Customer is king? Why the ideal customer could be your boss

I’m also in the process of hiring a new senior member of staff and putting together a suitable remuneration package. However, after several conversations with peers this week about exactly these topics, the epiphany is this — who really is your client? Is it the clients of your company? Or as an employee (about to be performance reviewed) could it be your boss?

Back to my usual review process and in reviewing the team, my approach will be to ask them to look at the level of exchange they have with their clients — which in the first instance will be assumed to be that of the dealings with the clients of this company. I’ll look at the team’s performance, the level of care, success and competency they have in servicing our clients. I will ask what motivates the team and what they want out of a future with Taurus. We’ll appraise how their paying clients are being ‘wowed’ and how the customers are being treated as KING! Yaddy yah!

So in summary I’ll get the team, among other things to look at client service. But this time I am turning the tables upside down. I am going to get the team to have a closer look at the definition of who exactly is THEIR client and ask them to look at things a little differently. Could the reality be that their main client is in fact their employer – the company that pays for their services each month in the form of employment.

Well how about this thought? As an employee your employer is your biggest client.

Let’s just look at this in more detail. If as an employee, you think of yourself as a company – indeed you are your own company — let’s look at who is your major client and what this looks like. So you:

• Act as your own company providing services to your boss

• Your boss pays you for employment services you provide to a signed and agreed contract — ideally the contract should be in line with the job you do

• It should have specific KPI’s and measurement criteria

Only there are a few differences! This client is pretty special.

Wow, we have a client that:

• Not only pays for your retirement in the form of superannuation, but he/she pays you when you are on holiday and when you are sick!

• This client also provides free administration in administering your super and your tax for you. When was the last time a client paid for my holidays or sickness?

• Unlike the operations of the usual client/supplier arrangement where contracts are almost annually up for review – this employment contract rolls on and unless there are extreme circumstances, you won’t have to re-pitch for your contract

• And hey unlike most company operations there is guaranteed payment terms, pay is never late, delivered straight into your bank account on a known day so you don’t have to worry about cash flow and chasing debtors

• This client doesn’t require you to tender for their business on a regular basis, in fact they will ask to meet with you annually (if not more frequently) to discuss an increase in your fees and see what they can do to make you happier

• They will pay you even if you are sick and produce nothing

• In terms of service level agreements, they will pay you even if you occasionally miss deadlines and drop the ball

• They pay you if you have had a bad day and only get half your workload done

• They will possibly pay for your further education so that you can be up-skilled and become more capable, despite the fact that they will likely then have to pay more for your services, and your contract can’t be fulfilled while you are away on a course

• And for this training you are not in any way indebted to them – you can leave them whenever you please

• They even care for you so much that they will pay money to be put aside for your retirement!

On the flip side, our company clients pay us for services. They have a right to demand a level of service and outcomes. They can be late paying, re-negotiate and terminate contracts!

As Daniel Davis, CEO of Gallop Solutions advises, “Your approach to appraisals of staff should be no different to that of any other supplier to the business. It is simple – a business is not a charity, and therefore every dollar spent by the business must be allocated correctly. It’s about an honourable exchange and best practice”.

With all these points considered, I am going to give my team a moment to look at just how great this particular client actually is. Then ask them how well they are treating their superstar client … ME – their boss. The results could be AMAZING!!

Is it about time you reviewed your relationship with your boss?

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