Building client relationships
Monday February 21, 2011
As part of our ongoing development programme we continually ask ourselves what makes us different? Why do large multi-national organisations continually trust us with their most critical business applications? And, what sets us apart from the competition?
In this blog post I am going to take a step back and consider the reasons for MSM Software's success.
Maybe it's what we do
A key part of our philosophy has always focused on developing enduring relationships, with employees, suppliers and of course clients. By understanding the needs of our clients, their markets and the unique challenges that they face we are better placed to respond to requirements and deliver projects that will contribute to their bottom line.
We are also conscious of how hard it is to gain a client's trust, and how easy it is to lose that trust. This gives us a single-minded desire to deliver against promises and meet expectations. Delivering against time and budget is a very common phrase in our offices; this combined with 'quality' and our 'personable' approach to engaging with people makes a real difference.
Maybe it's how we do it
In the early stage of engaging with a prospective client we must build credibility. Thomas Coles described some of the ways that help smaller firms to do this in his blog of 01 February 2011. These include being clear on target market and unique selling points, taking quality and customer service seriously, and challenging conventional wisdom. We also adopt practices, such as corporate governance, that would not be out of place in larger organisations. We try to practice what we preach and demonstrate professionalism throughout our business.
Secondly, we believe that building trusted relationships is all about seeing things from a client's point of view, and acting accordingly. For example, we accept that we will not be right for everyone, and that there might be better alternatives to MSM Software's services for a particular need that a client has. We would much rather say this up front even if it means missing out on a potential contract. We want to be honest about things.
Thirdly, we want to be easy to work with. We were very pleased recently when some clients told us that they thought MSM Software's people were "personable", as that's exactly the word we like to use about ourselves. We want our clients to feel that MSM Software's people are approachable, that they can be open with us, and that they enjoy the time they spend working with us.
While the "personable" aspect is a core part of what makes us tick, we recognise that it is not unique to MSM Software, and cannot bring success on its own. However, we think it can make a difference when combined with the standards of professionalism and honesty that we always strive to achieve. Perhaps that's what we manage to do right - with a bit of luck!
This article was written by Stephen Horrell, Strategic Account Manager, MSM Software.