Uncover the Truth with an Effective Communications Strategy
Assumptions can be dangerous to the long-term success of a managed services organization—or to any business. Without a clear understanding of their clients’ needs, issues and thoughts related to quality of their systems and service levels, providers have no firm foundation for making subsequent decisions. And the choices they make based on minimal information and assumptions can be extremely detrimental to their customer services and business relationships, as well as the eventual success or failure of their strategic plans.
Ineffective communication can affect many aspects of an MSP’s operations. For example, just because customers never complain about the level of service or pricing they receive, can the sales team truly believe those clients are fully satisfied? According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, the average disgruntled customer tells 9-15 others about a negative experience and approximately 13% of unhappy customers express their displeasure with at least 20 others.
Would these disgruntled clients be willing to renew their existing contracts at current prices or, better yet, increase their spending with that provider? Most will actually spend less, if any money with an MSP who doesn’t address unresolved issues before their contract renewal period. Attempting to upselling a disgruntled customer is an extremely difficult proposition, and the most inopportune time to discover their displeasure is when a provider suggests they increase their spending levels for new services or support.
The situation worsens when an MSP raises its rates when their customer satisfaction level is subpar. Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common situation in the IT business community and it presents a substantial challenge to those charged with renewing services contracts. If an MSP misperceives its customers’ satisfaction with their support programs or fails to grasp clients’ true business needs, how can they legitimately expect to grow those relationships?
That lack of communication can also negatively affect sales in several ways. While many MSPs (and other organizations) continually struggle getting good information from prospective and current customers, they often fail to fully convey their complete value propositions and service options. If their target audience only receives (or comprehends) details on a small part of their comprehensive capabilities, the providers’ chances for selling additional services can be severely diminished. The price tag for those lost market opportunities can be quite significant, considering that:
- the likelihood of securing additional sales to existing customers is 60-70%, while the chances of selling to a new prospect are just 5-20% (Marketing Metrics)
- on average, a 10% increase in customer retention will result in a 30% increase in the company’s value (Bain and Company)
- acquiring a new customer costs 6-7 time more than retain an existing one (Bain & Company)
Read on to learn our tips on building your MSP Marketing Plan!