Get to know your customers (and a few ConnectWise partners)

| By: Craig Fulton

At ConnectWise, we’re lucky to have an engaged and inspired customer base. But we don’t think of our relationships with technology solution providers (TSPs) as a customer/vendor relationship. We think of it as a partnership, and that’s why our customers are our partners. We love to share stories of how our partners have built their businesses, given back to the industry and their communities, and made their employees’ lives better. And what better day to highlight a few of our great partners than ‘Get to Know Your Customers Day.’

Get to Know Your Customers Day

You may be asking yourself, “What is Get to Know Your Customers Day?” Observed on the third Thursday of each quarter, Get to Know Your Customers Day is a reminder to companies to reach out and listen to their customers. With more business being done online and less face-to-face time, personal interactions are put on the backburner.

As Chief Customer Officer, I’m fortunate to interact with our partners regularly, and our IT Nation events throughout the year allow all of us at ConnectWise to build meaningful relationships with TSP owners and techs. Not to brag, but we have a few more facetime with customers than a lot of other companies do.

To celebrate ‘Get to Know Your Customers Day,’ let’s get to know a few of our partners.

Brad Bell, Lead Network Services Delivery Engineer, Workplace IT Management

Since he was in the second grade when he helped teachers with computer issues, Brad’s been an IT guy, and his interest in IT continued to grow through his work at Dakota State University and Workplace IT Management. Joe Zuegar, Owner of Workplace IT Management, gave Brad the opportunity and guidance to grow personally and professionally.

Brad and Workplace IT Management have been a valued ConnectWise partner since 2011, and using ConnectWise Manage® has improved their communication and accountability. For TSPs getting started with ConnectWise Manage, Brad advises, "It may look like a mountain to climb, but make it a process that will never end. Find a champion in your organization that is thinking of continual improvement and start small, deploying the areas with the biggest impacts first."

We want to thank Brad and his team for being a great member of The IT Nation through their involvement with Pilot (Beta) since 2013 and the Partner Innovation Network (PIN) program. As a part of these groups, they’ve provided ConnectWise with insight into the functions and features that partners need.

Dave Alton, VP of Tech Ops, Strategic Information Resources

Dave’s been a part of the IT industry for over 25 years. One of our favorite things Dave has done is mentoring young adults in learning about computers, computer programming, and networking and helping introduce the next generation to IT. "Anywhere you can educate the next generation of future technicians, IT professionals, security professionals, and IT leaders, it feels like a win," Dave told us about his mentorship work. I couldn’t agree more.

On the business side of things, Dave shared how ConnectWise Automate® has helped transform Strategic Information Resources. "The documentation has transformed how we do things. We used to enter everything manually. Now we load ConnectWise Automate as our first step, and it handles much of the computer onboarding. We also use it to populate all of our documentation. We see far fewer data entry errors and much more consistency in our databases."

Finally, Dave has been an active member of his regional IT Nation Share user group. His goal as a member is to educate our industry on best practices while using the opportunity to bounce ideas off other like-minded TSP owners.

Paul Blough, Founder & CEO, Blough Tech, Inc

Paul has been working in the IT industry for 37 years. During that time, he’s been listed on the INC. 5000 twice, the CRN MSP 500 and Fast Growth 150 multiple times, and included on the MSP Mentor list multiple years. Paul knows what he’s doing.

He’s not only an active member of The IT Nation, but he participates in the Forbes Technology Council and contributes articles on the industry’s latest topics.

Paul and Blough Tech Inc have been a ConnectWise partner since 2005. While they use the entire ConnectWise platform, Paul highlighted ConnectWise Identify®. “ConnectWise Identify is an easy to use tool that helps communicate security issues in a way that’s easy for clients to understand.” As security grows in importance, the easier it is to communicate, the easier it is to sell.

When getting started with ConnectWise Identify, Paul says, "Start with an internal audit first, next identify your higher-risk clients—those with compliance requirements—and then work towards getting 100% of your managed contracts assessed." I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Partners saving the world

ConnectWise partners aren’t just helping the IT industry. Many of them are helping save the world, seriously. Here are just some of the ways our partners are making their communities, and the world, a better place.

Nick Orme and his team at ITEC helped launch community improvement and fundraising efforts for OASIS to help build new classrooms in Mbale, Uganda. By working with OASIS, ITEC is helping vulnerable girls in Uganda stay off the streets and learn about IT for a brighter future.

In partnership with McClintock Partners in Education (McPie), Lawrence Cruciana and Corporate Information Technologies support students suffering from poverty and homelessness with the Computer Building Club at McClintock Middle School. The club has introduced students to the concepts of the CompTIA A+ certification and allows students to build and take home their very own computer.

As President and CEO of initial.IT, Jack Smith and his team have been contributing their time, money, and technical skills to four Denver, CO organizations to help improve the lives of those in their community:

  • Housed Working & Healthy
  • Meghan’s Wish
  • Sustain-Ability Recycling
  • The Delores Project

While looking through the ‘Women in Tech’ Facebook group, Ester Deutsch of RSC found her mission: to help run a summer coding camp in Belize for The Society of Woman Coders. In Belize, Ester helped put together a free, one-week camp for the girls of Belmopan. Over the week, the girls developed a product or service and built a website to present and sell their work to the community.

This is just a small sample of some of the fantastic work our partners are doing across the IT industry and around the world. We’d love to hear your stories. Submit your story today!

How to get to know your customers

It’s no surprise that consistent customer communication can help build strong and long-lasting customer relationships, but they don’t just happen. To build those relationships, you have to put in the work. Here are a few simple ways to start getting to know your customers.

Ask your customers questions: The easiest way to find out how your customers are feeling is by asking them questions. Send a survey in an email, pick up the phone and talk with them, or create a way to get feedback on your website.

Use social media: Everyone’s on it, so you should be too. You can get the word out on your latest services and have real-time conversations with your customers. It’s also a great way to let your hair down and have a little fun. Shake off the business and engage!

Follow up on purchases: You should already be doing this, but after you sign a new customer, follow up and see how things are going with them. You’ll learn what parts of your services are working, what you can do to improve them, and help stop any issues before they grow into something bigger.

While it’s fun to have a special day to get to know your customers, it should be a consistent part of your business. They’re literally the reason you’re able to do what you’re doing, so reach out to your customers. See how things are going. A simple conversation can go a long way.