It’s no secret that your clients should be your number one priority.
This is especially true as you transition to a service-based business model. You will design and implement your services to provide a better business experience for your customers, and so that they can then conduct their own business more easily and efficiently.
While your new service offerings should create a better relationship between you and your clients, you may have to give client attention (and retention) a bit of thought during your transition. It will be easy to assume that the new services are taking care of things in the background while you focus on other tasks, and that if you’re not hearing from your clients it means that everything is okay. This isn’t always the case.
Chapter Seven of the Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service outlines five overarching ways to ensure customer satisfaction during your transition to managed services.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AS-A-SERVICE
Tips, advice, and long-term solutions on how to transition your business to an as-a-service model, and why it’s beneficial to do so.
Part 1: Why Change Your Business Model?
Part 2: How to Plan for the Big Transition
Part 3: Managing Cash Flow
Part 4: Adapting Your Sales Strategy
Part 5: Transitioning Your Existing Clients
Part 6: Business Process Automation
Part 7: How to Retain Clients
Check back for updates and new sections of the Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service to be released on CommercialIntegrator.com.
First, create service-delivery standards. Every time you or a member of your team interacts with a customer, it affects customer service levels. As more of your customers buy into services, these interactions will be fewer and farther between. Make sure your entire team has an idea of the standards of delivery in your business.
Second, implement a record-keeping process. One element of exceptional service that is often overlooked is detailed documentation. Have a unified process for documenting client conversations, issues, and configurations.
Imagine your client calling about a reoccurring issue, and within the first minute of the conversation your employee says, “I see you’ve had issues with this in the past. Let’s see if we can try something different.” You’ve now made your customer feel like the technician knows their situation, even if it’s the first time this particular employee has spoken to them.
Third, it is vitally important to stay in front of your clients. Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but it is often forgotten: client retention is highly dependent on human interaction. You can’t assume that not hearing from them means everything is okay.
It may also help to conduct quarterly business reviews. Review reporting, service status, and the issues your team has fixed for them over the previous quarter. Especially during this process but definitely in general, you must educate your customers on how to work with you now that your business is changing. How can they contact you with questions or comments? Who should they contact to receive the fastest response?
The fourth possibility is to send customer satisfaction surveys. From your client’s perspective, a big part of your job is to resolve issues when they arise, and fast. Consider building customer satisfaction surveys in to your service delivery process, asking them to fill out a quick survey after an issue has been resolved.
And lastly, relating back to the previous chapter of this guide, leverage automation. There are many different automated services you can use internally in your business to proactively monitor for system issues and set alerts for contract renewals. If you have these configurations automatically monitored, you will be able to provide excellent, to-the-minute customer service and more easily stay on top of new sales opportunities.