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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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The Secret to Sticky Customers

Posted September 8, 2014by Madelyn Newman

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In this day and age, it can be exceptionally tough trying to grow your managed services business. The field is hugely competitive, and it can be difficult not only securing new clients, but retaining those you already have as well. So, what then, is the key to customer “stickiness”? What will separate you from the Managed Services Provider pack? 

The answer is simpler than you might realize: it’s time to transform from a commodity to an expert. Begin to position yourself as a business advisor, rather than just an IT "techie," to your clients. Like you, your customers want to increase their bottom line. By helping them grow, you add business value, and customer loyalty abounds. Think about how much more likely they are to become a brand advocate or upsell prospect! Become a more business savvy Managed Services Provider, and you will not only increase your customer stickiness, but your income.

Related: What Your Professor Didn't Teach You about Managed Services

Stumped on where to begin your journey toward trusted business advisor? Here are 3 best practices to get you started:


Raise the Bar of Professionalism Internally

Put yourself in your clients' shoes. Imagine your dream company – the one with an amazing customer experience that leaves you loyal to a fault. Well, it’s time to set standards and systems internally so you can support this vision and start being that company. Remind your employees that all touch-points, from finance to customer service, sales and help desk, are equally important and valuable to your client.

By creating a culture internally based on a high level of professionalism and encouragement, you will transform clients into raving fans. A well-implemented and well-structured business will help you build strong relationships with customers based on the quality of your service.


Stay Client Focused and Keep Communication Open

Maintain regular touch-points with clients, so you can resolve issues before they escalate, and consider all feedback and concerns. To take your quality of service to the next level you need to listen, adapt, think and be insightful. Performing quarterly business reviews with your clients is a great place to start! These check-ins demonstrate your goal to support the growth of your customer’s business, thereby strengthening your relationship with clients.

Related: All MSPs Need to Be Performing Quarterly Business Reviews. Here’s How.

Remember: success can mean different things to different clients. Bring personal advice to your regularly scheduled meetings. Don’t just think about the technology – think about how the technology can improve your clients’ business.

 

Use a Professional Services Automation Tool

PSA tools force you to define the needs of your company and its customers, in order to help you clearly understand your own business processes. Imagine having a full 360° view of both your business and, more importantly, that of your clients! Business Automation tools help streamline all existing IT services so you can better manage your time and expenses. 

As an MSP, optimizing and automating your processes are crucial to retaining customers. Using the right PSA will allow you to maximize resources, create scalable processes, and eliminate manual tasks. Consider integrating PSA automation with other offerings in your IT toolkit, such as RMM. Integrating your managed IT services ensures more effective communication and less downtime. Be your customers' superhero! Use industry-leading Professional Services Automation that puts your customers first, so you can create a great managed services business based on exceptional service delivery.

There you have it! These are just a few of the ways you can move from IT solutions provider to trusted business advisor, in order to transform your MSP into a client retention machine. If you would like to learn more about how Professional Services Automation can augment your business value, visit us at the ConnectWise booth at Navigate 2014. See you then! 

Need to build stronger client relationships??

MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]

Madelyn Newman, Community Specialist for ConnectWise, is responsible for checking the online pulse of the ConnectWise Community. She loves creating compelling content for IT solutions providers, and is passionate about anything that can help MSPs across all avenues connect, collaborate and grow. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Madelyn is Net Promoter Certified, meaning she can crunch survey scores faster than a slice of pizza (a notable achievement). She is the voice behind all ConnectWise social media accounts, and gets a strange kick out of Facebook comments and Twitter favorites – be sure to send her a line at @ConnectWise.

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