Cloudbusters

Protecting Your Assets, Your Customers

Maybe you’ve never thought about it this way before, but your customers are your biggest asset in your business. If you’ve ever been approached by a competitor who wanted to buy your customers, you will understand exactly what I mean. Protecting these assets is just as important as protecting the physical assets within your business.

There are many threats coming from every direction with regards to your customers. There are of course competitors, direct vendors, internal failures, and communication issues all threatening these assets. No different than having a plan to protect physical assets, it is important to have a plan to protect your customers.

Microsoft and Dell have been bad about wanting your customer information, this has recently become even more of an issue given the direct competition and threat they have brought forth to the channel. It is always smart to question any vendor that wants your customer information. If it is at all possible to refrain from providing this information it is in your best interest to do so.

Competitors can be a big threat to your business. Many competitors will be able to phish information about your pricing, either from friends with businesses calling you out for a proposal, or by easily calling your business to obtain an over the phone quote. You might be surprised about how many competitor proposals I was handed to view when I worked for an MSP. Once a competitor has this information they can undercut your pricing and threaten your bottom line.

Be careful listing too many client references or testimonials on your websites or proposals for this reason. Proposals should never include the price. This is not only for the reasons being discussed, but it also keeps potential customers from flipping to the price page and tuning you out. Keep pricing as a separate sheet that is presented at the end.

Be wary of people calling and asking for customer references as this is an easy way for competitors to get a list of your customers. Make sure you know exactly who you are providing the references to by gathering as much information as possible, and limiting the references to no more than three of your most loyal customers.

One of the biggest threats to your customer assets is your own business. It is important to not only schedule regular reviews with your customers but to randomly drop in or check in on them. This will assure that you have an open line of communication and you are on top of any potential issues or frustrations the customer may encounter. Never decline a call from a customer, but if you are unable to take a call for any reason make sure you call the customer back as soon as possible. As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that every customer is being taken care of and happy.

By making a plan, keeping regular communication, and staying involved, you are sure to protect the assets that you have built within your business.

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