Nowadays every managed IT provider has access to the best-in-class software and hardware solutions. Technology and knowledge have become cheaper and more accessible than ever, so, to stand out from the crowd, you need to compete in your excellence at providing services. This means that the value of your services to your customers is based on how professional your approach is, not only to the provision of the technical component of your MSP services but also to communication.
In this article, we provide 10 tips on how to win customers' hearts and minds with an excellent level of service.
Find Out What Motivates Your Clients
First of all, you need to have a better understanding of the needs and values of your clients. Some will value immediate answers to support phone calls, and others your personal approach as an MSP owner to their business, and occasional meetings to discuss the ongoing situation.
To help you standardize your customer journey, you can create a map overviewing each step of your interactions with them. This will reveal the specific customer’s pain points, allowing you to fine-tune your business processes to their exact needs.
Further reading Top 5 SMB Pain Points Solved by MSPs
Meet Customers’ Expectations
This might sound obvious, but many managed IT providers do not recognize that their customers' expectations should be set up realistically. Check your service level and master service agreements and analyze them to determine whether you meet their terms. If you constantly fail to meet them, it’s time either to rethink your processes or, if these are working as expected and cannot be improved, make changes to the SLA and MSA contracts.
Further reading Mastering Customer Service for MSPs
Communication Is the Key
Your clients should know that you are just one click or phone call away and are ready to solve their IT issues. You should set up easy and flexible communication channels, but don't try to cover all possible means of communication; the phone number of your support hotline, the link to your helpdesk, and the email address will be enough.
However, even if you can be contacted by all the means in the world, even if you send your customers daily, weekly and monthly surveys, they can still have issues and failed expectations that they do not tell you about. In the worst-case scenario, when such expectations are suppressed for a long period of time, it leads to a lost customer. So, a quick check-up with your clients and their teams to discuss whether there are any issues they have but haven’t told you about will be a good idea.
Further reading 3 Practices to Communicate Effectively with MSP Clients
Create a Customer-Oriented Team
Some say that IT services are more about communication than technology, which is in most cases true. You and your team are constantly contacting your customers in this way or that. Starting from landing a lead, and continuing through price and contract negotiations, onboarding, daily support routines, and on-site projects – all that is handled by either you or your staff. It is of the utmost importance that your team should understand that you are there for your customer, and therefore it's crucial to take customer communication to the next level.
Create a code of conduct, a minimum dress code for your on-site projects, and provide communicational training if needed. In the end, you should achieve a professional, but at the same time a polite and personal, approach to communication.
The other important point of your and your client's interaction is user-facing documentation. That documentation should cover your procedures and the services you provide, but, most importantly, it should overview the solutions your clients are working with on a daily basis. Remember, your clients are not, as a rule, as tech-savvy as you are and each piece of documentation should be clear and concise and avoid technicalities. Document even the most basic procedures, like working with multi-factor authentication or single-sign-on systems, to avoid unnecessary support requests on the one hand and, on the other, frustration for your customers when working with IT infrastructure.
You should also remember that the documentation should be not only clear and well-structured but also accessible. Send your customers email reminders from time to time about where and how the documentation can be reached.
Further reading How to Create MSP Documentation
It is next to impossible to provide flawless services and not make any errors. Inevitably, one of your support tickets will be overdue or a file or two will be lost. In these cases, you should not blame your customer but take full responsibility, fix the issue as fast as possible, provide a plan that avoids that issue arising again, and apologize. This will soften the negative impact on your relationship.
Further reading How to Deal with Customers’ Complaints
Track Your Customers’ Satisfaction Level
Create several surveys to track your customers' experience at the different points of contact with your services. A one-click satisfaction survey after each closed ticket, a survey for the client's management at the end of each month or quarter, and a personal meeting each given period of time are considered to be best practices to track your customers’ satisfaction.
Enhance Customer Experience
Tracking customers' satisfaction levels is not enough. You should constantly analyze their responses and experience, and identify whether any of your processes can be fine-tuned and enhanced. Remember, you don't work to create a technically flawless service, you work to create a perfect infrastructure for your clients. In other words, your clients are the center of your managed IT services.
So, you should focus on onboarding procedures and communication channels as carefully as you focus on your technical stack.
You are doing managed IT not only to solve your clients’ technical issues, boot their machines, and install their servers. The best MSPs create value, lead their customer's strategic growth through technical advice and education, and, in the end, become an integral part of their customer's business.
Strive for Excellence
Remember, you are in business first and foremost for your customers. So, build your offer, your services, and your team with customer interaction and experience in mind, and you will achieve long-lasting relationships.