Do your MSP clients really appreciate you?
Do you think your clients appreciate you?
This is a simple question, yet it causes a lot of IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to stop and think for a moment.
We all like to think that our clients appreciate the hard work that we do to keep their systems up and running, to minimize their downtime, and to respond quickly when they do have a problem.
But do you recognize any of these signs?
- Your client is quick to complain when a low-priority support ticket isn’t resolved in a high-priority timescale.
- Your client doesn’t respond to e-mails from you in a timely fashion
- … but is quick to question your e-mail response time when they want something.
- Your client asks you if they can start doing some of the jobs you do themselves - install their own PC’s, patch their own workstations, install their own cabling.
Any of these signs could indicate that your client doesn’t appreciate you or the work you do for them, and that, in turn, should set alarm bells ringing - especially if the client is looking to cut costs. If they don’t appreciate you, your support contract could be one of the first things they’ll question.
So how you can you ensure that your client appreciates you?
Delivering great service in a friendly fashion is often not enough - especially in the IT support industry.
Think about it. If the only time your client ever calls you is when they have something go wrong, then even if you fix that problem quickly - they’d still prefer not to have called you at all. The problem is, at best, an interruption to their day, and more likely a real irritation to them - both emotions that they client may well transfer on to you.
Instead, consider how many times you’ve asked the client if they are happy with their relationship with you lately? Not just at the end of a support ticket - when the client is likely to say anything positive to get you off the ‘phone or away from the desk so that they can get back to work, but when they don’t have a problem.
Do you regularly visit your clients to build your relationship with them, to check how things are when there *aren’t* any problems? If they’re happy, have you asked them *why* they are happy?
Building up rapport with your clients in this way is very important. If you ask clients whether they are happy and they say no - you’ve got a chance to correct the situation. Often, addressing the root of their unhappiness will leave your relationship with them even stronger.
Ask Your Customers Why
But if they are happy, don’t underestimate the power of asking them why that is. Often, they won’t have thought about why they like working with you - but by getting them to think on this and verbalize it - the words they use and the emotions they feel when they talk about you will stick.
It might be that you respond quickly to issues. It might be that they don’t have many issues. It might be you’re friendly, you have a high level of expertise, or a combination of these things.
Ask them to explain why they are happy working with you, and the next time they think of you, in any situation, they’re much more likely to remember why they appreciate you.
Quarterly Business Reviews, Surveys, Site-Visits, Testimonials - these are all opportunities to ask your clients whether they are happy working with you, and to tell you exactly why they are happy working with you.
Do this regularly to remind them of why your relationship is valuable to them - and your client will respect you, and what’s more, appreciate you and the work that you do for them.
Looking for more MSP tips?
Listen to our May webinar, "Managing Your Managed Services Business" to learn how you can get your clients to appreciate you and your business!
As the former owner of an award winning IT Managed Service Provider, Richard Tubb works with MSPs to help them increase sales, take on employees and build up relationships with key industry contacts. You don't have to do it alone any more - contact Richard and have a chat about your needs and how he can help you.