MSP Insiders’ Guide to an Exceptional Customer Journey: Part 1

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: Shawn Sailer
Author: Shawn Sailer, VP of managed services strategy, Liongard.

The customer journey as we see it begins during the sales process, before you can truly call someone your customer. Not only can a positive experience during this phase earn or lose you the business, it can also set the tone for the entire client-provider relationship. Start off on the right foot with proven MSP best practices for sales.

Find a Good Fit for Your Company

It’s hard to turn down business, but if you see red flags in this stage with a prospect, it could end up costing you more in time and headaches than they’re worth.

Aaron Huff of Ergos Technology Partners advises MSPs to qualify clients based on the prospect’s technology, challenges and company size.

“Is their technology what we’re good at supporting? Do they have challenges that we’re good at overcoming?” Ergos, like many MSPs, looks for small- to medium-sized businesses to support, between 1-200 people.

Robert Bracey of Quartet Services adds, “If want to do a discovery process, we don't work with them. We're not rude about it, but if they don't appreciate the value of starting off right, it's a bad sign for us.”

Looking beyond a prospect’s technology needs can also provide important insight. An alignment of cultures between the potential customer and the MSP can be a strong indicator of a long-term service relationship.

Once a prospect has met your qualifications, it’s time to show them your worth.

Optimize the Sales Assessment and Discovery Process

There are two major components to focus on here: the human aspect and the automation.

On the human side of things, Allan Jocson of Intelitec finds it essential to meet and interview as many people in the company as possible to get a comprehensive picture of their needs and challenges.

“It’s important for us to talk to all of the stakeholders. If it’s a small enough company, we make it a point to interview every employee.”

From there, leveraging tools with automation (like Liongard Roar) helps fine-tune the assessment and optimize the discovery process.

“The amount of data and the speed at which we can pull it is impressive,” says Will Young of CCS Technology Group, LLC. “Even on the back end, the amount of time we’re spending to put together something like this is significantly less than it wouldn’t have been two years ago when we weren’t leveraging all of these tools.

“Ideally, , we've already done a security assessment, so the foundation of our documentation is already there,” Young continues. “We've already got some systems and our tools and accounts where we need them. So really does a great job of speeding up that on-boarding process for us. Before Liongard, this was an atrocious process.”

As an MSP, you can also point to the automation used during the discovery process to enhance your sales pitches, demonstrating to prospects the actionable alerts, reporting and metrics features you’ll have access to. Roar identifies gaps in a system and provides a short list of areas of exposure across the stack—in the cloud, the network and on-premise—resulting in concrete ways to start proving your worth to a prospect as soon as they sign on.

Make the Sale, Then Continue the Journey

Experienced MSPs know that most people don’t understand the complexities behind what they do. Making sure to get your point across without alienating a customer with technical jargon will give you credibility and relatability.

“We try to present a complete story and not overwhelm with technology,” said Jocson. “They don’t want to be technology experts … that’s why they’re hiring us. The more we simplify our presentation and really give it to them in what’s happening in their business, the better.”

Jocson also adds that Intelitec always delivers proposals in person and has a sit-down with the onboarding team directly after a closed sale to ensure a full understanding of what the deliverables will be.

With a solid foundation laid during the sales process, the stage is now set to continue building on your positive customer journey during onboarding. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series.

In the meantime, download our e-book, Building a World-Class Customer Journey, for best practices for people, processes and automation.

Stay tuned for Part Two in the days ahead.

Shawn Sailer is VP of managed services strategy at Liongard. Read more Liongard blogs here.