Gaining the trust of your clients

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As you know, my company provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. My mantra is a simple one: my company provides the best client care. This is my differentiator, what makes me and my staff different from the other businesses in the industry.

So simply saying you’ve got the best client care is one thing. Delivering it is another. I’ve had to prove my dedication to client care over the years. First of all, we offer 24/7 service. This is TRUE 24/7 service, not simply putting it down on paper and then not answering your phone on Sunday afternoon when a call comes in. As part of this 24/7 service, we routinely perform maintenance tasks during off-hours (nights, weekends), when our clients aren’t at work or won’t be bothered by network interruptions.

Here’s where we get down to the topic of trust. When I’m performing maintenance remotely on a network at 11pm on a Saturday, what happens if that a server doesn’t come back up after a reboot ? It’s funny, because I experienced this literally yesterday. It was 11pm, I was doing some server updates, I rebooted the server and it never came back online. I waited over 30 minutes, and still nothing. So what did I do ? I could have waited until the morning, then go in and troubleshoot it once staff was there. I could have waited to see if maybe it was a coincidental internet outage and not even bothered dropping by until someone called in a trouble report. But, that’s not me. I had to go figure out what was going on right away. At this client’s location, no one is there at midnight. Thankfully, I have a key for the building. I was able to get in, figure out the issue, bring the server back online and have it ready for the following morning.

I was able to get this done because I had a key to the premises that I had been provided with. Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. In most cases, you can’t simply ask for a key and just assume it will be provided to you with no questions asked. In almost all of my experiences, keys are handed out fairly reluctantly. However, I have found that simply being honest works the best. I explain to my client(s) that because of the exceptional service we provide, we do things afterhours and on weekends so it doesn’t interrupt them while they’re at work. But, sometimes things don’t go quite to plan, and it would be better to address it right away than wait for employees to get to work and sit around not being able to do anything.

Sometimes you need to know a client for a little while before you approach this topic, sometimes you can dive into it right off the bat. This is where you need to be able to read people’s comfort level with you and judge when it’s the right time to have a conversation like this. None the less, remember, it is important that you gain the trust of your clients. It will make your life much much easier, and business will be a lot smoother.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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