In Client's Shoes
They say you will never understand a man until you walked a mile in his shoes. A couple of weeks ago we had a need for financial advice and service. That was basically a professional consultation on how to pay taxes in the US to be sure we are on the same page with rules and do not misconstruct them. We published a request online and within one day received, just imagine, two hundred and something offers. Yes, surely that was not the first time of outsourcing for us, but two hundred and something, and we had to make a choice!
Being a cofounder of the IT business and someone who has been working with a number of businesses for more than 9 years, I am aware of the competition rates in our field and all the challenges IT vendors face while applying for a contract. But at that moment, we were the ones who had to decide with whom to partner and to whom say thank you for the offer.
We have really read every letter and offer as knew that behind each of them there was a person or a team who’d put some efforts to succeed. Someone more efforts, someone less. After a day of reading and evaluating, we felt walking in our clients’ shoes. But I would say we have learned much from that. We had this feeling, what on earth are our clients are thinking about when they’ve received hundreds of offers.
Basically nothing new in this story, just a well-known statement is repeated once again. Be sure, if we all spent a day in our client’s shoes, we would improve the skills to understand each other and to be more effective on both sides of the deal. This is actually a win-win deal for both.
Do you think we have made a big opening on how to choose a vendor and will share a secret key with you? That is not so, as well as it is impossible to reinvent a wheel. Intuitively we all know how to. After all, we have decided on working with a team who approach our request thoroughly. They were the last ones we received the offer from. I do not know whether the reason was they spend some more time to visit our website and learn more about us, but the quality of communications and then the experience they have was the one we expected. I was reading the letter which was addressed to us and I could clearly understand what benefits and values they would bring to our company. In other words, what I will pay for.
At that moment, I remembered one my colleague who pays high attention to the CV cover letters, when hiring an employee for his department. He said the more clearly specialists can express their thoughts, the more effective people they are. It is simple, but true. Translating this into a business language, if you have an ability to provide service of a high quality, you should be able to deliver a message to your client in an appropriate manner too.
To make a long story short, I’d say Artelogic is on the right way paying so much attention to the communication at each level of software development cycle. Transparency, trust, and interaction are our baseline. Otherwise, no one will know how good you are in software developing.
To that end, we have only one advice. If you are an IT executive of a large or a small business, your company is probably among those, that outsource IT service or are looking for a technology partner. Each time you have such need, ask, should it really be like an outsourcing or rather a partnership, bringing business value to your table?