Friday, January 25, 2019

SOP: How to Stand Up At a Client's Office

I sometimes mention my four-step process for standing up at a client's office. I casually mentioned this in a class I was teaching Tuesday when someone asked me where they could find the article or blog post on this. And I realized: I don't think I've actually posted it before.

Here's the setup:

1) You are at a client's office

2) You have performed some work (Doesn't matter what)

3) You wish to stand up and move away from the client's desk

In my company, there is a four step process for this:

1) Verify that you can open a file on the server (or cloud storage)

2) Verify that you can print

3) Verify that you can send/receive email

4) Verify that you can access the Internet

THEN you are authorized to stand up.

I know this seems like overkill to some of you. BUT this SOP has saved us countless hours of hassles, rework, and even driving back to a client's office once we've left. Here's why.

As mentioned above, it doesn't matter why you sat down. Once you sit at a client's computer, anything that goes wrong is your fault. So, if their printer wasn't working but they didn't know it, and you sat down to adjust their monitor, the client will think you did something to break the printer.

90% of the time, issues that you find in these circumstances are very minor. But every once in a while, you find a real problem they were not aware of. This process takes all of about sixty seconds, but it eliminates 99.99% of all gotchas.

How many times have you said, or heard someone else say, "This can't be related to that?" But then it turns out that This is related to That!

Remember, coincidences DO happen. The internet might go down just as you stand up from a client machine. Outlook might have an issue. The printer has one page's worth of toner left.

This SOP is really one of those tiny quality control processes you can build into your standard routine. The phrase I used with technicians to give more force was, "You are not authorized to stand up until you . . .."

Just like the workman who puts little booties on before walking into your house, it's the little things that make your company shine.

Branding is Everything You Do.


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