Ghosts don’t make good MSPs. That’s because visibility is a must when you remotely monitor and manage your clients’ IT environments.
And a sure way to stay visible is to keep clients up to date on all the preventive maintenance and remediation tasks you do for them. For MSPs, reporting is an essential part of the business model, not just something you get to whenever you have the time.
Your business may well depend on it. Customers tend to get the wrong idea about how much work you perform for them if they don’t hear from you on a regular basis. Most managed services activities take place behind the scenes, so you can’t really expect them to know what you are doing unless you tell them.
And if you don’t tell them, customers may conclude they don’t need you anymore if their systems are running trouble-free. They don’t necessarily make the link between the MSP’s proactive maintenance and the network’s performance.
To avoid becoming a ghost to your clients, you should get in the habit of reporting to them on a regular basis. In fact, you should make it part of your SLA so that you have a strong incentive to deliver the reports.
Each month, you should prepare a report that itemizes each action you’ve performed, including data backups, security patches and trouble tickets. A good report includes information on the health of the network, so knows if a disk is close to reaching capacity or a router is on the fritz. Leave nothing unsaid; the more you communicate through the report, the more likely you are to keep the customer.
While reporting is an absolute must, if you prepare reports manually, it takes too much time. For many MSPs, reporting remains an inefficient endeavor that entails compiling information from different consoles and organizing it into a digestible format for the client.
There is a better way. RMM platforms with integrated reporting automate reporting tasks so you don’t have to spend hours each month to prepare a report for every customer. “The result is massive savings in IT staff time and budget while demonstrating the value of your managed services,” according to a Solar Winds N-able white paper, “The MSP Report Advantage.”
SolarWinds N-able’s own RMM platform includes a tool called Report Manager, which generates various types of reports including technical and executive summaries, security alerts, hardware inventory reports and data protection reports. The tool’s customizable stock reports simplify and accelerate the reporting process.
As many as 80 percent of IT service providers either skip the reporting process altogether or deliver the bare minimum. Part of the reason is that manual report preparation is too time-consuming. That’s why they need an automated reporting tool.
For MSPs especially, reporting cannot be ignored. It helps quantify the value you provide to customers and prevents them from ever having to ask, “What have you done for me lately?”