Cisco Services provides your customers with a continuous level of support throughout the life of their contracts, whether it is access to Cisco-trained technicians or updates to Cisco’s software.
For your customers to get the most out of a Cisco Services contract and for your company to reap the corresponding benefits, constant contact with your customers is important from the moment that they sign their agreements.
If customers are not fully aware of the benefits of Cisco Services, there is value they could be leaving on the table, which may influence their decisions to renew the services at the end of the contract.
The reality is that if you’re not actively managing the customer experience throughout the contract lifecycle -- either through helping your customers leverage data or turn on certain functionalities available to them through their contract, or holding regular customer QBRs --, chances are your clients won’t realize the value they gained from the services contract. Or, maybe, they won’t even remember they had the contract to begin with.
Properly managing your customers with a services contract is definitely a skill—and one that must be nurtured. For those VARs that do it well, there are benefits to be had. Services comprise about 50 percent of revenue for Cisco partners and about 70 percent of their profitability.
Partners that can sell these services along with solutions see 33 percent higher customer satisfaction rate, so the ability to build a business on sustained partnerships can be had.
What that means is you must be in constant communication with your customers about what services are available to them. The key is finding ways to keep them engaged and encourage them to discover their own uses for the services. As they grow to see the value that these contracts bring, their willingness to renew—and their loyalty to you as the provider—will only grow.
This is a form of new economy built on subscriptionstyle business. Companies that are able to create lasting partnerships gain a steady stream of revenue that will only grow in time while devoting fewer resources, thus allowing other parts of the company to work on gaining new customers.
So remember, though it’s great that your customer has Cisco Services, it’s better if the customer is actually using them. Your clients will only know how if you are there as a guide.