When a business decides to partner with a managed service provider (MSP), choosing the right organization for the job is essential. A quality MSP can help a company achieve new growth while simultaneously creating a positive work environment for staff. However, an inexperienced or unreliable MSP will negatively impact employee morale and can even diminish the experience of end-point users.

In your search for a managed service provider, executive decision-makers should be prepared to thoroughly vet each candidate organization, asking targeted questions to determine which prospective provider is the best fit for their organization. Knowing the answers to these questions will provide valuable insights into the aptitude of an MSP company.

Setting Key Goals is Vital

Before vetting MSP organizations, you’ll want to know your company’s short and long-term goals. For instance, if your primary goal is to provide employees with adequate support while also minimizing costs, then your questions should focus on the MSP’s fees and service quality within its fee structure.

However, if your company seeks managed services to increase the per-employee revenue, you’ll need to ask questions regarding the MSP’s data analytics strategies and KPIs. Once your business identifies what it hopes to gain from the partnership with the MSP, you can begin to craft relevant questions.

Decision-makers should also include generalized queries about the MSP’s culture, values, and business strategies. By making these types of inquiries, you can determine whether an MSP is a good fit for your organization’s needs.

Questions You Should Ask Prospective MSPs

Before partnering with an MSP, decision-makers should prioritize and ask about service quality measurements, demonstrating cost-effectiveness, an MSP’s proactive approach, and more.

How Do You Measure Quality of Service?

For years, CSAT scores were used to measure customer satisfaction and the quality of service. While many MSPs still use this methodology to measure their performance, this metric does not provide a complete picture. Ideally, an MSP will track and analyze a variety of other key performance indicators. Cumulative CSAT scores and other data points will demonstrate whether an MSP is providing an optimal level of service or not.

How Do You Demonstrate Value and Cost-Effectiveness to My Business?

This next question goes hand in hand with the first. When tracked over time, KPI scores will demonstrate whether an MSP’s services are valuable to a business. A top provider will improve the efficiency of various help desk tasks while simultaneously delivering a high-quality experience.

While a managed services provider should save clients money, they must also add value in other ways. For instance, clients should see a noticeable uptick in employee morale and satisfaction. A streamlined user support experience creates these improvements.

How Do You Limit Your Costs over Time?

An experienced MSP should respond to this question by laying out a game plan for your business. They may discuss integration strategies, which tools they can leverage to improve customer experience and disclose other details about their tactics. If an MSP cannot confidently answer this question, it may be time to move on to the next candidate.

As you’re asking this question, be aware of certain red flags. For instance, an unrealistic cost-savings strategy is just as concerning as a lack of a plan altogether. Businesses should look for an MSP that thoroughly answers the questions while setting attainable goals for the organization.

Do You Take a Proactive Approach to Customer Service?

Many minor technical issues go unreported. Employees might feel as though the problem is not worth mentioning or try to troubleshoot the issue themselves. But this can be very disruptive to staff productivity, which is why MSPs should proactively address customer service issues.

By analyzing system data and searching for trends in support tickets, MSPs can resolve minor issues before they drastically impact a company’s day-to-day operations. With this in mind, businesses should always find out whether an MSP is reactive or proactive. If a provider states that they are proactive, decision-makers should ask them to explain their approach.

What Tactics Do You Use to Be Proactive About Employees’ IT Problems?

Look for an answer that mentions predictive analytics. This form of data analysis detects trends. It allows a provider to reach out to employees before they even receive a support ticket. For example, if an employee has issues with their word processing software, predictive analytics will make the MSP aware of the problem. Then, the MSP can reach out and remedy the case without the employee having to ask for help.

What Are Your Firm’s Core Competencies?

The world of information technology is incredibly complex. In light of that fact, decision-makers must ask MSPs what their firm’s core competencies are. If an MSP’s technical skills do not align with a prospective client’s needs, they are not a good fit for that company. To avoid this issue, businesses should ask the MSP which software and assets they specialize in.

What Is the Scope of Your MSP Service?

If you want to make informed decisions, ask an MSP about the scope of their services. You’ll need to know whether each additional service will bring an extra fee or if a full array of solutions is part of the company’s standard pricing model. Decision-makers must also find out whether there are any services that the MSP does not provide so that they can seek alternative options.

Will You Help to Build a New IT Strategy?

Asking this question will help you understand whether the MSP focuses on “fix it” services or offers more comprehensive solutions. Top managed service providers offer IT logistics, cloud support, and other assistance to revitalize an organization’s information technology strategy.

When you’re inquiring about an MSP’s IT strategy services, you must ask to see a portfolio of past works.

What Was the Most Difficult Client-Facing Issue that You Have Encountered?

Our final question is one that most MSPs may not want to answer. However, the most experienced and talented providers will provide prospective clients with a nuanced response. They should discuss the problem itself and how they came up with an innovative solution to overcome the issue.

“Businesses should always find out whether an MSP is reactive or proactive”

Comprehensive Service Desk Solutions from Astreya

If you need comprehensive user support that can scale with your business, Astreya can help. Our Managed Service Desk acts as an extension of your in-house resources. It is designed to deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience. We go beyond CSAT services to provide you with world-class MSP solutions.