Customer-Tailored Solutions: Direct Technology’s 4 simple tips to boost customer service and amaze your clients
In the past, the IT world had a reputation for putting progress before personality. We’ve come a long way, but there can still be a sense of distance between vendor and client. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 20 years of serving public entities, it’s that it is imperative to focus on the human side of tech—to build a relationship with people, not faceless users. Customized solutions aren’t as effective if you don’t know exactly who, and what needs, you’re customizing for.
When it comes to serving your customers with care and respect, little things make a big difference. Clients choose various vendors for a multitude of practical reasons, especially for government projects, where the procurement process is designed to create a level playing field. That said, any team you work for remembers the vendor partners that go above and beyond to accommodate and solve their needs. Though many people associate customer service with jam-packed call centers or holiday fruit baskets, the fact is that service is in the details—and there are simple, no-cost tweaks you can make to your processes that will help you take your client care to the next level.
1. Be flexible with your customer’s schedule. It’s always tough to align your schedule and your client’s, especially if your client is in a different time zone, and sometimes procedure or unexpected budget constraints can cause a project to slow down or take a hiatus. Being willing to take the occasional 6:00am call, or thoroughly documenting the project during a slow period so that it’s simple to jump right back in, will go a long way in impressing your client. Remember that you’re all on the same team—the customer team you’re working with wants to successfully complete this project as much as you do.
2. Be patient with payment glitches. One benefit to government projects is that you’re guaranteed their financial stability—you will get paid for your work. That said, agencies around the country are currently in a state of enormous change as they take on new and improved financial systems. As all of you in the IT business know, no big system changes come without bugs…and sometimes that translates into payment trouble. Be patient and sympathetic if your client needs extra time to pay you correctly. Your understanding will reduce stress on your customer beyond the actual project you were engaged for, and that’s something they’ll truly appreciate and remember.
3. Be available for emergencies. At Direct Technology, we’ve had our share of clients who have called us with urgent issues that needed to be resolved immediately. Those calls don’t always come in at 8:00am on Monday! We have always been happy to provide emergency remediation late into the night or over weekends as needed—and if you are willing to go beyond your contract to do so, too, your customers will know they can rely on you to deliver when it matters most.
4. Be an advocate for your customer. Government clients have unique challenges. It’s not easy to make changes to contracts or increase budget if it’s discovered that more work is needed, and when unforeseen circumstances throw wrenches into a project, it’s vital to act as an advocate for your client. You’re in government consulting because you understand and respect both the value of agency work and the constraints. Support your client team to your leadership, your client team’s leadership, and any reporting or oversight entities. By speaking up to help further not just your project, but your client’s mission, you cement your place as a partner, not just a vendor.
We all tout our custom-tailored solutions to potential government clients. But true success on a project comes from reading between the lines, taking the time to understand your customer, and refining your project plan to reflect those so you don’t just meet the technical expectations, but amaze your client with your willingness to serve them well. That’s what we at Direct Technology call a customer-tailored solution, and that approach has never failed us.
To learn more about Direct Technology Government Solutions please contact (916) 246-4955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.