Ask an MSP Expert

Q: Convincing customers to move over to a managed service contract isn’t easy. To help boost my managed service sales and get more customers on board, I want to get more testimonials from businesses we’ve helped. How can I get more customer testimonials, and how can I use them in my marketing strategy moving forward?

Testimonials are a great way to highlight your managed services success and build rapport with other local businesses in the area. In fact, 72 percent of consumers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more—which can help you close more business and build stronger connections with prospective customers.

Buyers often look for third-party validation when making a purchasing decision, so being able to share a meaningful customer story can make all the difference in the sales process. To help you develop an actionable plan, we talked to Lindsay Faria, the director of partner of partner marketing at Barracuda MSP, and she shared a few tips to help you build out your customer testimonials and use them effectively in your marketing strategy.

How to get more testimonials

When you’re looking for feedback, think about your current customers who are on managed service contracts and seem happy with their current services.  If you regularly check in with customers and note their feedback along the way, it can make your job easier when it comes to thinking of who would be willing to offer their testimonial for your managed services offering.

If you don’t know who would be a good candidate for a testimonial, start by reaching out and asking for customer feedback. One way to do this is by sending out quarterly or bi-annual surveys. This can help you better service your customers — and identify customers you might want to ask for a testimonial. Once you find the right customer who’s willing to participate, you’ll want to help guide their testimonial in the right direction. Also, this can help you flag potential at risk customers who are less than satisfied, giving you the opportunity to change their perception of where you might fall short.

Highlighting their most impactful ‘win’

The purpose of a testimonial is to highlight a situation where a customer benefited from your services, and to highlight your areas of expertise. Many customers might be willing to give you an endorsement but don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips to help SMBs share their most impactful ‘win.’

Tip #1: Have a conversation

Once your customer agrees to share a testimonial, schedule a short conversation to ask questions and get an idea of what they want to talk about. This will help you get the most pertinent information. Before starting the conversation, make sure you have a list of questions you’d like to ask. This will help you make the best use of your customer’s valuable time — something they’ll appreciate! It will also help you guide the conversation if there’s a specific angle you want to focus on. Take detailed notes or ask permission to record the conversation to get accurate quotes that you can use for the testimonial.

Tip #2: Showcase a measurable result

If possible, try to get a testimonial that highlights specific results in terms of detailed numbers or useful quotes regarding their experience with your services. Try to uncover an impressive result that they couldn’t have achieved without your help. For example, your managed services helped increase their network speed. While testimonials to your MSP’s character are important, quantifiable results can help demonstrate the overall value you provide. Try to get a quote from the customer highlighting this achievement, and ask the customer to approve any quotes before you use them. 

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After you finish your first testimonial, think about getting one for each type of customer you service. You can segment based on the size of the customer, their location, their industry vertical, or subject matter, such as a recovery situation, a successful HIPAA audit, or a resolved networking issue.

Tip #3: Leverage testimonials in your marketing efforts

Once your customer has approved the final quotes, share the testimonial on your website or your social accounts. If you send an email newsletter to your customers, highlight their success in the next one you send out, or spotlight it in a dedicated email for prospective customers, which can help you build rapport with prospective customers who are on the fence.

Another great thing you can do with your testimonials, is display them in your office. Sharing these successes with your employees can help remind them to keep customers in mind—as a bonus, prospects will also see them when they come to visit.

Once you get the ball rolling, testimonials can be a great tool for your MSP business and help you build trust with prospective buyers.

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Photo:  one photo / Shutterstock.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a content and product marketer with several years of experience in the IT channel. She has created and developed content that helps managed service providers grow their business, and has written many articles featured in SmarterMSP’s The MSP’s Bookshelf and Ask an MSP Expert series.

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