Impress Your Clients With Customized ConnectWise Reports

hero-building

When you’re in a client-facing business, it’s important to think about building long-term relationships. Repeat business can do a lot for an organization’s profitability, as can word of mouth, which happens when a long-time client becomes a promoter of your product or service.

Trust and transparency are essential building blocks for long-term relationships.

Think about it this way - let’s say you know the manager of a corporate office with 500+ employees. That means at least 500 computers are plugged into that company’s network each and every day. It’s likely that they’ve hired a Managed Service Provider (that’s you!) to manage all of the company’s devices and networks and to ensure that operations run smoothly.

We can assume a company this large does a lot of important work, so it’s pretty critical that workflow is never interrupted by some sort of system failure. In other words, you’ve got a huge responsibility in your hands and your client is putting a ton of trust in you. You’d be smart to honor, respect, and build upon that trust.

There are many ways to go about becoming a trusted and transparent partner who fosters long-standing relationships, including regularly sending custom, timely Client Reports based on data pulled in from often-used business tools, like the ConnectWise suite.

Custom ConnectWise Reports show your clients how valuable and worthy you are to their business. They also are impressive to look at, which just makes you look good (and who doesn’t like that?).

BrightGauge has a client reporting tool that makes it easy to set up, customize, and automate ConnectWise Reports so that they go out on the date and time you choose.

Table of Contents

What is Client Reporting?

What exactly do custom ConnectWise reports consist of? Well, it depends on what’s important to your client.

Most business relationships begin upon creation, approval, and signing of a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which is essentially a contract that lays out what services will be provided to the client, how much will be paid for those services, and what metrics will be used to assess the quality of those services.

Finalizing and working off of the SLA will give the provider a general idea of the data that matters most to the client. However, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with the client to establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) that they work towards throughout the year. These KPIs will serve as a driving force for the Managed Service Providers (MSPs) team.

Keeping this in mind, any custom reports sent to clients should be relevant to the established KPIs. A variety of data and metrics can be used to show how your work is contributing towards meeting a KPI, and you are the best person to determine what to include.

Be smart about how much data you are including in a client report. Your clients likely only have a few minutes to review what you are sending them, especially if you are sending daily reports, so stick to what’s most important and impactful.

If used correctly, ConnectWise reports will put you in a win-win situation: clients will get a true sense of what they are paying you to do and you will be seen as credible, trustworthy, and valuable.

Let’s explore how client reporting helps you become a better business partner. 

A Way To Gain Credibility

Your clients are likely paying you a good amount to help their businesses operate at an efficient level. In the case of MSPs, you’re tasked with keeping their technology, devices and systems up and running at all times. At the start of your relationship, it’s easy to talk up a storm about how good you are at doing what you do. But, as we all know, words can only take you so far.

“Your actions need to prove that clients can believe you and have faith in your word. There’s got to be actual proof, and that’s where ConnectWise reports are really powerful.”

Each day, week, month, quarter, and year, reports provide an actual snapshot of the work you’ve done. You can’t fluff up numbers or falsify information that’s being pulled from real-time data, like BrightGauge reports do. Essentially, your reports are going to show how you are or are not tracking against SLAs.

graphs

Think about what that does for credibility. Clients are going to be way more prone to believing you if they feel like you aren’t just telling them what they want to hear, but instead are showing them the truth about what’s really happening behind the scenes, good or bad.

ConnectWise reports do not only tell your client that you’re performing the tasks you promised you would, but they also show that you’re helping them. Certain actions you take and the data that is generated based off of those actions will help your client meet their KPIs, maybe much quicker or more efficiently than if they had been on their own. Your hard work and your willingness to report on it will establish you as a valuable partner, not just a service provider.

When you consistently send custom reports, you’re also going to be seen as reliable. Your clients will have peace of mind knowing they don’t have to chase you down for the information they want because you’ll make sure it’s delivered right to their inbox in a timely manner.

With a client reporting software like BrightGauge, this so simple to do.

With our Reporting feature, you can generate a ConnectWise report from scratch or from a pre-existing template.

Once you’ve populated it with the information you want - which is taken from the gauges and dashboards you’re monitoring on a daily basis - you can save it and set it to automatically go out to a specific client on the date and time you choose.

Every day/week/month (whatever you set it to), the exact same report will send out, but with data that’s been updated 10 minutes before the report is deployed. Literally a set it and forget it situation that’s going to leave a lasting impression on your client.

When you’re in the market of trying to win clients’ business while competing with other companies just like yours, you’ve got to find a way to stand out. Developing a really good reputation is a great place to start. You’ve never heard of a company being turned away because they were too credible, have you?

Increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase your profits by 25-95% (source: Bain & Company)

A Way To Build Trust

Before you’ve established a good relationship with your client, they won’t trust you. Why should they? They know nothing about you and the quality of work you provide. Just like in a friendship or a romantic partnership, trust has got to be earned. And you’ve got to work hard at keeping that trust intact.

people-chart-blob

There are many actions you can take to build trust between yourself and someone else: be honest with yourself about your capabilities, know what you intend to do, make sure your words and your actions match, be willing to take criticisms and feedback, always be sincere and direct, know when to say no, avoid overpromising, and above all else, keep your word.

Of course, this isn’t a complete list. There are infinite ways to prove your trust, but you can understand the basic principles. More than anything, you have to keep your word. Do exactly what you promised you would do.

When it comes to clients, this means that you need to deliver on your SLA agreements. You are bound to the expectations you set forth when you signed that contract. If you breach that contract, you’re going to sour your reputation really quickly. Don’t do that.

When you consistently send reports, your clients trust that you are taking your SLA agreement seriously. When you take time to report on your actions, even when they go wrong, they trust that you are accountable. When you present factual data to backup what you say, they trust you to keep your word.

Strengthen your trust by bringing a human element into your relationship. Don’t house all your communications electronically. Pick up the phone and call your client. Offer to take them through the data and findings in your ConnectWise reports. Better yet, pick up some bagels and coffee and deliver them to your client in-person. A little face to face time can solidify your partnership.

“BrightGauge is a client reporting solution that shows you’re working hard, specifically for your client, because we make it personal. You can customize all of your reports to include your client’s logo and we always leave room for you to make notes and dive into your data a bit further.”

You may be wondering how often to send a custom report. This really depends on what your client wants or what you’ve laid out in your SLA, but we have found that a daily report can go a really long way in establishing that trust you’re after.

Relationships take time and effort. They all do. If you depend on a client’s business for your livelihood and to make a living, then it might be the most important relationship you have. Invest in it, nurture it, and make sure you’re doing one thing every day that builds trust.

The probability of selling to an existing happy customer is up to 14x higher than the probability of selling to a new customer (source: Marketing Metrics)

A Way To Show Your Value

Your clients are literally paying you good money for the services you provide. They are taking their hard-earned revenue and investing some of it into you, in the hopes that your efforts will lead to higher profits for them. Don’t take that lightly. You wouldn’t want anyone messing with your cash flow (remember what your mother taught you - do unto others as you would have them do unto you).

So you might be asking, “How do I show value to my clients?”

Never let it get to a point where clients are asking, “What am I paying you for?”. No one wants to hear that question. Be proactive in showing your worth by doing things like sending client reports based on hard data.

The first thing reports like custom ConnectWise reports do is they make life a bit easier for your clients. It’s not uncommon to hear that managers have spent up to 10 hours a week generating reports based on data they had to manually enter into an Excel spreadsheet. That’s a lot of precious time that those managers will never get back. The hope is that by hiring you, they’ll be able to refocus their time on decisions that drive company growth. Show them you respect and value their time by taking the burden of reports off of their hands.

BrightGauge makes this incredibly easy. BrightGauge allows you to view all of your important data in one place - for example, you can see the status of your client’s devices, how quickly your team is responding to service tickets, and what your customer satisfaction score is all in one dashboard. When you’re ready to send your client a weekly report based on ConnectWise data, you can automatically turn that dashboard data into one streamlined, interactive report. Just by taking this burden off the client, you’re already showing tremendous value.

However, don’t stop there. Make sure those ConnectWise reports are as robust and easy to analyze as possible. Establish the metrics that your client truly cares about and base your reports around those metrics. Then, schedule your reports to automatically go to your client’s inbox on the date and time you choose - perhaps you send a report every Monday at 8AM, so your client can kick off their week with impactful insights.

Another way to really prove how valuable you are is to show your client that you’re always thinking ahead and being proactive on ways to improve your partnership. Consider going beyond your SLA agreement and asking your client to set goals for you. You can then track those goals through the regular reports you are sending.

For example, let’s say your client would like to see you replying to their service needs (aka ticket response time) a bit more quickly, maybe within two minutes on average each week. In the weekly ConnectWise report you’re sending every Monday at 8AM, you can include your previous week’s ticket response time and show whether or not you’re on track with meeting the goals you and your client have established together.

Set yourself up for success and drive accountability within your own team.

“Make it so that your client sees so much value in you that they’re willing to pay you even more for your services. The alternative is them feeling like they’re wasting their money on you.”

Customize and Automate ConnectWise Reports

You can spend hours each week generating reports by downloading data, manually entering it into an Excel spreadsheet, then spitting that data out into a readable PDF. You can do this for every report, ever.

Or, you can let a client reporting tool like BrightGauge do it for you and you can spend your valuable hours on tasks that drive business growth. Up to you.

BrightGauge was created to make people’s lives a bit easier. It basically connects with the business solutions you’re using everyday, like ConnectWise, and puts the data you care about in one place. If you’re an MSP who uses a PSA tool, an RMM tool, and a financial tool, you no longer have to toggle between windows or log in and out of multiple accounts to get the information you need. Instead, BrightGauge takes data from all of those tools and puts it side by side in an easy-to-interpret marketing dashboard.

We integrate with plenty of popular tools on the market, like ConnectWise’s suite, IT Glue, Webroot, Quickbooks, Solarwinds, Datto, Xero, Customer Thermometer, Autotask, and more. See them all here. It’s always our mission to make it easy for you to get started, so no matter which datasource you choose to integrate with, your BrightGauge account will come pre-loaded with default gauges, dashboards, and reports that you can access right out of the box.

Based on the metrics you’re viewing in your gauges and dashboards, you can generate reports (like ConnectWise reports) from scratch or from pre-built templates. Here are some things you can do with BrightGauge reports:

  • Add the exact metrics and gauges you want.
  • Create a cover page with your client’s logo, a title, and text.
  • Choose between portrait or landscape mode.
  • Make reports interactive so clients can click into data and get more details.
  • Filter reports the same way you’d filter your gauges or dashboards.
  • Add explanatory text below the data you’re displaying.
  • Set up a report once and save it as a template.
  • Schedule reports to go out automatically to the client(s) you want, on the date and time you choose.

We’ve had many customers open BrightGauge accounts just to take advantage of our simple reporting tool because of the amount of time it saves them each week and the value it brings to their business. But if you’re not utilizing all of our tools, you might be missing out.

We mentioned how dashboards help you visualize your data all in one place so that nothing falls through the cracks. Another BrightGauge feature that keeps teams motivated is the Goals feature.

We’re big believers in regularly setting goals and using them to stay on track throughout the year. Goal performance does not have to be tied to compensation or promotions, but goals should help team members be laser-focused.

With BrightGauge Goals, each team member can set goals each quarter (or however often you choose) and mark their progress on a weekly basis. Everyone in the company is given visibility into these goals, so it’s a really effective way to build a culture of accountability and transparency.

How can I make the most out of my ConnectWise reports?

 Now that you see how undeniably valuable ConnectWise client reports are, you may have many questions:

laptop

There are many more questions that come to mind and none of them have a definitive “right” answer. In our experience, we have found the answers that work for us, and we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.

Before we dive in and explore the answers to the above questions, our strongest recommendation is to talk to your client to get a sense of exactly what they’re looking for. There’s nothing wrong with explicitly asking a client to specify their wants and needs. You’re not a mind reader. Nor is any client exactly like one you’ve had in the past. Even if two SLAs look almost identical, the actual people you are dealing with are very different from one another. Learn about them. It’s okay to ask questions and be proactive about providing clients with the best possible service.

Our Client Reporting webinar and our guide to reporting go into some of the details we’ll cover below, so keep them handy.

How often should I send ConnectWise reports?

This depends on a number of factors, including what the terms of your SLA are and how time-sensitive your work is.

In your SLA, you may have specified that you’d send monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to your client. Make sure you do that! You don’t want to breach your contract, so use your SLA as a guideline for the minimum amount of work you should be doing.

That being said, if you find it necessary to send custom reports on a more frequent basis, there’s nothing stopping you. Just make sure you aren’t sending reports just for the sake of sending them.

“Each ConnectWise report should display impactful metrics that lead to data-driven decisions.”

We have found that clients love a daily report, when used correctly. Especially for clients who have a lot of devices to manage, it’s helpful to get a daily snapshot of the status of all of those devices.

If your work is based on time-sensitive actions, as just described, it probably makes a lot of sense to send daily ConnectWise reports. As another example, if you’re helping to manage your client’s finances, it’s useful to know the status of all pending invoices on a daily basis. Letting your client find out on a Monday that they had five major invoices due last Tuesday is a little too late. But sending a daily 5PM report outlining invoices past due vs. invoices paid helps your client understand their financial health on any given day.

Daily reports also serve as a reminder that you are the right person for the job since you are proactive, reliable, and trustworthy.

What metrics should I always include in my ConnectWise reports?

Be thoughtful about choosing the right metrics to include in client reports. This is going to depend largely on the feedback you get from your clients. In all cases, metrics displayed should be directly or closely tied to overall KPIs. KPIs guide company goals, focus, and growth. All actions taken within a company should tie into KPIs in one way or another. This includes the creation of reports.

Be careful not to succumb to the temptation to report on every single thing you do for your client. As a service provider, there’s a lot that goes into your work but clients are too busy to pay close attention to every minute detail. Just report on the metrics that make a difference. BrightGauge’s client reports templates help you organize those metrics in an impactful way.

To give an example, if you’re tasked with managing a client with 500+ devices in their network, it makes sense to include patch status in your daily reports. However, you probably don’t need to report on the reasons you chose one patch management tool over another. Clients are interested in solutions that will make their business better - they don’t need to get into the weeds with details that, frankly, don’t matter.

Like we’ve mentioned, your client can pinpoint the exact KPIs that matter to him or her, but we have found that certain KPIs are common across the board. We’ve gone ahead and broken them down by team:

ladies-on-computers-pie-chart

Sales Team KPIs

  • Closed MRR MTD/YTD
  • Current Sales Pipeline
  • Sales Activities

Service Team KPIs

  • Tickets per Endpoint (per client)
  • SLA Missed
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Daily/Weekly Utilization Rate
  • Issue Backlog/Currently Open Tickets
  • Kill Rate
  • Tickets Resolved Today
  • Billable Hours

Project Team KPIs

  • Billable Project Hours
  • Over Budget Projects

Finance Team KPIs

  • Cash in Bank
  • Past Due Receivables Amount
  • Client Efficiency Index (CEI)
  • EBITDA

NOC/Operations Team KPIs

  • Critical Alerts/Issues Opened
  • Backups Missed
  • Documentation Engagement (Daily, Weekly)

Who should I send my ConnectWise reports to?

You’ve got a great ConnectWise report generated and you’re ready to deploy it. Before you hit send, you wonder “who should I send this report to?” Is it necessary for everyone on the client side to see it? The simple answer here is to send all reports to your main point of contact. This is the person you interface with on a regular basis and who is ultimately vouching for you on their end.

But what if that person leaves?

This is a serious consideration that you need to take into account. Just because your point of contact leaves, you don’t want to miss out on an important piece of business that you’ve worked hard to nurture.

It’s a wise idea to send all of your reports to more than one person on the client-side. Include your point of contact’s manager - that’s the person who is saying yes or no when it comes to utilizing your services. Plus, in the case that your point of contact leaves, all client-agency communication will not go out the door with them.

Depending on how big your client’s company is our how closely your point of contact and the CEO work together, you may want to consider cc’ing the big boss on your reports, too. He or she is the person signing your checks, so it might be a good idea to show what you’re up to.

A cool thing about BrightGauge’s analytics reports is that when you set up reports and save them as a template, you can also save your desired recipients to each report. So, when they are automatically sent out, your reports are being delivered straight to all the inboxes you care about.

What format should I use when sending reports?

At all costs, your reports need to look professional. Abide by that rule. Don’t just copy and paste some metrics into a Word doc and call it a day. Your formatting will be off and you’ll just end up looking sloppy. No one likes to write checks for sloppiness!

“Reports sent in PDF view generally tend to be a good idea because they are not editable, so you (and your client) will always have a consistent and reliable copy to refer to.”

BrightGauge allows you to send reports in HTML and PDF views. But a really great feature of BrightGauge reports is that they are interactive. Clients can click on any data to drilldown further and get more nitty-gritty details into what the numbers mean, which takes the guesswork out of interpreting complicated or numerous metrics.

Remember that ConnectWise reports through BrightGauge are generated automatically within minutes, so you’re regularly sending your clients incredibly professional and detailed information without adding a bulk of work on your end. Anyone else feeling excited about this?

Who should be preparing reports?

This is a good question without a straightforward answer. It makes sense for the person who liaises with the client on a daily basis to prepare reports, since that person has a good read on what the client is into. However, it’s realistic to assume that person doesn’t always have the bandwidth to create consistent reports.

“BrightGauge reports take just a few minutes to generate, so there's no heavy burden placed on any one team member.”

Going beyond that, BrightGauge allows you to create different roles for people in your company or on the client side who want access to the data you’re tracking. Three roles exist (depending on whether you choose the standard or enterprise plan): Admin, Analyst, and Viewer. Admins have complete access to the BrightGauge platform, Analysts are like Admins-lite, and Viewers have read-only access to certain parts of the platform.

What this means is that only Admins and Analysts have the capability to produce reports, so these roles should be assigned thoughtfully. That being said, when you assign roles, you streamline your process of getting things done and everyone knows exactly what’s on his or her plate.

62% of organizations use reporting and analytics (source: Deloitte)

How do I write a client report?

Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to how to write a client report, but we take the guesswork out by automating a lot of it for you!

Your initial thought may be to include a lengthy explanation of what the client will find within the report. We don’t recommend doing that because your clients are busy people and they don’t have a lot of time to review too much information. Keep it concise and impactful.

“Choose the metrics that are going to drive business growth and include a line or two with your thoughts.”

When you generate a ConnectWise report through BrightGauge, you can tell the app to pull from ConnectWise gauges and dashboards that you’re already monitoring. Since you set those up with the client’s most important KPIs in mind, you’re going to have what you need in just a few minutes.

You’ll have the option to include your client’s logo on the cover page and throughout the report (this makes you look professional - take advantage of this feature), a report title and description, an image if you so desire, and you can even choose to send in portrait or landscape mode.

Should I send reports to my clients?

charts

This one’s simple. Yes, yes, yes. If you care about growing your business and consistently acquiring new clients, get yourself a good reputation! It takes a lot of focus and hard work, but the rewards are certainly worth the effort.

Part of having a good reputation is being reliable, trustworthy, and transparent with your business. Routinely sending reports - whether you’re showing the good or the bad - builds that foundation for trust.

You should also send reports to clients because it leaves a paper trail of sorts. You (and the client) will have backup and documentation for everything you’ve done, which you’ll be so thankful for should you ever be facing an audit.

Give BrightGauge a shot

Start investing in the habits that will set you apart from your competitors. Do good, honest work all the time and clients will take notice. We follow this principle, too.

Our mission is to simplify the lives of our end users and that’s what we try to base all of our actions around. We created a way for you to view all your data in dashboards, gauges, and reports because we knew it would give you back the time you needed to focus on revenue-generating tasks.

Ready to see BrightGauge with your own eyes?

Schedule a live one-on-one demo with our team here.

Schedule a Demo

 

Created by

nat

Nathali Amaro
Designer @ BrightGauge

susan

Susan Perez
Content Marketing Manager @BrightGauge