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Customer Focus Ivan Kravchenko, EPAM Systems 2010 © EPAM Systems
2 I. Customers & Interests
2010 © EPAM Systems 3 Customer focus – what’s this about? Identifying needs and interests Acting accordingly Making sure it’s visible properly
2010 © EPAM Systems 4 Customer focus – why bother? Trust Comfort Growth
2010 © EPAM Systems 5 Who is our customer?
2010 © EPAM Systems 6 Is it a VP who approves the budget?
2010 © EPAM Systems 7 … or a product manager?
2010 © EPAM Systems 8 … or a technical lead?
2010 © EPAM Systems 9 … or a peer engineer?
2010 © EPAM Systems 10 All of them!
2010 © EPAM Systems 11 What do they want?
2010 © EPAM Systems 12 In general – us solving problems without introducing new ones.
2010 © EPAM Systems 13 Another generic need – peace of mind.
2010 © EPAM Systems 14 What can help to ensure these? Reliability Responsiveness Cooperation
2010 © EPAM Systems 15 Reliability – fire-and-forget: Get things done Get back if stuck No surprises
2010 © EPAM Systems 16 Responsiveness – never make the customer to: Wait Inquire Get anxious
2010 © EPAM Systems 17 Cooperation – be on the same wavelength: Understand Empathize Try to help
2010 © EPAM Systems 18 What else do customers want?
2010 © EPAM Systems 19 Customer’s wants – what to look for? Requests and complaints Specific interests Bias and emotions
2010 © EPAM Systems 20 Handling customer’s requests: Understand what Understand why Decide on actions
2010 © EPAM Systems 21 Make sure to understand customer’s: Targets Manager’s expectations Overall context
2010 © EPAM Systems 22 Don’t forget: they are human beings just like us.
2010 © EPAM Systems 23 Being humans, they likely want to: Look good Be right Earn respect
2010 © EPAM Systems 24 Focus on interests, not positions! positions interests requirements reasons ambitions needs goals bias
2010 © EPAM Systems 25 Which interests to focus on?
2010 © EPAM Systems 26 Find a balance! Yet favor the job.
2010 © EPAM Systems 27 Different interests on different levels – which to honor?
2010 © EPAM Systems 28 Target more critical ones, yet keep the good relationships.
2010 © EPAM Systems 29 Use a proxy where practical.
2010 © EPAM Systems 30 Any interests from our side? Team comfort Personal career Technical excellence
2010 © EPAM Systems 31 Team issues: share the concern.
2010 © EPAM Systems 32 Personal targets: align with customer needs.
2010 © EPAM Systems 33 Perfection: speak customer language.
2010 © EPAM Systems 34 One and only vs. one among many.
2010 © EPAM Systems 35 Perception is reality!
2010 © EPAM Systems 36 Bottom line: Note and act on customer’s interests Provide proactive and reliable service Show understanding and care
2010 © EPAM Systems 37 II. Situations
2010 © EPAM Systems 38 Handling the conflict – techniques: Delegate the confrontation Deflect the argument Focus on issues
2010 © EPAM Systems 39 Leave the dirty job to manager.
2010 © EPAM Systems 40 Get out of the line of fire.
2010 © EPAM Systems 41 Concentrate on specific problems.
2010 © EPAM Systems 42 Is it ok to disagree with a customer? Yes – for his own good!
2010 © EPAM Systems 43 Arguments and corrections: Hear opponent's reasons Mind feelings and ambitions Don’t get steamed up
2010 © EPAM Systems 44 Staying positive: how to say ‘no’? Say ‘yes’ first ‘We need … to do …’ Defer
2010 © EPAM Systems 45 Show commitment to a common goal.
2010 © EPAM Systems 46 Be careful suggesting alternatives.
2010 © EPAM Systems 47 Considering disobedience? Think twice!
2010 © EPAM Systems 48 Responding to accusations: Acknowledge Alleviate Prevent
2010 © EPAM Systems 49 Hide your faults or report openly?
2010 © EPAM Systems 50 “Customer is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.”
2010 © EPAM Systems 51 BTW, your managers are customers to some extent…
2010 © EPAM Systems 52 … just as your subordinates…
2010 © EPAM Systems 53 Questions? Comments? Corrections?
Thanks for Your Attention Customer Focus By Ivan Kravchenko Senior Software Engineering Manager EPAM Systems 41 University Drive, Suite 202 | Newtown, PA p: | f: | e: | w:
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