by: Gary Crouch
A Standard is an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations. CS3’s 18 Service Pillars are the standards we use as our model
to measure the quality of the services we provide our clients. While some of the Pillars are very specific, others are of a more general nature. Taken
as a whole, they provide the parameters within which we operate assuring the customer’s needs are the focus, not the process of team dynamics, or the
personality quirks of its members.
Spend Money as if it was Your Own –
Clients expect to be billed for your expenses, but spend wisely. For travel, always seek the most cost-effective alternative. For meals, eat as you would at home. Always give the client the option to save money.
I must say I have mixed feelings about this Service Pillar. Spending money is a very personal thing and value is different for every person. Many people will spend money on “physical assets” and avoid spending money on “experiences” while others feel just the opposite. I believe the best option here is giving the client the option by asking for clarification as to what is appropriate. I may believe spending money on a cheap hotel is a very sound practice in every situation. However, if my customer wants me closer to the worksite, even if it is more expensive so that I maximize my onsite time I should take her desires into account.
A friend of mine felt he was exercising the best judgement by flying coach on overseas flights while a coworker always flew first class as did the owner of the company. When my friend stated to the coworker he felt they should spend the company’s money like it was their own, the coworker had a different perspective. The coworker stated that exorbitant was in the eye of the beholder and that he spent company’s money the way the owner spent the company’s money. Evidently the boss had made the statement that it was impossible to make the best impression for the company if the team was too exhausted to function after a 20 hour flight. Million dollar deals were far more important to him than saving a few thousand dollars on a plane ticket.
Of course every situation is different and must be put into perspective. Seeking guidance from the client seems to be the best possible solution whenever possible. You are more likely to please the client rather than risk the appearance of frivolous spending.