3 Common Problems Print Vendors Cause for MSPs
For many managed service providers, dealing with your client’s print vendor is often a frustrating, necessary evil.
Print vendors operate throughout your client’s technology space. As an MSP, your team is bound to be forced to depend on them to support your clients and help resolve issues pertaining to their equipment.
Unfortunately, print vendors have a reputation in the MSP community for disrupting their workflow and creating issues for their team. This leads to damage to your brand when they don’t support their products in the timeframe your customer needs.
At Print Partner, we know all about these issues - it’s why we’ve built our brand as the print vendor that stands behind our MSP partners rather than getting in their way.
In this article, we’ll tackle some of the most common problems print vendors cause MSPs, and how we can help you deal with each one.
Competition and Client Poaching
Be afraid… be very afraid.
In addition to selling print services and solutions, many print vendors have made managed services a concrete and high-focus part of their service offerings.
During QBRs and other meetings, print vendors will inquire about their clients’ IT service experience. If they get one whiff of a pain point, they are certain to jump on the opportunity to poach your clients behind your back.
Unfortunately for your clients, many of these print vendors have “slapped-on” IT services. This is because many print vendors have a “sales-first, service second” mindset, whereas most MSPs are the opposite.
This phenomenon has created distrust in the MSP community toward their IT cohorts. And rightfully so!
To avoid losing your clients to print companies, consider partnering with a preferred print vendor that doesn’t sell services that compete with your own. Then, you can refer your clients to them without worrying about your partner poaching them.
Remember: Managed Print Service companies are SALES organizations… MSPs are SERVICE organizations. While your team toils away at managing your client base, MPS providers are seeking their next opportunity to close business.
For print vendors already in your client space, consider contacting them and having an honest dialogue about the clients you share. Even if they do sell services that compete with yours, you can negotiate a “non-compete” contract with them. Promote collaboration!
For more information on print vendors stealing MSP clients, read: The Greatest Threat to Your MSP Clients: Managed Print Providers
Apathy and Non-Responsiveness
Ever worked with a print vendor that just… didn’t seem to care? You’re not alone.
A recurring theme among print vendors is that they don’t always put the same level of effort into servicing their clients as MSPs do.
That’s why your technicians are so often stuck troubleshooting clients’ printers. If the vendors won’t pick up the phone, the client expects your MSP to handle the situation.
Apathetic print vendors can create loads of additional work for MSPs.
Copiers are complex machines that come in countless different makes and models. Servicing any individual model can take an extensive amount of time and effort for your technicians. And since you didn’t sell your client the printer, your company is probably not making any money from the print service calls anyway.
And the worst part? If your L1 technicians don’t solve the print issue quickly, your clients will blame you. Even though it’s not your device, poor copier support will tarnish your brand and reputation.
To save your team from the headaches, collaborate with the print vendors that operate in your space!
Find contacts for each vendor that you can reliably reach out to when necessary. When you work with a vendor that specializes in print, you’ll be able to clear up those pesky print tickets in no time.
To learn more about print vendor collaboration, read: The Inseparable Relationship between MSPs and Print Vendors
Lack of Technical Prowess
Let’s say you contact your client’s print vendor to collaborate on a support ticket. Perhaps a copier isn’t connecting to the client’s server.
You call your print vendor, and with some luck, they actually pick up the phone. Fantastic!
But that’s where your good luck ends. As you collaborate with the vendor to alleviate the problem, you quickly realize that the vendor has no idea what they’re doing.
This involves your team scrambling to fix the problem while you hope and pray that the print vendor figures things out on their end, as well as lose money paying your L1 team to babysit another vendor’s issue.
And what happens when they mess things up and make the situation worse? Your client will be furious at your MSP, even if you did everything right.
Not all print vendors are bad at what they do. But if you don’t work with a print vendor you trust to properly serve your clients, you are leaving things up to chance.
When you don’t keep a pulse on your clients’ print environments, every print-related ticket could lead to a hectic, frustrating situation where a random vendor drops the ball, and your team gets heat for it.
For more information on bad print service, read: Why Are Managed Print Vendors so Bad?
Print Partner and Alleviating Pain Points for MSPs
When random print vendors operate in your client space, things get messy.
Just like with your own services, you should have some type of quality control on those supporting your clients’ printing devices. Otherwise, when those random print vendors fail to solve your customers’ problems, they become your problem.
And on top of the service headaches, these vendors may even try to poach your clients!
If you want to protect your clients from getting snatched up by lackluster print vendors, consider working with Print Partner!
We work with MSPs across the United States and Canada, providing quality managed print services for them and collaborating with your team on support tickets when necessary.
Unlike many other print vendors, we don’t sell managed services (never will) that compete with your business. Rather, we treat you as a trusted partner.
Plus, we’ll pay you for each referral! You’ll receive at least $250 per qualified introduction, with additional commission should we close the sale.
So, if you want a partner that will offer collaborative print services to your clients while protecting your business and offering an additional source of income, consider partnering with us, a Print Partner you can trust.