At Vembu, we interact with Solution Providers on a regular basis through roadshows, on-site support, peer group meetings etc… and gather the best practices used by successful service providers and would pass it on to other service providers who are looking for best practices. We strongly believe that there is no ‘secret sauce’ to success and it all comes down to ‘execution’ and hence we encourage MSPs to exchange best practices and promote a healthy competition in the SMB IT industry.
One such best practice shared by an successful MSP is the concept of introducing ‘Risk Assesment Document’ during the QPR meetings you have with your customers. As an MSP, I am sure you are sharing lots of risks on behalf of your customers and many a times the problem happens when the customer fails to see the risks that you are currently going through. There should be a way for you to let the customer know that there is this particular risk in his network or IT practices etc… so that appropriate action can be discussed and timely resolution can be achieved before it’s too late. This is where a risk assesment document comes handy. It’s a simple spread sheet that grades the various IT services that you undertake for your customer and where does each service stands from your perspective on a grade scale of 1 to 5 with one being strong an 5 being weak.
When you present this document to the customer on regular QPR meetings, you will share with your customer on what risks you are taking and what action items that every IT services needs. These issues could vary from simple ‘problamatic router’ issues to serious ‘No Backups’ issues. If you can’t convince the customer to see the risk you are taking for them, then probably it’s time for you to ‘fire some customers’ and focus more on customers who are willing to work with you and appreciate your time and efforts. Some MSPs reported that effective use of ‘Risk Assesment’ hurled customers to upgrade themselves with better IT services which of course increased the ‘Monthly Recurring Revenue / Customer’ for MSPs. I’ve put together a sample ‘Risk Assesment’ template in Excel sheet and if anyone is interested in it, please feel free to email me at len AT vembu DOT com