Most of us in the technology field have been in and around technology all our lives. Maybe you loved your first computer programming class in high school or college, and maybe you didn’t. If you spent hours writing games in BASIC, “Congratulations!” You’re one of the originals, the tech lovers who probably still can’t get enough. Not sure what BASIC is? It stands for “Beginners’ All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.” Keep that in your back pocket for trivia night.
Regardless, if you’ve made technology your life and livelihood, you’re probably supplying software solutions for clients. If this is true, you may have heard this question, “What’s the secret to building and managing a successful development practice?” Well, no secret there; hard work, dedication, unwavering support of team members, and a clear focus to provide old-fashioned great service to customers. Of course, great service to customers means taking great care of employees. In taking care of employees, they will in turn take care of customers. Happy employees, happy customers, and happy customers drive revenue. It’s ‘the circle of life’ in consulting. Did you just sing that in your head? Then there are questions like, “Can you build me a low-code app?”, “Can you provide me with an RPA bot?”, “Can you move my application to the cloud?” or “Can you make these two applications talk to each other?”
The answer is, of course, emphatic, “YES! Yes to all.” However, contrary to a maximize-my-profit instinct, here’s where excellent customer service comes into play. “Of course we can do all those things and more, but first, let’s stop for a moment.” You see, we with a passion for technology can talk about it all day long if you let us. So why stop?
Technology is a solution to a problem, and you can’t talk about which technology until you’ve identified the correct problem needing a solution. Think Don Norman’s double diamond design process; you have to find the right problem to solve before you work on the right solution. It’s poor customer service to choose an architecture and a technology platform before we fully understand the correct problem needing to be solved, along with what makes the most sense for their unique business.
Whether a low-code solution with built-in app connectors, or more complex custom code, building an application or system needs to be in response to an actual business need. Technology is an enabler of a company’s goals. When deciding to implement any solution, customers need to ask themselves a few important questions to prove it benefits the business; “Will this solution drive more revenue for my business, reduce costs, mitigate risk, or increase employee satisfaction?” Once a clear problem has been identified and a solution would benefit the business, then and only then can we begin to discuss the architecture for a solution.
Even as low-code, plug-and-play, drag-and-drop technology replace existing methods and approaches, all while making its way across the business landscape, great customer service will never go out of style. And great customer service means asking the right questions, understanding the right problems, and providing the right solutions.
Written by Will Wirtz, Director, Mazars Microsoft Practice