How To: MSP: Differentiating Yourself with What You Do
You’re always told its important to differentiate your MSP practice from your competitors, but then you’re told it’s all in the messaging. What if you could differentiate what you do from other MSPs? What could you add to what you can do for customers, how you do it, and show why it’s so valuable for them? Take your differentiation beyond marketing.
Why do your customers choose to come to you for managed services instead of your competition?
- Is it because you’re just nicer people than they are? Perhaps better looking? Of course not.
- Is it because you monitor their network traffic and activity? All your competitors do that, so its not the reason they choose you. They could choose others for that same reason.
- Is it because you monitor their network better than the others? How exactly is that measured? How can you make sure that’ll never change? Not a sustainable competitive advantage there.
- Is it because your rates are so much cheaper than anyone else’s? Shame on you. By now you know better than to just compete on price.
- Is it because your marketing is more effective than theirs? That’s a possibility, but then you’re vulnerable to any of your competitors developing better messaging. That’s not so difficult.
Re-defining MSP to Distinguish Yourself from the Rest
It’s called commoditization, and its your enemy. We’ve seen product after product come out in the IT industry as new and unique. Offers new levels of service, new features, everything new.
Soon competitors introduce similar offerings and the rate you can charge takes a nosedive. Your offering becomes a readily available commodity.
This may be where you are today. Check out some MSP websites. The more you look at, the more you’ll see how similar they all are. They all offer remote monitoring and management (RMM). They all offer alerting and reporting. Many will action your alerts. Some sites are prettier than others, and seem more exciting. How dissimilar are they from your own website? More important, how different are they from you??
To truly stand out from the rest of the crowd you must not only look different and better, but you must be different and better. You must offer more and more valuable services the others just don’t. In other words, you have to innovate your way to your powerful differentiating advantages.
Look at the largest and most successful companies in the world. In our own industry, Microsoft is a great example. What started in 1975 as a bunch of young kids today employs hundreds of thousands offering products that power the majority of the world’s computing estate.
They didn’t do that with messaging, or low pricing, and they certainly didn’t succeed based on their good looks and sparkling personalities.
Then they innovated some more.
They have been constantly innovating for over 45 years.
The great news for you as an MSP is that Microsoft and others have innovated some incredible products that you can embrace, add your own services to, and offer to your customers in ways nobody else does. In ways that showcase your own innovation. In ways that clearly demonstrate how different you are from the competition.
What are These Products?
Many MSPs establish their superiority by offering customizations to their customers’ networks that they create using scripting or building macros. They may automate routine processes, complete workflows with the assurance of successful completion at each step.
Most recently, Microsoft introduced the Power Platform which brings you a world of wide open possibilities. Tools you can employ to fashion all manner of solutions, many of which your customers may never have thought of. Low-code/no-code development, which enables you to create new solutions without becoming or needing an app dev house. Solutions that streamline operations, reduce development costs and reliance on corporate IT, and improve business outcomes. The only limit is your own innovativeness.
If your customers don’t have the time, the bandwidth, the talent, or the inclination to put the Power Platform to work, you can do that work for them adding immense value as you do. This puts you in the business of developing your own new revenue streams constantly.
Accelerate Your Progress
But let’s go the next step. What if you also lack the time, the bandwidth, the available talent, or the inclination to actually do this development work. Some enterprising and well-differentiated software providers have done much of it for you.
A powerful example of this innovative platform for innovation is ServiceTeam ITSM from Provance. Conceived in Power Apps, ServiceTeam is designed for Microsoft Partners, MSPs, and their customers. Take your first step to learn more about ServiceTeam and prepare to build truly resilient differentiators into your customer value proposition.