Driving Client Satisfaction – Making Clients Happy Comes Naturally
I went into the office this Saturday just to clean up my office and catch up on a few things and I saw a few folks diligently working. When I asked, “What are you all doing here?”, they said, “We are doing regression testing for the reporting module…”. My initial thoughts were that they must have something better to do on Saturday afternoon? And then I remembered a conversation with one of our clients that our software testers at XBO know their software just as deeply as they do themselves. My thoughts during that conversation were that we do the same for all our clients’ software; learn it very deeply and thoroughly. For me, it’s our secret sauce. We don’t just execute or write test cases. We really put a lot effort into learning the software from an end user’s point of view and use that as the basis for what test cases should be written (and what should not be written), what areas of functionality need exploratory testing, what tests should be automated, what should be done on what platform, etc. Many of our clients, after developing a working relationship, just trust us to do the right them for them, and don’t really manage us per say, except to tell us the timing of their releases. We don’t log and count hours like a ‘vendor’ or ‘contractor’. We treat their software like it was our own. I think they feel that.
This was really serendipitous as I prepare for my talk in Kiev a few weeks from now at TestingStage 2018. The title of my talk is: What is the Meaning of Good Service and How to Take Your Service from Good to Great. As many folks know, I’m a avid cyclist. Some of my friends ask me, what do you think about out there on the road for so many hours? Well, today’s ride was all about Saturday, running into fellow colleagues at the office and thinking about why they were there, along with my talk coming up. I think the secret sauce of our Company and what makes our clients happy is that we provide great service, but what drives our people to provide great service. I came up with 3 key elements.
- Empathy: Normally you think about this when it comes to personal relationships, but I think it applies to business relationships in really understanding and thinking about the pressure that our clients have to push out new features and functions and stay ahead of their competitors. By stepping into their shoes, we’re able to think about what they need and when, and even predict needs before being asked. The next level of empathy is for us to think like the end users of our clients’ software. What are they trying to achieve? What can block them and what would make it easier for them? Where would they get confused and quit or make a mistake?
- Desire: All the empathy in the world means little if you have no desire to help out. The staff at XBOSoft come in on the weekend not because they are told that they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t. They really want to help.
- Passion: Lastly, they are passionate about what they do. I see them often discussing things with each other, maybe even yelling. I know they aren’t angry, but just excited about new things they are discovering and learning together. Maybe they’re just fighting about who found the best defect?
Now, where they get this mindset is baffling to me. I certainly don’t walk the halls asking them if they are passionate and empathizing with our clients. The only answer I have is that our employees really care about our clients because they feel that XBOSoft really cares about them. It’s hard to put this into a corporate video or quantify on our website, but when asked what differentiates XBOSoft from our competitors, I try my best to convey these concepts. We’ve got so many people in the Company and so many clients that have been with us for many years. We must be doing something right:)