By Carrie Dagenhard (Tech Writer)
Are you looking to increase client retention and keep your business thriving? Here’s how you can boost customer satisfaction — even during the new normal.
While other IT businesses take pause and wrestle with what to do next, this is your big opportunity to take action, hit another growth spurt, and outpace the competition.
Not that you need another reminder, but we’re in the thick of a pretty tumultuous era.
Although we’re all striving to maintain normalcy in our work and home lives, most things are beyond our control. The outside world is especially chaotic and filled with more uncertainty than many of us have ever experienced.
Meanwhile, like many other IT professionals, you’re working to keep your organization healthy by acquiring new clients and, more importantly, keeping the ones you have happy. That's why now, more than ever, it’s essential for your business to provide top-notch service and to focus energies on increasing customer satisfaction.
But How Can You Increase Customer Satisfaction?
Here are four things IT managers can do to boost customer satisfaction and maintain strong client retention during the new normal:
As we continue navigating into unchartered territory, it’s important to keep in mind that everything you’re going through right now, your customers are probably feeling too. And, as an expert in the IT professional services sector, it’s crucial you do everything in your power to give them peace of mind.
Don’t wait for clients to reach out to you. Instead, schedule time to discuss how they’re coping and what challenges they perceive for the future. Be open and honest, use active listening, and let them know you have their back.
When relevant, help them strategize, and demonstrate how your service can help relieve their burden. For example, if your organization is a managed services provider, let your customers know how you can help them set up the right tech stack for a long-term remote workforce strategy.
Some organizations worry that admitting they’re operating with a smaller staff or grappling with a backlog of work will give a poor impression or undermine their credibility. But it’s much better to set proper expectations than under-deliver. This is an abnormal time, and your customers will be much more receptive to honesty upfront than suddenly experiencing a drop in service without explanation.
How To Do It:
Are you running a leaner team than usual? Is your IT customer support department overwhelmed with an influx of calls? Take time to reach out to your customers about the challenges your company is experiencing and how you are responding to them. Be honest, keep your customers updated, and always let them know what to expect in the coming days and weeks. If you fail to set expectations early, your customers may become angry or frustrated by your delayed response and opt to take their business elsewhere.
If you haven’t already, ditch your slow and bloated legacy systems and adopt ticket management software that sends automated updates to your team. This way, clients never have to wonder about the status of their inquiries.
Adjust Your Customer Service Processes Accordingly
We don’t know how long this new normal will last, but it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. A lot has changed over the past few months, and failing to adapt could negatively impact your business. Instead of holding out for a “return to normal”, it’s a better idea to adjust your customer service processes as if the current way of working will be permanent. By preparing for the "worst case scenario", you’ll accelerate your digital transformation and leapfrog your competition.
How To Do It:
Review the customer experience your team is delivering and identify opportunities to simplify it. Consider where you can compensate for practices that have been disrupted. For example, if your clients are accustomed to quarterly on-site check-ins, set up quarterly video calls. If they’re used to hands-on IT help, be sure to offer a more robust remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution.
When in doubt, ask your clients for feedback. Ask what you could do to make their lives easier, and use their feedback to guide your strategy.
Support Your Workforce
Your service is only as powerful as the people providing it. If your workforce doesn’t have the support they need, your customer satisfaction will undoubtedly suffer. After all, assisting stressed out customers can wreak havoc on your staff’s mental wellbeing and drive them toward burnout. To prevent these outcomes, it’s essential you arm them with the right processes and technology stack.
How To Do It:
Look for tools that help ease the burden on your staff and boost efficiency. For example, knowledge base software will empower your team to offer the best quality support, while a project management solution will strengthen team collaboration and keep everyone in the loop. Also, remind your employees to take breaks and vacation time to help stave off burnout and keep their minds sharp.
While it’s always important to focus on improving customer satisfaction, it’s especially vital today. By following these practices, you can keep clients happy and reduce attrition.
What are you doing to keep your customers happy today?