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The Importance of Customer Referrals: A Free Way to Market Your MSP

Customer referrals are some of the most valuable sales leads your MSP will ever come across.  Referrals are a cost effective way to grow your managed services business. If a customer is sufficiently happy with your service to refer a new client to you, they have done a good proportion of the selling for you in advance. Clients who appear on your door on personal recommendation will already have a certain level of trust in you – inherited from your existing customer.

Encouraging Customer Referrals

If your service standards are high, you’ll probably become used to customers saying “you may get a call from an acquaintance of mine who needs some IT help.”   So, boost your service levels and make sure you are using an effective RMM tool at all times with alerts to keep you on top of your clients’ systems.

How to Treat Referrals

It is crucial that you treat referred customers extremely well. If an existing client asks you to contact one of their business associates and you fail to do so, it’s going to reflect poorly on them – turning the potential for new business into a situation that could threaten existing business!

The cornerstone of building business based on customer referrals is delivering consistently great service across your client base. Customers will always talk between themselves. Incidents of poor service and tales of system failures won’t take long to cascade down through your client base.

For the same reason, it is wise to establish consistent pricing structures for your services.  One guaranteed way to sour a client relationship is to allow a customer to find out that another is paying significantly less for the same service with no clear reason.  Use an RMM system with pricing designed so you can offer a comprehensive service at a very competitive, affordable price so the services you offer your clients are keenly priced with a good margin for you.  For example, those who attended the 2012 GFI MAX customer conference heard firsthand how Randolph Carnegie, Ken-Kor Consulting Inc. has mastered the art of building a price model for his MSP business. You can view the video of his presentation online.

Maintaining Professionalism

If your strategy for customer referrals is successful, you could rapidly find yourself with clients that span a town or a social group. It’s not unusual for a good IT service provider to end up supporting many company directors who all play at the same golf club!

Although you may end up with clients who are friendly with each other, you must always ensure that professionalism is maintained and confidentiality respected between the customers.

The systems that customers are using, the security breaches they suffer and the users they have issues with should all remain strictly between you and the customer.

However, don’t forget other parts of your marketing strategy.  After all, you need to sell your services first in order to receive customer referrals.  Always remember that customer referrals are marketing gold dust. No sales and marketing strategy can deliver such warm leads at low or no cost. And, you should try and capture some testimonials from these customers. The more referrals you get, the less you need to spend on other marketing methods – so always ensure customer referrals form part of your sales strategy.

This guest blog written by the GFI MAX Team. Monthly guest blogs, such as this one, are part of a platinum sponsorship at MSPmentor. 

 

 

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