Crafting Positive Experiences With Clients: Six Principles
At Clevertech, we are provided the great opportunity to connect with exciting and innovative clients from various industries. Sometimes great challenges await us when approaching a monumental project or a client with high expectations. Here’s six principles that I’ve found useful when working with the client.
Having a routine connects our work to a reliable rhythm. Dependable status updates and conversations strengthen the relationship between us and the client because we become a familiar personality rather than a sea of worker bees, fulfilling our client's needs. Establishing a flexible yet resilient stature in a working relationship can be as simple as promptly attending meetings or as crucial as addressing calls to action within a reasonable response time. Checking in your work and responding to questions on a consistent basis is an exercise in accountability and trust building, of which gains will not go unnoticed. Carve out your day to a routine that matches your life and the needs of our clients. This doesn't have to be an immovable structure, but one that evolves over time to address the many immutable factors in our working and personal lives.
When we offer our skills and expertise, we have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the client that goes beyond the value of our work. Showing a propensity to socially integrate with the dynamic of a company's core values and leadership, we strengthen our importance and integrity. When we can provide our expertise with confidence while being cordial with our approach, we encode a wholesome character to our every action. Connections with our client can be much more rich by showing expressive interest in their business and success.
Building great software is not only about new features, but also providing support for legacy features. Maintaining legacy systems may not always seem glamorous, yet it's the type of work that requires a keen understanding and attention to detail. In an infinite timescale, all code becomes legacy code. Before we can deconstruct a software system and improve it, we need to see what its strengths and weaknesses are first. Reviewing unit tests, scanning logs, and monitoring alerts - these are integral to diagnosing a legacy system. We want to build software that can be maintained with low stress and high modularity, giving an adaptive design for all future needs. We can build resilience into our work by being curious regarding details and bolstering a support structure based on timely feedback loops and reactive design.
In our role as technologists, we often have the opportunity to provide recommendations for things such as best practices, frameworks, and design principles. The ability to offer well researched and examined options to our clients is integral to our uniqueness as experts. Paying attention to the needs and challenges of our clients allows us to advocate for innovative solutions. When presenting new tools and ideas, we must be sure to offer these in relatable and results-driven contexts. Advocacy goes beyond recommendations - it should entail an advocacy for the prosperity of the client.
It is not only important to be truthful with the client, we must also be truthful with ourselves. Can I learn this language on the job? Do I have enough acceptance criteria to make an informed decision regarding this user onboarding process? Do I have enough support on my team to hit this deadline? When we're honest with ourselves, we allow pathways of self-reflection and critical thinking to guide our decision making. In turn, we foster an environment of trust and understanding with our client, team, and ourselves. Leadership lives or dies on the basis of trust and dependability.
Depending on our working relationship with our client, we may be asked to embed ourselves into the ebb and flow of their daily operations. This provides us with the sense of symmetry with our clients - we are now one entity working towards a singular goal of results-driven value. If that's not the case, we still can find oneness with our team of “Clevertechians”. Ultimately, we strive for a kind of teamwork that is willing to self-examine, restructure, and be elastic, as well as still maintains a core strength based on trust and understanding.
Some of these principles may seem like common sense and hopefully they are. Sometimes as technologists we can become inundated with the minutiae of our craft that it’s grounding and necessary to be reminded of the more social, interactive, and reflective nature of our work. I hope these six principles I’ve outlined can provide a framework for positive experiences with not only our clients but in our lives in general.
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