Ouija Boards and Customer Service in the Software Development Industry
Customer service in the software development industry is not mysterious. And honestly, it all comes down to what we were all taught as children…treat others as you would want to be treated.
1) Be yourself. As a provider of software services, know what you are good at and focus on it like a laser. As a company, don’t try to be something you’re not. If you have a strong offshore outsourcing software WordPress development practice, don’t claim to be a Unity software development shop in pursuit of short term revenue gains.
2) Honesty IS a virtue. All projects have highs and lows and no-one and no company is perfect. We are all human. People find themselves in trouble not necessarily by making a mistake, but by trying to hide something from a customer. Just be transparent with challenges and your customer will appreciate the character you exhibit and grow to trust you and your company in a more meaningful and ultimately very valuable way.
3) Listen to others. When a customer tells you something, listen and hear what they are saying. And not just what they are saying in words, but also what they are trying to communicate. And when you ask questions, don’t ask questions to benefit yourself, but to truly uncover what your customer wants and needs. Addressing a client’s issues and solving their problems is why they will end up calling you again and again.
4) Talk live…don’t rely on virtual communications. (OK, this one is more of a recent adage.) In today’s synaptically connected technology environment, it is very easy to use email and other software tools to exclusively communicate with customers. I’ve even met brilliant software developers throughout my career who would be very happy if they never spoke to a human ever again…perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. Talk to your customers live and do it often…at least weekly. It’s the only way to truly forge a meaningful human relationship. And those are the ones that turn into strong, long-term client relationships.
5) And finally, have fun! This doesn’t mean yucking it up on scrum calls or posting daily jokes on JIRA. But enjoy the work you are doing…appreciate the people you are working with…and be positive.
When I started NarraSoft seven years ago, I had ZERO clients and I was employee #1. Today we have customers across four continents and 15 countries and we have over 60 full-time employees in our Manila software and mobile development office. We also have a 3D digital art and animation studio. And I truly attribute our success to date on two things 1) our amazing employees and 2) the way we treat our customers.