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Update as-a-service offerings to build strong customer relationships.
March 12, 2020
By Craig Fulton
The start of a new decade is a good time to reflect on how much the software marketplace and the “as-a-service” model have evolved over the past 10 years.
By taking time to reflect, providers will benefit from understanding how to effectively leverage the as-a-service model for their customers and their businesses, yielding success in the process. Below are four crucial points to update your as-a-service model, making it more profitable in the process.
1. Stand out: With the competition growing, technology professionals must stand out to their customers against the vast amount of options currently available. In today’s as-a-service world, customers are in control, leveraging more options with lowered costs for switching providers. As a result, it’s important for providers to build and maintain a strong relationship with their customers, while simultaneously catering to their needs and wants. The customer-provider relationship is constantly being tested, so organizations need to ensure every aspect of the customer experience is positive.
2. Navigate your customer journey: Your customers are busy, so offer them a clear and seamless journey that shows your business is meeting and exceeding expectations at every touchpoint. As the first interaction with your client, marketing provides your company the opportunity to deliver to your customers a targeted message, which ideally increases the opportunity to close a sale and set expectations for the quantity and quality of work you will provide. At this stage, it’s crucial to follow up with sales leads in a timely manner and provide them with a quote and proposal automation tool that works seamlessly with your PSA and automation tool to move forward with a purchase.
By delivering on your initial promises with speed and accuracy, your new client will be ready for the implementation phase. Here, your company should provide consistent, proactive services. PSA and RMM tools working in unison will help to automate redundant tasks, prevent major downtime and solidify your value. When issues or questions arise, your customer’s experience with your business’ support team will determine their overall satisfaction with your company. By using a remote-control solution that works alongside your other business automation tools, your business is better prepared to access, track and manage the issue. The final stage of the customer journey provides your client the opportunity to re-evaluate their services with a monthly checklist. Consistent billing can be achieved by implementing a PSA that is able to calculate your charges and deliver invoices reflecting the quoted price from the sales phase of the customer journey.
3. Benefits of migrating to as-a-service offerings: By entering the as-a-service market, your business will enjoy the fruits of a market able to provide customers with the benefits of an in-house team without investing in pricey infrastructure and resources. Outsourcing services provides customers with access to technology experts, cost efficiency, technological innovation, time and resource efficiency, speed, and security. When your business offers more services, potential and existing clients will appreciate the ability to manage their needs with a one-stop shop.
4. Update your marketing campaign: Even if your business is providing the best tools and services at the most affordable prices, you won’t find success without a good marketing campaign. When implementing a strategic marketing campaign, organizations will expand beyond word-of-mouth referrals and a regional marketplace. In an increasingly globalized world, modern technology has equipped businesses with the tools to reach a broader audience, and potentially gain more customers in the process. By understanding and narrowing in on your target market, implementing relevant digital and traditional marketing campaigns, conducting effective market research, developing buyer personas and creating targeted messages, you will be better prepared to drive sales.
In the tech industry, changes happen overnight, so taking the time to evaluate the past 10 years of the as-a-service model and looking for ways to cater to the changes will yield positive results for your business. By coupling simple solutions with technological innovations, your business shows it can sustain the needs of a customer while embracing the constantly evolving landscape.
As ConnectWise chief customer officer, Craig Fulton oversees the support, consulting and onboarding teams. He credits his 20-plus years in the technology sector, including time spent as a support desk and field technician, for helping him understand what partners want and need from their business management software. He co-created ConnectWise CloudConsole and authored Path to Success, a ConnectWise best-practices guide about how to run a successful technology solutions provider business. A Marine Corps veteran, he holds a number of patents related to chat program and cloud management technology and earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of South Florida. He was named a Channel Partners Top Gun 51 channel executive in 2019. Follow Craig on LinkedIn or @ConnectWise.
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