January 20, 2021
What Business Are You In?
This is a question we are all frequently asked and often requires additional explanation to people not in the IT industry. However, in pondering this question, I think there is one business that we are all part of regardless of our technical and managerial skillsets. For the past 40+ years, I’ve been in the customer service business, and it’s taught me some universal lessons that have withstood the test of time:
- Know who your customer is – sometimes this is confusing with complicated organizations, but we must always know who they are to ensure they are always treated as customers.
- Listen to your customer every chance you get – making assumptions about their needs can be dangerous. When I slow down the process by reflectively listening to my customer, I always learn something new about them and their needs.
- Be respectful with your consultation – even though we are hired for our expertise, the customer deserves your respectful and articulate communications always.
- Be responsive to their requests – meet all deadlines and communicate status frequently for those longer-term requests.
- Seek to make your customer successful – customers want what we want, simply to be successful in achieving their goals. If you help them do that, you too will be successful!
Contributed by Jerry Parsons, Director, ECCM