It’s the middle of a cold, wet, autumnal afternoon. A woman sits disconsolately at her desk watching the rain stream relentlessly against the window pane. Heavy-hearted and sighing inwardly she silently wills the phone to ring as she waits impatiently for a gentleman caller who is long overdue.  

Alone and world-weary, she glances at the clock in the corner of her computer screen. As desolate as the unyielding gun-metal grey sky and as angry as the storm that’s raging outside, she makes a momentous decision. It is time to sever all ties and move on. After all, what is the point in continuing something that simply doesn’t meet her needs?

Reaching for the handset and beginning to dial determinedly, she finally accepts that things are never going to improve. Let-down, mucked-around and all-too-often left in the dark, she now knows it’s time to terminate that flaky, good-for-nothing SLA. This is the third and final time the engineer has been late and no one has even phoned to offer even an excuse, let alone an explanation.

She has simply been let down too many times. Invoices are sometimes more than two months late and she often feels she’s the last one to know about things even when they directly involve her.        

Sadly, all too many SLAs end this way. After a brief honeymoon period, where both parties are happy and clients seem much keener to overlook and forgive what, after all, are more often than not relatively minor indiscretions, little niggles can eventually mount-up until they seem overwhelming or even insurmountable.

While permanent separation is the worst-case scenario and many relationships can repair and rebuild after a breach of trust, we all know client happiness is key to ensuring you needn’t ever worry about the long term strength of your SLA. With trust and efficiency at the core of any successful client relationship, it’s important that both parties know what’s expected from the outset and that there’s no need for hiccups or poor communication to ruin something beautiful.

Thanks to Amtech’s Service Manager, anyone looking to safeguard the strength and longevity of new and existing SLA relationships can avoid making the kind of mistakes that typically make clients leave and look elsewhere.

Here are the top five reasons clients call time on what once seemed a match made in heaven. Plus, read how Service Manager can help you keep the love alive from the very first meeting as well as helping to forge a much longer, lasting commitment.     

5. You never called, you never wrote… 
Precious little makes a client feel less important and undervalued than being ignored. The importance of keeping in touch cannot be overstated. A phone call or email can do so much towards ensuring your client doesn’t feel left out in the cold. As well as being an invaluable tool in helping you to schedule work accurately and efficiently, Service Manager offers two way communication via its customer portal. In addition to your keeping in contact with them regularly, clients can log in and benefit from seeing the status of any scheduled jobs. They can also upload new jobs for completion on the portal, which then sends an alert email to the user. As anyone knows, communication is vital to any successful relationship & the client portal adds a valuable addition to any caring, sharing union.  

4. You didn’t let me know until it was too late. Then you made me pay…
It goes without saying that everyone deserves to get paid for their work. However, a sure way to upset clients is by failing to let them know in advance if you’re undertaking tasks above and beyond your original commitment. It may sound overly formal but it’s a bad move to take your client’s reaction for granted. You should always let the client know exactly what’s involved in any work beyond the scope of the original SLA and they should be provided with an accurate estimate of costs before any jobs are undertaken.  As well as providing an easy and efficient means of scheduling work, Service Manager works exclusively with Luckins data to ensure you always have accurate prices and fit times for quoting and managing job costs.

3. You and I have different values and I’m still waiting to hear what yours are…
Invoicing customers late sends out a variety of messages, none of which are positive. When it takes someone two months to send an invoice, they’re telling the client that money isn’t important to them and that’s a no-no for any commercial relationship. Worse still, the delay gives the impression of disorganisation and that’s a major turn-off to clients who like to know they’re with someone reliable, together and stable. Service Manager is linked directly with Amtech’s unique costing package meaning you can invoice jobs immediately. As well as making a clear statement about consistency, reliability and togetherness, this means you can track the costs and performance of each contract automatically.

2. You haven’t told your friends about me… 
Introducing new project or contract managers is often unavoidable and can sometimes be the best thing for a client. However, expecting that your client will immediately get on with someone new is a step too far. If you do have to introduce someone unfamiliar into the equation, it’s advisable, for all concerned, to prepare the ground in advance. As well as telling your client about what the new person can do for them, it’s important to make sure anyone getting involved subsequently knows about the client relationship and what they should and shouldn’t do to keep things sweet. Because Service Manager is a comprehensive, single-source means of managing and controlling every aspect of services work, anyone can find out everything they need to know about a client instantly. Whether it’s a new Project Manager or, simply, an engineer who is visiting the site for the first time, they can access or be informed of, all of the data they need before commencing work for the client. As well as demonstrating a clear dedication to the client’s needs, this also makes your life easier by ensuring you always know where you stand.

1. You don’t make me feel important. Sometimes I think you just don’t care… 
It is really important to let clients know they’re appreciated. Don't wait for them to take the initiative in identifying things that might be helpful or expect them to always come up with ways of solving their own issues. People have a basic need to feel valued and if you’re merely responsive, rather than proactive, clients will begin to look elsewhere. The most successful and enduring client relationships hinge upon an ability to see things from the other party’s perspective as well as your own. Things that might seem trivial to you might be hugely significant to them and pre-empting client need really shows you care. For example, if an engineer is going to be arriving on site at a different time than the slot initially scheduled, clients really appreciate it if you let them know. However, it hasn’t always been easy to know where field staff are at a glance. Happily, Service Manager features google map integration enabling you to track and locate your engineers at a glance.   

Not only does this mean clients benefit from reduced waiting time and improved scheduling (with jobs often being completed ahead of schedule), it also impacts hugely on your own ability to increase efficiency and reduce cost. How’s that for a mutually rewarding outcome?

 

Here at Amtech, we believe that building strong client relationships is a life-long pathway and one where both parties should benefit from all the rewards such a happy union brings. We also understand that a commitment towards growing stronger together should feel like a positive step rather than hard work.

In making service contracts and field-staff management simple, seamless and cost effective, Service Manager will help any client relationship flourish, whether new or firmly established.

We wish you an extremely long and happy SLA! 

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