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Getting Sticky with IT : Page 4 of 4

MSPs can foster long-term client relationships through documented processes, value-based communications, and a culture of problem-solving. By Geoffrey Oldmixon
Reader ROI: 
CHANNEL PROs develop long-term clients with services, processes, and a culture that makes doing business with them easy.
LOOK FOR CLIENTS that want a true partner, seek to solve their pain points, and continually convey the value you provide.
ESTABLISH SERVICE DELIVERY processes that are aligned and documented, and are supported by a customer success-focused team.

Gathering Feedback

There are various ways to gauge client satisfaction, enabling an MSP to adjust if something is amiss. Pollack uses the SmileBack customer satisfaction survey solution from ConnectWise.

Beyond surveys, Patent advises her MSP clients to study retention rates. “You’re looking at lifetime value and percentage of customers that have more than one line of business, looking at expansion within accounts.”

Another key data point is referrals. Patent suggests asking, “How many referrals are you getting? And from whom? If customers are really happy, they will be referring the business.” 

If you do have an unhappy customer who wants to leave, “don’t forget exit interviews,” reminds Coppedge. He says that when Simplex-IT loses a client, he asks about the factors that led to their leaving. “There are ways you can basically say, ‘Look, I’m sorry it has come to this, and if there’s something we can reasonably do, I’d love to talk about it.’ It’s not an adversarial conversation.”

To gauge the entire customer journey, Patent advises keeping track of conversion rates. “How many people go from website to lead to NQL to a sales-accept lead to sales-qualified lead to opportunity to closed deal. You want to look at all those conversion points to see what you can tweak.”

Fostering a Client-focused Culture

At the end of the day, long-term client relationships result from a company-wide culture that engenders loyalty and trust. It’s the entire MSP practice engaging in what Fernandez calls a “mutual hand-holding experience.”

There needs to be a shared understanding of what’s being provided—beyond the products. “We all believe technology products solve problems, but it’s not that,” Fernandez says. “We are the product. Our procedures that deliver customer satisfaction are the products.”

To this end, Patent recommends incentives for staff members to reinforce inclusive organizational objectives. “Maybe a bonus or little gift card when someone has an idea,” she suggests. “It comes back to culture and shared business goals. How do we work better together?”

For Pollack, “the quality of your overall service delivery” is the foundation. “There will be failure points in your service delivery,” he admits, “but if you set the bar high, you will make it right. As long as we keep depositing in the bank of good will, then occasionally we can draw against it.”

Image: iStock

About the Author

Geoffrey Oldmixon is a freelance writer based in Western Massachusetts.

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