blogarticle

The customer is not always right

In our modern service-orientated economy, businesses have an increasing dilemma of how to be effective in managing customers. Many take the approach that the customer is always right no matter what, for fear that they may lose custom. This isn’t always the right approach.

At Ayrmer Software we believe in treating the customer with respect and see our relationships with our clients as partnerships. Key to this is our ethos of remembering that the other person is always more important than ourselves. In an ongoing business relationship this should also be a mutual understanding. Although this is not always the case.

Putting the other person before yourself does not equate to subservience or kowtowing to every demand. What it means is that you treat others how you would like to be treated yourself. This is what we try to do in our business which at times can be hard.

It is said that you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before criticising them. Although we don’t wear our clients footwear and do not criticiseyou should walk a mile in someone else's shoes before criticising them them, we take a similar approach in that we get to know them and their businesses in order to understand and challenge them. This enables us to provide them with a better service as we understand the pains they are going through.

Our approach to projects " challenge and improve

By better understanding the clients and their business we can try to look forward in their business and develop solutions that adapt to their future changing business needs. Sometimes this means challenging the clients on what they want in order to provide them with the solution their business needs.

We built a solution for a client a couple of years ago where we challenged what  they were asking for in their business system. We said that they needed to be  more flexible in their requirements in order to be able to change their business model. They listened to us and we built the system they needed and 18 months later they had changed their business model but we didn’t have to change the system as we had build in the functionality that enabled them to change.

We challenged and improved their requirements which helped them grow. Had we not done this they would have had to spend a lot more money to get the system changed.

Good processes = happy relationship

Other things that also help in maintaining good relationships with clients is good open communication. We are very clear from the outset of any project with clients about our process. By guiding the client through the project process we ensure that there are no surprises for either of us. This enables us to complete the project successfully and the client is happy.

Good CRM Helps too!

We utilise our own web enabled Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and project management system. This gives us clear visibility of who we are speaking to, where we are with projects and the ability to deal with issues quickly if they arise (which they do sometimes " nobody is perfect but we bend over backwards to fix things if its our fault).

Conclusion

So the customer is not always right but they are more important than us and understanding that enables us to develop long term relationships with our clients. This has, over the years, led to ongoing work from clients and referrals from them.

Date: 27/04/2012

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