Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees. It’s a statement that rings true in any industry. When working with a client on deciding to upgrade hardware, software, change a service provider or move to a new technology, you can lose sight of all the factors that go into a decision.
We have a customer who runs a small office. Recently he decided to begin replacing outdated desktop PCs with new PCs. Although he’s not what you’d call an IT expert, he knows his systems inside and out and is able to resolve minor networking issues or application problems without having to call us in. We discussed the project and goals. We discussed how a change can introduce some much needed improvement over his current systems. When I recommended updating software and moving to a new operating system in conjunction with the updated hardware, I was surprised to be met with resistance since the benefits to his office were considerable.
We talked it through some more and I told him about all the wonderful things the new systems would be capable of and how we can provide a way to run some seriously outdated software just fine on the latest operating system. I was also sure to tell him about the various security features that were now included with the new operating system that would make his business and data more secure and function better. We also talked about Microsoft ending support for his current operating system and how that could potentially open up the door to a variety of problems. Although I could tell that he wasn’t 100% comfortable with the plan, I was confident this was the right direction to head, so we pushed forward with the new machines.
We delivered the machine a few days later, already setup with our customer’s email configured, security settings intact and backup software and schemes ready to go. Since our customer was comfortable loading software and configuring a PC to access the proper network locations, I left the computer with him and asked him to call me with any issues. Within an hour, we were on the phone discussing a networking issue and I could hear the frustration in his voice. I realized then I had made a huge mistake.
PC Dynamix was founded from the ground up with customer satisfaction as our only true goal. When we talk to potential clients, one thing we always say is that you can find good technical help almost anywhere, but no one will do more than PC Dynamix to make sure our customers have the IT tools and support to make their lives and businesses better. I realized that when I was doing “what was right” for the customer, I wasn’t taking into consideration what was right for THIS customer. We should have talked through all the “risks” when I knew he wasn’t completely onboard instead of assuring him we can make it work.
After some conversation, we decided to use the updated hardware, but run the operating system and software that he was comfortable with. While I’m sure we could have made the latest and greatest work, educated the customer on the ins and outs of the new system, and walked them through the rough patches that would lie ahead, what this customer needed was a service provider that listened to what they wanted and wasn’t so concerned with what we felt they needed.
It’s funny that after nearly 20 years of providing customer service, the golden rule still applies: The customer is always right.