Good Service, Part II

As I discussed in Part I of this series, the experience of Good Service develops from a feeling of being “conveyed.” This can be enhanced if you:

  1. Make promises and follow through
  2. Internalize and discuss client concerns
  3. Assume responsibility for communications

Part II of this series continues in this vein, with three more techniques you can use.

4) Show Enthusiasm and Confidence in Your Ability to Execute

The customer will understandably nervous about hiring you. This may be their first engagement with you, and they don’t know how to do what you do. You have to show them genuine confidence that you know this, and will get the job done right.

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.

- Vince Lombardi

  • Relate stories of similar things you’ve done.
  • Relate stories of more complex things you’ve done.
  • Directly tell the customer that you’re confident in your ability to deliver.
  • Address their particular areas of concerns by asking what these are. Be open about your related strengths and how you will deal with your weaknesses in this regard.
  • Tell them you're excited to work on the project!

5) Be Flexible

True partners continuously provide solutions, even if the client is constantly changing their minds. Rather than dismissing them as impossible to work with, show that you can roll with the punches.

  • Don’t quote them on every small change; slip in a few free goodies every now and again.
  • Tone is important. Don’t say “that’s not in the contract” or “we can’t do that”; Say – “though this is outside of the original scope, I can spend a few hours to prepare an estimate of the time / cost impact.”
  • Don’t make them feel bad for changing their minds; give them new options, and suggest the best way forward to make the change.
  • Always meet with them where it’s convenient. An offer to meet at your offices may be welcome, especially if they haven’t yet got a sense of your company. If they want to meet at their offices, meet them there.
  • Don’t try to lock-in your customer – allow them to continue to choose you. Offer to have members of their team involved from the start, and throughout, so that they feel like they’re a part of the process. Explain to them that they will always be able to take control and change direction, and that any work you deliver will be able to be picked up and evolved by someone else. If you do this, they will feel relieved that they hired you, rather than afraid that they did.

6) Diversify Your Skills

At Jonah, we promise to build smart and innovative technology solutions, and to do that we have to stay current. You’ll usually want to be abreast of the new developments in your industry in order to satisfy your customers that they don’t have to.

  • Hire people that are internally committed to continuous learning, and aren’t afraid of new challenges.
  • Take training and spread the word within your company.
  • Investigate better processes, tools, and technologies, and ask yourself how this might help your customer.
  • Be a proponent of these ideas on your projects.

Look for the final article in the series, which will complete the “Good Service Experience” picture.

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We're a team of interactive, software, and business intelligence experts skilled in the design, construction, and management of online enterprise systems.

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