A new survey of 402 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) indicated the majority of IT service providers received lower client satisfaction ratings than business-to-business (B2B) service industry benchmarks.
The survey, conducted by B2B ratings and reviews website Clutch, showed IT services firms averaged a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 13; comparatively, B2B companies typically average a 20 to 25 NPS, according to Clutch.
What factors are affecting SMBs' views of IT service providers? Clutch noted that specialized IT services firms "may lack the ability to deliver strategic, top-level recommendations for their clients."
However, a Clutch spokesperson told MSPmentor that IT service providers may be able to overcome this hurdle with effective customer education and communication.
"By educating clients, MSPs can become more of a partner and their clients can feel less helplessness and more ownership of their IT," the spokesperson said. "By communicating more effectively, MSPs can better manage expectations when problems arise and can seek feedback at the end of the experience on how they can improve their services."
Most SMBs use at least one IT service provider
The survey also highlighted the demand for IT service providers, revealing 69 percent of SMBs have hired at least one IT service provider.
Other survey results included:
- 59 percent of IT services have transitioned from the traditional break-fix model to a managed service contract.
- 39 percent of SMBs with IT service providers plan to increase their spending in 2016.
- Among SMBs with 10 or fewer employees, only 31 percent of respondents said they have IT staff in house.
In addition, the study indicated that most SMBs "can benefit from having a service provider in at least one IT area, regardless of whether the business already has IT staff in house."