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Trust is a tricky business. Creating it is a slow, delicate process, yet losing it takes only seconds, leaving customers with a sour taste and your sales margin worse for wear.
But don’t take my word for it. Last year, Barracuda spoke to 50 qualified, predominantly C-level, decision-makers from channel partner organisations that provide managed services throughout Europe.
We discovered that, despite the increasing use of managed services, adoption still leaves a lot to be desired – with lack of trust in providers being the biggest obstacle in the way.
Out of those that didn’t use managed services (13%), almost all (83%) put their reluctance down to a lack of trust for the third-parties that would be handling their sensitive data.
Clearly there is a lot to be done when it comes to showcasing transparency and building that all-important user trust. But how do we create a human-first brand that businesses are proud to call a partner?
Those channel organisations offering managed services may get a kick out of acronyms, synonyms and all the ‘as-a-service’s you can shake a stick at, but we’d be mistaken to believe everyone has love for such niche technicalities.
Think about your business customers. They’re not concerned with the technical features, bundle options and marketing jargon. They don’t need or want to understand this perceived voodoo magic – and, more importantly, they don’t care.
Ultimately, all a customer wants is for your X to solve their Y, ideally in an easy, accessible and honest way. Be forthcoming with how you can help and the trust won’t be far behind.
Delivering promised services
Jumping through hoops and taking a “say yes and worry later” approach may win over customers in the first instance, but whatever trust that creates will quickly disappear if you can’t walk the walk.
If you want customers to trust you, you must first trust yourself to provide the best service you possibly can; nothing less, nothing more. With this open and honest approach, expectations are firmly in check, trust is created and any extra work from yourself will only sweeten your customer relationship.
All of this trust-building directly reflects your brand. Thanks to social media, today’s hyper-connected consumers are increasingly conscientious of the brands they engage with – and the same is true in a business-to-business relationship.
Regardless of whether you offer the most impenetrable firewall the world has ever seen, if your business doesn’t wear its core values on its sleeve, you’ll eventually lose customers to a business that does.
Businesses that are winning the hearts of their customers aren’t doing so by their offering alone; they’re letting their values shine through every inch of what they do, and engaging with their customers on an emotional level in the process.
It’s no wonder then that those who feel emotionally connected to a brand are far more likely to recommend them (71%), compared to those in other circumstances (45%).
This may all sound daunting, but the great thing about trust is that, regardless of your product offering, team size or competition, it’s a basic human element we can all start leveraging today.
Channel businesses looking to prove themselves as trustworthy partners must make sure to inject that much needed humanity and transparency into their customer relationships. Take care of this, and the sales will take care of themselves.
Read more from Barracuda’s MSP series
- Part one: For those uncertain about investing in managed services in 2020, doing so could be the answer to freeing up your IT team to turn its attention to areas where it’s needed most.
- Part two: With IT teams struggling with a lack of manpower and skills to cope with the increase security demands on networks, MSPs can provide a welcome relief.