An ideal relationship with your MSP is built on trust and open communication. And if yours is less than ideal, have you shared how you feel about it?
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Do you love your IT company?
This Valentine’s Day, ask yourself how much you love and trust your managed service provider (MSP). Do you love how they go the extra mile, anticipating your needs before you do? Do you trust they’ll always be there to keep your systems running smoothly and have your back in a crisis?
If the answer is less than a quick and confident yes, you need to work on your relationship or find a new partner.
An ideal relationship with your MSP is built on trust and open communication. And if yours is less than ideal, have you shared how you feel about it? Keeping your feelings bottled up inside isn’t healthy or productive in any relationship. Open and honest communication is vital to address all issues.
But it’s time to find another provider if they’re unwilling to work with you or have broken your trust.
Most successful businesses have a great MSP by their side. An MSP complements a business by lending its strengths to areas where the business is weak. But there are lots of MSPs, so it’s essential to find the right one. You can start your search by weeding out those bad for you. And from there, you can examine the remaining prospects by looking at how well they fit your needs and wants.
Weeding Out Mismatches
There are plenty of prospects out there. And it’s easy to be dazzled by an attractive pitch or a fancy website. But looks can be deceiving. And relationships can change. But of course, you know that, or you wouldn’t be looking for a new MSP in the first place.
You should be able to weed out some MSPs who aren’t a good fit. Long-distance relationships can work but have a high failure rate. Your best bet is finding someone in your local market which you can easily get a hold of and meet with in person. Keep in mind your prospective partner should be able to have your back in an emergency, so it’s best to have someone who can get to you when times get tough.
Also, examine each prospect by their reputation. No, you’re not looking for gossipy info. But you are looking for truthful testimonials from your MSPs’ past and current partners. You want to know their strengths and weaknesses from others who know them best. Firsthand accounts can help you quickly eliminate those who aren’t right for you.
If you’ve dumped your old MSP, you should take stock of the reasons why. Examine prospects for red flags that new MSPs may share the same bad qualities—no use going through heartbreak a second time. If poor communication was a key issue in your old relationship, then vague website language, jargon-laden pitches, and confusing answers to basic questions should discourage you from further pursuit.
Don’t be fooled by appearances. Be friendly when you speak to a prospective MSP representative, but maintain a healthy skepticism. Be upfront with your intentions, and ask the questions you have confidently. After all, you’re in the driver’s seat.
But being clear and confident when meeting with an MSP for the first time requires a bit of preparation and self-examination. Ask yourself whether you truly know what you need and want.
Understanding Your Needs and Wants
What are your must-have qualities in an MSP? Of course, you’d probably need a hard-working, communicative, and honest partner. But go a bit deeper. Examine their strengths and ask whether they truly complement your weaknesses. And consider your vision for the future. Can they help you get there?
You also should be clear about the nature of your relationship. Do you need a full-time commitment where you are working alongside each other day in and day out? Or are you looking for something a bit more casual, with your MSP coming to assist as needed without long-term expectations?
Obviously, everyone has their own need and preferences. But we find it’s easier to find an MSP you’ll love if you’re both looking for a collaborative, committed relationship. Working together over time can help partners learn and understand each other’s needs, communication styles, and preferences. And in the early days, it can be difficult to fully understand one’s own needs and accurately assess whether you’re truly compatible.
Take communication styles. Do you want a partner who communicates often or only as necessary? You may think you prefer the former until your inbox is clogged with suggestions. And only then may you be able to develop a more accurate gauge of what you need.
Or take the roles each partner plays in the relationship. Are you looking for more of a role player or a true collaborator? How does your MSP view themselves? And when market dynamics shift and changes need to be made, can your MSP adjust to a new role you may need them to play?
These are questions you can’t fully answer based on a first glance. No matter how infatuated you may be with a prospective MSP, it’ll take some time to truly understand what they bring to the table and what you can’t live without. As with any relationship, you’ll need time to get to know one another. But approaching your MSP with an eye towards long-term compatibility, flexibility, and honesty, will help you find the right match.
It’s never too late to fall in love with the right MSP. That may mean a somewhat painful separation from your current partner. But if they aren’t much of a partner now, that pain is probably worth it. The longer you wait, the harder it will be, and the more you’ll put yourself and your business at risk.
If you’re unsatisfied with your current MSPs capabilities in managed IT support services or cybersecurity, it’s time to find a new partner. Or, if you’re looking for a more proactive partner who is responsive to your needs, it’s time to make a change. There’s no need to invest further in a partnership that isn’t meeting your needs.
This Valentine’s Day, choose to fall in love again. Find the MSP that’s right for you today.
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