The QBR As A Path To Customer Success - service provider

“Customer Success as a service” is another way to think about engaging with clients more meaningfully and in turn, growing business for MSPs (Managed Service Providers).

Today, customer experience or success requires a focus on lifecycle services, not simply selling technology contracts and licenses and reaching back out when those deals are set to expire, according to Marnie Stockman, CEO of Lifecycle Insights.

That’s where quarterly business reviews, or QBRs, come in.

“If you’re in the mode of being reactive, you’re definitely walking into ‘no’s’ because you didn’t see it coming. If you’re not able to be proactive, it’s very easy to walk in unprepared for the situation. So, enter the QBR,” Stockman said during CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 event.

US itek Inc., an MSP based in Buffalo, N.Y., specializes in cloud-managed IT and cybersecurity, knows that QBRs are beneficial, but they can be hard to put into practice, said David Stinner, president of US itek.

“It’s been hard to deliver them on a recurring basis and get into that rhythm,” Stinner said.

Instead, the firm offers what Stinner calls technology roadmap reviews. Still, US itek wants to go deeper with its customers, while respecting the needs of those clients. “The roadblock is getting the agenda ready for that QBR. Sometimes, the roadblock is the customer accepting the meeting. Maybe they only want to speak with me four times a year, maybe it’s only once a year,” he said.

The reason why many customers dread the QBR is because they feel like the only purpose is to be sold something, not to listen to their needs, said Juan Fernandez, chief encouragement officer for MSP Growth coalition, a business consulting group.

Fernandez was the former owner of MSP ImageNet Consulting, LLC. The company didn’t become profitable, however, until he started out “caring” with customers, instead of being transactional.

What MSPs should be asking, according to Fernandez, is: What does your customer want? What do they need? And what do they fear?

“One of the best conversations that I had with most business owners was when I walked in and said: “I bet you want to be more profitable. I bet that you really want to help your employees be more productive. And I bet you would love for your employees to be able to work remotely,” he said to partners. “You want to know what’s important to them.”

It’s a very different kind of conversation than saying: “You need ABCDE, and every project is going cost you XYZ,” Fernandez said.

And just because it’s called a QBR doesn’t mean it has to be done quarterly, Stockman said.

Instead, figure out what gives clients the customer experience they really want. The highly complex clients with a lot of compliance requirements may get a quarterly or monthly meeting, depending on what works for the client. The lesser the complexity or lower-profit clients can be moved to more of an automated process with perhaps a one meeting a year cadence.

Even still, Stockman warned, lower-profit clients still need to feel like they are receiving a true customer experience. “Can you remarket [your company] to them? Can you share the stories of people who have been successful with you and why their success for you with you? Remind them of the value you bring to market remarket to your current clients to show them how to automate success.”

– by Gina Narcisi, original post here.

Hakan Ozturk

Hakan Ozturk
Founder,, #1 Weekly Customer Success Newsletter

Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to boost your career in CS and your company’s potential for massive growth.

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