In a highly competitive technology market, it’s not enough to have an excellent price and an excellent product anymore. You’ve got to have excellent customer service too. Studies have shown that MSPs who prioritize customer experience (CX) are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t. Because satisfied customers become loyal customers and loyal customers become brand advocates, sharing their positive experiences with other peers in the community.
But what kind of experience do your customers want? Well, according to a report from Zendesk, 69% of them want to help themselves, whether it’s through community forums or customer portals. This desire often seems counter-intuitive to an MSP – after all, human interaction is still a cornerstone of business, right? Well, yes and no. While a personalized touch is crucial in CX, offering the option of customer self-service can solve several challenges MSPs are facing.
Challenge 1: The Growth of Subscription Services
Today’s businesses are increasingly more involved in managing their services. They want a greater amount of control, and the ability to tailor their solutions without having to go through a tangled web of helplines. Which is why vendor after vendor is moving toward a subscription-based service model. It gives customers the flexibility to renew, upgrade, downgrade, or cancel their services whenever they want.
MSPs can either continue to manage their offerings manually on behalf of their customers or provide them with a simple, self-service portal. Manual management has its benefits but is often not sustainable long-term. As you gain more customers, you’ll gain more data to manage. And the more data you must manage, the longer your customers must wait for their changes. In short, it gets messy.
A customer self-service portal, however, can streamline your data management while giving customers the independence they crave. Whenever a customer updates their service preferences from their dashboard, the portal can keep track of and log that activity for you to review later. Say goodbye to the slow slog of data sorting!
Challenge 2: The Popularity of Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
Alongside the challenge of subscription services, MSPs are dealing with customers wanting to customize their payment plans as well. But a pay-as-you-go pricing model can be difficult for MSPs because of how they currently bill their services. Clients are often charged for usage, for extended support hours, for extra features, etc. These multiple bills must be painstakingly condensed into one invoice by your employees, making the margin for error far higher than if the process was automated.
Enter the customer self-service portal. Most portals have automation built-in, allowing you to easily simplify and manage your invoices. Now your customers will receive their bills on time and in a language they understand.
Challenge 3: The Desire for Transparent, Manageable Billing
Itemized receipts aren’t just for retail services anymore. They’re for managed services too. Companies are always looking for ways to be cost effective and often balk at lump-sum billing. Why is the cost so much more this month? How much did I use? How is this service charged? Rather than just paying an invoice by rate, your customers want to know exactly what you bring to the table as their MSP.
Much like invoice creation, a customer self-service portal can help take the mystery out of customer billing. With just one log in, your customers can see what they’ve spent in the past, what they’re spending today, and what they can expect to spend in the future. This simple, yet detailed, look into how you bill your services shows you’re not trying to take advantage of them. You’ve got no hidden fees or secret agendas you’re trying to push, a fact which will build a customer’s trust in your brand.
Plus, a customer self-service portal allows you to set spending restrictions, making sure customers are notified when they’re about to break their budget.
Challenge 4: The Struggle to Standardize Your Services
These days, MSPs have a vast array of solutions to choose from to meet their customers’ needs. But the problem lies in standardizing those solutions. It can be tempting to try to meet everyone’s needs all the time, but the fact of the matter is it’s an impossible task. To be successful as an MSP, you must target a specific audience, understand what they need, and meet those needs with specific solutions. No more haphazard customizations. No more ambiguous product descriptions that no one can understand – your sales team included.
The customer self-service portal comes in again. Self-service portals allow MSPs to create a list, or catalog, of standard services. Customers can log in, view those services, and decide which one fits their needs the best. Not only does this help customers gain clarity, but it also helps speed up solution deployment! When your internal teams know exactly what the product is, and exactly how to set it up, they’re able to give your customers an excellent solution in record time.
Give Your Customers the Gift of Self-Service with GreenStar Solutions
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the benefits of customer self-service and how much your customers want it. But did you know that less than 30% of companies offer self-service, live chat, social messaging, in-app messaging, bots, or peer-to-peer communities? At GreenStar solutions, we’re hoping to change that statistic.
No matter what service you’re planning to offer – from faxing to carrier services to professional voice-overs – we can match you with the perfect provider; one with the tools you need to help customers serve themselves. Find out how we can connect you by reaching out to one of our experts today and start offering customer self service!