Understanding your customer’s ask: WHY before WHAT
Ever noticed how easy it is for consultants to become order takers?
Your customer says, “Do X!”
You are off and running to accomplish X at lightning speed…and X gets done in record time.
But was X the right thing to do? Understanding WHY the request is given is more important than WHAT is being asked.
In a recent engagement, our customer wanted to send email to the record owner when an issue described in a case record changed to a particular value. The “WHAT” was plain and simple.
When we asked them WHY, they said the users look at their emails and call the customers to follow up on their choice. The customer was delighted to know that the follow up could be managed electronically: a task could be created and assigned to the case record owner without the need to monitor outlook. And the call notes could be logged in the activity on the case record.
Even when your customers are clear on WHY they are asking for a particular task, drilling down on WHY always clarifies their thought process.
For example, one of our customers wanted all the stakeholders to collaborate using the chatter record feed. When we asked WHY, the customer said they wanted all the stakeholders to know about a proposed change so the stakeholders could weigh-in on the change.
Sounds straightforward, right?
Our follow up question was, “Do you know if all the stakeholders login to Salesforce daily?”
We proposed the stakeholders be trained to check their chatter digest emails daily and to weigh-in on their chatter feed. And to ensure this would happen we added it as a user training requirement.
We always ask our customers,” Do you want us to be a taxi driver or a tour guide?”
Invariably, they want us to be tour guides. They want consultants to ask thoughtful questions that guide them to the right decisions.
We are not employees of our client companies for a reason.
We don’t just provide expertise.
We provide the outside perspective, objectivity, and insight that our customers need. And to do that effectively, we keep asking WHY.
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