time-consuming and mundane task that can be automated is vulnerability prioritisation. With scanners identifying tens if not hundreds of new vulnerabilities every week, it can take a team hours with each new scan to determine how quickly each issue should be dealt with and by whom. RankedRight automates this process by ranking vulnerabilities for you based on rules you have set which means your team can spend more of their time on the work that matters – remediation.
With time-consuming tasks taken off their hands, your team can work on increasing the value they bring to the business through training or new business development.
Training doesn’t have to cost the earth; it can even be conducted internally by setting up mentoring groups whereby each senior staff member is paired with a junior colleague.
With the skills shortage in the cyber industry worryingly high, it pays to work on staff retention and giving staff opportunities to develop their skills will help keep them on your payroll.
As part of the internal training, why not encourage company-wide workshops whereby you look to tackle business development together? You could set tasks to come up with new service ideas or offer commission for new business generated. And with more headspace to do this, it could produce some great results.
Client satisfaction surveys have been a useful tool for client retention for decades. Conducted either face-to-face or electronically, they involve the provider asking the customer for their feedback on the service in order to keep their business. If you use the survey to delve deeper into the challenges your customer is facing more generally, you may find they identify some new services for you to deliver. And if you can act on that insight quickly, you should have your first customer in the bag.
Just because the market appears to be running a race to the bottom doesn’t mean they all want to. Why not challenge this positioning with some new messaging that makes it clear just how much value can be gained by paying a little more for managed services? You could find that you not only attract a lot of new business but you also create a change in the market whereby your competitors start to support this drive for value over affordability too.
The way to do this would be to work with a marketing agency to establish a messaging campaign around your new values and the idea that cheap doesn’t always mean best. They’d then make some noise that your target audience and the industry as a whole will notice.
The race to the bottom doesn’t have to be one you compete in. In this industry we should all be working to do more and do better. We hope this article helps you to do that.
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