Clients often ask for complicated changes to their applications, and most of them time, they are done without question. But, what would happen if we took a step back and asked, “Why?” Most of the time the answer is to save money on agent expenses, telecom costs, etc. With application development resources often being tight and expensive to the client, what if we consulted with our clients on whether or not those changes would benefit them significantly in the long run? Ask your client the following questions:
- What is the business reason for making the change?
- What result are you currently seeing?
- How much are you currently spending? What are you expecting/wanting to save?
- What results do you expect to see after the change has been implemented?
Your customers expect you to be the expert, so do your homework. Have these types of changes been implemented with other clients before? What was the result? Share these results with your client. Was this type of change successful with other clients? Did it save them money? Share these results with your client. Help them decide if the long-term cost savings is worth the application development costs.
If the client decides to implement the change, then take the steps to prove that the changed added value. When doing development, make sure you’re properly capturing data that can be used to track the results of the change. Post-implementation, use data to compare before and after results to prove that the change was effective. Always make every attempt to put a solid, measurable ROI to your success story. It makes it far more valuable.
Make sure you share your results with your organization. Chances are that other clients have or will contemplate the changes your client asked for. Good or bad, the results help your colleagues consult with their clients. In addition, it allows your team members to be proactive: “Hey, look what we did for this client, and look how much we saved them.” If this exercise was done every time a change was made, your team will have a solid library of success stories, making consulting with clients on application changes common practice.
And remember, being consultative with your clients builds and strengthens partnerships, creating solid references and generating new prospects.