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To try to fight the isolation and uncertainty brought on by
the COVID-19 outbreak, a few weeks ago we began what we’re referring to as
“Office Hours” on the
Webroot Community. It’s meant to be a forum where users can come together
and pose their COVID/cybersecurity-related questions to some of our experts,
and we try to help however we can.
The quality of questions and value of the dialogue were high
right off the bat. It’s proven to be an excellent reminder of the usefulness of
the Community in general. Some of the questions were even topical and popular
enough to warrant a deep dive.
“How can MSPs help their clients bounce back from these
challenging times?” is a good example.
As the question suggests, it’s not all bad being an MSP
right now. With many employees migrating to remote work, IT services are in
high demand. That could explain why, according
to a study by the RMM platform Datto, though about 40% of MSPs anticipate
cutting revenue projections for the year, 84% still say it’s a good time to be
There’s both opportunity and necessity in developing a plan
to help small business clients stay afloat in a flagging economy. On the
opportunity side, exceptional customer service can be a great way MSPs to stand
out in an industry with typically tight margins. On the other hand, if an MSP’s
clients’ tank, they will longer be around to need the MSPs services. So, the
ability to be an IT advisor for clients’ through tough times is intimately tied
to the success of the MSP themselves.
What follows are a few pieces of advice for doing that, but’s
important to remember that there’s no stock solution for bouncing back as a
business. Every client is unique and so are the pressures applied by the
coronavirus and subsequent economic slowdown. But here are some generic tips
for being your client’s go-to adviser for weathering the storm.
- Set-up a virtual ‘discovery’ meeting to discuss
with them what their situation really is? This should be a (perhaps painfully)
honest conversation about the state of the business and what obstacles stand on
the way of then getting back to “business as usual.”
- Devise an agenda based on the services you
provide today and the associated costs. Based on the client’s challenges (or strengths)
what is affordable what can maybe be minimized? Has the business direction
changed at all? Many SMBs may be looking to pivot considering COVID-19.
- Aim to be flexible (while remaining profitable)
and willing to accommodate the period between their business restarting and
establishing a new normal. Ask yourself if taking a slight hit in monthly
income or margins is an acceptable sacrifice to make in order to help keep a
potentially long-term client afloat?
- Next, work with a client to draw up a joint
“Recovery Plan” with a timeline for scaling back up the workload and
how you can specifically assist with their recovery. This may involve stressing
the costliness of a data breach, downtime, and other ways your services help
the clients bottom line suffering.
- Finally, schedule regular client account reviews
(hopefully, you already have some version of these in place) to monitor
technology-related pain points and assist with addressing them as reasonably as
Economic recovery for small businesses will undoubtedly
entail some tough decisions. But doing everything you can as an MSP to assist
with that recovery by being proactive and establishing a common recovery plan
will lead to a much stronger business relationship in the future. Not to
mention establishing you as a trusted, reasonable business advisor for the life
of the relationship. So, take advantage of the opportunity of helping your
clients’ bounce back from this pandemic.
The post Bouncing Back from the Pandemic A Step-By-Step Guide for MSPs appeared first on Webroot Blog.