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HOW TO RUN AN ORGANIZATION AS A PARTNER OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND NOT A VENDOR

Penny Garbus, President

At this moment I must brag about my team.

The first and utmost way to become a vital arm for a customer’s organization is to act like they are the most important people or company now. I know old fashioned people to people relationship building seems to be out of style but with more technology the human contact moments become even more important.

Every single member of our team from sales, accounting, to the delivery technologists understands that they need to make working with us easy, low stress, and efficient. It is easy to instill this in the technologist, as they understand that the IT environment of a company is it soul.

Loss of data during these times just cannot happen. Data loss can mean thousands to millions of lost dollars for a company. They know that when we talk to the line of business owners or C-Level strategists that their data environment is critical to the success of the company. When we have a customer in stress, we share their concerns and work with them to correct issues, in real time. We have a turn around response for assistance in most cases under 15 minutes. Our SLA is 30 minutes, we respond as quickly as humanly possible to review the issue, sign in, investigate, plan and share resolutions then help assist in implementation of the resolutions.

This is probably standard for many MSA’s. That the mantra within the company is to respond as quickly and professionally as possible no matter what time of day or night you are working with your customers. We also allow our team members to call in and ask for help. We have second tiered (not second level more senior folks) but backup technicians ready to step in and help should you need advice, or you are just tired from working through the night.

You would not believe how impressed our customers are when we have other people who understand their environment, that have the information that they need to continue when another of our team members are not available. Having the ability to seamlessly add on team members to support our customers enables them to look at us as a complete team extension. They know that we have people that work through evenings, nights weekends and holidays that are rested and able to assist.

As you move through our organization you will notice that our Sales/account managers are determined to win our customers over through consistent assistance. They ask our customers to share the ugly things that upset them so that we can improve on any observed customer support issues quickly. This way things that bother them do not fester under their skin and bubble up when contract renewal comes up.

Our management team is available day and night for our customers. You can call any of us if you have an idea or concern to share. We try hard to be nimble and to respond to their needs as quickly as we can.
Within our organization, down to the billing department we also think that customer relationship building is important. The directives of that department are to make the payment process for our customers as seamless as possible. Have the tax forms and payment instructions ready for the first invoice. If a customer calls to discuss the invoice be pleasant. If there are issues, share them with the account manager to ensure that the billing is appropriate.

If every member of the team works with your customers to ensure that they find you easy to deal with, fun to work with, responsive to your needs. This human relationship building from all fronts endears you to their teams. Suddenly, they come to you with ideas and concerns and want to work things out with you. They want you to be their key go to people for projects and advice.

It is more important now than ever to look at each customer as a long-term relationship. New customers are expensive to gain. A current customer is a relationship to build, regard as high value to build a lifelong relationship. Trust me the value has saved our company during these times. Developing a report where your services and people are vital for the success of your customer’s company means that you retain them even when times are tough.

In summary, the core message throughout you company should be every customer matters. Now you are communicating with them their worries are your worries. You should do your best to express that and that you should over communicate and provide consistent value.



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