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End-To-End Customer Experience Key to Project Success

by SUMMIT on December 30th, 2014

key to success

We have seen far too many technology projects suffer because of one big mistake: looking at the close of a sale as the end of a deal, when really it is just the beginning. Every close of sale could be the beginning of a promising sales relationship for years to come. But, this kind of long-term relationship is hard to achieve, and even harder when it comes to the integration business. All too often we find integrators wrestling with project anomalies, cost outages, unrealistic deadlines, and other challenges to creating better project outcomes. All the while, integrators are not thinking too much about the customer.

Sure, we need to manage our projects effectively, but today project management is not just about meeting those integration challenges; it is about creating better customer experiences. We need to work our way around those challenges and focus on building an environment around the customer. A customer-centric approach not only makes way for better customer service, but also can have a positive impact on project outcomes.

How does a method centered on the customer lead to better project outcomes? Let’s talk about the possible ways to execute successful projects by improving the customer experience:

A better understanding of customer needs. The demand to understand the “need” is paramount in any tech project, and its significance cannot be overstressed. While we’ve stressed the importance of paying attention to customer requirements time and again, we still see integrators pushing the hottest product in the market down the pipeline, irrespective of whether or not the customer needs it. Sooner or later, when the latest and greatest is not meeting the customer’s requirements, they realize that they have made the wrong investment. And once they have the bad taste in their mouth, they are hardly going to come back to do business again. Understanding customer needs right at the outset is critical, and suggesting products that are perfectly aligned with their requirements is expected.

More reliable and regular communication. Customers always like to be kept in the loop and they should be. Throughout the course of the project, from conception to completion, a seamless flow of communication keeps customers informed about every stage of the project so that they can ensure that the project is moving as they have desired, and you can make adjustments along the way if necessary.

On-site support during tech adoption. Initially tech adoptions can be a little rocky, which is why your clients could gain tremendously from on-site services after installation. Through on-site assistance, you could help them get accustomed to their new AV systems, while also guiding them through operations, shortcuts, or basic troubleshooting methods.

Ongoing service and support. Many integrators tend to overlook post-installation services, but those services are a critical factor in building customer relationships. Offering over-the-phone or online assistance to troubleshoot problems not only helps you address problems faster, but also allows you to solve minor problems that don’t require on-site visits. Ongoing support inevitably carries a lot of significance for your customers who will feel happy about being valued.

To call an integration project successful, we should look at how well it is meeting its purpose, and, just as important, how well it is meeting the customer’s expectations. A customer-first approach is not just about meeting deadlines, rather it is more about making our customers feel valued. If we can make this approach a large portion of what we offer, we will have more opportunities to create better customer experiences and more successful project outcomes.

Have you increased your focus on the customer experience recently? How has it paid off for you? We would love to hear about your experiences.

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

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