As an avid listener to podcasts, I was thrilled to be invited to join the ‘Ethical Marketing in Action’ show, hosted by Arin West from West Coast Co. a few weeks ago.
The broadcasts are dedicated to the growth of the values-based marketing movement and the businesses that are embracing it – with one such firm being Q2Q IT! The conversation centred predominantly around ethics – something we’re incredibly passionate about here at HQ.
We explored the frequent imbalance of power between a service provider and its customers, something which is prevalent in the tech world. Many SME owners need to focus their time and energy on driving their organisations forward – and aren’t always skilled in the IT department – so must be able to trust their provider to give the right advice.
We recently explored how business relationships can be likened to a personal one, and – in a similar vein – it’s crucial for any partnership to be built on trust. While being interviewed by Arin, she made the very valid point that: “people respond to people.”
Confidence in your supplier is important at all levels, but particularly when outsourcing a service you might not fully understand – nor have any interest in getting to grips with – but simply want to know that it’s in hand.
Trust is a value in which I believe we excel at Q2Q. Not only are we plain-speaking and won’t try to baffle you with technical jargon, but we always go the extra mile to demonstrate that we’ll never try to sell you something you don’t need.
In fact, we don’t employ salespeople. Instead, we prefer to get under the skin of our clients, and take the time to identify the most cost-effective solution to deliver your professional IT requirements.
To kick things off, our IT audit is an easy-to-understand assessment of your current infrastructure – think of it like a health check – and any recommendations made will be based around supporting your firm’s long-term ambitions, rather than a quick fix.
We aim to combine the ‘end goal’ for all-things technology, economy and philosophy when providing any IT MOT. Once onboarded, the work shifts from ‘what we need to do’ to ‘what we need to prevent,’ in order to keep the office wheels in motion.
So, when considering a potential service provider, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1) Communication – do they keep you in the loop when there is an issue and demonstrate clarity in communications?
2) Integrity – are they open and honest, sharing the bad news – we can’t get it fixed yet – alongside the good news?
3) Continuous improvement – do they operate in a learning environment – including technical and personal development – and view your account though the same, ‘continuous-improvement’ lens? Do they seek to understand any changes you’re going through and adjust their solution accordingly?
4) Seeing your perspective – your perception is your reality, regardless of whether your facts are technically correct. Does your service provider simply tell you that you’re wrong, or do they strive to understand the situation from your perspective, helping you to address any issues better?
5) Fun – do you get the impression that the staff enjoy working there? This will tell you a lot about how the business is run, and their internal-value system.
At Q2Q we use these same questions when considering partnerships with other providers, as our reputation is important to us, and we would not want to partner with anyone that didn’t deliver the same level of service and trust as we do! If you’re like to see if our day-to-day operations are aligned with yours, the kettle is always on at Q2Q HQ, so get in touch with us here.