Small businesses face many operational challenges, one of which is effectively managing client relationships. When burdened with tasks like closing deals and maximizing profits, customer’s strategic requirements are often overlooked. MSP Managed Service Providers should consider themselves as business consultants and understand that long-term relationships are not built for selling products, but rather delivering solutions.
This guide will outline the basics about quarterly business reviews for MSPs, how to approach them, and what should be included.
What is a Quarterly Business Review?
Let’s talk about the Quarterly Business Review or QBR. As its name implies, QBR involves client meetings, surveying Information Technology and business requirements, and leading them towards a cost-effective and strategic IT framework. Organizations that prioritize QBR create open communication channel and position for long-term strategic partnership benefiting both companies.
As a matter of fact, quarterly business reviews not only help to convert customers into clients, but also help develop stable client relationships with profit generating revenue streams. However, for QBR to work effectively, we need more than an informal meeting or quick verbal conversation. For a successful meeting, we need proactive preparation and planning.
An effective meeting demands that the right kind of people are present. They should be able to understand their agenda and be well versed in knowing how they can cater to business needs that are constantly evolving. Only with such a preparation, you can move forward in the direction towards your quarterly business reviews.
Purpose of a Quarterly Business Review
A quarterly business review serves to address how well you are helping your customers achieve their short- and long-term goals. Consider the following when performing a QBR for your MSP business.
- What happened in the previous quarter?
- What were the successes and failures you encountered in the quarter? Any MSP accidents report?
- How were the issues rectified?
- How your IT services performed overall?
Along with reflecting on the previous quarter, also consider appropriate goals for the upcoming one. This includes identifying your customer’s business areas that can most likely change, and discuss how you plan on working together for accommodating the changes and staying on track to achieve your goals.
In terms of delivery method, QBR can have many forms. It can either be a presentation, a document, or any combination of these. One can apply variations that can allow you to report on your business’s unique nature with the customers. It’s quite possible for QBRs of two different customers to be entirely different.
What Can You Include in Your MSB QBR?
As MSP manager your QBR should provide a top-down view of your operations including anything such as MSP licensing to everything which can help highlight your service value. For starters, let’s have a look at what a standard Quarterly Business Review agenda should include:
- Review of Service Tickets
Include a detailed review of service tickets from the last quarter to show how the team was able to manage the volume of received tickets. As a bare minimum, it should include a comparison between open and closed tickets of a certain time period under discussion.
Once you make the comparison, it is easier to open up further discussion. If there is an approximately equal number of open and closed tickets, you can validate that your technicians are able to handle the support tickets fairly easily. In case of a large gap between these numbers, you might have to dig deeper.
- Technical Review
One of the most important parts of QBR, a technical review provides insight into all your service aspects to give a complete picture. This helps highlight the value of your services as an MSP, while also helping discover the shortcomings and allowing to reflect on areas that need improvement.
- Service Level Agreement Review
Service Level Agreement or SLA review includes comparison between existing SLAs to the services that were carried out. Here, you need to highlight all the areas where you exceeded the Service Level Agreement benchmark and also discuss any issues or disputes that were raised during the process.
- User Training Recommendations
User trainings provide opportunity to show customers what part you have played in improvement of their operations. For instance, based upon the support tickets received, you can give recommendations on which employee could benefit from a training. Not only will this help to reduce the number of support tickets but will also demonstrate your value.
An MSP QBR allows direct access to firm decision makers. Here, you can propose how to improve business relationships and what strategic plans you have for your customer. Take the time to create a robust understanding in your customer’s mind about your future plans and recommendations.
- Managing Endpoints
Endpoint management is another important part of maintaining successful relationships with your customer. Your customers are dependent upon your MSP for deploying, updating, and troubleshooting their network endpoint devices. However, the better you manage them, the more likely the customer will not understand the hard work you put into managing them.
QBT provides MSP a chance to explain the complexities involved in managing endpoints. For instance, MSP crash reports can provide details of workstations that crashed, give an insight into endpoint security and describe their patch status. You may also provide statistics on your efforts regarding risk and threat reporting.
- Network Security
This aspect addresses how you protect a customer’s network against security threats. These extend beyond endpoint security and involve all aspects of cyber defense mechanism. If relevant, highlight your security efforts and mention all relevant compliance steps taken with respect to security standards and regulations such as GDPR and ISO 27001.
QBRs provide a high-level review of how your MSP provides value to the customers. In turn, it helps boost customer loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and builds stronger relationships. Furthermore, a QBR also helps pitch for additional services, thus increasing your revenue stream across multiple customers.
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