Image Above: Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director at Collabrance, works on providing communications and resources for MSPs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many MSPs, the last several weeks have brought an influx of activity – all at once. Several MSPs have been stretched, working long days attempting to help both existing and new customers get set up to work remotely, as quickly as possible, without leaving security gaps. Right now, onsite visits and in-client meetings are unsafe for MSPs, customers, prospects and their communities. As we all navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic together, we wanted to share ways you can continue your MSP marketing, sales and prospecting efforts without having to go onsite and how to handle with care.
Customers are the heart of every business, and times like these prove that to be true more than ever before.
Make sure your efforts are really focusing on what the customer NEEDs, and not what you want. You are not only a thought leader and expert, but more importantly, a company who cares. How companies handle relationships with team members, customers, and prospects during this time can determine your brand reputation for years to come. There are businesses rising to the occasion in possibly their finest hour to shine; and then there are others who are creating more fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
We are all new to COVID-19. There is no manual. We are at a time where community, togetherness and connecting is more important than ever. "We" is greater than "me," and we are more a like than different. As a company who cares, lead with empathy and be sensitive. We don’t know what others are going through, personally or professionally. Communication is critical, and transparency is key to building trust. Cut through the noise with clear communication. Content should be relevant and helpful to show customers how much you care and are listening. Messaging that might have been applicable a couple months ago, may make sense to put on hold. As rapidly as things are evolving today, we have to be resilient, agile and flexible with our messaging.
Adjusting content and plans to lead with more relevant and relatable messaging is what empathic MSPs are doing to connect with others.
It’s important to be transparent and confront the facts, but
find a balance in your communications with expressing optimism without losing a sense of realism. If your message appears heavily optimistic without acknowledging the current
environment, it may appear to have a lack of authenticity. But if you swing too
far the other way, messaging could cause even more fearful and worry.
The majority of the workforce going remote has had a strong impact on the digital world. Inboxes are getting filled quickly, so make sure any email communication you send is important, appropriate, and of value. Online activity is increasing, so evaluate, monitor and manage your website, ads and social media presence. Do what you can to make your information accessible and embrace digital marketing tactics. Does it make sense to include information on your website, should it be sent directly in an email, how often should you send email updates, can you reach your audience on social media, where all do you have a presence that can help reach others? Choosing to adapt will help you be in a position to strengthen your business.
One of the benefits of digital marketing is the plethora of information that comes with it. Take a moment to review your metrics and make performance-based decisions on what’s working, and what’s not, when trying to reach your audience and understand what information is most helpful.
As a continuity expert, share best practices of what you are doing at your MSP. SMBs may not be as fortunate to have the knowledge, resources and insight to know what needs to be implemented during an unplanned crisis. Communicating what you’re doing not only can give them ideas, but also helps them understand your business, and builds your status as a thought leader.
Image Above: Collabrance leaders work together on COVID-19 continuity plans, resources and communications.
Other relevant content to create could include your customer FAQs. Anticipate your customer’s needs, and address their concerns by proactively answering their questions.
Here are some common questions MSPs we work with are recently getting from end users:
Every day is proving to bring something different. Your agendas might have to start with a blank slate. Marketers everywhere are scrambling to adjust to what each new day brings. Stay informed and listen to others to best understand what they need in order to understand how you can help.
How to handle sales with care during COVID-19? Read Part 2 on how sales can add value, build the relationship and win customers for a lifetime…
Listen to our recent discussion with marketing subject matter experts who reveal what they are seeing in the new digital landscape, the massive shift in user activity, and share ways to adjust your engagement efforts.
Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director for Collabrance, is responsible for helping build relationships and brand awareness through strategic marketing initiatives. Before working at Collabrance, Brittney joined GreatAmerica in 2012 doing marketing for the Office Equipment Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Iowa.