By Dick Stark
“The value used to be in the products and services. With products and services commoditized, the seller becomes the value. This is a massive shift.”
—Mike Schultz and John Doerr, Insight Selling
How does RightStar show value? One way is good account management which results in excellent customer satisfaction. Indeed, in the recent Forrester ITSM consultancy Wave report RightStar received a 4.6 out of 5.0 for overall customer satisfaction. This is good news, but we need to continue to raise the bar. Here are several ways that we show value.
Provide something of value for free. RightStar offers free L1 trial support for a month, free remote admin trial, free Remedy upgrade consultation, free FootPrints Service Core upgrade consultation. We also had good success with free Apollo 13 simulation training, thanks to the donation of time and training materials from Gaming Works. We’ve also provided plenty of “lunch and learns,” which offer excellent content, and of course a “free lunch.”
Raise the bar. Customers like Amazon, Apple, Ritz Carlton, and Nordstrom, are known for their excellent customer service, and buyers of ITSM (or anything), expect their experience to be similar. How can we compete? We have increased customer contact at every step during an implementation, more regular and improved customer surveys, scheduled maintenance checks for our L1 accounts, and improved documentation and reporting. In general, more and quicker touch points. We should never be surprised if a customer tells BMC that their experience with RightStar was not favorable.
The customer is not always right. At RightStar we will never abandon a customer, and will always see a job through to completion. This can be challenging, especially if the customer is difficult to work with. Recently I asked one of our subcontractors if they would ever consider working with one of our long-time customers. This job did not go well, because the customer PM was a bully and demanded more than was reasonable. The subcontractor did not hesitate: “no, and I’ll be happy to introduce them to one of our competitors.” It is ok to fire a customer. This also sends a message to our employees that we’re willing to put them ahead of a customer.
Finally, as customer satisfaction guru Shep Hyken says, “create a demanding customer.” Not one that complains or is high maintenance, but one that loves our services and demands it of others. When we are so good that we meet and exceed the high expectations we set with our customers, we make it harder for our competitors, including BMC. In the end, that is what de-commoditizes our business, and heightens the experience thereby creating a demanding, but satisfied customer.