8 Reasons MSPs Lose Clients to Print


An increasing number of print vendors have begun offering managed services to their clients, poaching customers from dedicated managed service provider (MSP) companies.

MSPs are the unsung heroes of countless business operations. Companies rely on their MSPs to save them from catastrophe daily, requiring MSPs to maintain their servers, protect them from malware, fix their broken equipment, among countless other tasks.

With so much at stake, companies dedicated to providing managed services have an integral niche in the technology industry. But in recent years, a worrisome trend has been sweeping the tech industry.

Luckily, Print Partner is here to make sure you avoid some of the most common industry pitfalls. After years of working with hundreds of MSPs, we’ve observed many of their mistakes first-hand.

We’re going to tackle eight reasons print companies have been able to snatch MSP clients, along with ways you can minimize your risks.

1. Slow Response Time

Running an MSP can sometimes feel like running a fire department - your clients expect you to fix their technical issues at the drop of a hat. And your MSP is only as good as your last service, at least in the eyes of your customers.

The speed of your response time is often your clients’ number one priority. Depending on the industry, businesses could have their service completely halted while waiting for your MSP to fix the situation.

Keeping a client waiting can put a significant strain on your relationship with them. And when their print vendor inevitably pops the question, “Any issues with your MSP?” their frustrations may just boil over into a sale. 

Establishing an open communication line, along with consistent response times will create a higher level of trust between you and your clients, and that peace of mind will make them think twice when a wandering print vendor tries to pounce.

Print Partner takes response time for support requests very seriously. To learn exactly how we provide client support, read: How Print Partner Handles Your Client’s Support Requests.

2. Lack of Customer Education

Managed print services and MSP are two very different beasts. You know that. But does your client? 

Many companies still think of IT as a black box that makes computers work, but they have no clue exactly what goes into being a killer MSP. 

These same businesses rely on MSP but have only a surface-level understanding of the technology being managed. 

From their point of view, printers may just seem like an extension of their computers. Why not have the printer companies run everything else?

As the expert in the room, educating your clients can strengthen and deepen your business relationships. 

Be open about your processes and your industry. Make clients understand what you can (and can’t) handle. Make sure you host your quarterly business reviews (QBRs) and take advantage of that time to show off all you’ve done to help. 

Your client can't appreciate your services if they don’t even know about the messes you clean up.

3. Poor Security Education

Whether they know it or not, your MSP may be the only thing standing between a malicious hacker and your client’s confidential information.

If you are doing your job, your clients may never have to worry about the massive threat a security breach poses to them. However, much like point #2, it is crucial to your relationship that you educate your clients on the security you are providing for them.

Here are just a few statistics you can throw into your service pamphlets:

If your client understands what is at stake and your services’ value, they will be much less likely to cut corners and seek out a competitor.

4. Switching Print Services

If you do not have an established relationship with your client’s print service, a lot is left to chance. When your client is finally fed up with their unresponsive printer service (which you have no control over, by the way) they will go shopping for a new MPS.

And what happens when that new vendor tosses in some cheap MSP with their managed print? 

Remember, MPS are SALES organizations; they have workflows in place to continually harvest new MSP customers during the sales cycle.

This is why it is so important to find a print partner you can trust! Otherwise, your clients could potentially have revolving doors of vultures plucking away at your hard-earned business.

5. Bad Service Coordination

When everybody works together, the client wins.

Consumers know this, which is why they may be enticed by print vendors who offer MSP. A vendor that offers both (or another MSP that partners with a print vendor) means fewer phone calls and less hassle for your business.

Just like Point #4, this issue can be fixed by establishing a relationship with a trusted print partner. 

When an open communication line is established, customers don’t have to carry the burden of making multiple calls back and forth to coordinate their own service. 

Handling things directly with the print vendor will keep your customers satisfied.

6. No Managed Print Present

For many businesses with a robust printing environment, not having managed print can lead to a huge waste of dollars, labor and time. When printer issues arise, your clients will go to you, the MSP, for help.

Does your MSP have the infrastructure, knowledge and resources to accommodate your clients' printing needs?

If you are like most other MSPs, you probably see fixing printers like you see cleaning toilets. You know it has to be done, you just wish someone else would do it!

Failing to meet your clients' print needs will result in frustration, and your clients will lose confidence in you. This is a surefire way to send clients shopping for print companies that can take the wheel.

7. Poor Customer Service

Your customer service is the frontline of your business relationships. If your team is not providing an appropriate level of empathy and friendliness, along with field expertise, your entire company will look bad, no matter how stellar the rest of your service is.

Your chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Sounds cliche, but it’s true!

Make sure your customer service team is on the same page as your company’s values and culture. If you are good to your customers, they will be good to you.

8. All Service, No Sales

MSPs and print vendors are completely different companies in terms of how they operate. A managed service provider’s main focus is the service - it’s in the name! 

Most of your MSP’s resources are likely dedicated to operating servers, protecting clients from malware and so on.

Print vendors, first and foremost, are salespeople. While your MSP sells your service on some level, print vendors often have a much more robust sales process. 

Even the most knowledgeable IT experts are vulnerable to losing clients to a print-slinger wining and dining them away.

Along with their advanced sales tactics, print providers often lock clients into longer contracts than the average MSP contract. 

This is because it can take many years for buyers to pay off leased printers and copiers, with contracts sometimes lasting as long as five years. These are usually much longer periods of time than MSP contracts.

So what happens when the business attempts to consolidate its services and partners? Because they are already locked into a few years with their print vendor, they often decide to use them for MSP. They’re stuck with them anyway.

Reviewing print contracts with your client can be a great way to combat this trap many business owners fall into.

Read more: 5 Steps to Improve Your MSP Sales.

Saving Your MSP Clients

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t!

Print Partner is proud to partner with hundreds of MSPs throughout the country, helping reduce their workloads by offering our award-winning managed print services. We don’t offer MSP and will never try to compete with you. 

Having a reliable print provider you work with will protect your clients from getting poached by other print vendors who do try to function as MSPs.

Partner with a Print Partner you can trust.

New call-to-action

Continue Learning With These Helpful Articles:

Print Partner is Proudly Powered By