“Delight My Customer”: Pretty prophetic and for small businesses, a great motto. Don’t take my word for it, take Warren Buffett’s word.
Disclaimer: I’m not a Buffett junkie. I respect him but don’t follow him religiously but the article above really captured my attention this morning. It’s a core tenet of our daily lives at Shugo and a big reason I think we’ve had success and have built such great relationships with a number of our clients.
When I think about how we delight or customers, three areas come straight to mind:
Customer Support – If you ask any of our clients, I bet 9 out of 10 say they’re amazed at the level of support our team provides. One of Shugo’s core values is the “Golden Rule”. Supporting our clients is where we see this most but I’ll admit it’s sometimes a challenge!
Responding to a client inquiry in 10 minutes or less is what I consider to be a delightful experience. Where else do clients receive this? Most likely nowhere.
Again it’s not easy. It means constant interruptions because our team is challenged to respond immediately to clients. It means jumping back on the PC after kids are put to bed, on the weekends, on vacations, etc… As we add staff, it becomes easier but everyone on our team is tasked with support. So yes, there are times I’m still personally jumping back on the PC close to midnight to help folks.
But it’s important and one of the ways we “delight” customers. And don’t take my word for it, here’s some feedback from clients:
“The best support I’ve experienced from a software vendor”
“In regards to the customer service side I have personally found SHUGO to be one of the most accessible and invested companies we work with. I can’t speak enough to the quality of the support staff. They are truly my favorite partner to work with.”
Constant Innovation – I never wanted to run a business that just rests on their laurels. In today’s world of technology, it’s a dying business model. I want our clients to always think “What are they going to do next?”. I want them to rely on us to bring new features and functionality to the market that enables them to thrive against their competition.
It’s why we invest heavily in technologists. Shugo’s a small company, but two-thirds of our staff are developers (myself included). And I’d bet that we have one of the best development teams out there. Admittedly, I’m probably the weakest of the bunch but I say that proudly. I’m not diminishing my technical prowess. It’s just the other guys are that good. The talent we’ve assembled enable us to look beyond what’s available today and apply it to our clients and their needs.
Here’s what some of our clients have to say (keep in mind we build software that our clients offer to their customers):
“No lie; my clients are telling me again how much they appreciate us because we are always innovating”
“I can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon”
Sounds delightful right?
Delivery – “Under promise; over deliver” is a motto we tend to follow. The key though is the last word of that statement: deliver. Delivering and keeping to timelines is important. It enables our clients to trust our ability to release new features and products.
All too often I’ve seen many lose faith in a provider for their continual failure to deliver features to spec and on-time. Heck, I was part of teams many moons ago that was plagued with this. I never wanted our clients to not have faith in our ability to deliver.
There’s something delightful with our clients being able to share with their users confidently that a new feature or function will be available on a specific date. I want them to be confident in the dates we publish and I think we’ve achieved that.
Here’s what a few have said:
“Shugo delivers cleanly designed applications with features that flat out work as intended.”
“Best of all Shugo delivers; their products and releases flat out work.”