Clients are crucial for an MSP business— without them, MSPs would struggle to make any money. Unfortunately, you occasionally come across one that causes more problems than they are worth. They can rub your staff up the wrong way, put a financial strain on your business if they won’t pay on time, can waste your team’s time and ultimately impact on morale. As a service company, you always try to make your clients happy, but in some circumstances, it may be unrewarding and downright unpleasant, and that is where you need to draw the line. The ideal situation would be to spot these types of customers before you get into a business arrangement with them, and a client scorecard is one way to do this.
How to Create a Client Scorecard
The factors that determine whether working with a client will be a worthwhile experience for your MSP business will vary, and some should hold more weight than others. How much weight you give to each is down to the business itself and your requirements, and it will probably need tweaking as you rate more of the clients you work with. If you can continually measure how important certain aspects are to a successful relationship, it will be easier to put more reliance on them in the future and this will enable you to see which clients will be of benefit for the company and which will drag you down.
Feel free to add your specific wants and needs, but this list contains the basic factors that you could consider as a starting point:
- Key contact – Is the contact someone you get on with and are they interested in the success of the project or is it just work they have been allocated? Look back on contacts you have had in the past to analyze the characteristics of people you have worked with successfully.
- Contract/proposal discussions – Have the proposal discussions gone well or was it a challenge to tie up the contract? If you have requested a deposit was that promptly paid?
- Financials – Have you noticed that a certain size of company or turnover works better with your products or a particular industry? It might also be useful to check cash flow and their bottom line.
- Other vendor relationships – Do they have a high rate of turnover with regard to other vendors or partner relationships? It could be that they don’t get on with anyone!
If you find some of your MSP business clients can be troublesome, it might be time to let them go in favor of those clients that will be more profitable without causing disruption in the workplace. The factors you deem important may not be the same as the ones listed here as every business is different and will have specific factors that they need to prioritize. However, you decide to set out your scorecard it can be a much simpler and more standardized way of weeding out potential problems than just choosing by instinct. Good clients are essential, so create a scorecard and keep it up-to-date with information about each successful, or otherwise, client relationship, so you can be sure that the new ones you find will be as beneficial as you hoped.