Telephone usage and texting is noticed at every client site. Excessive personal phone calls or texting, whether on your mobile phone or the client’s phone, is one of the most common complaints from our clients. They notice when you step into a conference room or take a walk down the hall. They notice you texting. A suggested rule of thumb is to keep personal calls/texts to one or two a day at most, and to keep them brief – unless, of course, it is your lunch break. Please make sure that you step away from your desk to handle a personal call.
Occasionally, there will be a situation or personal crisis that will require you to make an extended personal call. If this is the case, first try to handle these responsibilities outside the workday, or on your lunch break. If it is truly an emergency or crisis, maybe it is a good time to utilize one of your PTO days. Explain the situation to the client and leave work to go take care of the matter. Always assure the client that you will not be billing them for the time and that you will be making up the time - and tell them when that will be.
You may sometimes need to make extended business calls for technical support. In this situation, it is important to be proactive and let the client know that you will be on the phone and why. Being proactive with your manager averts problems down the road.
Mobile phones must always be turned off during meetings. Please remember you are billing and they expect to have your full attention and focus.
Our clients appreciate resources that are able to communicate effectively to get what they need to move forward with deliverables. Assertive (without being abrasive) is a good thing. Simply waiting for someone to do something for you is not helpful to the client. Ability should be coupled with a work ethic and self-confidence that doesn’t require a lot of handholding. The most successful consultants have to be self-directed and self-motivated to meet project goals. It may sound simple, but it is definitely a skill and clients pay more for that skill. It can add several dollars an hour to your specific skill set – just because the specific resource is self-managed and does the appropriate follow-up and communication. Consultants continually get at least 10-15% more than their peers in FTE positions with their client and they get paid for overtime. There is, as there should be, a greater expectation. Our role is always to make the rubber meet the road.
Here is recent feedback from one of our client managers:
I know you sent a review form out to manager for XX and XX but I wanted to throw my 2-cents in, too. They are both a huge add to the team and especially for me. FTE and FTE (client employees) are both in class this week. In the past I dreaded times like this because there would be technical questions or urgent tasks that I didn’t have the knowledge, access or tool set to address. Now, I can go to either of them (Ferguson resources) and quickly hand over the request and know it will be taken care of. If they have questions, they follow-up. When they are done, they follow-up. They are professional in working with both IT and the business and even tempered in the face of a difficult schedule and less than ideal seating arrangement. We’ve had good people on the team but XX and XX are outstanding!