MSPs: Don't Sell, Do Connect

MSPs: Don't Sell, Do Connect

I'm trying to blog while seated in my local Starbucks. But I'm a little distracted because there's a group of new Starbucks employees sitting next to me. The group is discussing customer service. The manager's key statement: "Name one simple, brief step you can take to connect with every customer." There's no mention of upselling or cross selling. The training is all about looking customers in the eye, exceeding their current expectations, and connecting in some simple manner to ensure customers come back the next day. Now here's my key question...

How did a $10 billion coffeehouse company with 17,800 stores worldwide manage to drive customer service business processes out to each and every story? And if Starbucks can master customer service business processes how come small MSPs can't?

CharTec CEO Alex Rogers often tells me that MSPs have to spend less time talking and more time listening... more time asking questions. More time understanding customer needs. Meanwhile, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini spent major portions of the IT Nation conference promoting help desks. Why? Bellini believes help desk employees are the key people who will interact most closely with SMB customers.

Some IT Nation attendees wanted to hear more about ConnectWise's cloud strategy. I did, too. But Bellini seemed to be saying the key to winning the cloud wars is to get back on the phone and listen closely -- very closely -- to your customers.

Autotask, meanwhile, is taking a slightly different approach to helping MSPs with customer service. The effort involves survey software that allows MSPs to gather feedback from customers and then compare that the scores to the broader Autotask community scores. More on the survey software later, but you get the general idea for now: Customer service could be a key differentiator as MSPs strive to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

When we launched MSPmentor roughly three years ago, Master IT CEO Michael Drake told me his key to success was to measure everything and then try to beat to metrics every month. Fast forward to the present and I wonder how many MSPs have implemented best practices and business processes for superior customer service.

If Starbucks can do it on a global scale you can do it on a local scale. Can't you?

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