Many of us who live, work, and breathe technology like to be given the moniker “geek.” The term that used to be looked upon negatively not so long ago is now almost a badge of honor as we have seen how important design, information assurance, security, and basic ease of living and communicating have become. We have all accepted the way products and services are presented to us by many major companies and voice our opinions on them after we use them. Most of these companies consistently use processes that have been proven to boost their sales, customer loyalty, and, ultimately, their bottom line. There is an infinite amount of information that can be learned from the big business processes which is why it is important to become a “process geek.” A process geek is someone who not only understands their product and their customer base, but also has a consistent method of presenting and delivering it.
Let’s face it, many of us would like nothing more than to discuss code, design, network, and server information to our clients, many of whom could care less because they just want a working product. Many of us are enamored with terms, diagrams, and acronyms, while our customers are not. Learning how to use words and phrases that communicate how we can solve their problems without overwhelming them with “geek speak” is a major component of a winning formula for customer service. They usually don’t want to know how you’ve made their site operate so well as long as it works. The good news is once you have it up and running, it is easy to reproduce as long as you have good documentation which doesn’t end with code comments. You must document how you got there which involves the method used to gather requirements from the customer (survey, face-to-face questions, etc.), which language was used and why, and how it was executed. Although it seems like a long arduous process, successful businesses have a plan they use and stick to it, tweaking it along the way for improvements. So, although your business may be as small as 1 – 2 people, creating, documenting, and following your processes will eventually lead to less confusion and, hopefully, an improved bottom line.