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22 October 2015
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How to find and draw customers? Tips for IT companies

Professional IT outsourcing provides safe, quick and efficient support of IT infrastructure. An experienced IT team can provide customers with uninterrupted services 24 hours per day. How can you find, preserve and enhance the trust of customers under such demanding conditions? Here are several common methods used by ICL Services.

First method. Ensuring information accessibility

A client trusts the company if provided with all information on its services and products. Information accessibility allows clients to stay abreast of the latest events and monitor the activities of the company. One way to obtain this information is from the official website. Its timely updates are important not only to meet customers’ needs for information but also from the point of view of improving reliable company reputation.

The ICL Services web-site was launched on October 2014 and brought first requests from potential customers during the first month of operation. It contains a broad and detailed portfolio of services and projects, customers can order presentations, send a question to an expert or contact the company office using contact data. This enables a customer to obtain the information required at the moment and strengthens the company’s image as a reliable provider of high-quality content.

For convenience purposes we have created an excellent Service Assistant that will be your benchmark in the world of IT infrastructure and complex variety of outsourcing services and solutions. For example, if you need your computers to operate properly and uninterruptedly, select the Computer icon. One click, and the system will select the services useful for a customer.

Second method. Supporting the security of customer business

Customers have to be 100% confident that their business will be protected when working with your company, no leaks will happen and there will be no other information security risks. This is especially important when dealing with customers from the financial sector. Banking is more sensitive to the requirements of information security than any other business area. This is due to the risks and regulatory constraints that arise in the course of transition of certain IT services for outsourcing.

«If a bank chooses to outsource such operations as workstation support, service desk or IT infrastructure monitoring, the security risks in this case are not big,» says Ruslan Vagizov, Head of Operations at ICL Services. «They are simply minimized by standard security measures. For example, those can include restricting outsourcer’s access rights to important banking information (critical servers and applications), implementation of access control (single point of entry, two-factor authentication, log files) and protection of VPN communication channels.»

No matter how critical the outsourced IT services are, customers expect an IT outsourcer to comply with a basic set of security requirements, the implementation of which will allow trusting it and developing a relationship with it, gradually moving from simple to more complex and, therefore, more risky services. For a customer the easiest way to ensure that an outsourcer will comply with basic safety requirements is to demand an outsourcer to submit a valid certificate of conformity with ISO/IEC 27001 issued by the competent authority after an independent audit.

In general, information security is an integral part of corporate culture of ICL Services. Employees, both new and old, must undergo regular awareness trainings and annual testing on information security.

Third method. Participating in professional communities.

Membership in professional communities allows the company to organize events, invite major (existing and potential) customers there, organize workshops and be generally proactive when working face to face with customers.

Professional communities is a proven platform used to attract customers who treat it with confidence and a desire to communicate, to be aware of the latest relevant business trends.

ICL Services, being a member of several professional communities (for example, the Non-profit partnership RUSSOFT and the Association of strategic outsourcing ASTRA), improves the market expertise in IT outsourcing by continuous exchange of experience gained under international projects.

For example, this July ICL Services in cooperation with the Association of strategic outsourcing ASTRA organized and held a master-class of the service and outsourcing organization expert Jag Dalal (founder and president of the consulting company JDalal Associates (USA).

Fourth method. Maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction

You should track satisfaction indicators of your customers not once a year but every day. This can be done using the Customer Satisfaction (C-Sat) score. So, over the past year, customers of ICL Services gave the interaction with ICL Services and services rendered the average score of 9.5 out of 10.

Why is C-Sat so important? Feedback from customers is gathered through online surveys and personal interviews with customer’s representatives. It helps the company know not just the overall level of satisfaction with the services but also track its every aspect in the context of services. For example, ICL Services developed a multi-layered approach to satisfaction surveys assessing services at 3 levels: strategic, account and operational. Gathering feedback helps to get a comprehensive view of the following areas:

  • Strategy (How does ICL Services make a customer’s company better and more efficient?);
  • Relevance (How convenient are the services of ICL Services for business and are they worth the money that a customer pays for them?);
  • Relations (How well does the company understand its customer, does it share best practices and fulfill its commitments?);
  • Resources (How professional are human resources involved in the provision of services?);
  • Projects (How efficient is project management?);
  • Service (Does ICL Services as the company reach a required level of service, is it reactive and proactive in solving problems?)

For ICL Services the continuous improvement of the quality of service provided to customers is an integral part of the workflow. All service projects have a Continuous Service Improvement Plan (CSIP), which is regularly updated with suggestions to improve the service and their progress. These suggestions may be aimed at increasing customer satisfaction, availability of technical solutions, reducing the number of incidents, etc. Continuous improvement allows providing scheduled (usually annual) discounts.

When you search and draw new customers it is important to combine as much of these methods as possible. After all, if a method does not work, you can always try a different one. In any case, no company can survive without customers, so it is important to take the methods described into account when creating the only possible business solution — customer-oriented service.

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