22 May, Wednesday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Everything you know

Kirjoittanut: Kamil Wójcik - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

I rarely share just thoughts and often seek real fact-based knowledge, therefore here I will try something else.

I would like to share my thoughts on customer management in this short reflection essay. I have had the opportunity to work with multiple customers. I was in charge of negotiations and communication as well as hosting the customer on multiple occasions in various situations. It really doesn’t matter what kind of work we perform, we are going to have to deal with a customer in this way or the other – at least in most cases. Quality customer service is a big part of the brand we are creating, but it also tells a lot about us.

All the first contacts with customers I have had this summer were via email and then over zoom before we meet in real life. Making the right impression can save us time and place us in the pole position.

Customer who is stressed is difficult. My job was to put them at ease and take care of them. Providing necessary knowledge – let it be info about their arrival to a new location or assuring we have the necessary competence to handle the project – is important. Let’s just make sure we do not rub it on customer’s face and make them feel stupid.

In Finland, we are quite casual when it comes to dress code and how we address people. We won’t be judged for coming to work by bike or public transport. In fact, many from abroad look up to that. Although, it’s good to keep in mind that adapting to new social standards takes time, therefore we should put some thought before we come to the first meeting in sweatpants or address the customer by name in the very first email.

The customer isn’t always right. I have had the pleasure to work in the years 2020-2021 in a specialized shop, where my supervisor encouraged me to challenge the customer in a polite manner when I could see they would benefit from a different product. We should stand up for ourselves against unreasonable requests and things that do not align with our values. After all they turned to you because they lack the expertise to take care of it themselves, right?

Take time to build your team. Sometimes we just have to delegate, I struggle with it and I noticed it’s especially difficult when I simply do not trust that people can take care of it as well as I would. Therefore, let’s not skip that important step. Look first into who is best for the job, what skills we have in the team and foremost let’s lead by example, your staff will never be on time if you are constantly late.

When I do new things, I often hesitate to ask for money. We should not be afraid of selling, it’s good to have a solid offer, and give time to the customer to think about it. While sometimes it takes more work. Just recently I have had to step by step explain the cost structure and convince a customer why I’m the right person for the job. I got the deal and the customer was really happy after all. We will work again in the future.

In business life, we cannot just clock out. The social part is important and magic often happens late at night. It’s not that we all want to stay up with our customers hanging out. Most of us have life, our own relationships, dogs and kids I get it. Although, taking a potential customer for lunch or celebration dinner with a bottle of good wine after the project is a real relationship milestone. It’s a place we can forget deadlines, relax and engage in meaningful conversation, which leads to better mutual understanding.

Good work is rewarded with more work.


About the random title, years ago I have seen a picture of a poster that said:
(Sorry I don’t dare to post it as I don’t own the rights, but surely you can google it)

There are two rules for success:
1. Never reveal,
    Everything you know.

Everyone can interpret it by themselves. Somehow I felt that it links to this topic.

Dynamic and entrepreneurial developer of new ideas. Focus on coaching and sustainable development.

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