5 Strategies for MSPs to Distinguish Themselves in a Competitive Market

The great thing about industry is that it’s always innovating.  While new businesses – including MSPs – can enter their market riding the current trends, existing ones need to be constantly adapting to the newest ways. For those looking to grow their MSP, there needs to be enough distinction between them and the other MSPs in the market.

Distinguishability is difficult to accomplish, and it can take a lot of time to implement it. Considering the competitive market, MSPs must be doing this to stay relevant. Focusing on the following five strategies suggested here, MSPs will be able to keep existing clients, and gain new ones in the process.

Establishing Customer Service

This strategy is the bare minimum of distinguishing from other MSPs. However, to truly leverage it, an MSP needs to offer the best customer service they can offer. Just by implementing a customer service desk, an MSP can grow substantially. According to a Salesforce research study, 89% of consumers are more likely to buy after a positive customer service experience. A different report from Talend in 2017 revealed that 57% of respondents stated “unaddressed negative reviews” as their top choice for not buying from a brand again.

But as mentioned, just putting in customer service help desks isn’t enough. For an MSP to distinguish themselves, retain customers, and make new ones, some good practices to consider are:

  • Offering the support 24/7 as soon as possible. Only do business hours if an MSP doesn’t have enough resources to do 24/7 customer support.
  • Getting managers or executives to reach out to clients after incidents. This gesture reinforces how serious an MSP takes mistakes and how committed they are for the clients.
  • Not issuing contracts that make clients feel their being nickel-and-dimed. Flat-fee service pricing is a way to achieve that.
  • Make pricing as transparent and honest as possible.

There are many other points for this, but the idea is to have concrete actions that go above and beyond when dealing with customers.

Delve Into MSP Market Differentiation

There are many kinds of MSP businesses, and the core reason is that each MSP focuses on a specific niche. Similar to how there are different types of specializations in IT, an MSP can niche into an area where their strengths truly shine. That said, an MSP shouldn’t be too narrow or else customers might brush them off only able to do one service.

As such, MSPs need to strike a balance between what they’re good at and providing general services to other areas. One way to do this is to focus on a specific “layer” of IT estate – such as desktop infrastructure or networking – and offer several managed services connected to that.

In practice, an MSP focused on desktop infrastructure could offer:

  • Desktop setup
  • Patch management
  • User and application provisioning
  • Backup and recovery services

With that kind of setup, an MSP could specialize in one area, while avoiding being pigeonholed.

Constantly Getting Qualified Leads

It’s easy for an MSP to be so focused on working that they neglect their market. When things are good, customers are happy and in large supply; it’s easy to get comfortable. The problem is that comfort in business isn’t good, and it can catch a business off guard if a dramatic change happens.

MSPs need to be constantly looking for new customers and getting leads to ensure that business keeps running smoothly. Generating leads is a lot different to acquiring a new client. After all, an MSP shouldn’t be overworking staff.

Beyond that, getting leads can be made easier by creating a buyer persona based on three questions:

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • Where can they be found?
  • What is it that they want?

Answering those questions requires research. It demands MSPs attend trade shows, user conferences, and engage on social media.

Once those questions are answered, launching marketing campaigns geared towards that persona can help in generating leads.

Always Display and Emphasize Security

These days, there are constant cyberattacks — to the point that government and consumers are now faced with how important cybersecurity is.

It’s a given that every business and MSP cares about security now, however one way to distinguish an MSP is to make it a much bigger deal. Strongly communicating security tips or how security is critically important is a starting point. Other ideas to consider are:

  • Detailing tools and processes that an MSP uses to secure customer assets
  • Collecting and sharing stats on security performances. For example, showing response times to backup and recovery services or how long an MSP has operated without a security breach.
  • Getting certifications like SOC 2.

Everyone knows that businesses care about security. Merely saying that isn’t enough. Prove it through hard data and showing off efforts to maintain security garners more trust and distinction between other MSPs.

Staying Technologically Flexible

As mentioned from the start, businesses need to be constantly adapting and changing and MSPs are no different. Even when applying these other strategies, an MSP needs to be on top of all other areas. A prime example is technology. With tech growing rapidly, there are constantly new changes, and an MSP should be consciously adapting.

Another example is backup and recovery. For a while MSPs provided on-premises infrastructure. But now there are cloud-based backups as more data is being put into the cloud. Offering a service to customers along with traditional backup strategies would be a good way to distinguish an MSP.


It is a blessing that the MSP is such a competitive industry. It showcases a strong demand for services and that businesses need to adapt to meet the demand. It forces MSPs to distinguish themselves by offering quality services that people need.

As a result, by adopting these strategies an MSP not only can grow substantially but also help the community and businesses grow and prosper as well.

About MSP Corp

MSP Corp understands you’ve worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. With a mission to be a world-class business partner for MSP owners across Canada, we actively seek to acquire and partner with owners looking to secure the value of the business they have built and provide a seamless exit process that ensures business continuity and employee and client stability.

Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.