ChannelCon 2014: Tips for MSPs to Deliver World-Class Customer Service

Brainhunter CEO John Mehrmann described the keys for managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver world-class customer service during a presentation at CompTIA's ChannelCon 2014 in Phoenix.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

August 7, 2014

2 Min Read
Brainhunter CEO John Mehrmann
Brainhunter CEO John Mehrmann

Customer service is vital for all businesses, and managed service providers (MSPs) are no exception.

So how can MSPs deliver world-class customer service? Brainhunter CEO John Mehrmann offered tips to help service providers keep their customers happy during a presentation yesterday at CompTIA‘s ChannelCon 2014 in Phoenix. 

Mehrmann provided tips relating to various customer service topics, including:

  • Appearance

  • Active listening

  • Building credibility with customers

  • Maintaining consistent communication with customers

  • Taking ownership of problems

He noted good customer service can help MSPs become more than just service providers.

“[With good customer service], you’re not just a service provider anymore,” Mehrmann said. “You’re a partner and you have strategic value.”

What are the best ways to partner with customers? Here are five of Mehrmann’s customer service recommendations for MSPs:

  1. Dress for success — Mehrmann pointed out any employee may need to interact with a customer at any time, and how he or she is dressed can influence a customer’s opinion. “Whatever role you have, at some point, you’re going to be engaged with the customer face-to-face, and appearance is very important,” Mehrmann said. “If you look like you just rolled out of bed, they’re not going to have a professional opinion of you.”

  2. Use positive language — Mehrmann recommended starting the day with a refreshing activity because it can help an employee prepare for customer interactions later in the day. This activity also can help a worker prep to use positive language: “Do something that’s going to nourish your mind — prepare yourself for the customers you’re going to engage with.”

  3. Be an active listener — Eye contact and nodding are great active listening skills every employee needs to practice. By becoming an active listener, Mehrmann said, an employee can better understand what a customer has to say and ensure that his or her needs are met.

  4. Promise only what you can — Mehrmann suggested making small promises and following through with them to build trust with customers. For example, promising to call a customer at a specific time and doing so is a great way to start building a long-lasting partnership.

  5. Own a problem — Not every MSP has all the answers, and Mehrmann said employees should try to respond to customer queries as best they can. If a worker doesn’t have the answer, he or she can find out the answer (or find someone who knows the answer). In addition, this employee should stay in touch with a customer to ensure he or she is fully supported.

Leaving a positive impression also is important, Mehrmann said. A handwritten note, for instance, can help an MSP further differentiate itself from rivals.

“Give customers something positive to think about,” Mehrmann said. “That’s what’s going to keep their loyalty.”

Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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