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MSP Insiders’ Guide to an Exceptional Customer Journey—Part 4: Superior Account Management

We’ve interviewed several key players at Managed Service Providers across the nation to discover how MSPs can provide an exceptional customer journey—from sales and onboarding, through service, support and account management. Discover their insights and experiences, as well as how Liongard Roar  can help improve processes every step of the customer journey, in this four-part series. Then, download our e-book  for more ways to provide an exceptional customer experience.

Author: David Nankervis, head of account management, Liongard

The final stage of the customer journey, account management, should be never-ending. Providing outstanding service and support will differentiate you from the pack, but proactively adding value to each of your accounts will keep your customers coming back to your services time after time.

Measure Performance & Continuously Improve

Tracking key performance indicators and showing continued growth can’t be ignored in this fast-paced industry. If you’re not innovating and improving, someone else is bound to come along and show your clients what they’re missing out on.

Response time is one KPI to keep an eye on. Allan Jocson, owner of Agilitec IT says, “We look at response time as the number one thing we can do. It’s something that makes people feel comfortable, [knowing that] somebody’s looking into their issue. So, we measure that and survey all of our customers. I think we’re running at 98.5 right now on the CSAT score.”

Allan Jocson, owner, Agilitec IT

Liongard Roar’s automation, actionable alerts and robust reporting features all help keep response times low for MSPs.

“If you’re not best-in-class in automation, you’re not best-in-class service desk. Period. End of story,” asserts Will Young of CCS Technology Group, LLC. “When you’re automating, you’re more efficient, you’re more accurate, and you’re more profitable.”

Young estimates that Roar has saved CCS Technology Group, “easily 200 hours to fix our documentation, probably more. And then, just week to week, I would say it’s saving us at least 10 hours, because the data’s there, it’s up to date, and there’s less going on a wild goose chase trying to find information— because we’ve got it all automated.”

Once you embrace the automation Roar delivers, you’ll be able to keep improving at the same rate as tech itself improves.

“That’s one of our mantras: continuous improvement,” Jocson says. “We call it being agile. We’re always trying to think on our feet, move with the market, and never be stuck in the status quo. To us, our worst enemy is saying, ‘That’s how we’ve always done it.’ We’re always looking for a better way to do something, including automation.”

“If there’s technology that can automate certain processes in your company, why not leverage that? That’s how you can do more with less. Why have a human doing that when it can be done faster, easier, and better by an automated system?”

Why indeed. By automating where possible, you can funnel that saved time into better managing customer accounts.

Build Relationships with Dedicated Account Management

Making sure you’ve got a dedicated team assigned to taking care of each customer strengthens the relationship and leads to an established trust and long-term partnership. Struggling MSPs may not know where to find the time and resources to implement this, but those that rely on automation from tools like Roar have experienced firsthand the amount of time that’s freed up once automation takes over the manual documentation tasks and 24/7 monitoring for critical changes.

“You’re not just using us as service provider,” Aaron Huff of Ergos Technology Partners states. “We’re creating a partnership. We have somebody that knows your business really well, almost as much as somebody that works there.”

Adds Jocson, “The account manager is really there to take the temperature of the client; ensure that they’re happy and well taken care of; and, if they place an order, that it’s processed very quickly. So we have a dedicated account management team to take care of our clients.”

Guide Technical Strategy

One of the most significant things you can do to retain a customer is to be their trusted resource for all things tech-related. Guiding technical strategy can include informing them of what’s currently happening in the IT realm as well as what’s coming; suggesting ways to improve their business or cut costs; working with them on a long-term plan; and offering your services in areas they may need in the future. Much of this can take place during your quarterly business review with the client, when you’re already reviewing their current and future needs.

“Being an advisor to your clients and helping them assess risks, make plans and educate them is obviously bringing a lot more value than just the technology [aspect],” says George Bardissi of bvoip.

Jocson’s team finds it mutually beneficial to hold regular check-ins where they sit down with their clients, find out their business goals and challenges, and ensure that the MSP is constantly aligned with that.

“It’s having a strategic conversation, not a yes-or-no conversation,” he says. “We try to plan out three years in advance, so we’ll give them that three-year roadmap of, ‘Here’s where we’re at now. Year Two we may need to replace a quarter of your machines. Year Three we may need to replace this equipment here.” This allows the customer enough time to include these costs in their budgets.

Huff’s company also looks at the big picture during these business reviews, highlighting the IT landscape and asking clients about what’s happening in their industry. They also have conversations around the company’s long-term plans that could affect both the client and the MSP.

“[Acquisitions] are a big thing that’s happening with some of our customer base,” Huff says. “Are you looking to do an acquisition? Here’s what we could do to help you with that. We would do an assessment of the IT of the company that you bought and could figure out how to migrate and consolidate all of these things.”

Ian Richardson, CEO, Doberman Technologies LLC

Ian Richardson of Doberman Technologies has a unique approach to this part of account management.

“We’re functioning as a CIO here,” he says. “How can we help you grow your business? How can we help you grow revenue with the technology you already have? This might not be spending any dollars with us, but if we’re coming in and even helping them increase revenue by one or two percent, we are building value into their company. That’s what folks want from an IT provider.”

“That’s one area that you can walk in and assist a client in ways that a less mature organization cannot,” he states.

It’s only with maturity that an MSP can deliver a world-class customer journey. Liongard Roar helps MSPs get to that point much quicker. With the time and resources freed up with Roar’s automation, always up-to-date system documentation, actionable alerts and in-depth reporting and metrics, your team will be able to focus its attention on all aspects of the customer journey.

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By Dave Nankervis, head of account management, Liongard. Read more Liongard guest blogs here.

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