As-A-Service: How to Retain Clients
Congratulations, you’ve done it.
You’ve started to accrue some service contracts and you’re beginning to appreciate all the advantages of a recurring revenue model. Now, it’s time to redirect some of your energy to making sure you keep all those clients who’ve made the transition with you.
The key to client retention is pursuing an understanding of what they expect and putting a worry-free plan in place to meet those expectations. Here are a few tips for letting your customers know they’re valued.
Honesty, Not Empty Promises
Avoid confusion and disappointments by creating standard SLAs. Then have your team communicate those clearly to the client. Make it easy for your client to understand the most effective way to stay in touch with you. It’s best to under-promise and over-deliver—you can always take it up a notch, but it’s hard to repair a relationship damaged by a botched promise.
Respond and Resolve Promptly
Delivering on the service level you’ve promised is essential to customer satisfaction.
Put processes in place to stay on top of every stage of resolution. The ConnectWise Manage SLA engine can help by tracking every ticket, so you don’t miss any promised goals.
Record-Keeping is Your Friend
As much as you may strive for consistency, the reality is more than one member of your team may service your client. There’s tremendous value in ensuring your customer never has to ‘start over at the beginning’ when explaining an issue. Full documentation will make everyone on your team an immediate expert on every client’s history.
Don’t Take Anything For Granted
We’ve all heard the saying ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil.’ It’s understandably natural to pay the most attention to those clients who demand attention while ignoring those who seem to be on autopilot. Don’t fall into that trap. Just because you don’t hear from a client doesn’t mean they’re on the 100% satisfied list. Send customer satisfaction surveys on a regular basis and don’t skip QBRs.
Quarterly Business Review (QBRs)
Initiating quarterly business reviews (QBR) is perhaps the most effective way to stay in front of your customers, reassure them that you are on top of their needs and alleviate any doubts they may have about the importance of your role in their success.
Some key elements to consider for every QBR:
- Are you constantly aware of the leadership’s business goals?
- How is your management of technology helping them meet those goals?
- Does their recent service report history show a need for training or new technology?
- How have you contributed to their ROI? What would their downtime cost have been if not for you?
- What is the cost-savings of a contract with you as virtual CTO vs. your client having to hire an IT staff?
The goals of the QBR are to gather feedback, make recommendations, open opportunities and, ultimately, to prove what you deliver.
To learn about more client-retention strategies, read our Ultimate Guide to As-A-Service Part 7: How to Retain Clients.
We encourage you to reference our series of As-A-Service blogs during your growth as an as-a-service provider:
Part 1: As-A-Service: It Could Save Your Business
Part 2: Planning a Successful Transition To An As-A-Service Business Model
Part 3: Managing Cash Flow In A Recurring Revenue Business
Part 4: As-A-Service: Adapting Your Sales Strategy
Part 5: As-A-Service: Business Process Automation