Company Core Values: Delighting Clients is a Win-Win for You and Them
In 2022, ArcherPoint is celebrating our 20th anniversary as a Microsoft Dynamics Gold ERP Partner for Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central. As part of looking back we’re sharing things about our culture throughout the year to help you understand us and how we got here. We’re confident that our success is due in part to our strong core values and that we intentionally incorporate them into our culture. In several blogs, we are discussing those values, how they came to be and what each looks like in practice. We already discussed Building an Enduring Tribe. This time, we’re talking about Delighting Clients with Amazing Work that they are happy to pay for and rave about to others.
What Does It Mean to “Delight” Clients?
That’s a good question. The word “delight” can mean very different things to different people and also depends on the circumstances, so it’s important to clarify its meaning in this context before going further. As you can imagine, your mechanic could delight you as their customer if they finished fixing your car and said, “No charge because it’s important for us to delight you!” Your mechanic wouldn’t stay in business long, and that approach also would have missed the point. That’s why we added “…with amazing work that they are happy to pay for and rave about to others” to complete the thought.
So, in the case of our core values, “delighting clients” is not giving them free work; it’s about doing everything we possibly can to make them happy they chose us as their partner. Our clients don’t expect to get work for free, but they should expect that the work we do will always be high quality, that they can count on, and that we will stand by our work. In other words, they’ll walk away from an engagement with us feeling satisfied–so satisfied, in fact, that they will recommend us to others and they themselves will continue to work with us. With Delighting Clients as a core value, we strengthen our business by keeping our customers happy and attracting new ones. It’s a win-win.
As a professional services company, we don’t want to just meet customer expectations; we want to exceed them by delivering valuable services they’re happy to pay for.
How Do We Delight Our Clients?
So, now that we’ve defined what we mean when we talk about delighting clients, the next question is, how do we do it? Once a year, we ask all our employees to nominate and vote on individuals within the organization who have distinguished themselves around one of our core values. We then recognize those individuals with our Core Value Awards. Debbie Shumake, our Culture Champion and head of Talent and Leadership for ArcherPoint, celebrating employees that are exemplary in how they embody our Core Values is key to keeping those values front and center.
What better person to ask, then, what Delighting Clients looks like to them than the winner of this award? That person was Sara Keck. Sara is one of ArcherPoint’s Technical Services Delivery and Infrastructure Specialists. She was recognized because she, as one of her teammates put it, “never hesitates to jump in and support our customers – whether they are internal or external.” Her peers love collaborating with her and appreciate how much they learn from her in the process. Here is what Sara had to say about Delighting Clients:
“I think the biggest piece of it is communication, being transparent, and setting expectations–making sure you always let the customer know that you hear what they’re asking for, you’re going to take care of their needs, and that you won’t drop the ball. Even if you don’t have time right at the moment, it’s important to tell them what and when to expect an answer or resolution or delivery. They understand that you have other priorities to juggle; they just want to know you haven’t forgotten about them and that they’re important. If, for some reason, you won’t be able to provide an answer in the timeframe they request, then make sure you get a resource that can.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to get too technical or in the weeds; you just need to tell them when to expect a response. But be respectful! If a customer has come to you for help, it can be assumed they don’t have the level of knowledge and expertise you have, but that does not mean they’re not smart. Be patient, listen, answer their questions, explain why you’re asking the questions you’re asking, and involve them at the appropriate level. If they express interest in helping find the answer, look for opportunities to do so. They can watch via screen sharing as you work on something, you can provide them with documentation of the solution or screenshots, or just answer their questions. This will help them develop their skills and become more self-sufficient if they want to. This also helps create a much stronger, more respectful relationship between you and them.
And finally, once you’ve given them the answer, fixed the problem, or delivered the solution, explain to them what you did, why you did it, and how you did it. This should be done verbally but also in written format for billing purposes. Again, you don’t have to go into deep detail, but they need to have at least a general understanding of the resolution so they know what they paid for and what to do if it should happen again. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a bill for several hours worth of work and not knowing what you are paying for OR having to pay again for the same work that could possibly have been avoided had the resolution been shared.
In short, communicating with clients is the key to delighting them.”
Does this core value mean something to you? Would you like to work for a company that cares about delighting clients with everything we do? Then we’re looking for you! Come explore employment opportunities with ArcherPoint.