Any MSP business is only as good as its clients. Through the course of running your company, it is obvious that the majority of your revenue is sourced from only a few returning clients. With this in mind, it is important that you work to keep them with you.
Retaining customers is done on several fronts. The first is to provide great service, and this is likely where most of your effort goes. The tech staff needs to be able to solve problems, run systems, and get your clients back up and running. However, there is another aspect that is critical to retaining your returning customers. The manner in which your staff provides service is also important, although it is often overlooked by MSP providers.
What is at Stake?
Customer service doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Many of your front line employees have nurtured the idea that they need to solve a problem. Their concern for the method is minimal and your customers are going to notice.
With the cost of finding new clients, it is incredibly important that you work towards keeping the ones you already have. Gruff service, even when it is effective, is going to have some of your most important clients looking for a new provider. To keep you customers happy, your MSP business must look at ways to create positive customer interactions.
Start with a Baseline
The first step to better customer service is to find out where your company currently sits. This requires input from your customers. There are many different ways to do this, but the important part is that you do it in a consistent manner. You need to repeat this information gathering step later. This data is used to see how you have improved with a measurable metric.
A simple rating system gives you a broad baseline, but more detail is recommended. Surveys are the most popular method of gaining this information. It still needs to be short and precise to increase the participation of your clients. Be sure to store the responses and the questions. This makes re-evaluation later on much easier. It also provides evidence that your methods are being effective.
Take Steps to Improve Customer Service
Customer service is a skill— it can be learned. It may just be a skillset that has grown rusty over the years, and some training helps your employees adjust. In fact, most employees benefit from taking some short customer service training, not just your front facing staff members. It may even help you with effective skills on communication and conflict resolution tips.
It is also important that your employees are made aware of the importance of customer service. They may be focused on solving your clients’ problems, and forgotten how the method matters. Bringing attention to the criticality of the interaction leads your staff to spend more effort to the satisfaction of the customer.
Re-evaluate Customer Perceptions
Now that your company has taken steps to improve the customer experience, it is time to see how effective your efforts where. Using the same set of criteria from your baseline, re-run your customer satisfaction survey.
These results highlight the ways you were successful at improving customer relations. It may also show where more work is required. This process may need to be repeated until you get the desired results and more focused training may be required.
The customer service skills that your frontline staff shows improve how your clients see your MSP business. Improving this skill set is important, as it leads to clients who are pleased with your services. Happy customers stick around. Measure, take steps to improve, and re-evaluate to ensure that your company is moving in the right direction.