It goes by a lot of other names too—“customer retention,” “loyalty,” and “long-term patronage” are all bandied about—but the term “stickiness” has a ring to it that might resonate with MSPs. Being “sticky” connotes a bond between you and your customers, a connection that requires an overt effort on their part to break. Sometimes that bond can be broken in a single powerful tug, but very often it is just gradually chipped away at until it is...gone.
AV solutions can play a big part in determining whether an MSP’s bond with its customers remains strong, breaks suddenly or gradually degrades. A frustrating fact about endpoint security: you only know it’s working when nothing happens. The better the solution, the less aware of it your customers become. So unless your clients are particularly attuned to the staggering number of threats in today’s security landscape, they are blissfully oblivious to just how many disasters you may have helped them avert.
Of course, depending on the endpoint security solution you employ, some of those disasters may not have been averted...ahem.
CryptoLocker Detection and Prevention
CryptoLocker has been particularly effective at avoiding detection by many of the leading AV solutions on the market, leading to some very unhappy customers and some highly chagrined MSPs. These CryptoLocker breaches put a real strain on the stickiness of many MSP-client relationships, so make sure you pick an AV solution that will keep you and your clients protected.
If you're using a poor AV solution, CryptoLocker is the kind of dramatic security breach that can significantly weaken, or even completely destroy, the bond you have with your customers. But there’s another way in which AV solutions can jeopardize your stickiness, far more subtle but over time just as damaging.
The User Experience
Imagine that you’re sitting in a movie theater and the person behind you kicks your seat. “No big deal,” you think. Then it happens again...and again. You’re starting to get annoyed, but you don’t want to make a scene. Alas, it keeps happening over, and over, and over. Ninety-nine times he/she kicks your seat, and on the one hundredth kick you blow your stack and exclaim, “WILL YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THAT!”
At that exact moment, someone walks by in the aisle and sees you “overreact” because someone kicked your seat...just once. But of course that’s only what they saw, it’s not what really happened. Your reaction was in response to the cumulative effect of many, many aggravations.
Now apply that same principle to your clients and their experiences with the AV solution you employ. Even when it doesn’t allow major infections to occur, there are a number of less obvious, but still aggravating, ways in which an endpoint security product can alienate customers. Does it:
- Fail to protect clients from minor threats too?
- Eat up their network bandwidth with huge signature downloads?
- Consume lots of client PC disk capacity?
- Slow down their PCs?
Look for an endpoint security solution that is utterly invisible to your end users. It should work so discreetly in the background that they simply forget about it. In the end, the quiet satisfaction that it fosters in those customers will make you “stickier” to them.
Let’s face it, AV protection is a necessary evil that MSPs must provide. It offers modest opportunities for profit, but great potential for problems, big and small, that can engender customer disappointment. So when you’re considering ways to cement better relationships with your customers, don’t overlook the role your antivirus solution plays.
Otherwise it might be kick, kick, kick...