Every service provider wants to generate as much revenue as possible, but at what cost? It’s a tough industry with the continuous competitor temptation that prospects and customers face; if your only goal is revenue generation, inevitably you won’t gain customer loyalty and retention. IT infrastructure is an integral part of almost every business, essential if the business is to thrive, and customers don’t want to see you as their ‘IT person’ draining their bank account without providing true value. They require a trusted advisor who will guide them now, and in the future to reach true business partnership and full potential for their enterprise.
Deliver at least one unique offering
Typically, most service providers are offering the same tools in their portfolios: monitoring and management, security, service desk access, cloud management etc. It’s not wise to begin commoditising prices to beat the competition, there’s always going to be someone providing cheaper prices than you. Continue to lower your prices and this becomes a never-ending cycle.
Innovate your offering – have a Unique Selling Point! Differentiating one specific dimension of a service can make all the positive difference. How can you change or enhance the user experience? What can you provide that no one else is?
Smaller MSPs may opt to focus on a smaller set of services to ensure they can provide the best possible service and don’t over promise. Another approach is to focus on a specific market sector or niche, meaning you’ll have much less competition, keep your customers happy and those profits margins high.
Make your services and your staff available and accessible
Ensure that your customers have complete visibility of the services you are providing, plus the option to manage these themselves if need be, eliminating the need for them to contact you each time an issue crops up. If discrepancies or complications occur, at least they can be assured that all the information they require is in front of them and not hidden away.
Continuously engage with your customers on a regular basis through different means; social media, email, videos etc. You want to raise your status as a trusted advisor and partner so stay in touch with them, whether this is just to provide them with content or consultancy services. Offer advice on future proofing, capacity planning, compliance, security, daily operations of IT – what ever your expertise may be!
Take the first step towards helping your customers - don’t leave it to them to turn to you.
Take away unnecessary billing pain
As a specific example, how about thinking about the way you bill your customers? Billing isn’t usually an area which is given much attention, but it’s important to avoid any unnecessary frustration by making sure your invoices are correct and not confusing. If they’re consistently wrong, it’s a waste of valuable time – sending information back and forth and making corrections.
To improve customer satisfaction, having an online tool is valuable. Enable customers to manage billing with ease by providing breakdowns of each invoice as well as giving them access to a central resource of historical information that can be accessed at any time.
Deliver value and let your customers put their trust in you, make them aware that you have their best interests in mind by going that extra mile.
- Written by Farrah Aslam
- Published: 05 April 2018