Without a shadow of a doubt, the #1 reason we see businesses leaving their IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) is because of poor customer service. It is obvious to all of us that customer service is a top priority, but too often the talk is not being walked! The results are obvious – disgruntlement, leading to taking their business somewhere else.
But what is “bad service” in this context?
I don’t see MSPs deliberately going out to offer a sub-standard level of service, and for the most part, in my own experience, the MSPs and their engineers have been pretty good at what they did.
What is really happening is that customers are looking for a holistic service – a complete service – that covers all of their IT needs. When a hole in the service offering becomes apparent, then customers are receiving not bad service, but incomplete service and this is dissatisfying.
So, if the focus is slightly altered from delivering “good” service to delivering a complete service (and I see no reason why both should not be aimed for), then how does this look?
I think there are three characteristics of complete service, and they are Connection, Creativity and Consistency.
The more you connect with someone, the more likely it is that they will trust you. The closer you develop the relationship, and the more trust that is established, then the easier it will become to get a grasp on all of your client’s problems and issues.
It will also help you sell further into your customer, because they trust what you are advising them to do and your ability to deliver.
Being creative in our thinking and problem solving will help differentiate you as an MSP. In the customer’s eyes, you will be different because you are a thought leader and not a follower.
Creativity is valuable, and clients will pay for it again and again.
Consistency in service delivery is essential: it builds your reputation, while providing a foundation for establishing closer connection and trust. Deliver what you say you will deliver, and when you say it will be deliver it.
Establish firm processes to establish service consistency across all of your service offerings, because if you get 99% done right, but foul up on the 1%, guess what your client will remember – you fouled up!
Creating a complete customer service experience is more than just delivering good service. It is about how you develop the relationship with customers, so they see and feel they are receiving the right solutions to their real problems from you. You will not uncover the real problems facing your customers and prospects, unless you are able to establish the connection and level of trust with them and win their confidence. You must deliver a consistent service as their MSP, and this means establishing customer service and quality assurance processes so you deliver 100%. Finally, you must be creative in your approach and solutions, because if you are simply going through the motions, your prospect and customers have seen that many times before they ever met with you.
Jensen Carlyle is a technology writrer currently focused on Managed Service Providers such as Swift Systems.