Customers vs. clients

Customers vs. clientsOur Managing Director, Andy Sellers, writes a monthly company update and one of the topics from last month’s update is that of “being too nice to clients”. I’m reminded of the old saying that “the customer is always right” or that “the customer always comes first”.

I agree that this needs to change.

We are a business that works on partnership and relationship. We work with and treat our partners as an extension of our business and in turn, those clients that treat us the same way get the absolute best out of us; from a commercial and a technical level.

One of the most pleasing things that occurred when I joined Foundation IT is that they share a similar philosophy to mine. If an engagement doesn’t follow the processes we like, and the customer tries to railroad us into the wrong way of going about things, we won’t simply agree and walk to a poor project conclusion hand-in-hand. We speak up and let our customers (who should turn into clients) know that this isn’t the right way to go about it. We then change the process and help the customer with their project or requirement or engagement and a successful outcome occurs. Working in the IT industry and dealing with systems is a minefield. Things WILL go wrong, projects will experience delays or issues yet it’s the way we help our clients with this that sets us apart.

I had a smile put on my face last week. One of our clients (currently a household name) is working on a key project where an existing supplier has left them in the lurch with regards to a key Microsoft application platform installation. Some would consider it fate that I had a client review meeting on the same day that this happened, however, whatever you call it we were in a position to render assistance.

A hastily scheduled conference call and a Statement of Works agreed, we are now helping this client with one of their key projects without delaying any of the project timelines helping them with the deliverables for their client.

Another client (a college) gave me some feedback that our project with them over the summer was one of the only projects in nearly ten years that proceeded successfully, on-time causing them little to no disruption. Bearing in mind exam results and new student intake occurred over that period, we consider that a major success.

We are not the cheapest partner you will work with (that being said, nor do I feel we are the most expensive). But what we will offer you is right size advice and a long-term partnership that will mean that whether you sit in a leadership, commercial or technical role, you will come out of any engagement with us with a smile on your face too.

So when you engage with us, what do you want to be – a customer or a client?

Dan Parsons, Account Manager

Author: Dan Parsons, Client Manager
Dan is responsible for business development and client management. He has been working in the IT industry for nearly ten years, delivering solutions that help clients to benefit from the data centre and end user computing. In particular, Dan is passionate about helping companies in the education, charity and government sectors.

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