Why an IT Service Provider That Skips Your QBR Is Cheating You!

Reviews can be intimidating. People often avoid them in the hopes of not having to tackle touchy subjects or some underlying concern. Though it might be tempting to avoid your discomfort, KME feels that a responsible IT service provider doesn’t shy from reviews. In fact, we feel the opposite. Having a constant, open line of communication to our employers (i.e. all our managed service clients) is critical to our mutual success.

To be fair, we didn’t always feel this way, but a good MSP is willing to mature and push their boundaries. Because what’s more valuable to our clients: a Southern California IT service provider that constantly evaluates wins and opportunities or one that simply mops up messes like a team of technical janitors?

Janitors only keep the place from falling apart, but true IT service providers can open up doors for your business. That’s where the QBR comes into play.

What is a QBR?

A QBR or quarterly business review is a meeting between an IT service provider and a specific client to review critical information in three major stages.

Part 1 – What Has Your IT Service Provider Done Over the Last 90 Days?

Is your service-level agreement actually being fulfilled? Unless your managed service provider shines a light on what they do, opportunities may go unseen. A good MSP will provide metrics concerning SLA adherence, surveys of end user satisfaction, lists of reoccurring end user issues, etc.

This is not a self-serving pat on the back, but a 90 day retrospective. We want to make sure that all parties are satisfied with MSP performance. And we aren’t going to do that with a 200 page printout that wastes your time. Simple, business informing charts are the rule rather than convoluted data.

Part 2 – What Are You, the Client, Doing in the Future?

This portion of the QBR is all about the MSP asking the question and then shutting up. Because honestly, your voice needs to be heard.

What business objectives are you looking to complete? Which issues do you need to overcome? In what ways do you anticipate growth? This is strictly an opportunity to create greater understanding. Sales takes a backseat for strategy.

Part 3 – How Do We Align Your Needs and Budget with Our Resources?

This final portion of the QBR meeting combines both previous parts. Often, seeing the way you are evolving can give us inspiration about new ways we can help your business.

This is how we prepare for the next big steps. How does the current budget and service-level agreement mesh with your goals? How can we use existing tools in new ways? Is there any technology that should be replaced? No one likes to hear, “Oh by the way, you need a new server next week and its $10k.”  This conversation should have happened months ago, allowing the client to prepare financially and the MSP to present proper solutions.

Some IT firms consider a QBR a masked sales meeting, but that’s dead wrong. While budgeting and your IT spend are discussed, the conversation is at a higher level than “how many PCs do you think you’ll need next year.” The QBR helps dictate future actionables and combines the business intelligence of both parties.

A true QBR allows both parties to express the good, the bad, and the ugly. How else can the IT partner and the client truly learn to trust and respect each other? It’s not rocket science and a QBR doesn’t take long once a rhythm is established.  It’s the MSP’s job to understand the client and deliver valuable business insight.  Working together, both parties succeed.

But a QBR is only one piece of the larger puzzle. Great results require repeatable processes. At KME Systems, we have our Great Outcomes process to deliver consistent success. Contact us to find out how we as a Southern California IT service provider routinely deliver the level of success that our clients have come to expect.

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