Some years ago, I read Covey’s book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Succesful People’.  The message above all others that I took away from it was that the most succesful people ‘invested’ in building and maintaining RELATIONSHIPS.

You’re probably wondering how this fits into the world of the IT Company/Managed Service Provider, but bear with me.

It’s my contention that  keeping a customer yours is mostly based on the relationship you have with him or her.  That relationship is based on past service, expertise, trust, communication, etc, etc.

I’d just like to point out, as you move ever closer to becoming a Managed Service Provider that you actually need to make greater efforts to build and maintain relationships with customers.

With MSP, the tendency is to do more and more remotely as it can be done faster and more efficiently but this needs to be balanced out with ‘face-to-face time’. 

At the company I used to run, we didn’t try and do everything remotely, we encouraged our technicians from time to time (and where practical) to jump in a van or a company car and go to see the customer in person.  And, I made sure that, as the Managing Director, I spent time every week just calling in to speak to customers in person.

I’m forecasting that Managed Services could become ’self-limiting’ unless balanced out with relationship building and maintaining.

I can smile of course, because HoundDog, now GFI MAX, software helps build and maintain customer relationships as it automatically produces reports for use in monthly/quarterly meetings with your customer, meaning you’ve automatically got a good reason to pitch up for a discussion.

Not all MSP software does, mostly they try and drive you to ever greater remote working and less face time.

Hey and I’m definitely not highly succesful nor highly effective; just thought I’d make a point.