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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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5 Ways to Avoid Losing Customers

Posted April 17, 2018by Scott Wittstock

5 Ways to Avoid Losing Customers

As an MSP, our customers want to know that our high-tech systems are working around the clock to keep their networks secure and up to date. However, this shouldn’t be the only element to our relationships. Customers also need to know that we care about them and we’ll help their business grow by way of supporting their technology. The only way to do this is if we focus on the “relation” in “relationship.”

For some MSPs, customer relationships lack that human connection. If you’re at risk of losing customers because you’ve lost sight of the relationship, here are five ways to win them back and upkeep customer satisfaction.

1. Act Without Arrogance

Recently, we won a new customer to our Managed Services and our Voice platforms. His reason for leaving his old provider: “They always treated me like I was dumb.”

Oftentimes, this can be an invisible interaction that IT engineers have with customers. The IT tech isn’t even aware that they might be exuding an aura of arrogance. Remember that the customer is the expert at their business, and they have hired us because we are the expert in ours. We are not smarter than they are—we have different talents. Insert some humbleness into your interactions with customers.

2. Keep in Touch

Another recent customer that came to our Managed Service platform told us that her former provider was her best friend during the sales and onboarding period. After that, they disappeared from her radar and simply collected their monthly fee.

It’s critical that we maintain relationships. Account managers or customer service reps should regularly hold Quarterly Business Reviews. Be sure to proactively check in with customers. Send thank you cards every so often. Take them out to lunch and ask about how their business is going. Make sure they know you are doing more than just what your automated tools are running in the background.

Read Next: 5 Important Onboarding Touchpoints Every MSP Should Know

3. Understand the Mission and Double Check Your Work

When a customer has requested a project or service call, make life easier on everyone and clearly understand their expectations before embarking on the project. Review with them what they’ve asked you to do, and ensure you understand their needs first. And upon completion, test what you’ve done and go over your results with the customer.

If we don’t follow these very simple first and last steps, we can give the customer the opportunity to formulate low opinions of ourselves and our business. A basic way to keep good relationships going is to show them that they matter enough to be heard in the first place, and that they’ve got what they want before you leave.

4. Be Glad to See Them

One of my pet peeves as a customer out and about (at the grocery store, a department store, or on the phone with a customer service rep) is hearing the employee tell me how unhappy they are to be helping me out. Usually, the conversation goes something like this: 

Them: “How’s your day going?”

Me: “Great so far—how’s yours?”

Them: “Well, it will be a lot better in an hour when I get off work...”

Basically, what they are telling me is that they really don’t want to be checking out my groceries or talking with me. And I get it—we all would love to be on vacation—but working is a part of what makes us human, and during those working hours, we should be grateful to be helping the customers that are the reason for our employment in the first place. So, when talking to a customer, be happy to be spending that time with them and make them feel like you don’t resent them for making you work.

5. Spread the Value of Personal Relationships Throughout Your Organization

Quality customer service is not just a matter of when your technicians are out there talking to your customers—it should be an organization-wide focal point.

Account managers, customer service reps, accounting, etc. These people are all part of “Your Organization” to the customer. If everyone in your company shares your company’s values, it creates a superior and cohesive experience to your customer.

A superior customer experience is what makes a customer stay in a long-term relationship with you. It helps to ask yourself every so often if everyone in your organization doing their part to maintain the personal relationship, in addition to providing them with state-of-the-art technology services.

 

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Scott Wittstock, RCDD, is the founder and President of Fidelis Inc., a technology service provider in the Seattle area. His professional history began by serving as a US Marine where he was honored with multiple distinctions including; meritorious promotions and Marine of the year. After his military time, he went on to spend 20 years in the telecom industry where he predominantly installed large scale PBXs for enterprise customers and managed operations teams. In 2008 he founded Fidelis as a low voltage and voice communications company which has grown into the IT and MSP space.

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