Your MSP company is going to have a lot of situations operationally where clients will do or say something that you don’t think is a good idea, but that you don’t feel inclined to mention. Sometimes, the motives are pure enough, and we’ve all been there! It’s like having a friend who is about to do something very stupid but is simultaneously determined to do it. You’ve got to talk them down, even if you don’t want to. Why? Well, if you don’t, you know what will happen— you’ve seen it before. Here’s the thing, though: if you approach a client who has a really bad idea in terms of technology that they’re intent to see through, and that client rejects your admonition, then allow them to do as they please. When everything blows up in their face, they’ll remember you told them so and come back in some degree of humility— they’ll also be more likely to trust you.
You’re likely to see a lot of this activity because clients aren’t generally savvy in terms of technology. Can you blame them? Not only is the world of modern technology exceptionally complex, but it is in continual shift. Moore’s Law predicates an exponential doubling of computational ability about every 18 months. This “law” has held true for decades, and yet, has not been “maxed out.”
Your clients may not be tech-savvy, but they’re also probably not going to be unconscious. The likelihood is that they’ve painted a picture in their mind concerning the products or services they think will serve them best, and they’re coming to you for validation rather than advice. Human nature may flare up if you tell them the truth, rather than validating their bad idea. However, it will come again positively when they acknowledge both how right you are and how lucky they are to work with you.
When your clients trust you, they are more likely to remain loyal to you, and they’re more likely to sing your good graces to other business associates with whom they work. If your client can provide a peer with top-tier, honest tech support, then they foster loyalty themselves. In a transitive way, by providing honest service to your client, you may end up organically marketing your operation.
Avoiding Problem Clients
Now, contrast that with just going with the client when they come to you with an idea you know isn’t the best one. If your MSP company indulges a client’s poor idea and things blow up in their face, who do they blame? You. After all, you should have seen this coming! Why didn’t you say something? Another aspect of human nature is “passing the buck.” Eve blamed the snake, and Adam blamed Eve, but both individuals made the wrong decision of their own accord. Your clients will definitely blame you for their lack of technological acumen. Being honest with them beforehand will save you from this happenstance.
Furthermore, you can help avoid problem clients. Should you have some customer propose a bad idea for tech service, insist on providing it (even though you’ve explained a dozen times why it’s a bad idea), then have it blow up in their face, they may leave your operation in embarrassment. There’s nothing you could have done, and if you weren’t honest, they’d just try and acquire discounts from you through emotional appeal. Since you told them the truth, from their own pride they become compelled to leave you be, helping you save time that would otherwise have been spent in argument. So, to summarize, several advantages of being honest with your clients include:
- Increased profit stemming from expanded loyalty
- Organic means of marketing
- Avoiding unnecessary trouble
- Reducing the number of problem clients
Being Honest with Clients Saves Everybody
Your MSP company is in a competitive market that continuously shifts. If you play fast and loose, you’re truly gambling, and you may end up hurting yourself. If you play in an honest, straight-laced way, you’ll avoid deeper difficulties that could negatively impact your operations. So, ensure that you are always honest with your clients.