Recently I found myself in a situation where some “other” (read: not coherence) co-technicians have totally forgotten who pays the bills. I can only tolerate hearing the perpetual bashing and grumbling about the customer’s ability or apparent lack of decision making skills for so long before speaking up and politely reminding them where their paycheck originates.
There is a certain level of respect we owe the customer at all times, after all, we were invited here by the customer to help the customer. This should automatically indicate the customer knows they need our assistance and expertise, and also our consideration. If we allow any negative talk behind their back, it will certainly become obvious through our future words or actions in front of the customer. That would be a detriment to all.
After being in a commission only sales position for over ten years I would say that my perspective of the customer is well adjusted. First, the customer does in fact pay the bills. As a consultant, the good news is when the customer is smart enough to ask for help. The best news is when they ask you for help! Second, the customer may not always be right, but it may not be your place to point that out, and certainly there is a right and positive way to do it if it is your place to do so. It is far more respectful to provide all pertinent information to the customer and allow them the space reevaluate their position with confidence – and usually this is more profitable for all parties involved in both the short and long term. Third, if you ever entertain a negative attitude toward the customer it will be revealed to the customer, you cannot hide it. If you find your attitude taking a dive, quickly remind yourself about the first and second points above.
I can say with full confidence, I have not found myself in this situation with anyone at Coherence! I have found myself working with a group of consultants who have the same well-adjusted perspective and attitude. The customer is always treated with the same level of respect, at all times. It is sad to say that is not the case everywhere and it is more common to find the opposite. Besides being the best Consultants, Engineers & Architects, we have the right attitude in respect to the customer!