Customers want more
Regardless of the hurricane of emotions angry customers might inspire, matching their tone is the worst possible course of action
Gamifying email can ensure employees read and act upon important information
You’ve got some important information to get out to employees in an email, but you know – because it describes you, too – they’re so bombarded with electronic messages that the chances of them reading it are about as likely as winning the lottery.
Maybe it’s time to up your game and gamify things. Here’s some clarification if you’re fuzzy on the term. Gamification is the process of incorporating game mechanics to drive the desired behavior from readers. It’s often used in educational and training software environments, and gamification can be an effective way to ensure that important information delivered in an email to employees is read and acted upon.
Without guidance, MSP pricing can be tricky business
Pricing can be a nerve-racking endeavor for managed service providers (MSPs). Too little and you’re not only underpaying yourself, but you also risk looking inexperienced.
The move away from fee-for-service to vastly more complicated MSP pricing models certainly hasn’t made things easier. MSP pricing can be anything but consistent, with variants dependent on the costs for specific services, and even the city you’re doing business in.
The goal is to find that perfect spot, identifying the exact amount clients are willing to pay, while still protecting your profit.
Customer service has an inward flow. Customer care flows outward. You need to know who should practice each, and how both contribute to the overall customer experience.
You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have competitors that are snatching up prospects and customers. You do – and they can match you on price, as well as quality. How, then, do you differentiate yourself?
How to build a respectable Service Level AgreementA mindfully crafted Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an expression of your commitment to quality, service, and your relationship with your clients. SLAs are kind of like an owner’s manuals, they let your clients know how you operate, and what to expect under your agreement.
Here’s how to get your SLA right:
- Seek help. Unless you’re already an expert in contract law, you should strongly consider enlisting legal help when drafting your SLA. Template contracts may be simple and inexpensive, but they can be costly down the road. An attorney experienced with MSPs can help draft an SLA designed specifically to the details of your services.
- Be realistic. Don’t write a check with your SLA that your MSP can’t cash. While it might be tempting to offer dazzling response times and 24-hour service, but if you aren’t able to follow through, you’ll most likely find yourself in breach of contract. Set standards that are within your capabilities, that way your super-natural response times are a bonus, rather than an expectation.
- Your integrity is on the line. Your SLA isn’t a rhetorical sales device, it reflects the soul of your company. Agreements with your clients should be transparent, easy to understand, and binding.
- Don’t neglect your staff. Every member of your staff involved in providing services to your clients should understand the details of your SLA with each individual client. This reduces the potential for customers to feel as if your company is unorganized and not going to live up to your agreement, while at the same time boosting employee performance.
- Be specific. SLAs are where you identify the details. Every aspect of your relationship from payments to the execution of services and the limits of those services should be clearly defined in your SLA. The goal of an SLA is to essentially create a reference point that serves as the basis of your relationship.
- Hold-harmless clauses. As much as we all like to ensure success throughout every step of the process, there are always aspects that simply aren’t within our control. Hold-harmless clauses ensure that you can only be held responsible for circumstances within your sphere of control.
It’s all about establishing your value
From transparency to execution, your SLA is another way of proving your value to your clients. However, it’s only the foundation.
For more information on how to make your business indispensable to your customers, check out our blog, “7 Ways to Show Your Essential ROI to Customers”.
Job satisfaction may retain employees, but the payoff for employers is productivity. It’s not until employees are inspired and engaged that they’ll want to do more than what’s required.
It's a “chicken or the egg” scenario. Which do you focus on employee satisfaction or employee engagement? The important thing is knowing there is a choice, and that’s because employee satisfaction and employee engagement are not the same things.
An engaged employee will tell you they’re satisfied with their job; however, a satisfied employee may not actually be all that engaged. Job satisfaction may retain employees, but the payoff for employers is productivity. It’s not until employees are inspired and engaged that they’ll want to do more than just what’s required. Here’s how to tell the difference between employee satisfaction and employee engagement – and why your focus should be on engagement.