Reflect back when going to a store was more than just a purchase or pickup. It was about exploring what’s available, consulting with sales staff on what car to buy or which TV is best. Retail stores were where our whole buying experience took place. Now, retail stores have become the last step in the consumer buying stage, post-purchase. Most frequently, we browse online, perform research online, even purchase online and then visit the store to pick up. More and more retailers are transforming into their version of Amazon, leaving storefronts as just a fitting room, showroom or warehouse.
How the Digital Transformation Effects MSPs
This transformation has already affected the service side of MSPs. Initially, service staff supported clients directly to solve problems. Implementing RMMs helped warn of upcoming problems creating a technology-assisted staff. Then, automation used digital to prevent and remediate issues and staff started supporting the technology so the technology could do their old job. This created staff-assisted technology. Now, most staff time is used to make sure the technology works correctly in supporting the clients. Backups, servers, networking, security, productivity and most other MSP services involve getting the technology right so that it can serve the clients.
There is still a need to work with clients directly to solve issues, but the result of many of those efforts involves further refining the technology to even eliminate these interactions.
MSPs have gone from people-helping-people to people-helping-technology-help-people with one notable exception - client interactions.
What is MSP 2.0?
Think of how much change you've seen in the service area, yet when it comes to client interactions, that process has changed little since the days when break-fix was the predominant business model. The flow is similar to this:
- MSP finds prospect and convinces prospect that they are capable, trustworthy and reliable.
- Prospect becomes a client.
- Client is told to ask for help anytime they need it. Sometimes, the MSP even makes it easier to ask for help with a tray icon or desktop button.
- MSP does the work and then prints or emails reports to show the client their efforts.
- MSP and client talk regularly (or sometimes never) to discuss "things".
- Sometimes, these "things" are simply the MSP reminding the client how capable, trustworthy and reliable they are. (start again at Step 1?)
To bring digital transformation to the client relationship, MSPs must think differently. They must think from the customer perspective back to their own business. Think about Amazon or almost any shopping site. These sites aren't places you only go to buy; they are places you go to search, dream, research and even sometimes purchase. Early online sites were about inventory (the retailers' problems), the successful sites were about all these other services (the consumers’ problems).
The MSP shouldn’t just be a place people visit to solve a problem or track ticket "inventory"; the MSP can be an extension of what people do with their technology. It should be a place where clients dream, research and even sometimes purchase.
Your clients are already expecting an initial digital strategy that they have become accustomed to in other areas. But you can't have a complete digital strategy with just a digital presentation.
The complete digital strategy isn't a ticketing portal; it’s a combination of thinking from a clients' perspective and an online presentation that matches those needs. It may include ticketing, but it's not just about ticketing; it's about the clients and what they find compelling. It's what makes MSPs an extension of their business.
MSP 2.0 is:
- Client-first mindset
- Digital-first presentation
- Integrated and automated scalability
Using MSP 2.0 to rethink the four main areas of client engagement:
- Landing - Sales presentation focusing on the value you'll be delivering daily to your prospects.
- Onboarding - Taking a new client and getting them familiar with your services and processes.
- Managing - Keeping clients up to date with new information, handling service requests.
- Growing - Creating new ways to engage with clients moving to what we call the MOR (mutual opportunity review).
The path to MSP 2.0 starts now. CloudRadial has created a full series of free guides to help your MSP land, onboard, manage and grow clients and transform your business. Download your free guides at https://www.cloudradial.com/lomg/.