The Value of Building Client Relationships
At Think|Stack, we have four badges which makeup our cultural norms: Family Trust, Human Centered Design, Passionate Rebels, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. In a future blog we’ll dive into the meaning of all these, or in the meantime, check out our Book of Think|Stack.
Two of these values, you may notice, focus specifically on relationships, both within the Think|Stack team and in our relationships with our clients.
Human Centered Design: People come first. We look at the human experience before technology in everything we do
Family Trust: We are all united by unconditional support and collective growth, treating every member of our team as family.
Our team places a huge value on building relationships with our clients, we spend time getting to know our clients, who they are, who their clients are, and what they care about.
By taking the time to build these relationships, we are able to gain a better understanding of them and their organizations, which allows for much more proactive responses. We are much less likely to be caught on our heels and unprepared to react to a request or issue that arises.
Building these relationships takes time and it dedication. There are a few ways we intentionally do this at Think|Stack:
- Weekly or bi-weekly check-in calls: these calls are lead by our Account Management team. The purpose of these calls is to check in with each client’s main point of contact and give them a platform to ask questions or bring up any concerns. Although these calls typically last 30 minutes or less, it ensures we always have a dedicated person available to listen and hear directly from the client.
- Remembering the small details: Because we make time weekly to have calls with our clients, we get to know what is going on with them and their teams. Are they expecting a new baby? Have they or their organization won an award? Have they just completed a big project- either with us or with another vendor? By remembering people are people, and constantly listening for opportunities to surprise them, we are able to acknowledge or even send flowers or a baby gift during special occasions.
- Onsite visits: Our team spends time, as often as possible, completing work onsite with our clients. This allows us to form those relationships. Once we are able to put a face to a name, and our clients are able to put a face to our names, it forms those bonds and relationships that remind you, we are all a family and a real person behind the other end of the phone or computer.
- Asking questions: At Think|Stack, we talk about the Five Why’s. By asking the series of five why’s we are able to really understand why a client is asking for a particular request or action. This allows us to ensure we create the best solution and recommendation for them that actually serves their objective and goal. Prior to instituting this process, we would sometimes immediately complete a request without fully understanding the WHY behind the request. This would lead to misaligned or unmet expectations, which more often than not, would allow us to spend additional time correcting the initial work.
By completing these touch-points and asking questions, we are able to act more proactively in our interactions. We aren’t waiting until a situations blows up to act or react. We are able to stay ahead of small issues before they do become larger. We also are able to make recommendations proactively when we see patterns or issues arising.
Some people may see these weekly check-ins or the time we spend interacting with clients as lost time, however our team views this as opportunities to form better relationships and grow those values, family trust, and human centered design with our clients.