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Many progressive IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs) realize that being the best IT company is no longer a competitive differentiator - when all companies trumpet their ability to deliver excellent technical support something different is needed to separate you from the pack.
Making the transition to being seen as a “trusted business advisor” is one such way to raise your profile above your competitors.
A trusted business advisor is someone their clients can approach not just to fix their computers, but for advice and guidance on how to plan and grow their business.
One effective way to position yourself as a trusted business advisor is by using the quarterly business review (QBR).
A quarterly business review (or any other regularly scheduled meeting of this nature) is a meeting between you and your client to discuss their business and how you can support their growth.
The meeting is not about service desk tickets, outstanding support issues or technical chat - it’s about focusing on your client’s business, understanding what is on the horizon for them, where they want their business to go, and ultimately, how you can help them achieve those goals.
For the IT provider, such meetings help you to understand your clients motivations - how they see their business progressing, for better (or for worse), and giving you the opportunity to help your client plan for that future.
Simply put, by demonstrating an interest in your clients plans - as one business to another - you’ll learn what makes your client tick, be able to offer advice (and often pick up business tips yourself) and begin to be seen by your client as someone more than just the guys who fix the computers.
One method of preparing for the QBR means gathering data about your clients current status. You probably already have a lot of this information which has been gathered through your PSA or helpdesk system - it is now time to pull this data together and analyze patterns and areas for growth.
For instance, you may spot a pattern in the number of support tickets logged by your client for help with an office or line of business application. You might therefore help your client understand that they need staff training to improve productivity when using these products.
When you start gathering data about your client’s business, you are given a unique opportunity to help your client understand what is actually happening within their business - and manage it accordingly.
Scheduling quarterly business review meetings can be a valuable way of becoming a valuable trusted business advisor to your clients. Helping them make fact-based decisions on their business based on the data you can gather and analyze on behalf of your clients will be seen as a strong value add to your existing technical service.
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