At Vixul, we emphasize the importance of being a premium service provider rather than joining the race to the bottom with commodity services. You can check out our articles here and here to better understand the financial rewards. But there is an even bigger reason. To grow your business, your customers must love you. For your customers to love you, you must provide an exceptional experience. To provide an exceptional experience, you need to spend money. To have money to spend on niceties, you need to have high gross margins. This article explores five components of a premium tech service delivery required to provide an excellent customer experience.
Laser Focus on Business Outcomes
In our article, "Value-Based Pricing For Your Tech Services 1: Understanding Value," we show that customers value solutions to their problems, not services, a.k .a. developer hours.
You must prioritize their business outcomes above all else to command a premium.
Focus on value starts with helping your client understand and relate the problem to the work. Check out this article on assessments to learn how to set yourself up in the right direction. But the focus continues throughout your relationship with the customer. The project needs to maximize the value delivered rather than the hours billed. An architect and a strong product manager guide the development process. The team understands the why and the how to deliver value rather than code.
Very closely tied with focusing on value is being flexible. Tech and product work operates in a VUCA environment. Even with your specialized experience, every customer's problems are new. You will need to experiment and iterate. You need to realign with the customer continuously to maintain the focus on value as you learn.
Being flexible may result in scope changes. You need senior project and product managers to navigate this journey for your client.
High Communication Frequency
Consistent and transparent communication is a hallmark of premium service. This communication is about more than just making the customer feel heard. It is about instilling trust and enabling them to react with updated information. You keep the customer apprised of all progress, alert them to any issues or delays, and if they need to know something, it comes from you.
Align All Parties
Your customer needs to work with multiple parties. Your goal is to take your customer to a solution, meaning you must navigate the various stakeholders and manage people. These stakeholders include both internal and external parties. You may need to mediate between multiple teams. But your relationships with external stakeholders are even more significant. If you align yourself with technology platforms, you'll build deep relationships you can leverage to bring success to your customers.
After everything is said and done, you must put as much work into proving the value. Build in instrumentation and provide measurements to show that you are fulfilling your promises. In the process, you build the customer's engine for experimentation and demonstrate how to use it to iterate. Your instrumentation also helps create more follow-up on business.
The Virtuous Cycle Of Premium Tech Services
Embodying these five characteristics can significantly elevate a tech service provider's status to that of a premium partner in the eyes of their clients. But all these activities take time and resources. To have these resources, you need to increase your gross margins. This creates a virtuous cycle, allowing you to increase value to the client and raising your gross margins further.