Five Keys To Finding Your Perfect Match

Choosing a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to handle your outsource needs is a lot like dating. 

There are so many potential partners out there—how do you know when you’ve found the one, who is a perfect match for you? 

When you are dating, you have to go out for a lot of cups of coffee before you find someone you want to have dinner with! Likewise, it is critical to get to know the MSP and make sure their values are in alignment with your company’s. 

Keep in mind, an outsource partner will become an extension of your business, so you want to be sure they are representing your company well as they interact with your customers.

Here are some key areas to consider when you are in the exploratory phase of “dating” or selecting an MSP. Developing a partnership with an outsource vendor based on these five key areas will allow you to create a perfect match based on trust and integrity. 

  1. Communication skills: Do you feel like the MSP understands your business goals and needs? Are they able to articulate their services and the solutions they’ll bring to your business? Can they explain what they stand for in a clear manner?
  2. Transparency: You’ll want to interview the MSP as carefully as you would interview for a leadership position in your company. Complete transparency is the key. Watch for indications that the MSP is being vague, withholding information from you, or changing the topic when you ask questions. Make sure you do your research, call references, and check their digital footprint to see what is being said online and in social media about this company. 
  3. Responsiveness:  Does the MSP respond to your questions quickly and professionally, regardless of whether you email, send a voice message, or a text? How they treat you as a client is a key to how they will treat your customers.
  4. Customization: Every business has its own workflow and procedures that will make your company’s day-to-day operations hum along smoothly. Do you feel like the MSP is offering you a “cookie cutter” solution, or are they capable and willing to tailor their services to fit your unique needs? Will they take the time to learn what is operation-critical for your business? Finding an MSP who can customize their services will enhance the customer experience for your clients.
  5. Quality-driven: You’ve worked hard to build your brand, and your loyal clients expect the best in service. Make sure the MSP is committed to quality and is solution-focused. It’s imperative that you feel this company will represent your brand with integrity and that they have a commitment to quality. Everything they do on your behalf becomes a reflection of your business, so make sure they are worthy of representing your business!

If you can give a resounding “YES!” to each of these areas, then you’ve found an MSP worth taking to dinner and building a deeper relationship with. 

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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