Guest Column | March 1, 2021

Tips For MSPs To Protect Their Customer Relationships

By Darach Beirne, Flowroute, now part of Intrado

Customer Relationships

Companies across the globe are balancing changing customer needs and new remote workforces, making MSPs a more powerful resource that enterprises can leverage to power their remote and hybrid operations.

An MSP serves the important role as trusted advisor to their customers who rely on them for guidance and the right services that will keep their operations running smoothly. A key to achieving success by both parties – especially in a telecom or communications service setting – is that the MSP continues to help businesses find the right tools that allow them to connect and grow with their customers.

The cloud-based telecom provider market is rapidly evolving to keep up with customer’s changing preferences. As telecom services become increasingly important to maintain enterprise collaboration and business continuity, MSPs must be strategic to ensure their customers get the most value from their telecom solutions.

Today’s telecom offerings also provide ways for businesses to improve customer satisfaction. They do this by easing customer pain points and having enhanced control over how, when, and where a customer engages with a brand or business. MSPs can play an even more valuable role in helping businesses boost customer support efforts. Therefore, MSPs need to have a solid understanding of some of the common pain points that cause businesses to separate from their providers, so they can enhance their offerings to fit their customers’ needs and boost customer loyalty. Below are a few reasons organizations stray from MSPs and ways MSPs avoid separations.

Lack Of Channel Options

In many cases, businesses may seek new telecom providers because they want to add new communications channels that the provider isn’t equipped to support. The enterprise may be expanding the services they offer or opening new business locations. In these cases, it’s not uncommon for businesses to want to provide additional communications channels for their customers. As an example, 57 percent of small and medium businesses want their provider to be able to help them offer video-based customer care, especially as they embrace remote and hybrid working. For MSPs, being aware of preferences and fluctuating telecoms trends will allow them to source the right solutions for their customers—further cementing their role as a trusted advisor.

It’s important to note that businesses aren’t simply phasing out older channels, they’re also looking to add new applications to their suites. Most businesses want to integrate both modern and traditional telecom resources so they can have a variety of channels available for their customers. Another consideration is whether the MSP leverages telecom APIs, which make it possible for MSPs to offer adaptable and scalable voice and messaging solutions. APIs can help businesses drive further customer satisfaction which, in turn, can improve their bottom lines.

Financial Burdens

Another challenge an enterprise may face is with its budget. Especially with a tumultuous economy, businesses are more likely to want to rein in spending on less-used tools or services. It has become more common for businesses to switch providers when they learn that they are paying for more services than they use. Businesses that are closely evaluating their IT spending are going to seek the most cost-effective choice that meets their needs and their financial goals.

MSPs can offer support by being transparent about what services and benefits they offer. Businesses may need an MSP that offers tailored services if they know their communication needs will shift over time. The flexibility to pick and choose offerings will ensure the business is only paying for what they need. If required, MSPs can also benefit from vetting other solutions providers and carriers to determine the levels of support offered. Doing some due diligence will allow to MSPs guide their customers in the right direction and ensure they are helping them meet their unique business needs.

Limited Potential For Growth

The global economy continues to expand as more businesses establish themselves in new markets. Enterprises that are growing will need additional support and channel options for engagement that can function effectively in whatever stage of growth they’re in. In support of this, MSPs should provide the services and tools that will power an enterprise’s expansion while also giving them room to build on current channels.

For businesses that are currently growing or looking to grow down the line, an MSP can offer solutions to support this expansion. International direct inward dialing (DID) numbers are a tool that will help facilitate international growth. DIDs are essentially digital-only phone numbers that allow carriers to route calls directly to an existing number. They also make it possible for a business to use a local number when they establish a presence in new markets. MSPs that guide their customers toward the direction of DIDs will allow businesses to strengthen their global communication strategies and offer their customers more flexible options for engagement. In the future, more enterprises are likely to seek these kinds of options to serve their business goals.

Customer Service Woes

In today’s world, customer service is everything. As enterprises forge ahead in the new era of work and business, they’ll want to be sure that any new tools or services they adopt come with a certain level of customer support. Businesses have high expectations about customer service from their communication providers, and the right level of service can make or break a partnership. MSPs should invest in avenues to strengthen their customer support, as well as thoroughly vet the reputations of their partner providers.

MSPs that excel in customer service often include their customers in the early stages of developing new offerings. After all, providers should be focused on delivering customer-centric solutions. MSPs will also want to keep customers informed of service status, product or service updates, and predicted time to resolve issues. At the end of the day, MSPs should be committed to listening to and incorporating feedback from their customers.

Customer preferences—and the business world’s response to them—are constantly shifting. MSPs that support enterprises’ IT needs can become a more valuable asset by understanding how they can help customers adapt to these changes. Being aware of the most common pain points businesses encounter in their partnerships with MSPs will allow MSPs to provide more informed, strategic advice to their customers and can make MSPs a valued asset in the eyes of their customers.

About The Author

Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. With more than 25 years of experience building and leading B2B customer success, Darach leads Flowroute’s dedicated customer support team, driving strategy for customer success and improved customer satisfaction. Before joining Flowroute, Darach lead professional service and sales engineering teams for providers such as Contenix, Huawei/3Leafsytems, InQuira, Siebel/Scopus, and Ingres. He also has assisted high-tech companies develop strategies to improve the customer experience and increase scalability.