Many industries will be more suited to acquiring new customers than seeking to build longer-term relationships.
Despite this, the adage remains true for many industries and business models — particularly the IT services industry. Businesses providing IT infrastructure and support, for example, need to foster meaningful bonds with their clients. They must demonstrate repeatedly that their IT support and infrastructure services are worthwhile and better than those of their competitors. In addition, these businesses must be able to enhance the full lifetime value of their customers in a mutually beneficial way — i.e. offering add-ons and extras that actively support the client, rather than spamming them with irrelevant offers.
While this sounds like a complex task, it does not have to be. You simply need the right approach to customer data and client understanding. Let's take a look at how you can foster these lasting relationships.
To begin this process, you really need to know your customers. If you only have a few customers, you may be able to understand their objectives on an individual level. However, if you have a large number of clients, you will need to segment these users within your customer relationship management (CRM) software.
An easy way to segment this data is to draw upon automatically generated data — purchase volumes, the number of support tickets generated, etc. Then, build upon this by manually adding your own notes and observations. Doing so will help you get to know the needs of your clients, so you can add services and make investments that support this.
Speaking of: There's no point in providing services that are not useful to your clients. Remember that your clients' businesses are likley designed with growth in mind, so your services need a scalable approach too. Make sure that your clients can easily add support seats or infrastructure pieces when required, and gently suggest this to clients if they are nearing their current limits.
Flexibility is not just about supporting growing volume — it is also about giving your clients the agility to move in any direction they choose. You may provide an excellent IT infrastructure package to your clients, covering all the bases, but what if their requirements change? Supporting this with a la carte services can help you increase revenue while optimising the benefits for clients.
IT support is best when involving a combination of human operator services and automated features. Your clients want to be able to speak to a human operator if they have a significant problem, but they also need swift and convenient support for everyday issues, such as password resets or simple troubleshooting.
Deploying artificially intelligent chatbots can make sure that your clients have access to round-the-clock support for the most common — and the most easily fixed — queries. This will also free up your human support teams so that they can provide the very best quality services to your clients.
IT support and infrastructure businesses will always benefit from a dual approach — retaining existing customers while also bringing in new clients. To optimise revenues, your business needs to understand the costs of both of these operations. For example, how much are you spending on marketing and promotion for each customer you bring in, and how can you improve this ratio? How much does it cost to nurture and support customers in the long term, and how can you optimise this to enhance lifetime revenue?
Remember that these costs are not wholly separate from one another. The price you pay to acquire a new customer can be mitigated by the value you receivefrom this customer in the long term. Understanding both acquisition costs and full lifetime values will give you the platform from which to optimise your IT business.
If you need to upgrade your systems or add extra capabilities to your setup, GRENKE can help. Reach out to our team to discuss your project and let us deliver the infrastructure that will support your clients.