Your Clients are a Long-Term Commitment

Attention and appreciation are critical to any successful relationship, including the relationships that MSPs have with their clients. And creating a successful relationship means prioritizing activities that will increase customer loyalty.

Below are six tips to help keep your MSP practice on the right track when it comes to customer satisfaction and commitment:

  1. Be a good listener. Odds are, you may have initially begun working with a client to help them address a specific business need. But, there are likely other services and products in your portfolio that they might need, whether they know it or not. Schedule regular calls and visits (even if only virtually) with your customers, find out how their business is changing, and actively listen to the challenges they’re facing. These conversations lead to more upsell opportunities and show your customers that you want to be an active partner.
  2. Deliver on your promises. Establish customer expectations at the beginning of every sales agreement or project, and make sure you deliver on your promises in a timely and reliable fashion. An MSP should avoid over-promising on any given project, as it can result in  under-delivering. This requires conducting thorough due diligence on the front end to make sure you fully understand the scope of the client’s needs and which of your services and solutions will best match their needs.
  3. Demonstrate the value of your services. Once an MSP begins providing services, clients can sometimes start to take them for granted. This can especially be true if the MSP is doing a good job. In that case, the odds are that their success is relatively invisible — clients are going to notice (and remember) system failures more acutely than a network that’s humming along with no disruptions or security breaches. Provide reports regularly, outlining the value your company has provided through backups, troubleshooting, diagnostics, patch management and other services (e.g., helpdesk), and periodically review those results with the client. Further, conducting periodic security assessments can identify security gaps, and enable the MSP to address this gaps which further helps to demonstrate value over time.
  4. Ask customers how you’re doing. Measure client satisfaction through periodic surveys and reviews, not just anecdotal evidence. Automatically send surveys after service tickets are closed, and conduct quarterly surveys/reviews to gauge satisfaction. It’s much easier to identify and fix any issues in their immediate aftermath rather than letting problems fester undetected.
  5. Treat every client like a new client. It’s easy to be excited when a new customer joins the fold, but over time that initial glow can fade and your team may devote more of their attention to chasing new prospects rather than nurturing their existing relationships. Make sure you stay engaged with existing clients through calls, surveys, visits, and regular communications (like client newsletters) so they know they aren’t being taken for granted.
  6. Reward their loyalty. Retailers have found great success using customer loyalty programs, and MSPs can benefit from a similar strategy. Find ways to add more value for long-term customers by offering special package offers, training, add-on services, discounts, and other rewards. 

Healthy client relationships require attention and nurturing. If you ignore your existing clients until there’s a problem, they’re less likely to remain loyal to your company. Take an interest in their operations, provide reliable service, and communicate regularly. Your customers will reward you with their continued business, additional sales, and valuable referrals.

Scott Bennett is Senior Director of MSP Sales for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers, and he plays a key role in the development and growth of partner relationships.

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TOPICS: Customer ServiceMSP adviceMSP profitabilitystrategic relationships
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