What customer wants. To be close or to be well served….
The main factor of a success of every business is ability to serve customer quickly and efficiently.
Agile methodology, which is very popular now in IT project management, says that the customer must be as close as possible to the team. That helps him to be focused on the project, support team as a subject matter expert.
However, try to imagine yourself as a customer.
- Would you like to be bothered with a bunch of questions everyday instead of spending time with sponsors, prospect investors or working on some other important business deals? NO
- Wouldn’t you like just to get a frequent status with information about the progress, short presentation what was done, risks and how a vendor is going to deal with them? And to interfere only if you feel it’s needed.I would like to be that customer.
I usually outsource a work if I’m not a professional in a field or I just don’t have enough time or a desire to accomplish it.
In any case I don’t want to spend much time with a vendor and I usually expect getting a wise pieces of advice.
So why do they say that it’s important to keep the customer as close as possible? Because it’s less risky for the vendor. The vendor is not required to think a lot about the a work they do, it’s not required to do a deep analysis, it’s just less pressure on the vendor. This is good. But is it really good for the customer?
He must spend his time for explaining, researching, making decisions.
You as a good vendor must research a field, provide pieces of advice, make decisions which are the best for the customer’s needs, send a status to let the customer know how are you doing.
Based on my own experience, I know, that if you can save customers time on making everyday or even more important decisions, you will achieve a success in your business.
Let them feel relief because you are close and you are a professional. Don’t do this in opposite way :).