Every business goes through some period of stagnation. Revenue may be consistent, but what about growth? For MSPs, it can be especially difficult to manage the needs of current clients and still have time left for prospecting new customers and planning the other future aspects of their businesses. With increasing competition and the ever-changing needs of the SMB, managed service providers cannot afford to let portfolio innovation take a back seat to other activities.
So, what can you do? Consider expanding the increasingly valuable communication services you provide to boost customer retention and augment your firm’s recurring revenue streams. From email hosting and advanced security offerings to messaging and unified communications platforms, many solutions are available to help improve your clients’ operations and make your company an even more valued resource.
Many MSPs don’t provide complete communication management and support. Unfortunately for the SMB, those solutions are a necessary part of a business and becoming a standard part of any competitive organization’s operations. That’s why communications can be a major differentiator for MSPs. When you’re the all-in-one architect for the applications and services that drive new revenue, keep their company running smoothly, and simplify operations, those customers remain loyal and are more willing to pay a premium for that level of support.
A Complete Communications Portfolio
Building a competitive offering is not as difficult as it sounds. The hardest step for most MSPs is finding comprehensive platforms from which to build flexible communications solutions. Those building clocks typically include:
One of the most obvious forms of communication MSPs can offer their clients is email: from hosting and management to security. Without the proper support, email can be the bane of an SMB’s existence, especially with the exponential growth of phishing and ransomware attacks. Everyone needs these systems, but few are good at managing and protecting these vital communications platforms. MSPs can use their expertise to safeguard clients’ inbound and outbound messages, set up policies and archiving rules, and quarantine malicious content.
A great way for SMBs to save money is by switching from traditional PBX phone systems to hosted VoIP solutions. Businesses will find partnering with a provider to be a cheaper option than paying large telcos for a lesser service, and they’ll receive a more customizable solution that integrates with a host of valuable tools. For examples, linking VoIP with customer relationship management (CRM) applications allows your clients to utilize call routing and voice to text messaging, among the many other features. The options are limitless, and adding voice solutions to an MSP’s portfolio will maximize their value during contract renewal discussions.
3. Unified Communications
Unified communications platforms provide similar returns. Gaining momentum among the SMB community, these solutions are providing new revenue opportunities for MSPs. Unified communications do exactly what the term suggests; combining everything, including phone, video conferencing, emails, SMS, and fax, into a single “pane of glass” for users. These systems make a business more efficient by streamlining manual tasks and allowing employees to use the best or easiest form of communication at the right time. For example, a doctor’s office can alert a patient of an upcoming appointment through email, text message, or automated phone call, or a combination of those activities. If physicians are running late or an emergency prevents them from getting to the office, they can send similar alerts and save their patients a lot of time and frustration.
Your clients’ online presence is indeed a communications platform. From news and blogs to their latest promotions, small businesses need someone they can trust to manage their branding and keep content up-to-date and relevant. Some MSPs build websites and handle all the responsibilities themselves, while others partner with respected professionals to deliver those services.
5. Social Media
Do you have a team member (or more) who can expertly manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other sites for your business customers? With the right people, program design, and collaboration tools (multi-site platforms), social media management can be a valuable source of recurring revenue for MSPs. Of course, those resources can also be used internally to develop and manage your firm’s outbound communications, IT-related alerts, and promotions.
Which of these services could enhance your value to the SMB? Communications are a crucial part of any business, and your clients are sure to appreciate the addition of these types of offerings in your portfolio.