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    Consultants: Focusing on the Needs of the Customer’s Customer
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Consulting, Development
     

    Consultants: Focusing on the Needs of the Customer’s Customer

    As a consultant, it is important that you help your client see past their preconceived notions and get into the customer's customer needs and wants.  This can be difficult to do because your client has been looking at the same problem with their same perspective for so long.  You need to take a step back and look at the situation by focusing on the needs of your customer’s customer.  A good way to achieve this is by using personas. 

    Since it’s something I’m comfortable with, let’s use software development to explain using personas.  In software development, one of the first things in UI/UX design that you want to come up with is a persona of who is going to be using your software. The way to do this is to define the players.  Who are they?  Are they primarily 50 year old males? 20 year old females?  What is their background? What are they like?  What do they like?  Creating personas is one of those things that is often overlooked, but critical when designing software.  Once you’ve established personas of who will be interacting with your software, you can then provide enough help in style that would work for them ex: larger fonts, bigger buttons, different colors, etc. When we talk about the customer’s customer; it’s about creating personas.  Observing customers in their natural habitat.  How can you design software for x customer if you’ve never spent time in x?  For instance, I’ve spent hours and hours in shops.  I couldn’t fix a car if I wanted to, but I know what’s going on through observation.  I’ve probably spent time in 50 shops around the country – from shops that have no computer system (they just use paper systems and cash) to shops that have 18 bays and 20 technicians and full service systems. Become a subject matter expert -no matter what the subject matter, you need to become an expert on behalf of your clients and their customers.

    So, let’s translate that back into consulting.  If you’re going to be a successful consultant, you have to become a subject matter expert.  You can then go to your customer and say that you know how their clients are operating.  You have to be able to give the customer’s customer perspective as a consultant because the business itself can’t innovate a solution when they’re looking at the same problem every day from the same view.  In my opinion, a consultant isn’t there to sugar coat things.  A good consultant will help the client to understand where they’re deficient and help fill that in and remedy the problem.  Whether you’re developing a product, selling a service, or anything in between –it’s your customer’s needs who you need to get in tune with.   

    Jim Nagy is Co-Founder/Owner & Managing Partner of JSTD, LLC and a business consultant who specializes in technology consulting, retail operations consulting, and project management. He is also our designer and primary technician. He’s an expert in software development and business applications, with over 25 years of experience in IT, 20 years in software development, 16 years in executive management, and over six years entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry.

     
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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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