Even the best VARs and MSPs sometimes run up against difficult customers who don’t want to heed their advice. You recommend a BDR (backup and disaster recovery) solution to protect their data, and they want to keep using a manual tape backup or thumb drive “system.”
Some resellers simply cave in to the customer’s wishes and ultimately go along with whatever the customer wants. Taking this approach leads to the inevitable situation where their server fails, and they’re unable to recover their data. Immediately after that happens, you’ll get the panicked call from the customer stating, “WE GOT BIG PROBLEMS WE NEED YOU TO FIX RIGHT NOW.” This, will in turn lead to one of the following outcomes: after taking up more than a day of your best technician’s time, you’ll resolve the problem at a great financial loss to your business or worse — you won’t be able to fix all the damage that’s been caused.
What follows the above scenario is what you really need to prepare for: Your customer will have no recollection about your previous warnings and the blame for the problem will be placed squarely on your company.
Some VARs and MSPs who have been in this spot before will walk away from a customer and choose not to do business with them should the customer not want to listen to their advice. Even though that’s a safer option than folding to their wishes and hoping nothing bad happens, I’d like to propose a third alternative that’s much better than the other two options: Ask them to sign a “Bad Business Decision Waiver.” As much as I’d love to take credit for coming up with this brilliant strategy, managed services provider d2 Business Solutions gets all the credit. Matt Dubois, managing director and CTO at d2 Business Solutions, says, “If a client doesn’t want to take our advice and go with our cloud backup solution [d2 white labels Intronis‘ cloud backup solution], we’ll allow them to purchase the other IT solutions and services we propose — after they sign the Bad Business Decision Waiver,” he says. The waiver is a good opportunity for the customer to see clearly the risks they’re taking by ignoring the MSP’s advice, and it spells out the MSP’s responsibility should the customer’s backup system fail. “We’ve had several clients change their original positions and go with our recommendation after we presented them with the waiver,” says Dubois. “No one wants to sign a statement admitting they’re making a bad decision!” he says.