Every MSP wants plenty of profitable, appreciative customers. But how do you find these customers — and more importantly, how do you keep them?
The four elements of a good customer
To grow your business, you need customers who respect what you do. This means:
- They see IT as a strategic investment, not just as a cost center. These customers are proactive — preventative maintenance is core to how they see their IT needs. As a result, they understand that your services can help them not only cut costs and boost employee productivity. These customers ask for and value your advice. By contrast, reactive customers typically have ad hoc, undocumented IT processes and only call you when they have an equipment failure or emergency. They tend to be high maintenance and low margin.
- They have dedicated IT budgets and are willing to invest in their business. This makes it much more likely they will implement your recommendations.
- They are growing their business. When your customers grow, you grow, too. It’s a formula for ongoing success. A customer that is poised for growth offers a number of compelling opportunities — not only to sell additional services as their needs evolve but also to challenge your own team’s capabilities to develop the right strategies and systems to meet those needs.
- They pay their invoices promptly. A good customer understands that delaying payment or arguing over every single item on an invoice wastes time and adds costs. Good customers will treat you how they want to be treated.
Should you turn down potential customers that don’t meet these four criteria? Not necessarily, as long as you keep in mind that managing them will take more effort and generate less revenue.
What good customers want from you
Here’s the cold reality: other MSPs offer the services you offer. But good customers are looking for a lot more than services or products. They want a positive experience every time they interact with your company. They want to feel that you’re on their team at all times. And they want you to be more than just an IT vendor — they want a trusted strategic advisor who will guide them through all the ups and downs as their own business grows and evolves. When you genuinely care about your customers and their businesses, you bring a richness to the relationship that is its own reward.
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