9 Questions to Ensure Your MSP is Performing

server network configuration

So, let’s say you’re a business owner who is utilizing the services of a managed services provider (MSP). You’ve been partnering with this MSP for a while but you’re wanting to make sure this is still an effective partnership for your business. Since you’re likely not a technology expert (that’s why you have them, right?), you might not know the best ways to evaluate their work. What should you be expecting? We’ve put together this list of questions to ask your MSP and your own team to ensure your MSP is performing for your business to make sure that they are meeting and hopefully exceeding your expectations.  

 

  1. Check-in with your own team. Ask your team what their experiences have been in working with the MSP? Are the interactions resolved quickly? Does the team feel comfortable asking questions? Is there a friendly rapport with those interactions? This question may be the most important. MSPs should have a friendly, welcoming demeanor that welcomes questions. When your team feels most comfortable, the MSP will be able to identify, diagnose and solve problems more effectively and efficiently. If your team feels uncomfortable, apprehensive, or even annoyed when they have to reach out to your MSP, this will be an obstacle to your partnership and business growth. Ensure your msp is performing by checking in with your own team first.
  2. Proactive communication. When was the last time you heard from your MSP proactively on an issue? Are they communicating issues before they affect you? If not, you may not be fully protected or aware of opportunities to help improve your business. Your MSP should be acting as a partner and consultant, identifying opportunities for you before you’re aware they exist.
  3. MSP employee retention. Do you see or hear from familiar faces from the MSP or is it a revolving door of individuals assigned to your account? Is there continuity in your history with your MSP? An MSP who cannot keep talent on their team will struggle to keep your needs top of mind. When an MSP has consistency in people, they are able to serve your needs better. 
  4. Feedback receptiveness. What happens if you have a suggestion or a complaint about your MSP? Is leadership receptive to feedback? Do they take action on your feedback once you provide it? Is there follow-through to ensure your opinion matters? If most of your interactions are positive, that’s a great place to be but on occasion, your MSP may miss the mark. Knowing you have an outlet and it will be treated with importance is critical.
  5. Response times. What are their response times? Do they offer 24/7 support so that if something goes wrong, it will be fixed quickly? What about service over holidays or weekends? Your MSP might not be accessible for minor issues during off times but if you have a critical emergency to your business operations, do you know how to reach them, and are you confident they will respond right away?
  6. Updated technology expertise. Should you upgrade to Windows 11? Do you have the right security precautions in place? If you’re not a technology expert, you may not always be able to judge the MSP’s advice but if they are being proactive with you about the latest findings and happenings related to technology, then likely they are on top of technology needs.
  7. Living up to their promises. Have they lived up to the promises that you had expected when you signed on with them? Revisit your contract and your initial conversations to ensure they are living up to your original expectations. For instance, if they have committed to keeping a backup system in place, perhaps ask the MSP to recover an old file to make sure they can still retrieve it. If you had a commitment to consistent coaching on new phishing scams when was the last time that they advised you of the latest advances. Ensure your MSP is performing by comparing their performance to their promises.
  8. Cybersecurity top of mind. Hopefully, you’re hearing from your MSP frequently about cybersecurity and ways to keep your business protected. To test their reactions, you may consider posing a question about a hypothetical ransomware scenario to see what steps the MSP would use to troubleshoot and rectify the situation. Do they have a playbook? Are they prepared or does this take them days to respond to?  If your MSP is not prepared in the hypothetical scenario, they likely won’t be prepared if the real thing happens to you.
  9. Partnership material. If a technology question arises, do you immediately think of your MSP as a partner to consult with, or is reaching out to them the last resort? Your MSP should be your advocate, your partner, and your consultant on all things technology-related. If you don’t immediately think of them when it comes to a technology question, you may start to rethink if this is the best fit. 

The MSP you chose is an important decision for your business and there is a lot that goes into finding the right MSP to partner with. It is worth your time and effort to consistently ensure your MSP is performing and if their services match the needs of your company. Hopefully, you found that your current MSP is serving your business well. However, if your current MSP isn’t meeting those needs for any reason, we’re here to help! We would love to partner with you on a new plan that does meet all of these criteria so we can help you grow your business. Reach out today.

Author avatar
Adam Jones