Contrary to the saying, the customer isn’t always right. Regardless, customer satisfaction is one of the most crucial parts of any business. If customers aren’t satisfied, they will likely find another MSP to deal with instead.
In the world of an MSP, there needs to be more than just delivering an appealing set of services to customers. An MSP must have systems to ensure timely responses and to be able to adapt quickly to customer needs. Customers are ultimately looking to cut down on expenses and determine that what they are paying for is worth every dollar.
Providing quality customer service is often common sense; everyone knows from personal experience what being served well feels like, and consequently, what a business needs to do to retain customers. MSP owners simply must apply that knowledge – along with several of these tips below – and use them to expand and grow an MSP.
Dive Deep on Customer Needs
While it is a goal of an MSP is to satisfy customers, there are nuances and unique challenges to effectively deliver on it. Most MSPs offer different service packages to their customers. As a result, every customer isn’t going to be a carbon copy of the last customer, which a help desk needs to understand.
There won’t always be a broad strategy that can be applied across all customers or for all MSPs either. That said, it is safe to say that customers want attentive, cost-effective services and an MSP can deliver it through the following:
- Responding to customers quickly
- Following up with them regularly
- Offering additional value in service packages whenever possible.
- Spending time understanding their unique expectations and striving to exceed those standards.
An MSP keeping these kinds of principles in mind will be establishing a competitive advantage. But going beyond that means looking at systems that can make these processes easier. For example, responding to customers quickly can be done through optimizing the ticketing system and help desk.
Understand Why Customer Satisfaction Truly Matters
Everyone knows customer satisfaction matters but understanding why it matters can make a big difference. According to highlights from Accenture’s Global Consumer Pulse Survey:
- Customers are increasingly frustrated with the service level they experience.
- 85% of customers are frustrated whenever they’re dealing with a company that makes it difficult to do business with them.
- Based on those two points alone, even though there is a lot of insight and data into customers, US companies have lost over $1 trillion in revenue due to customers switching to a competitor’s services.
From that information alone, working towards a high customer satisfaction is worth it because of several reasons such as:
- High customer satisfaction ratings can be used to differentiate an MSP from its competitors.
- It reduces customer turnover, allowing an MSP to retain customers
- It increases a customer’s lifetime value. Every month they continue to pay for those services. Losing a customer doesn’t just mean an MSP loses out on a single month payment. It’s a monthly payment until the end of time.
- Customers will show their loyalty by spreading news about an MSP. Small business owners talk and if they are getting good service, they may refer their business friends to those services.
- An MSP saves money as it’s cheaper to retain customers than to search for new ones.
Consider The 5 Principles of Great Customer Service
It’s understandable that MSPs can struggle with people skills. Many MSP owners begin growing an MSP out of the passion for the technical part of it. Even for seasoned MSPs, people skills need to be used on a regular basis. One way to hone these business skills is through the 5 principles of great customer service.
This idea came from Don Crawley, author of “The Compassionate Geek”. He outlined the following five principles that will allow MSPs to offer great customer service:
- Deep technical skills. Every MSP strives to do the best in technology but go beyond that. Take certifications seriously for starters. Next, work on providing quick and permanent problem solving and design systems that can work against user errors.
- Know a client’s pain points and strive for honesty. Have a deep desire to alleviate those points. Always be looking for common grounds with customers.
- Look at the world in the same way the customer does. Avoid the “I know how you feel” talk and instead help with sincerity. Be there for customers and focus on making them feel like they’re in good hands.
- Stop talking. Listen to what customers are saying. Remove distractions, look to understand rather to respond. Keep an open mind. Never try to finish a customer’s thoughts for them.
- Treat anyone and everyone with dignity. Don’t whine, complain, or come up with excuses. Speak well of the team and of the customers’ team.
Keep In Mind the Delivery
It’s not always what’s said but how something is said. This is crucial in MSPs since a lot of business is conducted remotely with little face-to-face contact. When everything is done through chat, emails, or the occasional video call, an MSP must have honed communication skills. Protocols should be developed to ensure all experiences are professional, courteous, and efficient. Some pointers to consider are:
- When a client calls for service, keep to the topic at hand. Personal chit chatting only trivializes the problems.
- Going back to the principles, be a good listener. Some customers will be panicking or are confused as to what the problem is. Not every customer is a technician after all.
- Avoid “thinking out loud” as to what the problem might be. This can erode trust if the first guess is wrong.
- Use the mute or hold button often. This ensures customers aren’t listening to anything confusing or troubling during the resolution process. All focus will be placed on the specific problem at hand.
- Stay calm. Frustrated clients will need assurance. Use positive language and keep customers in the loop. This goes a long way in diffusing tension.
- Prioritize working behind the scenes during remote control sessions. Troubleshooting becomes better that way without bothering the customer.
Service level agreements are amazing and incredibly helpful for MSPs for several reasons. The big reason is that it sets expectations for both parties involved. This is crucial because the last thing an MSP wants is a customer who develops expectations that an MSP couldn’t possibly deliver on.
Make a point of writing up SLAs for every customer that gets closed. Through this, it establishes a clear, mutually understood vision of the services provided from the start.
About MSP Corp
MSP Corp understands you’ve worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. With a mission to be a world-class business partner for MSP owners across Canada, we actively seek to acquire and partner with owners looking to secure the value of the business they have built and provide a seamless exit process that ensures business continuity and employee and client stability.
Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.