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MSPs - Why a Customer First Focus is Key to Success

Posted by Trevagh Stankard on Tue, Oct 12th, 2021

The adage “the customer is always right” has a new interpretation in the era of digital transformation. One of the main differentiators in any market, including an MSP, is the customer experience and the relationship between vendor and client. The way that customers interact with a service is key to ensuring that those customers continue to use that service and come back for more. In a busy marketplace, the MSP that has a customer-first focus will stand out.

In cybersecurity too, a customer-first focus is an important selling point for an MSP.

The Ways that a Smart MSP can Enable a Customer-first Focus

Putting the customer’s needs first is reflected in how an MSP delivers security solutions. The cybersecurity market is buoyant and there are lots of ways of delivering managed services within this market. However, the devil of delivery is in the detail. A good MSP can stand out by adjusting their model to echo their client narrative. This can be summed up in 5 best practices:

Be Consistent

In Datto’s “7 best practices of a successful MSP” the number 1 best practice is to offer a consistently repeatable delivery model.

Datto warns against using idiosyncratic methods and processes as these often enable mistakes and mistakes can lead to vulnerabilities. Having well-documented and repeatable processes helps to immunize MSPs against staff turnover. In the context of delivering cyber security solutions, this repeatability helps to prevent misconfiguration of cloud components as well as ensuring that vulnerabilities are not propagated into a system. By being consistent in everything that an MSP delivers, the customer's voice will be amplified, not hidden in confusing offerings.

Guide: Pillars of the Modern MSP Tech Stack

Be Responsive

Customers must be able to turn to their MSP for best-of-breed solution advice.

Delivering cybersecurity solutions should begin with understanding the market conditions. Email security is a prime example of how cyber threats proliferate, with phishing emails continuing to plague organizations. A recent survey found that 20% of employees clicked on phishing email links and almost 68% of those went on to enter login credentials into a spoof website. Security awareness and client education are important, but this must be backed up with robust technological solutions that provide email security.

The cybersecurity threat landscape is an evolving matrix that waxes and wanes with new threats appearing and older ones morphing into even more sinister threats. Responding to the threat landscape means that an MSP must have demonstrable domain expertise in cybersecurity. Providing for the customer’s changing needs within a complex cybersecurity landscape means using smart technologies. Email protection that uses smart email filters, based on machine learning, will adjust tactics as environments and spam methods change.

Offer Exceptional Solutions

Clients need technology that solves problems and elevates their business. Cybersecurity threats are working against this. The modern enterprise must balance a heady mix of employee morale, remote working, security threats, and regulatory compliance alongside performing its actual core business. Cybersecurity solutions that help to balance this mix will help to solidify the MSP-client relationship. By offering advanced network security solutions that are designed to be simple to deploy and integrate and that is cost-effective, an MSP can put the customer’s needs first whilst ensuring their business model is profitable. A dedicated email filtering solution that is managed centrally by an MSP, on behalf of a client, gives that client the best available tool to block spam and puts their needs first.

Focus on per-customer Basis Risk

Each industry has its own language, but the language of cybersecurity and data risk is universal. The levels of risk of a cyber-attack hit businesses in several ways including reputation damage and non-compliance fines. However, reducing risk is not a one-size-fits-all. Instead, it is a series of activities and measures that are applied in a granular way based on a risk assessment. This assessment determines the best way to manage and mitigate that risk on a per-customer basis.

According to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) phishing causes 36% of breaches. This figure is an increase of 11% on the previous year. Email data protection solutions are an integral part of the security measures that help de-risk the enterprise and can be applied to all types of organizations. In Datto’s report “State of the MSP 2021”, 82% of MSPs now offer email security solutions. By offering clients a mix of web content filtering and email protection an MSP covers at least one-third of data breaches, and in doing so, an MSP reduces client risk by at least this figure too.

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk of Compliance

Regulatory compliance of data security and privacy has become an important need of all businesses. Enforcement is real and requirements are often stringent. Fines can be onerous such as those used in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). But regulations can be hard to interpret and requirements are often complicated. MSPs who can offer help to clients in meeting the stringent requirements of data protection regulations, by offering consultancy and technical measures, will differentiate themselves with a customer-first approach.

Read blog: 5 Ways for MSPs to Communicate with their Clients about Cyber Risks

Focus on Security and Customer-first Follows

Partnering with a vendor that offers managed security services (MSSP) ensures that you pass on the domain know-how and robust technical measures to your clients. However, not all security solutions are designed for use through an MSP model of delivery. Look for those that are designed for easy deployment, that provide automated updates, that are easy to administrate, and that offer cost-effective, but exceptional, solutions. By working with the best, you can ensure that you deliver the best and put your customer needs first through a customer-first focus.

TitanShield MSP Program allows partners across various sectors to take advantage of TitanHQ's multi-tenant cloud-based platform, proven technology and accessible APIs so that they can sell, onboard, manage and deliver our advanced network security solutions directly to their client base. Learn more about the TitanShield Program today.

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