IT managed services rely on proving their value to clients, typically by giving them a high return on investment (ROI). One of the best ways to do this is by providing regular reports to your clients that show what you’re doing for them and how you’re saving them money.
This guide covers the four essential reports IT managed services providers (MSPs) should be giving to their clients.
4 Essential Reports for IT Managed Services
IT service management reporting is crucial to developing a healthy relationship with clients. While there are many types of MSP reports you could send to your clients, these are the four you should send.
Monthly or Quarterly Billing Reports
Whenever you bill your clients, you should send them a billing report that breaks down all of the charges. This kind of transparency will go a long way with clients, and they’ll have an easier time understanding where their money is going.
Additionally, clients that have a clear breakdown of their spend will be able to calculate their ROI, making it more likely they’ll keep their service with you.
Regular billing reports also serve as reminders for clients to pay their invoices. If they haven’t set up automatic payments, it’s likely that business owners will occasionally forget to pay a bill. With the report in hand, however, they’ll have a tangible reminder.
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Regular Risk Assessments
Depending on which type of MSP you are, your clients will have different risks. For example, cybersecurity MSPs will be dealing with threat vulnerabilities, while IT help desk MSPs will be looking at the risks of downtime and inoperable machines. On a regular basis, you should send your clients risk assessments that show what their most likely issues will be, and how they should address them.
This proactive approach will make you more valuable to your clients and help them save money. It’s typically cheaper to perform maintenance than it is to replace or fix a machine, and the same is true for security. Patching a vulnerability before an attacker can exploit it is a lot cheaper than the fallout from a breach.
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Area of Improvement Reports
While similar to risk assessments, area of improvement reports surface less critical improvements the business could make to run more efficiently, reduce costs, or improve its revenue.
For example, a cloud MSP may point out that a client is using a lot of on-demand instances on their cloud platform each month — instead, they could purchase reserve (prepaid) instances to save money. While it’s not actively hurting the business to use on-demand instances, they’re typically more expensive.
These suggestions make you more valuable to your clients and show you have a vested interest in their success. It’s also a good way for your clients to start seeing you as more of a partner and less of a vendor, further improving the relationship.
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Executive summaries are a type of managed services report that provide your clients with a high-level understanding of the services you provide, giving an overview of the strategy and including some important key performance indicators (KPIS). An executive summary will typically provide an overall health rating for the client’s network, as well as the number and types of devices you’re managing and any risks they should be aware of. You may also want to customize the information each report shows, depending on what’s important to your client.
Depending on the IT software you use, your systems may generate this for you and automatically send it to your clients. However, you should still check over them before their send date to ensure there are no glaring mistakes or anything you should address with your client before they get the report.
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Include Visuals in Reports to Make Them Easier to Understand
Not all of the reports you send to your clients are going to make sense to them right away. You may have to spend some time walking them through it and explaining new terms. Consider adding visualizations to your reports to make them easier to understand. A billing report might include a pie chart to show spend allocation, while an area of improvement report could display what-if analyses for different choices.
Business intelligence (BI) software can help you improve the MSP IT documentation you send to your clients and provide them with helpful insights to make the best decisions. To find the perfect BI solution, check out our Product Selection Tool for Business Intelligence. It’s free, and in as little as five minutes, you’ll get a customized list of software recommendations.
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