Regardless of how “on fire” you are when you begin your MSP business, not everything goes as planned. In fact, many companies experience significant growth and client demand upon opening and offering services. However, the problem is, many businesses simply aren’t equipped, staffed, or ready to handle or accommodate this demand. While this is a scenario that is often seen when a business first opens, it may also occur down the road.
The Problem with Excessive Demand
Any MSP business is heavily based on customer service. If you are unable to meet the level of customer service you initially promised, clients may become dissatisfied. While a customer leaving your company may help your business handle the other demands, it can have negative repercussions. For example, the client may:
• Leave bad reviews online
• Tell other business owners about their bad experience
While this may not seem like a big deal at first, it can have detrimental effects on your business down the road. If you can’t handle the demands of the clients you are providing services for, you have to find a better way to let them go, without hurting your business.
Graciously Let Your Clients Go
While this may not seem like the right action to grow your business, in some cases, the only way you can ensure growth is to let go of clients you cannot handle.
Now the question you must answer is this: how do you choose the right client or clients to “fire?”
First, consider all your customers. Chances are out of the group, there are one or more, that are somewhat problematic. They always have an issue, complaint, or some other problem. This means you are spending more time on providing them service than anyone else your MSP business serves. This is a client to get rid of.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter which client you fire; you can use any method:
• Problematic clients
• Last hire, first fire approach
• Customers with too many demands
The key to handling this is to fire the client in a gracious way. This means you let them know what is going on. You can let them know that your services are simply not able to keep up with their demand, or that you believe they would grow more with another, more established service provider. The key is to terminate the business relationship in a way that doesn’t leave a “bad taste” in the person’s mouth.
You can even suggest they go to your competition. While this may hurt your pride a bit, it is what is best for your business and the client.
The Importance of Knowing Your Limitations
If you don’t have the staff, technology, or ability to serve 30 clients at once, cut the list. This goes for any number of customers you may provide services for. If you continue trying to provide everything that is demanded, it may eventually result in the downfall of your entire business.
To grow, many business services have to fire clients from time to time. While this is typically not something you look forward to or that you are going to enjoy doing, it is the best way to keep other clients happy and satisfied with the services you provide.
The Bottom Line
Don’t hang on to too many clients just because you don’t want to admit you failed. Firing clients from time to time is best for any MSP business. Keep in mind, the key to maintaining your good name is to do this in a gracious way that ensures the client is not put out or disgruntled due to the change of services.
San Jose, CA
About the Author
Robert Naragon is the Founder and President of ITQue, Inc. (pronounced “i-teek”), an IT company based in Campbell that provides IT Support San Jose. They help small and mid-sized San Jose businesses increase productivity and profitability with customized, flexible hybrid cloud and IT solutions. Prior to ITQue, he was the Founder and President of VistanetIT, Inc., also based in Campbell, a Managed IT Service Provider to small and medium-sized San Jose businesses.