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Why successful managed service providers (MSPs) rarely see their customers (and why that’s not a bad thing)

Why successful managed service providers (MSPs) rarely see their customers (and why that’s not a bad thing)

​Traditionally, in-person contact can be the deciding factor when establishing a business relationship with a new customer.

Credit: ID 131710128 © Wave Break Media Ltd | Dreamstime.com

However, for a successful long-term collaboration it isn’t necessary to meet the customer too often – and it can even be counterproductive.

This is because the entire business model of a managed service provider (MSP) hinges on providing services as a remote IT professional. And the emphasis is on remote. If the customer had its own IT support department, or at least its own IT administrator, an MSP and its services would be superfluous. Opting for MSP services often comes down to cost or profitability. For this reason, the customer base of a classic MSP consists mainly of smaller companies, self-employed professionals, and freelancers who may use state-of-the-art IT for their work and business processes, but are simply end users.

MSP customers depend on IT resources working smoothly

Some MSP customers may not be well-versed in IT matters, as their core competencies are completely different. They have neither the time nor the ambition to fine-tune IT or device maintenance, and they are heavily dependent on their systems functioning properly. If they don't, problems can escalate, and may even threaten a small business’ existence.

Incompatible software versions, an installation error, a virus due to a forgotten endpoint backup, or a hard disk that suddenly crashes – these and similar events can bring the work of an MSP customer to a standstill. Incoming orders can’t be processed, invoices can’t be issued, and access to important customer and production data is unavailable.

When this happens, the MSP is called on-site immediately for an 'emergency' intervention. Such customer visits are inconvenient, especially when the error can’t be identified immediately.

The need for proactive monitoring

It would be much better for MSPs to detect IT vulnerabilities before they become critical (for instance, before storage capacity reaches the limit, before hard disk defects cause the disk to crash, and to ensure that documents and data are compatible with the required programs by installing the latest versions). Malware detection programs should always be kept up-to-date on all devices, and if something goes wrong, a recent backup should be available. Keeping all endpoints constantly under control for all customers and monitoring them systematically remain key challenges for MSPs.

Integrated, customisable solutions for remote monitoring  

Fortunately, there are solutions such as TeamViewer Remote Management that relieve the managed service provider of routine IT tasks.

Professional remote monitoring and management software offers a comprehensive overview and real-time status updates of the entire IT infrastructure – all hardware and software. It also enables the user  to easily monitor critical system information from a central location.

With remote management, MSPs can also automate regular IT maintenance tasks by setting up custom checks, alerts, and scans to proactively monitor, for example, hard disk status, RAM usage, and online/offline status of computers.

The managed service provider is immediately notified when predefined thresholds are exceeded, or if specific events occur that require action. An MSP no longer has to leave the office or instruct on-site employees by telephone in order to monitor and manage a customer's entire IT system – even across multiple locations.

Remote monitoring is basically ‘silent’, as it runs unnoticed in the background.

MSPs can remotely define the ideal scope and path range of system scans to best protect customers’ devices, as well as initiate daily endpoint protection updates.  Remote management is complemented by constant Cloud backups of all endpoint data in compliance with the highest security standards.

If end users need additional support or assistance, MSPs can access all devices for service requests through remote sessions to identify and resolve problems. With the TeamViewer Remote Management solution, remote access and support are fully integrated.

Credit: TeamViewer

Watch the IT Werks – Remote Management Case Study

Ease of use I.T. Werks founder, Santi Barroso, says, "From the TeamViewer Management Console, it’s easy to pick and choose individual devices for updating, installing antivirus programs, implementing backups, or hardware checks. I especially like that you get consistent feedback if something has been installed correctly. Then you know everything is fine. I'm completely satisfied with the solution; it has everything you need."

For an MSP, this means all the work can be accomplished in the office, whether it’s proactively maintaining or actively managing clients' IT infrastructure. With a complete and real-time overview of customers’ IT resources, reaction times are quicker, and intervention is more efficient remotely than on-site. Increasing customer satisfaction requires far less time and fewer resources, as downtime and data loss are prevented from the get-go.

With secure remote connectivity and remote management technology, there are not many reasons for MSPs to meet customers in person or have long phone calls. And, counterintuitively, customer satisfaction doesn’t decline.

Simply put, remote management helps MSPs nurture happy customers — and happy customers are those that rarely have issues to report, become good references for MSPs, and help them acquire more customers to grow their business – beyond borders. And that’s a good thing. 

To learn more about how Team Viewer can help you click here.

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