Getting new SMB customers on board with managed service contracts can be pricy. In fact, it can cost up to five times as much as keeping the ones you already have. That’s why it’s essential to learn effective methods to retain and keep your existing customer base happy.
This week, our tip comes from one of our Barracuda MSP partners, Jim Bayliss of Thrive Networks. He stressed that to retain current clients, all MSPs should learn how to effectively care for both their customers and their solutions. Here’s the advice he shared:
“Customer service training can alleviate a number of issues raised by clients. Technical staff can be, at times, a bit abrasive particularly when dealing with luddites. Also, [be sure to] monitor your backups and periodically test restores to ensure all is as advertised.”
Jim points out that these two things can drastically increase your retention rate and help you build positive working relationships with your SMB customers.
3 Ways to reduce customer turnover
Reducing your customer turnover—or churn—is essential if you want to grow your profitability and your business. Here are three things you can do throughout the year to help retain more customers while continuously growing your MSP business.
1. Routinely check in with your customers. Just like you, your SMB customers can get swamped with day-to-day activities, and they can put off something that may require your attention. This could be as simple as making sure that a new hire has antivirus on their computers or that their systems are backed up every night. Instead of letting things fall through the cracks and become a problem down the road, check in with customers once a month or every few months to see what may have changed with their business. For more tips on how to effectively check-in with your SMB customers, read this Smarter MSP post featuring one of our partner success managers to learn more.
2. Frequently ask for feedback. Whether it’s a follow-up email after a service visit, a small survey at the end of a check-in, a feedback button on your monthly newsletter, or a conversation when they’re moving to a new service provider, consistently ask your customers for both positive and negative feedback. This can help you recognize places you need to improve and where your team is doing a great job. A report from The 2112 Group and Barracuda MSP found that the average channel provider loses two accounts per month. This number can be reduced simply by finding out where your MSP business is falling short. For more insight from The State of North America Managed Services report, download your free copy here.
3. Be transparent and helpful. When it comes to customer service, no one wants to feel like they were lied to. Try to keep communication with your customers as open and honest as you can. This will make them feel more comfortable asking questions and can even help you when it’s time to renew their managed service contract. If customers catch you in a lie, this can damage your relationship with them—and ultimately cause them to look for a new MSP. To learn what else your customers and prospects are looking for, check out this article on Smarter MSP.
Retaining your current customers takes time, but taking small steps every day can help you reduce your customer turnover rate and increase your profitability.
Photo: Bojan Milinkov / Shutterstock.