How To Create Transparency With MSP Customers

Transparency has become a buzzword in the IT industry. We hear a lot of talk about the need for MSP companies – large and small – to be transparent with their customers as a prerequisite for success. So in today's customer-centric landscape, IT and MSP companies must be prepared to be fully transparent with their clients. This high level of openness has been proven to help build stronger relationships and can lead to increased revenues. However, what does transparency really mean, and how can companies implement it effectively?

“Transparency” is a big word that can mean many things.

It becomes much easier to understand if you think about transparency in relation to what your customers want to know and hear. One way to come up with that list is to look at the most common customer problem areas.  A study by PeopleMetrics provides some insight.

Creating Transparency I SherpaDesk

Based on these common problem areas, we’ve come up with some tips to help you become more transparent with your customers.

1. Be Truthful & Accurate – Billing transparency is significant to overcoming client dissatisfaction about vague bills. Invoicing is the touchpoint where your client pays for services rendered, and it presents an important moment of truth.  Begin by being upfront about your pricing, explaining costs, fees, and any specific deliverables. Follow through by ensuring your invoices reflect the specific services delivered and provide clear insight into your terms. Tools like SherpaDesk's Invoicing and Billing feature will help keep your customers happy when it comes to billing transparency.

2. Keep The Promises You Make – Making sure that whatever is promised to your customers is delivered is key to customer satisfaction and your business success. When services are promised and not delivered, the customer feels cheated and loses faith in your services. If there are legitimate reasons why promised services are not going to be delivered as expected, make sure your customer understands why in a timely manner and think about offering some kind of compensation.

3. Maintain Two-Way Communications Good communication is a two-way channel. Communication loses its value and impact whenever there is a one-sided conversation. Listen to your customers and let them know someone is taking their input in order to improve their user experience.

4. Be Timely & Responsive – Responding as quickly as possible to client inquiries is not just a suggestion; it's a requirement. According to surveys, 42 percent of customers who contacted a company via email or phone expected a response within one hour. You need to be accessible to your clients and make sure they understand your stated response time.

5. Tell them About Mistakes – Mistakes will happen. When they do, don’t hide. Communicate. The sooner you address the issue by solving the problem or giving a concession or an explanation they can live with, the sooner you can move on. Acting quickly to remedy the mistake and taking steps so it will not happen again is the message you want your clients to hear.

6. Share The Knowledge – Your customers hired your company for its expertise and the knowledge of your IT team. But knowledge hoarding is counterproductive to building a strong relationship with clients. Give them the information they need to make better decisions where your MSP is involved in their day-to-day operations.

7. Inform Your Customers Of Change – You’ll win your customers’ trust and foster greater relationships if you keep them up-to-date on changes (good or bad) happening within your company. If your business model, products, services, or pricing changes, make sure you are open and timely about communicating.

8. Listen To Your Customers – A large percentage of customer complaints are just about the fact that no one “listens” to them. It is a big relief for a customer to know that someone is listening and doing their best to resolve their issues.

9. Thank Your Customers – One way to create a positive customer experience is to say “thank you.” Kindness and gratitude for a client’s business are a sure way to further engage them long-term.

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Patrick Clements
By Patrick Clements

CEO of SherpaDesk