The Four Key Strategies in Achieving Client Satisfaction

by Claudiu Costan

The heart of our business, as any other business should have, is to help our clients grow and reach the next level in their pursuit of business growth. We do that with all our clients, be they startups or Fortune 500 companies, and we do it with pride, striving to excel in every new partnership or project in which we are involved.

We start our endeavors usually by meeting each other, albeit online lately due to the pandemic, to understand our clients’ business goals. Getting to know their business needs – and their customers’ or clients’ expectations – is key to a fruitful collaboration and helps us position ourselves, leverage previous experience, and work together in achieving the business goals.

With some clients, we have short collaboration cycles, due to the nature of the project, but we also have long-term clients; with some, we have been collaborating for over a decade. Usually, our agreements are either short-term projects or by using a dedicated team that works alongside the client. No matter the agreement in place though, the client experience should be given the same level of attention, from our point of view.

At the company level, we are all aware of the importance of delivering high-quality software/applications; therefore, we train all our employees about the importance of great client experience. Awareness trainings are scheduled cyclically so that we cover all employees and make sure they touch base with our view of ensuring an excellent client experience. Besides awareness, we have a Quality Assurance Manager that has the sole purpose of constantly analyzing and improving the quality of delivered software.

 

Moreover, we conduct regular in-house audits to check the status of the delivered software, independently from the team that works on a certain request. Our software quality assessment process is based on industry standards as well as on the experience gathered from years of working on a diverse landscape of projects. When evaluating a project, we assess its major components: process, development, quality assurance, and operability. This way, we ensure a fair evaluation of the entire spectrum, from way-of-working and development to product reliability and maintenance.

Although the process of achieving great client service is not written in stone, we do follow some guidelines and principles to make sure we are on the right track. Our approach is always centered on the following principles:

Deliver on the promise 

One thing that is common with all our clients is the fact that we need to deliver according to the agreements in place. Therefore, our teams are trained to take matters with seriousness and work with having a clear goal in mind for the next deliverable to our client.

Clients are not satisfied if the deliverable is not complete, therefore why should we? It’s our goal to ensure that we always deliver according to commitments, and in the time that was agreed upon. Self-managing teams have a trick up their sleeve, which comes from their agile mindset. They are always able to measure their own pace of work, take immediate decisions, add resources, etc. so that they meet the end goal.

When it comes to deliverables residing from software development, we add automated checks, integrations with tools that check for industry common faults, and we follow software best practices, always making sure we do not let something slip through the cracks.

Help the client predict, forecast, and plan  

In our 15 years of existence in the market, we have noticed that one of the major concerns that clients have is related to predicting what is to be delivered. Many businesses struggle with accurate predictability, forecasts, and planning so that they meet their business needs and give value back to the market.

Being agile at heart helps us better understand these common issues and use our experience to aid our clients in having a better understanding of how to plan, predict, and schedule their business updates with maximizing return of investment. We work in short iterations so that we deliver faster and in time. Iterations are fixed; therefore, it becomes far more predictable when something is going to be finished. Velocity is more accurately seen and calculated once we have some iteration, to have enough data to calculate on, and then we can predict how future iterations would look like. By knowing velocity and understanding what can be added to an iteration, we help our clients choose what’s more important for them so the most important features are done first, fast, and within schedule.

Professionally cater for the delivered software

One of our goals is to be a successful, long-term IT partner for our clients. Even if software development stops, either due to completing the requirements of the software, or a pause is made to research the market again and reposition the business accordingly, we want to help our clients further by offering maintenance, hosting, and support for the applications developed together.

This gives our clients relief in knowing that their software is catered for in a professional manner, and they can focus solely on upcoming business and do not need to worry that the website is running slow, or a page suddenly has a 404 error, or someone is not able to login to the website. Regular monthly updates are applied so that the underlying infrastructure is as up-to-date as possible, and software is regularly checked for best industry practices and common vulnerabilities to keep the data safe. These are typical examples illustrating the fact that our engineers are perfectly capable of taking care of the matter on their own, thus helping the client to focus in the right direction.

Create a strong relationship by managing expectations through close communication 

Within every iteration, when it comes to software development, we also spend time reflecting on what has been delivered in the past. This gives our teams the chance to objectively analyze what has been done, why certain items did not go as planned, and what would be the lesson learned in that particular case. The goal is to continuously improve and deliver better results overall.

The best relationship we can have with our clients comes when we understand their business to such extent that we can accurately advise on what is to be built next so that their business grows and their customers and/or clients are happy.

Be it a short-term or a long-term project, we ask our key members of the team to periodically send surveys to our clients, so that we give them time to go through the questions that we have and let them objectively analyze our services. This gives us accurate feedback that we can then take into account and improve our processes, if the case, or learn to apply the same best practices later on. These feedback cycles are the blood in our veins as they accurately measure how our clients perceive our services and give us validation of client service and overall experience. Measurements are then analyzed and, depending on the result, we either know we are doing a good job and therefore further emphasize those best practices, or analyze and adjust our processes to meet our client’s needs.

We are well aware that there might be clients experiencing concerns regarding deliverables, availability, etc. over the delivered software, and these situations, although hurtful, are always treated with seriousness and resolved as soon as humanly possible. Be it adding more capacity, temporarily assigning more experienced developers to work on a specific case, or just sitting down and discussing at the issue at hand, our entire focus is centered on understanding the concern in order to get our client on the happy side once again.

Conclusion

Client experience is one of the most important components of our business mindset. From processes to people, we always ensure our clients are given the highest value out of the collaboration with us.

Steve Jobs once said: “Get closer than ever to (…) clients. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves”. This idea is extremely powerful and it teaches us to act in a proactive manner to really be there for our clients in scaling their business. One does not have to wait or ask for a feature, clarification on some items, fixing a performance bottleneck, etc.; we do that instinctively and openly.

The best success indicator is when our clients are extremely pleased of collaborating with us and come back with other projects or share their success story with their network. For this reason, we humbly thank all our clients that do that, validate our work, and help us grow as a company!

About Claudiu Costan

Claudiu, a strong believer of the WOW effect, has been working with Maxcode for over 12 years and has grown from being .NET Developer into a Team Leader, Scrum Master, and now Operational Manager. He has graduated Computer Science back in 2008 and has been working in the information technology industry ever since. You’ll usually see him alongside our clients to better understand their business objectives, with teams to aid them in their day-to-day activities, or just walking around the office and helping all colleagues in need.

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