While service-level agreements (SLAs) are what protect managed services providers (MSPs) from being compelled by customers to do more than what was agreed upon, it couldn't hurt MSPs to go the extra mile with data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) customers, could it?

Well, this blogger doesn't think so. Still, SLAs have their place, and the last thing you want is a customer to give you grief before you were able to put an SLA together. (Remember you have a business relationship with your customer, not a friendship.)

Before agreeing to an SLA, find an attorney who can assist you to get things rolling. (Remember: Your fellow MSPs are not necessarily attorneys. I am not.) It is sometimes recommended to use the same SLA agreement for every BDR customer to eliminate confusion between agreements.

Once you've covered youself, it's time to go the extra mile for your customers. The best way to go the extra mile is to find out what your competition is not doing. Network with competitors at conferences, ask questions. Maybe there's something you can provide in addition to your services that will make you stand out from the pack.

Even better -- get your customers on the phone to find out how you can make their lives a little bit easier. Of course, there will be times where you will have to tell a customer that enough is enough. First, though, find out what customers need and go from there.

Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta for further updates on the story above.