Monday, 12 August 2013

On The Other Foot

It's very interesting to be the client rather than the provider. In reality I am often a client - when I go to the corner shop or the cinema I am a customer, but to actually be asked what you want as a client is a very different experience.

This is currently mine. I'm working with website developer who is building a site for me. I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted and what was required. We talked about the colour palette and the use of images, what sections I wanted and what add-ons may be of use. My webby person went off and did what we'd agreed and it's looking great so far. Just recently we've had a discussion about fonts and text size. All perfectly sensible questions and ones I realised, I hadn't considered. Rather than making me feel stupid for not considering something really basic, my webby person gave me examples, played with ideas and offered some thoughts.

The important thing was that I trusted her entirely. Not only is she extremely talented at what she does, I've known her for a few years so she had an idea of what I would like. It got me thinking about my relationship with my clients. The really good ones do take time to develop and build up but they only get that chance if there is the potential for trust. Behaving in a professional manner is key but also open and honest dialogue with the client. When things go wrong as they undoubtedly do, being able to take responsibility for that and finding a solution is what makes the difference between customer service and great customer service.

I have recently experienced the worst customer service ever. I ordered an item which, according to the terms within the company website, was late. When I queried this with the manager, using the relevant information, he told me it wasn't late, I was wrong and if I didn't want the item, he'd "chuck it in the bin". I was shocked. Suffice to say I'll never use that company again.

Both of these experiences have reinforced for me the importance of excellent customer service. The customer may not always be perfect but then nor am I. Similarly, being experienced in a field doesn't mean that I shouldn't listen to an outsider when they offer their thoughts or advice. It may be an old fashioned notion, but it's worth remembering do as you would be done by. After all, if someone wants to be your client in the first place, it does indicate they have excellent taste and that should be respected.



  1. I feel all warm and fuzzy now! And very glad that I'm apparently doing something right :-D


    1. You are fantastic at doing everything "right" Enjoy the fuzzy feeling - you deserve it.

  2. Yup, nothing better than a great client relationship and giving excellent customer service! I totally agree with you on everything you have said here :)
    Oh, and can't wait to see your website!

    1. It seems obvious doesn't it - How do you like to be treated when you're the customer? - and yet ...

      You'll have to wait a little longer for the site but in the meantime read my most recent post.