The equations of client-service provider relationship
Relationship between the client and a service provider is a lot similar to the relationship between the yesteryear’s groom’s family and bride’s family. Both need each other equally but the groom’s family always seems to have an upper hand.
“Setting up a business is difficult in India”, I often heard the statement from a lot of wellwishers.
Not having started any business outside India ever, I didn’t know if they meant setting up a business in general or setting up one in India.
Well these statements, warnings and instructions start to appear tangential when one already has started his entrepreneurial journey in his head. Hence undeterred, I marched ahead.
From all I knew then was that it probably was the taxation laws, government policies etc. that made the environment difficult. 1 year down the line in the bumpy ride of entrepreneurship, my experiences were much more rich and varied than the problems that appeared on the periphery.
The most startling factors that came out were the equations of the client-service provider relationship. To test the credibility of my beliefs, I discussed with many other firms in similar or different domains. It looked like my experiences were common to everyone trying to establish themselves as an organization, specially the self-funded organizations.
What we often believe should be taught to children as a part of their curriculum were the same things we found missing in the clients. The interesting point though was that the same set of people assume different characteristics and personalities basis the role they are in : Clients OR Service Providers.
This article is about those 5 things that we really wish we could shout out to the role called CLIENTS:
1) Failing to pay dues on time: The most important and crucial factor. Why do the payments need to be reminded time and again? Also why does the long lengthy finance approval process starts on the day of payments. As an organization we teach financial planning to children, wish we could teach them too.
2) Last minute plan modifications: I thought it was specific to the new organizations until I got talking to friends in well-established reputed organizations. Last minute plan cancellations by clients were too common for as small a reason as having forgotten about the plan despite reminders. How a friend told me her agony of finding the unavailability of the client after reaching the client’s place 200km away.
3) Not understanding that both are important for each other: Clients give business because they have a problem to be solved which they don’t have the in-house capability of. Hence it is all give and take. Clients and service-provider both need each other equally.
4) Devaluing other person’s time: For a meeting at a certain time, it is quite common for the service-providers to wait outside the clients’ office.
5) Procrastinating confirming the information pending at their end : Life between moving from consideration set to closing the deal with a Yes/No is an acute task ; clients not accepting the calls or not reverting to the missed calls is a big pain.
Gaining all kind of experiences from the clients, it is well understood that if everyone did their work on time, wouldn’t the world be a better place for everyone and so every business?