Your client is always right

Before you think I’ve lost it completely, , , let me explain.

In an IT organization, we are there to support the technology needs of people who need technology to do their jobs. In most situations, technology is not the company’s core competency. It is banking services, manufacturing widgets, selling food, clothes, or books, , , or doing something to sell products and services they provide. It is rarely developing technology.

Our IT clients are primarily two groups of people in your company:

  1. Senior managers
  2. Department managers and their employees

If your clients think you do a good job, , , great. However, if they think you are doing a poor job in supporting their business, , , guess what, , , you are.

STOP RIGHT HERE

Let me clarify just a bit.

You might actually be doing a super job with the technology. In fact, you could be the best technical organization around, , , the VERY BEST !

However, if the client thinks you are doing a lousy job in supporting them, something is askew. It could be that you are simply not managing their expectations very well. If that’s the case, then there is a problem.

Delivering technology services well is not just about doing a good “technical” job. You must also manage the client so they agree you are delivering support successfully. The flip side of this is that you could be doing a mediocre job technically, but if your client thinks you are doing a great job in supporting their business, , , guess what , , , you are.

Now, I know what the technical purists are going to say, , , something like, “Mike, that’s crazy. You should know that unless the technical part is handled well, there is no way to be successful in supporting technology.”

All I can tell you is that I’ve seen many outstanding technical organizations get low marks from their clients because they aren’t managing the client’s expectations well. They may be superior technicians but they are respected less because the client’s expectations are out of whack.

Something to think about!

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