By Luis de Faria (Tech Writer)
If you're an IT Manager or MSP owner having trouble maintaining repeat business, then it's high time to re-consider your client retention strategy. You're not alone, many IT pros and MSP owners struggle with this aspect of their business. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make this process manageable and part of your SOPs.
Is The Customer Always Right?
Knowing what pleases your clients and how to deliver it consistently is an essential element to achieving commercial success in the highly competitive world of MSPs.
Technology changes constantly, and your competitors multiply with each passing day. So, for your MSP business to remain relevant (and competitive), you must ensure that your IT team is at the top of its game.
The issue is that keeping your team at the top of their game in order to implement an excellent customer retention program costs money, time, and a lot of energy.
Let's take a closer look at some of the best strategies and tools available today to retain customers and help your IT & MSP business thrive.
Provide True Value To Your Customers
Your client's loyalty will drive your business. But in order to retain your customers, you first and foremost have to provide value for them. You have to demonstrate that your team has the skill and know-how necessary to perform the work at hand and the passion for doing what it takes to get the job done.
So how can you provide value to your clients? Well, 77% of customers say that the main reason why they're loyal to a brand is that it creates quality products or provides quality service. All customers, particularly IT customers, are looking for consistent quality at a good value and will reward a business that offers it with their loyalty.
However, if your clients find that your services are lacking, they will leave. Competitors are out there fishing for your customers every day, so you have to ensure that your team provides the highest level of customer service at all times. This means that you have to make sure your IT team is trained to listen to your clients' needs and issues, offer excellent follow-up, and respond quickly to questions. You have to make it easy for your clients to use your business.
Keep in mind that the average rate of customer retention is below 20%. This surprisingly low figure persists because many IT & MSP businesses tend to focus on new customers rather than retaining existing ones. So it's no surprise that many IT start-ups fail after just a few years or even months.
The moral of the story is that if you wish to establish a successful brand, you need to prioritize customer retention.
Be Honest And Transparent
When your potential customers are looking for a new MSP, they want to ensure they give their business to honest and transparent enterprises. This is why it's imperative that your IT team's training reinforces the idea that they must act professionally at all times and treat each customer and team member with respect.
86% of customers say authenticity is one of the main reasons they stay loyal to a brand or company. As an IT & MSP entrepreneur, having a high regard for transparency embedded in the fabric of your business is one of the main ways first-time customers will become repeat customers and even consider recommending you to their friends and colleagues.
Create A Personal Connection
As an IT entrepreneur, you must ask yourself: Why would your client choose your company over another vendor? For many entrepreneurs, the answer to this question is to keep doing the same thing they've always done because it works. But in this rapidly changing world of tech, what worked last year may not work today. You have to up your communication game to make sure your customers understand what differentiates you from the competitors out there.
Beware of overstreching. Sometimes less is more. Part of creating this "personal connection" with customers is to first take a long hard look at your business's services to determine what kind of customer will benefit the most from them. Don't try to be everything for everybody if that's not something that your business can deliver.
Tools To Help You Retain Customers
Having a solid Knowledgebase tool will go a long way towards helping your team improve customer retention. Within a Knowledgebase portal, IT managers can set up SOPs and training so that each team member has clear procedures and the training tools to provide excellent service to your customers.
Don't let customer issues fall through the cracks. One of the easiest ways to kill customer loyalty as an MSP is to fail to assign customer issues to the correct technician promptly.
With a solid task management tool, like SherpaDesk's Task Manager, IT & MSP managers will get full transparency into the status of all the team's support issues to ensure that your company's high standards are always maintained. Managers can also assign specific tasks to appropriate team members, ensuring that your customers are always assisted by the most qualified techs familiar with their issues.
Once you're confident that your IT team is ready to provide the kind of customer service and technical expertise that will make an impact with your customers, it's time to communicate that clearly and often via your website, customer emails, and social media.
But remember that customer retention is more than simply letting your existing customers know how great your services are. You must make sure your team delivers consistently because the IT & MSP teams that do will be rewarded with customer loyalty as long as they stay on top of the tech curve.