Despite a constant parade of new technologies and services designed for the express purpose of making life easier for the business community—managed service providers (MSPs) in particular—the foundation of any company’s success is, and will always be, the quality of its people.
People are the foundation of your MSP
People are the most significant variable for any business. While it’s true that systems and general infrastructure can provide an optimal framework for delivering products and services, it is individual staff, contractors and clients who make or break a company.
Therefore, as a matter of protocol, MSPs should spend time away from the machinery of it all each month, if not more frequently. There’s no better way to evaluate how well you’re responding to the needs of your team.
Few companies will survive, let alone thrive, in the long term without a solid understanding of their own human resources. Simply put, an MSP won’t make it without the support of its people. This extends to clients as well. Regular check-ins with your customer base can strengthen client relationships and improve their overall experience.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you encouraging and/or facilitating proper training for your employees?
- Have you scheduled a discussion to assess each team’s performance?
- Have you scheduled time with clients to discuss the quality of the services you provide?
Harnessing your MSP’s people power
There are a multitude of ways an MSP can leverage its human capital to drive profitability in the current market, including but certainly not limited to capitalizing on emerging tech and focusing on the customer experience.
Emerging technologies can seem out of reach to some MSPs, but drones, blockchain and IoT, among other examples, are a constant reminder that there are always new opportunities to take advantage of. Making sure you have the right people in place can make sure your MSP is positioned to profit from emerging tech. Identifying the places where additional talent is needed and allotting resources to those areas can help accomplish this.
Outside of your own human resources department, gaining a better handle on the needs of specific customers can also help MSPs capitalize on emerging tech via people power. Take cloud considerations. The impact of cloud in the business landscape is largely seen as positive by MSPs, but its pervasiveness at times requires shifts in business strategy. For some, this has meant ramping up emphasis on CX and support as a counterbalance to the declining role in initial technology transactions.
The most successful cloud providers develop and promote vertical market-focused solutions which address unique customer requirements. In other words, the same people-centric view that powers successful MSP teams can and should be harnessed in the use of emerging technologies designed to meet customer needs.
While the adoption of emerging tech remains foundational to excellent service, ensuring employees have the skills needed to troubleshoot issues effectively and provide a quality customer experience is just as important. By continually improving and incentivizing staff development, MSPs will be better prepared to address the continually changing business needs of clients and keep employees more satisfied in their jobs at the same time.
In other words, paying attention to your employee experience can beget a better customer experience in turn.
Building an innovative MSP workforce
Focusing attention on your MSP’s people to build on their capabilities and drive profitability might sound great, but the fact is: talent is scarce. Recent global events like the pandemic, ‘Great Resignation‘ and nonstop advancements in tech have created a significant worker shortage in the industry.
Industry experts have touted putting more resources towards developing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as well as identifying alternate educational and career pathways (i.e., work-based learning, apprenticeships) as solutions for filling the tech talent shortage. Targeted programs for underrepresented groups need to be provided at an earlier age in order to draw from a broader base of talent. That all sounds great too, but many MSPs need people now.
Resources exist to answer this demand. An external partner, for example, can make a big difference by supporting an MSP with additional manpower and expertise. Outsourcing can help MSPs backfill positions and keep their business growing while continuing to source and cultivate internal talent.
Want to learn more? Check out our eBook on how MSPs can grow their business by outsourcing helpdesk services.