Who is Servicing Your Customers?

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Who is Servicing Your Customers?

Segmenting the businesses by small, medium and large has often been a source of disagreement. However, one thing we know to be true. Small businesses are the engine that drives our economy. As such it is worth noting that there are at least 4 million small businesses claiming more than one employee. The Census Bureau estimate is a bit higher at 5.7 million but that number includes businesses with only one employee. Whether you agree with me or the Census Bureau, the point is there are a lot of small businesses and they need our help.

The average small business, (1-99 employees), has around 11 computing devices (desk-side PCs, laptops, tablets, etc.) and three printers. The growing demand to integrate these devices and run their businesses is beginning to exceed their capabilities. As such small businesses are turning to VARs, consultants and remote support. According to Park Associates leading the list of services for remote support are server problems, Internet access, setting up mobile phones and networking problems.

Remote access to solve these issues can be given to VARs or companies offering hosted solutions. The reason Broadvox set up an indirect channel with VARs is because of their expertise and trusted status with the small business owner. It is important to understand that the small business owner, regardless of his growth profile, faces an increasingly complicated task of managing the new technology added to his infrastructure. The hours of loss productivity addressing technical problems is growing every year. In fact spending by small businesses requesting support is forecasted to grow from $10 billion in 2010 to $20 billion by 2015.

A small business owner is not going to wait for a VAR to contact them to resolve technical issues. It is important for the VAR to be proactive in developing proposals to deliver remote and, when necessary, onsite support. Any support offered should leverage the IT department (however small), the VAR and any other resources to fill the knowledge requirements.

By providing good post installation support, VARs improve customer satisfaction and gain stickiness/loyalty in return. Remember, if you don’t service your customers, someone else will threatening your position as the trusted advisor.

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