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Delivering the customers expectations, and then exceeding them.

By Melar ·
People skills these days are a major prerequisite to good software. You can create the most streamlined, efficient, time saving solution, but if it doesn?t do the single task the end user required, it?s just a waste of time and effort. One of the reasons our software is so successful (not to toot our own trumpet, but it is ) is because of our level of communication with our customers.

We basically use a three tiered approach, with links in between. Central to this is the support department, as that is where the most customer interaction is.
The three tiered approach works like this:

1) Marketing
These are people with amazing people skills that can smooth over just about any situation. They source the customers, liaise with them during the selection process, and basically turn the customers into friends. We?ve got customers who invite our sales people to family BBQs on the weekend
2) Support
This is the coal face. They provide the ongoing service that we are known for. They sit between development and the customer and find out exactly what is needed, and how it needs to be done. There is enough technical knowledge to understand and communicate the problem and remedy most issues. There are also enough people skills to keep the customer on side and ?a part of the team? even when there are bugs and problems with the software.
3) Development
Our development team have enough people skills to understand and communicate with the customer. They are also technologically orientated and obsessed with the package that we provide. There is no tension between the development department and the rest of the company. At the risk of sounding corny, we?re all one family. This allows support to go in and say ?Hey, this is great, but what if we did it this way instead?.

The main thing is, the customer usually ends up feeling thankful and special that we?ve resolved their issue, rather than resentful that there was an issue in the first place.

Linking these three tiers are communication managers; basically ex-support members that have moved either more into sales, or more into development. These communication managers ensure the smooth flow of information and resources to allow for the company to function as a single entity.

The basis of a good software house is that it works as a single team with one goal: To provide a solution that exceeds the end users expectations.

This is my opinion, do with it what you will.

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