Ah, yes…after all of the marketing, the long sales process, the haggling and finally getting to the finish line, the real job begins.
Just like interviewing a job candidate, you never really know if there is a good fit until that first day they show up for work. So when you show up for work at your client’s location, are you making a great first impression?
The most important part of any project is the kick-off, as that sets the tone for how you will interact with your client for the long term – and that is where many companies fall down. We’ve had our share of not-so-stellar first impressions ourselves. With older versions of our software, it was often left to the customer to figure out what to do with that shiny new disc. The documentation and installation process was a bit….difficult. Without a well-placed call to tech support, it was darn near impossible to figure out where to begin and that made it that much more difficult for many of our customers to realize the significant benefits our software provides.
We have since learned from that experience and we now have a very well documented, much more user-friendly application from the moment the customer takes it out of the package. In addition to a QuickStart card, an email that directs our users to a plethora of Help Videos and Tutorials, we’ve automated the installation process so that our users can now install, download some initial product data, and start working with the software in less than an hour.
Why is that so important? Well much like that first impression after the job interview, that is exactly what we’re focusing on – that we are worth the investment. The easier we can make it for our users to get started, we will reduce the time it takes to start realizing a return on investment – proving that we can in fact walk the walk and back up our marketing claims.
As with any software, there are always going to be issues, and we are constantly working to improve the software – we are fortunate to have an extremely vocal customer base who have no problem letting us know our shortcomings – but also have no problem giving us props when we get something right. Most of these relationships have developed over months and years of working together, and despite the growth in the industry, you can be sure that we will run into each other at CEDIA, InfoComm, EHX or one of the many other industry events throughout the year.
Your relationship with your clients is one of your most valuable assets – we always try to remember that and in fact is what continues to motivate us to improve. There really is nothing quite like having a customer come up to us at a show and tell us their “D-Tools saved my butt” story. Conversely, the opposite also has the same if not more impact. A negative encounter with a customer is something we always want to avoid – we certainly do not want to be the cause of any loss in productivity.
So it is with that thought that we try to approach our jobs every day – “Am I making a difference? Is what I’m doing ultimately going to help my client? And most importantly, Am I delivering the goods?”