How SimplyPHP Treats Clients Like Family
There are many different philosophies when it comes to opening up a business. Every day, there’s news of cutthroat companies that take over competitors, use underhanded business tactics to attract clients, and treat customers like they’re replaceable just to secure ever-increasing streams of revenue.
Jan 2021 - 4 minutes read
While that approach may work for some, we made the decision early on to go a different way.
One of the things that we’re most proud of at SimplyPHP is how we treat clients like family. Today, we’ll talk about how this approach trickles down from our founders to managers and developers, and how we’ve managed to keep it our number one priority even after 10 years in business.
How We Were Founded
At SimplyPHP, we made the decision early on to avoid destructive and cruel business tactics, and focus on the things we care about most. For us, that’s our clients, our staff, and the work we do together.
In the early days of our company, many of our first clients were actual family members, along with friends and members of our local community. For us, it was never enough to put in the minimum amount of effort. We wanted to be proud, supportive family and community members, and it was this spirit that led us to create our client-focused policies early on.
Since 2010, we’ve been working together as a team in our spacious Montreal office. Although we’re working from home right now, the dynamics that we created during our in-person work together have continued to fuel our remote collaboration. We’ve also continued to prioritize our customers and clients.
Our Approach to Treating Clients Like Family
Whether your team is working together or remotely, there are many actions you can take, and policies you can put in place that show your clients how much you care. Here are some of the methods we’ve developed over the years to put our clients first.
The only way to build trust within your team and with clients is to offer as much transparency as possible. At first, if you’re not used to this, it can feel challenging. After all, many businesses thrive on secrecy, where knowledge is used only for gain. However, that’s an approach that can quickly become destructive.
To keep trust with clients, focus on offering as much transparency as you can. If there are delays, let them know as soon as possible, and tell them as much as you can about why they occurred, and what you’re doing to fix the issue. Having these difficult conversations is never easy, but clients appreciate companies that speak plainly and are open about the daily ins and outs of their project.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
There isn’t a business owner in the world that wasn’t a customer first. The unfortunate reality is that many business owners forget this fact as soon as they’re at the helm of their own company. Instead of putting themselves in their clients’ shoes, they switch to focusing 100% on what’s best for the company. That’s a really quick way to lose business.
At SimplyPHP, all of our decisions are made after we ask ourselves: “What would our client think? What would it be like to be in their shoes for this moment?” This helps us focus on the needs of each client, and ensures that we’re able to offer the type of service that we’d be proud to give to any member of our own families.
Going Above and Beyond
When you don’t know your customers personally and feel like you’ll never see them again, it’s really easy to put in the bare minimum amount of effort. At SimplyPHP, we find it easy to go above and beyond for our customers because we know them so well.
Our Accounts Manager and other team leaders are responsible for facilitating regular check-in meetings, so most of the developers working on each project are familiar with the client, their needs, and what they can contribute to make the project a success.
Our goal is never to just offer the same old service that any other development company could give. We want our clients to be happy they came to us, and have coached every member of our team to go above and beyond in the service we offer to clients.
The most important way that you can show clients that you care about them like family is to make communication a priority. That’s why we have an Accounts Manager with a team of her own that is entirely responsible for keeping communication flowing to our clients. The Accounts team organizes regular update meetings, letting the clients drive how often those occur. These meetings are key to providing time and space to speak about the project, how it’s going, and what is still left to accomplish.
In addition to communicating well with clients, we strive to keep communication open with our team members as well. If a client was particularly complimentary about work that was done, we always pass those messages on, so team members feel like their work is appreciated.
We also keep communication flowing even in difficult situations, like if we have to swap out a developer because their skills aren’t the right match for a particular project. This is a key way to ensure that team members feel that they can come to management for anything, and feel ownership in the success of the company itself.
Set Reasonable Expectations
It’s difficult to keep clients happy if they’re working under a completely unreasonable set of expectations. The best way to avoid this is to set reasonable expectations early on in the process, and stick with them. This includes everything from requested features to the final deliverable timeline.
There’s a lot at stake in every project, and clients are looking to management to be the experts in the room. If you give them an unreasonable deadline for the project’s completion, or promise features that your developers can’t possibly create in time, you’re setting the entire team up to fail.
Instead, try to focus on managing the clients’ expectations, and be realistic about what your team can accomplish. It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than the alternative.
Treat It Like a Long-Term Relationship
One of the reasons why we have such a good rapport with all of our clients is because we treat each relationship like it’s going to be there for the long-term. Sure, we work with lots of clients who only need one project, but you know what? That’s never an excuse to give them poor service and low-quality work.
We’ve had many customers come back to us years later, or have sent their friends, family, and colleagues to us whenever they need web development services. We pride ourselves on giving every client the same type of service that we would give to our parents, siblings, or friends.
The SimplyPHP Approach to Development
Want to learn more about the SimplyPHP approach to development, management, and so much more? Check out our blog, or tune in for the SimplyPHP Unscripted podcast that we host over on our YouTube channel.