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From Yes-Man to “Yes, and…”

When a client asks for a change in her order, the little Customer Service Rep within too often agrees without considering the impact of the change on a contract’s scope. But I have good news: you needn’t risk your profit to make a client happy.

It’s only after agreeing to make the change that we realize meeting the client’s new expectation will take longer or cost more than we’ve bid.  Now we are in the icky position of either eating the cost or surprising the client.

Script:  Next time someone asks whether you can make a change to her order, answer, “Yes, and let me check on how that will impact your cost and delivery schedule.”  Then compare your quote against the change to cost and schedule to see whether you need to adjust either.  Relay what you’ve found to your client, and let her decide if she’s willing to pay for the change.

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