As companies look for other ways to improve their revenue and profits, they are increasingly turning to managed service providers (MSPs) manage essential IT functions. As a result, the MSP market is expected to reach a valuation of more than 300 billion dollars in the next five years.
Naturally, as the market grows, so does competition between MSP companies. So how do MSPs stand out and take full advantage of the growing demand for their services?
Here are some suggestions for MSPs looking to grow their business alongside the market.
Understand your customers
While companies that sell products thrive when they have loyal customers who come back again and again, customer relationships are far more important to MSPs. Your customers trust the continued health of their business to the services you provide. You must therefore understand in detail the objectives and needs of your client. If your customers know that you are genuinely interested in their success, they do your marketing for you.
Having a deep understanding of your customers does more than help you provide better service. It also allows you to better understand who your ideal customers are. And you can more easily define your value proposition to future customers, a notoriously tricky exercise for many companies.
Use your existing connections to build ideal customer profiles. You will then be able to better focus your marketing investments on customers for whom your probability of closing the deal is high, which will increase your return on marketing investment. Dispersed marketing efforts can undoubtedly bring you new customers, but they are usually more expensive and less effective than targeted campaigns aimed at potential customers who are already ready to hear your message.
Knowing your customers is also crucial when scaling your services. As you learn from your relationships with your customers, you can refine your service offerings and highlight which ones your current customers (and likely future customers) value the most, which ones your customers work with. you rather than with another MSP.
ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors are increasingly important to customers and shareholders in today’s business world. And organizations that can show potential customers that they have common goals in this space have a head start in closing a deal.
Part of understanding your customers is knowing their values and how your business aligns with those values. For many customers, it is essential that you can show a commitment to diversity. For others, it’s important that you look at your company’s carbon footprint. And for others, it’s your commitment to the local community.
Determine if your ESG efforts can be an effective part of your value proposition and brand. If the answer is yes, push common values when marketing. If the answer is no, consider whether you need to reconsider how your company deals with ESG.
Constantly strengthen customer relationships
The satisfaction of your current customers is just as important as attract new customers. Minimizing customer turnover reduces the strain on your financial resources and the time of your employees (probably your time as well). And happy customers can help introduce you to or even sell you to new leads.
Building customer relationships involves more than just contacting your customers when you need to or when there is a problem. Finding so-called “genuine reasons” to contact your customers is easier than you think. Indeed, there are many ways to stay in frequent contact with your customers without feeling like an intrusion.
Provide them with useful content
Customers love content as long as it’s not generic. Instead, customers are generally receptive to information that can help their business or is relevant to their personal interests. So think of ways to provide personalized content to your customers.
Perhaps you can create a blog focused on maximizing MSP customer effort and minimizing cost. Perhaps you can send a client an article about a new solution to a problem they’re facing, or a white paper about trends related to their services.
Remember, however, to use personal contact with care. While it’s easy to connect with people on social media, it can also be a trap when using your personal accounts rather than a work account. Use your discretion!
Find events where you can meet in person
Never underestimate the power of the personal touch. Spending face-to-face time can be one of the best ways to cement lasting relationships with customers.
You never have to look far for find an opportunity. Invite your customers to an MSP conference or attend conferences in their industry. Host a client event at your company or, if it fits your budget, at a community event (e.g., concert, sporting event, or charity event). Invite them over for coffee or lunch so you can introduce them to a colleague who can help them with another part of their business.
Sale value, not low price
If you focus on always offering the lowest price, you are doing your business a disservice. You will have customers, but they will often be customers who are difficult and unpleasant work with. And the second another competitor drops their prices, those customers will let you down.
Low-cost labor also creates stress within the company to find other ways to generate profits. Employee morale suffers, and managers and owners will be constantly on the cutting edge of cutting expenses. If, on the contrary, you focus on the value you offer your customers, price becomes a secondary issue. This does not mean that your customers will never question your prices. But if you show your customers that you offer a unique value proposition, you can charge more for it.
Create the best possible user experience
Your service may be the most technologically advanced and efficient of all your customers. But if it’s not easy to use and interact with, you’ll lose customers to simpler offerings.
Make sure your customers have offers that are simple, attractive and engaging ways to connect with your offers and easy and effective ways to communicate with you. If part of your service is to provide data, create customizable and easy-to-use dashboards to present the information. Integrate highly functional collaboration tools into your services.
User experience is also important internally. Apply Automation at every possible stage of your workflow to maximize the user experience of your employees. Automation increases your own efficiency and allows you to create constant contact with your customers. Whether you use pre-generated documents such as profit and loss statement templates or automated sales emails, your organization can benefit significantly from automation.
Work with a partner who can help grow your MSP business
Now is a great time to own or work for an MSP, especially in the current era of remote and hybrid working. There are huge opportunities for growth and it only takes a little effort to take advantage of them.
Nevertheless, working with an expert partner can help. A award-winning cloud solution provider as Sherweb has resources and know-how available to help MSPs capitalize on the strategies mentioned above. Discover our partner guide for more information, or join our network of partners to start.
This guest blog is courtesy of Sherweb. Read more guest blogs from Sherweb here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of the ChannelE2E referral program.