In a challenging business like managed services, you can never get too much help in terms of resources for customer acquisition and retention. Knowing this, CompTIA has just released the Managed Services Client Lifecycle tool to guide MSPs through the client engagement process.
“The tool allows any MSP to visualize the optimal client engagement for a managed services practice,” CompTIA says. Used in conjunction with other CompTIA content and programs aimed at MSPs, the Client Lifecycle tool helps providers “build and grow an effective services business.”
The resource comes as CompTIA prepares to release a study revealing that customer acquisition is a top priority for MSPs. Some 62 percent of MSPs polled said they want to increase their net new volume of customers, and 58 percent also want to expand their business with existing clients.
For many MSPs, customer acquisition remains an inexact science at best. Or, as Vince Tinnirello, CEO of Lone Tree, CO.-based IT services provider Anchor Network Solutions, puts it: “Many MSPs are winging it, with no real direction or understanding of what it takes to bring on a new customer and keep the customer for the long term. The Managed Services Client Lifecycle can help them identify and evaluate all areas of their business to assure that they’re doing all they should for their clients.”
Tinnirello also serves as chairman of CompTIA’s Managed Services Community, whose mission is to define standards, best practices and benchmarks for the managed services business.
The Client Lifecycle tool delivers a graphical overview of the managed services lifecycle, which helps to visualize the process from one phase to the next. “The interface brings a breadth of resources together for easy access in each of the major cogs,” says John Tippett, vice president and general manager of Aisle8, a Charlotte, NC, manufacturer and distributor to IT solution providers.
The lifecycle tool addresses a real need among MSPs, who need help not only with best practices to attract new customers but also to increase their business with existing clients. In 2015, CompTIA found through its “Trends in Managed Services” study that even though most end users were aware of managed services, engagements with MSPs remained relatively shallow for the most part.
While this can be viewed as a negative, considering managed services have existed for more than a decade, CompTIA saw a silver lining: “This isn’t necessarily bad news for MSPs. It simply indicates that the market opportunity is still wide open to scale additional services to existing customers alongside the ongoing chase for net new clients.”
In other words, there’s a lot of business to be had, and perhaps the first place to start is with your own customers. So initiate a conversation today with customers about what other services you can deliver to support their business goals.