Consumption: the key to greater customer satisfaction and retention

Sure, you’re providing great cloud solutions to your customers. But are your customers fully utilizing those solutions, getting the greatest possible payback from their investments?

Probably not.

At Cloud People, we had the same problem, and we’ve come up with a great solution. But before I tell you what it was, let me give you some background.

Before I started Cloud People, I already had a successful company that sold Google solutions. But I could see that Microsoft was developing a lot of new features, while Google was focusing on different things. So I started Cloud People.

For three years Cloud People grew gradually, but it was obvious that the competition was fierce. I wanted to first build a company with a big volume of customers, then focus on standardizing most procedures.

During the past year I’ve been working on a different strategy, one that has made the company explode! We decided to use partners to sell Office 365. That means the companies that used to be our competitors are now our allies.

Here’s how it works: Cloud People handles the customer migration, as well as everything around their basic IT needs, like onboarding, data migration and 24x7 support. The partners get the customer in, and they also get the earnings for the first year.

Focus on Consumption

But now we’re doing even more. We’re focusing on consumption.

I’ve worked in IT for 20 years, and I see the same problem over and over again. Many

IT companies can help customers identify problems, and then sell them solutions. But very few IT companies have a plan for inspiring and teaching their customers how to use the new tools and services in everyday life.

Maximizing consumption is a great way to get customers fully utilizing the products they’ve already acquired. It’s also a great way to improve customer retention. Happy customers are loyal customers.

We’ve seen this in our own business. Every month there are cool new feature coming from our suppliers. But the customers are not taught how to use them.

For instance, consider one of our customers, a small organization with 14 employees. They use Office 365, but only its email. During a recent call, our support person heard that the customer was missing out on Office 365’s many other features. So he started by telling her about OneNote, the digital note-taking app, and how they could use it for collaboration. Now the company has decided that all its staff will join our next webinar to learn more.

That’s why we have focused our efforts on the consumption of Microsoft’s Office 365 solutions. We provide the migration of data, support and training necessary for the customer to learn to thoroughly use the solution.

That’s also why we have developed our Customer Academy. Participating customers get video tutorials, webinars, eBooks, best practices and FAQ, and invitations to special days where they can get training offline.

Now’s the time for you to help your customers learn, be more engaged, and fully utilize their cloud solutions.

Finn Krusholm is CEO of Cloud People, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based service provider and Microsoft partner that over the past seven years has disseminated and implemented more than 3,000 cloud-computing installations throughout Scandinavia.