My time this summer was spent organizing and managing home renovations. Although there was potential for disaster to arise, everything went relatively smoothly. In retrospect, I realized the only complaint I had about the whole experience was the inadequate customer service that I received from various retailers.
Poor customer service seemed to be the only reoccurring theme throughout the project. It was prominent whether dealing with concrete, carpet, hot tub or home improvement companies; not to mention the electrician and the drywall contractors. While I understand that the construction business is not exactly celebrated for being on the forefront of customer service, I certainly expected more than what I received.
It would take too much time to list all of the disappointments I encountered, but from a broad viewpoint my experiences looked a little like this:
- Concrete company providing an unacceptable product.
- Carpet company repeatedly not showing up when they were scheduled to; and without having the courtesy to call.
- Hot tub company five weeks late with delivery of tub and unable to locate the tub at any point within the process
- Certain home improvement companies forgetting who I was, telling me that they had left me messages when they hadn’t, and also losing their deliverable.
Woops, did I say deliverable up there? Sound familiar? In fact, that same home improvement company required five phone calls and an in-person store visit by me in order for my storm door to be located. The funny part? I found it. Can you imagine one of our clients having to send one of their employees (who knows little about how we work) to our office to help us find a document or line of code? Or even worse, the deliverable! It is completely unacceptable. That is not the way you treat the people who are your “valued customers”.
We have deliverables here at Intelliware. In fact our world revolves around deliverables.
After all was said and done this summer I began to think a lot more about what we do here at Intelliware and how our process applies to customer service. When I think of Intelliware the following words come to mind:
- Delivery focused
- Highly Skilled
- Always leading
- Family Atmosphere
- Customer focused
- And plenty more…….
I have been at Intelliware a long time now and we constantly discuss having a continuous customer focus. In fact, on my current project we have the client in the room. It doesn’t get any better than that. Perhaps I never thought of ‘customer focus’ as customer service. However, I realize now it is only one facet of customer service. Making sure that we keep the needs of the customer in mind while we write code or make plans is only one slice of the customer service pie. The most valuable element of our process each day is truly customer service.
Intelliware’s constant/continuous ability to deliver solid, reliable, and maintainable code, on time, (over and over) is customer service.
Utilizing team dynamics and using a collaborative approach to avoid knowledge silos is customer service.
Testing every line of code written is customer service.
When our teams are asked for less documentation or more documentation, to speed up or to slow down, to move this or change that, our ability to react and make those changes quickly and reliably is customer service.
Plans change. We get that. Tell us what you want and we’ll do our bet to accommodate. That is customer service.