By Larry Nicholson, President, Nicholson Network Services Inc., ASCII Group (Canada) Member Since 2014
One of the toughest things that any business owner will run into is, “How do I give more value and keep my customers coming back for more? What can I do to keep the relationship going?” If you are a large, big box company, you have worked the process to an art form. To a small or medium business owner that sells widgets, the challenge can be tough. How do you add value to the transaction (bigger sale) or add value to the relationship (more purchases more frequently)?
For an IT solutions provider this can be a tall order, but with a little creativity and reviewing your products sold — you will find a little gold. For Nicholson Network Services Inc. it was about adding value to our client’s relationship. That meant looking at what they were buying, how often, and what could we improve or enhance as part of the stickier process; we looked at the main pain point for the business owner. Technology is our area of expertise, so we examined what they did over the course of a week in their office. The answers were typical but it gave us the ability to look at the solution with a “sticky” perspective.
The first and most important component of any business today is Internet connectivity. If a client is down and unable to send or receive email, they may as well close the doors and go home for the day. Network monitoring software comes in many forms. It checks connectivity to a client’s location and sends an alert if there is no response. For a monthly fee, we would add an agent to the client’s network somewhere that would constantly check the connection. If our monitoring server lost touch with the client side agent, it would send an alert. For about a dollar a day we would keep an eye on Internet connections at each client site. If there was a problem, we knew about it and would respond accordingly; calling the client’s office, calling the Internet supplier and in the space of 20 minutes we knew what the issue was and when the connection would be back up. The client is happy, no wandering about the office trying to figure out what the issue is and if it required more work, and the IT support company was already working on the solution.
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