Had a couple of interesting exchanges last week with vendors who work with my clients. Â In both cases the individuals providing service truly believe they were doing one thing, when in reality, they were doing another. Â I’ll explain.
Company 1 provides back end software for one of my clients. Â They sold him on data conversion and training because at the end of the day, the software options available to him are very similar. Â While the intention is good to do the data conversion, how that is defined is different for the company vs. my client and me. Â When the conversion specialist looked at the data, she knew it was going to be a problem because my client hadn’t used the database as it was intended. Â We didn’t know that – we thought we were doing things mostly correct. Â Turns out, not so much. Â But instead of working toward an end result that meant our joint client had a viable product that would allow them to function in their work, the conversion person focused on just that – the conversion. She did what she was expected to do and then fell back on contracts and agreements when questioned. Â I completely get garbage in, garbage out, but now my client is paying me to clean everything up after the fact instead of having things convert cleanly. Â Regardless of the fact that he gets it, at the end of the day he’s telling people the conversion process was a, “nightmare”.
The second situation had to do with a website. Â The other vendor in this case built us a very tight box. She didn’t want to lose her part of the business, but when the problem was with her part of the business, she dictated how it was to be fixed and gave one option. Except that the one option was basically impossible. So by boxing us in and not fixing the problem, I was forced to find another solution that basically takes away all her business with this client. Â I didn’t want to do it that way, but it was my only choice. Her response? To question the level of support the client will receive going forward. Â SERIOUSLY?
So my question to you is, what do you think you do for clients? Â How do you know if you are actually doing it? Â In the second scenario she will tell you with all sincerity she is all about support and will go the extra mile to solve client’s problems. Â Our experience was as far from that as possible. Â If you have any qualms that you aren’t providing what you think you are, there’s only one thing to do. You have to ASK. Â Because if you aren’t, you aren’t going to keep your clients. Period.