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The most important part of any business relationship is trust. For many of your customers, their size often means they lack substantial internal resources, requiring them to trust key advisors to help them run their business. This includes lawyers, accountants, or an IT team. For Managed Service Providers (MSP), the ability to build trust is critical to keeping current customers and attracting new ones. Their business is practically in your hands; whether you’re helping with their productivity, transforming their business processes, keeping them compliant, or getting them back online after a security breach. If you can’t build trust, you can’t build a business.

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How Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can Build Trust

As IT undergoes transformations, you need to add new skill sets, expertise, certifications, and other capabilities to tangibly show your customers why they can trust you. This starts by always keeping your customers’ needs front and center, treating each of them individually and constantly delivering value. For example, is your customer still on-premises? Explain to them how, with the Office 2010 End of Service right around the corner, there will be no more updates and no more support, which means customers will be exposed to cyber attacks and compliance issues. This is time sensitive and invaluable business advice that showcases your focus and knowledge. When they have other questions, they’ll come back to you for advice.

Building trust with customers isn’t as simple as it used to be. There is a lot of information thrown at them, and their tendency to use an online search as the ultimate authority can result in a lot of misinformation.  There are some important actions and behaviors that will help you deepen your relationship with them:

  • Always focus on the customer – Too often MSPs and IT vendors try and force their broad, undifferentiated technology solutions on every customer the same way. Present how your service offering helps them specifically. How do you provide solutions to their current challenges? Each customer is unique, treat them that way and stay focused on their needs.
  • Start with small successes – Trust is built over time and often over many projects. Make sure you get off on the right foot by delivering  projects on time, on budget, and working as they should.
  • Suggest personalized optimizations – When you start offering cloud services, you also open up the opportunity to provide increased value to your customers. Look at it as a gateway to talk about other professional services that you might provide around the core Microsoft cloud stack; whether it is VoIP, network assessments or security bundles you have built into your offering.

Call in Your Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

Building trust is all about having the right resources and expertise to get things done. With so many new cloud managed services, you need a partner that can add expertise and skills that you may not have. Trying to do everything in-house is hard. Finding, acquiring, and integrating new staff and expertise is not easy and can blow your budget. For this reason, you should strongly consider partnering with a cloud provider to add new services and skills that will enable successful sales efforts and project completion.  Just like you put your customer first, understand their issues, and work with them based on their specific needs or issues, a cloud provider should treat you the same way. To build your trust, and by extension your customer’s trust, the CSP partner should spend the time to understand your business, skills, and how they can best partner with you. A pure distributor that provides you with little value and just a markup is not a partner. They can’t help you build the vital relationship with your customers in order to accelerate your business.

Find a cloud partner that not only has a unique and personal relationship with you but has invested their time and resources to build out specialized tools and services. This partner will enable  you to better serve your customers.  Some of the services you should look for are:

  • access to marketing and sales materials that you can either use to improve your offering, or even use directly with your customers
  • access to skilled technical staff experienced in many digital solutions who will act as an extension of your team
  • the ability to simplify and provide pricing options for key cloud services that are aligned to your customer’s needs
  • sales and pre-sales services that help you respond to sales opportunities in a way that increases confidence

How soon do you think you it would take to becoming your customer’s trusted IT advisor? With an entire team by your side, we think you could see results with a born-in-the-cloud partner in 30 days.

With all of this at your disposal, what could your business look like in the coming months? Learn more about what it’s like working with a cloud partner that guarantees your success.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb