The power of the virtual partnership

Client success in the digital age

The times they are a-changin’. It’s no secret that recent years have seen a massive shift in the way we communicate with one another. Technology has allowed us to get more done faster. The way we communicate, strategize, learn and operate has all but gone virtual.  We get fewer opportunities to participate in multi-day conferences, on-premise white-boarding sessions or client golf days. Even when we do have time for such corporate niceties, we can’t just set our autoreply to “out of office” and expect everything to run on autopilot.

In this digital world then, how can we continue to provide a personalized customer experience? We’ve got a few ideas.

Driving the customer experience in a digital age

The key to driving a superior customer experience in today’s digital age is the right business model and accompanying support ecosystem. Implemented strategically, technology can help you become more present with customers and clients, albeit virtually, than ever before. Here’s the roadmap:

1. Understand that client success is measured by client outcomes
While your own internal metrics are important, your clients probably view success very differently than you do. Take time to understand their business drivers and goals. Then, tailor a technological approach to help them hit their targets whether you’re in the room with them or not.

2. Say goodbye to set-it-and-forget-it solutions
While defining KPI’s to measure customer success is still paramount, the set-it-and-forget mindset is long gone. One size does not fit all. Benchmarks and metrics must be customizable and flexible, as your customers’ business and technology needs evolve.

For a Managed Service Provider, regular KPI cadence is a must. Sure, keeping on top of trends is important, but viewing KPI from a six or twelve month rear-view mirror isn’t effective. Businesses want to know that an MSP can analyze and adapt when the situation calls for it. Being proactive and flexible is the name of the game.

3. Meet client needs with collaborative technology
A huge benefit of digital transformation is that everything from strategy to e-learning and triage can be done virtually in real-time, on a client’s schedule.

Tools like video-conferencing, web conferencing, instant messaging and on-demand webinars can help you deliver a seamless customer experience they’ll appreciate. The ability to pull in virtual teams from around the globe means you can leverage a broader talent pool, and provide expertise tailored to their business needs.

“No one has the luxury of opting-out of the customer experience. Today, every interaction matters. Everyone in your organization has to be a collaboration guru.”

– Cathy Vankesteren, SVP

4. Develop a multi-touchpoint strategy
Like links in a chain, every department needs to maintain focus on the customer. It’s no longer enough to assign a dedicated team to provide “customer service” or hire a Chief Customer Experience Officer to rally the troops. Providing multi-level touchpoints is crucial. Everyone from IT to finance, marketing to sales, operations and executives has a contribution to make.

Tying it all together

The right MSP should exemplify these approaches and characteristics. Partner relationships must be about longevity, continuity, trust.  Follow this roadmap and you can turn a great customer experience into a lasting, and mutually beneficial partnership. After all, isn’t that what business should really be about in the first place? We think so.