Five Ways to Engage New Customers

When it comes to bonding with potential customers, many managed service providers (MSPs) earn failing grades. In fact, some MSPs actually drive would-be customers away because they don't take some simple steps to drive communication on their web sites.

Here are five of the most common customer-engagement mistakes I see, and how to fix them.



1. Contact Who?: Most MSP Web sites have a "contact us" page, but they're frequently polluted with generic email addresses ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.). Or, they have a generic form that customers can complete -- without knowing who's going to receive the message.

Perhaps MSPs fear they will be flooded with spam and vendor calls if they put employee names, titles, email addresses and phone numbers on their "contact us" page. But I bet many customers "move on" to another MSP when they can't find a specific contact name and number on your site.

2. Anonymous Leadership: MSP Web sites frequently proclaim that they have "seasoned leadership" who are "trusted advisors" or "virtual CIOs" to numerous small business customers. However, those same Web sites frequently fail to list the MSPs' top executives (Presidents, CEOs, VPs, directors) by name and title. Big mistake. Brag a bit about your management team and include staff bios -- but limit the list to your senior leadership.

3. Location, Location, Location: MSPs brag about providing "local" and "personalized" service, yet many MSP Web sites fail to list a street address for their business. Customers are bound to wonder what you're hiding if they can't find you on a Google Map.

4.  What's Your Track Record?: You've been in business for 10 years but your Web site doesn't mention a single customer testimonial. Nor does it describe the key verticals you serve. Here's a quick fix: Send some emails to your favorite clients, and ask them for a quick quote about your business services. Compile those quotes into a simple Web page, and your site visitors will gain a better understanding of your accomplishments.

5. Fatal Distractions: You want to brag about your expertise and share viewpoints. So you launch a corporate blog. Within two weeks, you discover you have nothing interesting to tell readers, and the blog becomes a wasteland on your website. Instead of building an ongoing dialog with site visitors, you've basically stated: "Nothing to see here; move along." Before you launch a corporate blog, be sure to read these five secrets to corporate blogging success.

How else can MSPs more easily communicate with customers? I'm all ears.

TAGS: Marketing
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