Communicate With Your Clients to Block Competition

Robert Peretson

Your competitor just knocked on your client’s door. Are they getting invited in for a chat?

Your client just got a knock on the door. It’s a local competitor stopping by with a business card, a brochure and a smooth sales pitch about their ultra-reliable Managed Services offering.

Is your client going to invite this stranger in for a chat about how their service might differ from yours… or is your competition going to get the polite brush off with, “Thank you, but we’re very happy with the provider we’re using now.”?

If you want to ensure that your client stays loyal to you and your service, you really only need to do one thing right…

COMMUNICATE!

Failure to communicate is the number one reason given for terminating a relationship with a service provider. Failure to respond promptly when called… failure to inform a client when you’re running late for an appointment… failure to keep them posted on the work you’re doing.

Well, if you don’t have the sense to call a client when they’re looking for you, then you will always have trouble keeping your customers happy.

But fortunately, on a technical level, keeping a client in the loop and communicating regularly has now become fantastically easy thanks to many of our support applications that now allow us to provide our clients with relevant information frequently and even automatically.

  • Do you use an RMM that generates system alerts when problems arise? Set your client up to be copied on all instant alerts sent by your RMM. Whenever they get an alert, they’ll want to know what the heck it means. And you’ll promptly send an explanation telling them exactly what it means and what needs to be done about it.
  • Does your RMM provide a web-accessible dashboard that your client has access to? If so, each time your customer logs in to check on system status or review their inventory reports, they’re interfacing with the service and information you’re providing. Even if you aren’t speaking face-to-face, any communication between the client and your services is keeping you in their minds.
  • Does your RMM generate weekly status reports? Make sure to send them automatically. If they see all green checkmarks, they’ll think, “Great. Things are finally working right!” If they see red X’s, you will tell them why and what needs to be done about it. Either way, it enforces that you’re on top of things… and keeps the lines of communications flowing.

Periodically send them a pdf copy of their inventory report, highlighting any items that might need to be addressed. Remind them that they have anytime access to this data on their dashboard. This is a very effective way to communicate with your clients because you are providing useful, helpful information that they might not have been expecting, plus you’re giving them a reason to use your dashboard again and to get more comfortable with logging in frequently.

All communication you have with employees of your client’s firm reinforces the relationship. When end-users have problems, respond promptly and let the user know what you’re doing. Keeping them in the loop keeps your overall image in a favorable light.

Do you have a support portal running, where your clients submit service requests through your PSA… and where you copy your main contact on all resolved tickets so that they can see all the support you’re providing, either remotely or on-site? Make sure your client is aware every time you’re working for them, even if they don’t happen to see your face.

There are lots of ways to keep the communication flowing and keeping your new client continuously updated with valuable information. Even if your proactive support is keeping things running at optimal levels, being out of sight doesn’t need to mean out of mind.

When you keep your clients continuously informed about the state of their systems, they’ll develop a high level of confidence about the reliability of these systems. And a client who has this level of confidence will have very little reason to ever change providers and risk losing it.

Visit Robert at his website, http://SuccessfulComputerConsulting.com, where he’s giving away some very useful (and very free) tools and marketing strategies that can help you build your MSP Business today.