Clients. It’s high time businesses stopped looking at them as the enemy, or impossible to please or even a quick route to retirement.
We must start looking at them as partners.
Here at Koncise Solutions, we like to think of ourselves as a client-first company (and we hope that our vendors will attest to that!) but what do clients think?
There isn’t a single business in the world that can sit back and say ‘we’ve nailed it, we don’t have to do anything else to get people to buy from us’. Client satisfaction (and more importantly, client retention) is a dynamic, fluid entity which should be forever evolving and being refined. Not even Amazon, Google or Netflix who between them have almost all of us eating out of their hands rest on their laurels. If they can’t, no-one can.
It’s important – vital – for us and every other client-facing business in the universe to ask one simple question:
Are we doing enough to be client-orientated?
Actually there’s another simple question asked by our very own Stephen Dorling:
How can we better put ourselves in their shoes and be better at being a client-first company?
We were prompted to put metaphorical pen to paper after reading a post by Christopher Zell, VP, Head of InfoSec at Wendy’s (the American burger chain) he called The Security Vendor Test.
In it, he described a call he had with a vendor where he listed the three elements he evaluates when looking at adopting a new tool:
1. How will it impact his team? Will it help to make things faster, more efficient and/or better or will he have to increase his headcount in order to use it?
2. Will it improve security/compliance within his organisation?
3. Does it allow for consolidation opportunities within their environment?
Bonus Question: Can the tool (or its output) be used by multiple teams inside or outside his department, increasing ROI?
While Mr Zell’s post was written specifically about the adoption of new software, the quest to become more client-oriented is one we are eager to pursue, Indiana Jones-like.
Think about it this way –businesses don’t specialise in [insert what you do here], they specialise in making clients happy. We realise this sounds a bit like BNI-style bull***t bingo but it’s true.
At one point or another we’ve all complained about how some clients can be hard to please, or are never happy regardless of what is done for them, as if somehow that responsibility is theirs. In fact, it’s ours and if we want their business to be safe, it’s time to discover how to best take on that responsibility.
To Start, It’s Like A First Date
When we first meet a potential new client or vendor, it’s like a first date. However we found each other, the first meeting can often be awkward. In a sense it’s no different to the courting ritual. We size them up, they size us up. Are we a good fit? Can we work together? Is there potential for something long-term?
It’s not true anymore that clients only want services that are the cheapest or the quickest fix. Quality, experience and personality are today’s differentiators and clients are willing to pay a little more to get all three.
But what else do they want?
First and foremost, potential clients need to know that we understand them, we understand their business, their challenges, their objectives and their goals.
In the cloud security business (and we suppose this translates to most client-facing businesses) there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to ensuring critical business data is secure. It’s up to the service provider (us) to understand who our clients are and offer solutions that are right for their business, not everyone’s.
We ask the right questions to elicit the answers we need in order to serve our clients in the best way possible.
It’s Not All About The Money
Like any service provider, we charge a fee for what we do but it’s much more nuanced. In exchange for money we also provide our clients with the confidence we are experts at what we do, we define a set of reporting metrics and we ensure that they can rest easy knowing they’re in good hands.
Clients need their service providers to be agile and to be able to adapt quickly, efficiently and effortlessly to changing surroundings. It’s not up to them to determine what they need at any given time, it’s up to us to let them know, advise on a best practice course of action and get the job done.
It’s About Them, Not You
We personalise our client experience though a tried and tested combination of understanding our clients’ needs and regular, proactive communication. Clients won’t always tell us what issues they have, it’s up to us to pre-empt those thoughts and ultimately deliver a service they can rely on, a service that goes virtually unnoticed in the background while they get on with the business of doing business unhindered by cyber-baddies who want Christmas presents they didn’t pay for…
Contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7078 0789 and we’ll talk cloud and email security, communications platforms, cutting-edge IT solutions or what’s better, duck fat or goose fat for your special Christmas roast potatoes…