What your customer isn’t telling you: micromanagement

For a variety of reasons, customers will be motivated to reduce your involvement:

  • They perceive you as too expensive, regardless how you charge for your service.
  • They have to pay an hourly rate for your involvement and they want to minimize cost. They’re much more aware of your hourly cost than the loss of their time.
  • They see a disturbing trend of a lack of results, regardless who is at fault.

This may be good, if they’re not the type of customers that can help your business grow. But hopefully those aren’t the types of customers you work with in the first place.

If this happens to the right customer, this can be a horrible thing. Even if you start out with success and a partnership, things can quickly deteriorate and before you know it you’re no longer seen as a partner and instead as a resource that has to be managed. Preferably, a resource that must be minimally engaged.

Inevitably, you’re delegated to the lowest levels of your customer’s hierarchy which only continues the downward spiral. People at the bottom of an organization tend to have little authority to be responsible for results and instead tend to obsess over how much you cost. Often times they see you as competition.

Are you putting your customers in this position? And inevitably putting yourself in the aforementioned position?