Client Partnerships and Expectations

Client Partnerships and Expectations

Client Partnerships and Expectations

Two weeks ago the CTO of one of our key New York based clients was visiting his European offices and offered to drop into our Belfast office to spend some time with the team. In fact, he agreed to give a presentation on client expectation /context as part of our recently launched Options University (OU).

It was the first time we had a client present in the OU and it honestly felt a little bit special. Client face time and being onsite is absolutely built into our culture (and we have the air miles to prove it) but having a client take the time out and come to us has really made an impact.

He ended up speaking to and taking questions from 25+ of the team, including engineers, support desk folk, account managers and myself. We covered a range of topics from how the client has to manage risk in a regulated environment (and what our role is within that) to the general experience of interacting with the support desk.Enterprise Risk Management, Platform Functionality and Support. At the end I jotted down 3 points that seemed to sum-up the 2-way conversation.

1) Go That Bit Further

Solving a problem in isolation and moving on is rarely that useful. Go that bit further and ask why to better get to the root cause, understand if it’s an isolated issue and stop it reoccurring (see this article on the famous 5 Whys technique pioneered by Toyota in the 1930’s).

2) Context is King

 Understanding the user’s general and often more importantly current-world view is crucial. A ticket with the title “fonts not loading” may not look like a blocker, but if it’s 2am and the user has a big presentation in 6 hours it’s going to be a P1 for that user. If in doubt, ask.

3) Face 2 Face Wins Every Time

 Generally: email beats a ticket update and a call beats email but a face to face meeting wins every time.

This is the way we build lasting partnerships with clients that go well beyond the client/vendor relationship.

I’m looking forward to seeing if we can get more of our clients to visit and share their thoughts too (if you’re reading this and would to try it, please do reach out!).

Stevie Morrow, Chief Operating Officer

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