The joy of working with difficult customers
Updated: Mar 23
Do you see difficult customers as time-wasters, of no value and an inconvenience? Or, as a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your skills, add value and achieve fantastic mutual satisfaction?
I vote for the latter - and the more difficult the customer, the better!
By difficult, I mean those who have requirements that go beyond the "norm".
Most businesses encounter prospects who have very specific requirements, who are picky about detail and need guarantees on functionality and price.
Go beyond the expected
In the context of what we do (automating document processing), we see customers wanting more advanced capabilities in order to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their businesses – and fortunately that’s exactly what we can do for them.
Many providers of document management come from a background of offering print management, pull printing, scan-to-email/folder/etc.
But when it comes to workflow, just scanning to a folder, to email, or perhaps SharePoint is as good as it ever gets!
In most scenarios, this isn't good enough.
In real-life, the customer usually has more specific needs – and we're keen to show them how those needs can be addressed, effectively and affordably.
No need to prolong the sales cycle
Some suppliers are often concerned about the sales cycle dragging on, but this situation can be turned to your advantage.
It’s your chance to offer something different:
- a unique solution – configured exactly for your customer - adding more value than your competitors - ensuring you keep the customer for the long term
Customer specific requirements
Customisation is the key … but wait … doesn’t that usually involve you having to embark on a long scoping exercise and then have to quote for a lot of professional services time?
Actually, no - the solutions we focus on help any type of business improve their efficiency, quickly and easily.
Standard templates for many common business processes are easily amended to what your customer requires.
Give Guarantees and eliminate risk
Building trust with customers is achieved by giving first and receiving later - easy when you're confident about the value and power of the solutions being provided.
This includes free proof of concept consultations and fixed price projects which enable you to provide very accurate quotations - and without any commitment from the customer.
How much do they want that! Especially the difficult ones.
So now you don’t need to be afraid of the awkward customers – in fact you’ll hopefully welcome the opportunity they provide and then experience the joy of working with them.
If you'd like to share the joy, please drop me a line.
Mark Altman - May 2015