Creating Customer Delight

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Like most professionals, I have dealt with quite a few ‘vendors’ of all shapes and sizes, in many industries and from many countries. From Fortune 500 companies to individual consultants, it is an important and constant part of my day.

Much like the variation in size and type of vendor, the user experience and outcomes are ‘all over the waterfront’. Most of the time, I am satisfied that our company received good value and a good effort from our vendors commensurate with the investment made. But that’s just it, I’m simply satisfied, not excited because my expectations were exceeded and the experience was fun.

But every now and then you get to work with a group that gets it; or more importantly, that get’s you. After a less-than-satisfying experience with a web development company, our organization recently hired a web development company, Austin-based Clarity Ventures ( to develop the Life Orientations website and several others.

Very early on and all throughout the process, they asked many questions, never assuming they knew our business or what we wanted. They constantly ‘checked in’ to make sure we were moving in the right direction.

They never assumed they knew what was best for us. They asked us how we wanted to communicate and how we wanted to work with them.

They said they wanted to teach and empower us to understand the process and responsibly participate in ‘our’ project: teach a man to fish. They spent the time to learn our objectives, and then applied their expertise.

From the LIFO® lens, Clarity Ventures exemplifies a very nice blend of all four of the Life Orientations behavioral styles:

  1. They placed importance in excellence (Supporting-Giving) making sure they took the best principals in modern web design, like responsive sites with nice graphics and search-engine optimization and applied it to our needs.
  1. They heard our need for quick action (Controlling-Taking) and laid out a plan to deliver ahead of schedule, putting key people on the project after hours and weekends, and assigning roles to us to meet push ahead.
  1. To ensure that the design and development sequence was based in logic (Conserving-Holding) they ‘went slow to go fast’. They put the requisite work in on the front end of the process by communicating actively and enthusiastically.
  1. Finally, they created great harmony (Adapting-Dealing) between our two organizations using a combination of project management tools to engage us, plus late night and weekend access to make sure we were updated and informed.

As the working relationship continues, they have evolved their behaviors and communication based on what they experienced and learned from us. Keeping with the key principle in LIFO® they ‘do unto others as they wish to be done unto’.

So thank you to Ron, Chris and the entire Clarity Ventures team for creating customer delight and exemplifying some of the key principles of the LIFO® Method.










Ralph Sharp

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