I was thinking today about client loyalty. Client loyalty is critical to long term success as a solution provider, particularly in the managed services business. Think about it, with a Managed Services Agreement you’re asking for a long term contractual commitment from your clients, which requires real loyalty over time. Even after you convince them to sign up for managed services, if your clients aren’t happy with your services and don’t feel loyal to you as their Trusted Technology Advisor, it will be easy for them (in spite of the service agreement) to replace you with the guy down the street whose price is 10% cheaper. So it only stands to logic that, in order to prevent this, you should be mindful and watchful of how happy and loyal your clients are feeling. The happier they are, and the more valuable they perceive you and your services to be, the less likely they are to stray or to shop your price.
Most of the time, when it comes to thinking about strategies to improve top and bottom line performance, our minds immediately turn to the challenge of building new client relationships. Penetrating new accounts is necessarily one of the primary goals of a growing IT solution provider, and many will spend large amounts of time, money and energy on targeted marketing and sales efforts to win new accounts. When it’s done right, it pays off, but it’s expensive and takes a lot of time and diligent effort.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to improve both the top and bottom line while minimizing those marketing and sales expenses? Statistics show that it costs about ten times more to win a new client than it does to keep a current one happy. Good ways to keep current clients happy include loyalty programs and two-way marketing dialogue, special promotions, offers, and discounts available only to your loyal existing clientele. You probably have multiple solutions in your solution stack (managed services, VoIP, web development, hosting services, etc.), and if you’re like most MSPs, the majority of your clients only have one or two of those solutions deployed in their environments. There are probably lots of untapped sales opportunities right under your nose with the clients that already know and trust you!
So what can you offer to your existing clients to show them that you value their business, make them feel more satisfied and loyal to you than they are today, and help them see the value in the other solutions you provide?