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Don’t confuse providing great customer support with developing strategic relationships. MSPs typically value the former rather than the latter. But here’s the truth: You need both.

When you’re delivering customer support, you’re providing value and developing a relationship, but this shouldn’t be the only time you’re doing both. As I’ve said time and time again, touchpoints are essential to long-term success. You want to be in front of your customers as much as possible. But you also want your customers to find value in what you’re delivering, which goes beyond being likeable.

Sure, you want to have a good rapport with your customers. Your customers should “like” you (of course, that’s not a bad thing!) But being “likable” isn’t enough to get them to continue to pay you for your products and services. Your customers will want to see results at some point. At the end of the day, you must ask yourself: “Do my customers like me AND value me?” That’s where developing strategic relationships can make all the difference.

When MSPs hear the term “strategic relationship” they immediately think about a vendor, a community leader, or another MSP. They often fail to realize the importance of grouping their customers into the same category, which is unfortunate, as your customers are long-term commitments and deserve better.

As you know, we at TruMethods talk a lot about reframing conversations, so I’d like you to reframe the way you look at your customers. Thinking of your customers as “customers” is the wrong perspective. Your customers don’t wake up every day and work long hours to put money in your pocket. They have their own businesses to run and customers to attend to. They’re paying you for one reason and one reason only — to add value to their businesses.

While there is a transactional component to your relationship with your customers, you don’t want it to supersede everything else. Yes, they must pay you at the right price (and on time), but your relationship with them doesn’t stop there. Taking things beyond the transaction puts you in a better position to add more value in the future.

For instance, listening to what your customers have to say is twofold. First, you should care about your customers and how they’re doing, right? Ask them questions whenever you can to learn more about them. How’s business? What challenges are they facing? Second, being curious allows you to determine how to add more value to your customers. Are they debating whether to purchase new devices? Is there software they can use to help them generate more revenue? If you aren’t staying on top of your relationships with your customers, you may be leaving money on the table.

Providing support is only a small part of delivering value to your customers. You must go above and beyond customer support to deliver long-term value to your customers and continue generating MRR at the right price. Building strategic relationships is the only way to ensure you’re providing the value your customers need.

Photo: Miha Creative / Shutterstock

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Gary Pica

Posted by Gary Pica

Gary Pica is a pioneer in the managed services field. He is one of ChannelPro's 20 industry visionaries and MSP Mentor's most influential leaders. He has already built two top-performing MSPs. Today, Gary is the President of TruMethods, a training, peer, and accountability firm aimed at helping IT solution providers reach their full potential as MSPs and cloud providers. Gary shares the key ingredients that transformed his business and his life through his training process. Today, hundreds of IT providers around the world utilize the TruMethods business transformation framework.

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