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Identifying Risks and Mitigating

At times of such uncertainty it is important for any MSP owner/leader to evaluate the risks to their business. This is often something done in our heads but then a failure to put any remediation plans in place can cause customer churn that may of otherwise have been prevented. Losing a customer is inevitable at some point in your journey, and sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, these ones are somewhat acceptable although however still painful. What leaders and owners need to be trying to prevent, is the ones that you CAN influence. These could be for a variety of reasons, but ensuring it is documented and has an owner is crucial.

Some reasons that you can influence/resolve:

  • Service Delivery Issues

  • Not enough value demonstrated

  • Unpaid Invoices

  • Renewal/Contract Terms

Whilst the above may not be solvable, what we are trying to demonstrate in this blog post is that you want to ensure you have given 100% effort into trying to keep the contracts that work for you, and can be influenced. With this in mind, we have created below a useful “Clients at Risk Register”.

The register is designed to be able to show at a glance, any contracts or customers that are currently considered at risk. Being on the list itself is not a negative as it is highlighting that efforts are required, so be sure to not shy away from adding people that should be on it. The risk register focuses on ensuring that each risk has an associated owner, this person is accountable for seeing the risk through and taking any corrective actions that are required. These could be actions for the customer or actions internally. It then moves onto listing reasons for the risk, this is absolutely crucial for owners to find trends. E.g. multiple risks that are contractual disputes, may mean that your contracts need a review.

Further to the immediate benefits, comes the customer alignment benefits. Something many MSPs do not consider, is just how often are they dealing with issues for this customer? Having a risk register enables you to mark a Risk as complete once the matter has been resolved, so in the instance of an unreasonable end customer, you will be able to spot trends in their consistent appearance. Therefore leading to a wider conversation of, is this customer the right fit? Templates and forms are great, but the most important part is putting it in place.

Here at Uptime Solutions, we have been working with some of our most affected MSPs on building out this list with them. It has proved significantly beneficial in showing where time and efforts are required, which has led to customer retention that couldn’t have been expected without it. We would recommend completing it as soon as you can to give you a benchmark, if you don’t think you have ANY customers at risk, then ask yourself, is your relationship good enough that you know when they aren’t happy?


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