On October 9, 2022
What MSPs Get Wrong about Virtual CXO Services
As digital transformation accelerates, MSPs need to go beyond merely keeping their customers’ IT services working. They need to move from being service providers to trusted advisors to partners with their customers.
In short, they need to become virtual C-level executives (VCXOs). CXO services are a natural way for MSPs to establish this new kind of trusted advisor relationship with their customers. After all, virtually no one understands an organization’s business processes better than the people at the top of it.
However, most MSPs aren’t taking full advantage of this opportunity, or are providing a costly solution entirely wrong. In this article, we look at why so few MSPs offer virtual C-level services and most of those that do offer it have the wrong mindset.
MSPs are hesitant of providing CXO services
MSPs are often afraid of being so transparent with their customers that they’ll lose them. They’re more concerned about being truthful about what they do and don’t offer than what they do for their customers. This is not the mindset of a real executive.
If they do offer their customers CXO services, they tend to be delivered in a very traditional way. This often means that MSPs are not as invested in the success of their customers as they should be. They’re not building long-term relationships and they’re not looking for ways to improve the customer experience. A quick search of “QBR templates” yields tens of thousands of results – indicating that MSPs are buying into the idea but not necessarily delivering as intended.
Providing quality CXO services demands a lot of an MSP. They need to have a deep understanding of their customer’s business, their goals, and their challenges. They need to be able to provide unbiased advice and be able to work with the customer to find the best solution for their needs. This is a lot to ask of an MSP, and it’s why many are hesitant to offer these services. To add on, many MSP owners themselves lack the corporate and enterprise experience to be able to provide true executive insight.
Mistake 1: Being afraid to dig in and learn what matters most
Virtual executives need to be able to provide unbiased and brutally honest advice. This advice can only come from a place of deep understanding and mutual trust. To get this understanding, MSPs need to be willing to dig in and learn about their customers’ businesses. They need to understand their goals, their challenges, and the systems they use to run their businesses.
This is a lot of work, and it’s not always easy to get access to the right people. MSPs need to be persistent, and they need to be willing to ask a lot of questions. They also need to be willing to listen to the answers. Too often, MSPs only hear what they want to hear. They need to be open to the possibility that their assumptions about their customers’ businesses might be wrong.
Providing a virtual CXO service is so vastly different than running an everyday helpdesk or break/fix business. In order to be successful, MSPs need to be prepared to put in the work to learn about their customers’ businesses inside and out. This is the only way they’ll be able to provide the kind of unbiased advice that their customers need.
Mistake 2: Forgetting who the customer is
MSP owners have a habit of forgetting who their customers are. They get so wrapped up in the day-to-day work of running their businesses that they forget that their customers are the ones who pay their bills. This can lead to MSPs taking their customers for granted and not providing the level of service they deserve.
MSPs need to remember that their customers are the ones who ultimately decide whether or not they’re successful. They need to be focused on providing the best possible experience for their customers. This means going above and beyond to make sure their needs are met. It also means being transparent about what they can and can’t do.
Too often, MSPs try to sell their customers on services they don’t need or want. They try to upsell them on features they’ll never use. They try to sell them on the latest and greatest technology, even if it’s not the right fit for their business. This is not the way to build a long-term relationship with a customer.
MSPs need to focus on providing value to their customers. They need to remember that their customers are the ones who will ultimately decide whether or not they’re successful.
Virtual CXO services are not about generating new sales. They’re about providing value to existing customers. They’re about helping customers achieve their goals. They’re about becoming a trusted advisor and partner.
Mistake 3: Failing to align service offerings with business outcomes
On the topic of common failures, MSPs tend to strongly along with particular vendors and get tunnel vision. This creates the mindset of “one size fits all” and a lack of willingness to truly understand what the customer is trying to achieve.
A modern MSP offering CXO services need to be vendor agnostic. They need to be able to provide unbiased advice about the best technology for their customers’ needs. They also need to be able to provide a roadmap for how to get from where they are today to where they want to be. This roadmap should be tailored to the specific needs of their customers.
MSPs need to be able to align their services with their customers’ business outcomes. They need to be able to show their customers how their services will help them achieve their goals. They also need to be able to show them how they will save money or make money by working with the MSP.
It’s not enough for MSPs to simply offer upsells and add-ons. They need to be able to show their customers how their services will help them achieve their desired outcomes.
As the dynamic of business changes, MSPs need to change with it. They need to move from being service providers to being trusted advisors and partners. They need to become virtual C-level executives.
Doing this is not easy. It requires a deep understanding of their customers’ businesses and a willingness to work closely with them to find the best solutions for their needs. It also requires a focus on providing value to their customers and aligning their services with their customers’ business outcomes.