The Customer Experience Starts with the Sales Process
How can Managed Service Providers create amazing customer experiences? The customer journey starts with the sales call which serves as the audition for your company. It is also the first exposure to your company, your culture, and it mission. A great sales experience can swing a deal even when all proposals are not equal.
Most MSP’s have service delivery down cold. Their service desk manned by superstars. They have a very structured support processes and they are proactive in their approach. Most use tickets to keep clients up to date on status and in the know. Most even crush their Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) exceeding their customer expectations.
A rock star service company delivering incredible customer support. Sounds like a pretty good customer experience, doesn’t it?
So why can MSP relationships go sour?
Things can go badly if they are not concerned with the overall customer satisfaction. This is usually the things outside of technical support. For many Managed Service Providers, the account management stops with the sale event.
At this point most accounts are turned over to the support team. While these folks are competent and care, they are often viewed as a commodity by your client. They are keeping things up and running, technical support at its finest, but that alone cannot drive long-term customer loyalty.
Important, Yes! Strategic, hardly.
So how can you flip the switch and improve the customer experience? In most cases the customers perception starts with the salesperson and that first meeting. It can make or break the customers perception of your entire business.
Amazing customer experiences start with the sales process…
The experience starts the moment your walk in the door. Dress appropriately and speak confidently. The salesperson is representing the whole company. Once the meeting begins keep it customer centric. Of course you need to introduce your company, its history, products and services, and key wins. Once you finish, it needs to be all about the customer.
- Have a plan and do your homework and be in control, your prospect will appreciate the respect.
- Two ears one mouth, make sure you listen, customers want to be heard.
- Hit your commitments, promise a proposal by Tuesday…it better be there.
- Don’t try to shortcut the process, the customer is evaluating you.
- Good things sometimes take time. Then ask for the sale, some customers need a push.
After the sale…
- Communicate with your clients during on-boarding.
- Bad news doesn’t get better with age. Don’t delay letting you client know if they are in the midst of a bad experience.
- If there is a problem, go see them live. In bad times a client wants to know you care.
- Interact with your customers regularly. Listen and learn what their key initiatives are and then find solutions to support them Hold regular business reviews.
- Give them a call just to say hi. Regular contact is key to any customer experience strategy, A brief check in with some small talk helps build rapport.
Great client experiences in IT are a blend of great service and account management. Most MSP’s can check the first box, but sometimes box number two slips.
Done right you have a raving fan, done wrong you are gone.