When it comes to running a healthy MSP business, communication is vitally important. If things go wrong, customers need to feel confident that they can get in contact with you and that you’ll be responsive. Few things damage the client relationship more than poor communication and feeling a lack of support. Conversely, by making it as easy as possible for customers to get in touch, the sense of support can be bolstered.
It doesn’t matter how effective you’ve been at keeping your infrastructure impeccable, services stable and scalable, and your security unimpeachable; sooner or later customers are going to run into problems. It doesn’t matter if it’s not really your problem or it’s at the client’s end. If you provide communication and responsiveness, it will strengthen the customer’s sense of confidence.
When looking to guarantee you’ve got a solid and communicative presence, the first step is engaging with customers in relevant ways. The most popular communication channels for businesses today include:
- Telephone – When all else fails, your customers need to know that they can pick up the phone and reach someone for help. Make this easy by making sure your key contact numbers are everywhere they should be. If possible, get phone numbers that are easy to remember. Feature them prominently on all marketing and support material, as well as advertising. And of course, make them easy to find on your website and social media profiles.
- Twitter – Twitter is an incredible tool for building and maintaining client relationships. What’s more, even prospective clients can come across these interactions. When clients and prospects see a rapid response with clear instructions and efficient handling of client concerns, it looks fantastic. Because of the fast-moving, highly exposed nature of Twitter, it is vital to ensure that staff handling your Twitter presence have the right attitude and training. If you can find staff with the ability to express a special mix of professional, efficient, and personable via Twitter, you’ve found gold. Cherish and support them.
- Facebook – Facebook is an important medium for corporate presence. It is very effective for marketing and can be a powerful support channel for your MSP business. Facebook also provides a messaging channel for in-depth conversations. As with any social media, make sure posts are managed effectively with appropriate, professional content. Above all else, make sure queries are handled promptly.
- Live Chat – Sometimes clients just want someone to talk to as soon as possible. They might be looking around your website for answers or contact information. That’s when the live chat option can be invaluable. Most live chat systems provide chat operators with scripts and templates for smooth, consistent query handling.
It’s great if you’ve implemented the communication channels above (and perhaps others not covered here), but attitude is also important. When a client or potential customer contacts your company, that is a very strong signal. It could mean they have a problem and they need a fix; maybe they’re complaining, or perhaps they’re looking to buy your product. Whatever the reason, your business needs to listen.
So, make sure your staff is always ready to respond. Make sure you’ve implemented training, communications policies, and monitoring to ensure all customer-facing staff has the right attitude and tools at their disposal. The more you do to support your staff, the more beneficial communication with customers will be for your business.
Remember, communication goes in both directions. Don’t see it as simply responding to customer complaints or sales inquiries. Instead, listen with intent to what people are saying when they get in touch; your MSP business can learn valuable information. There may be hints of a small problem in your system that could be nipped in the bud. There could be indications of changing trends in the market. There could be news of a big new opportunity. By providing the communication channels and keeping your ears open, your business can greatly benefit.