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One of the Greatest Mistakes cStor Ever Made … and The Lessons Learned

cStorThe customer is always right … until they are wrong.  Our customers come to us for our expertise. They outline their needs and goals so we understand the problem. Then we create a solution to meet current and future needs.

In one instance, our client wanted a certain level of performance plus the latest equipment that had just been released. While we understand the allure of new technology—like a shiny new toy—we know it isn’t always the best choice for meeting client’s requirments.

In this case, there was a better fit with existing technology, and that is what we recommended. We explained the solution to the client. We maintained that the equipment cStor recommended, with 1/2 terabyte drives, would provide the robustness required for the scope of work. The newly launched 1-terabyte drives offered interesting benefits, but not the performance to meet current and projected needs. Still, the client insisted on the latest technology. We let them choose the equipment … against cStor’s advice. Honoring “the customer is always right”, we sold it to them, installed it, got it up and running. Six months later, the client complained about the performance. In the end, this cost us a customer.

What we learned, the hard way:

1. Stand on our expertise. Put our foot down and do the right thing for the customer long-term. We are hired for our knowledge, understanding, and experience—and we will uphold our recommendations.
2. Help clients make the right decision. Regardless of their desires, show them how the recommended solution is best for their current and future needs. Remind them that they have hired us for our technical expertise and experience.
3. Walk away from the “deal” if necessary to uphold our expertise and reputation. At cStor, integrity and long-term relationships are more important than any deal.

More recently, a client wanted backup storage. However, upon our analysis, we determined that they already had adequate storage, this was not the right solution nor the best way to invest resources. While it would have been simple to just sell them additional backup storage, it wasn’t the right thing for the client. Having learned from our past experience, we declined the sale. cStor would rather lose a sale than provide the wrong solution. It’s more important to have a satisfied client ten years from now than to have any one particular opportunity now. More often than not, you will lose a customer if you let them do the wrong thing.

We know your environment. We stand firm by our recommended solution. By doing this, we do right by the customer … every time!

Larry Gentry
About Larry Gentry
Larry Gentry is responsible for ensuring cStor provides its customers with innovative data center and cloud solutions for the healthcare, manufacturing, government, education, retail, insurance, utility and other industries. His business acumen and management expertise stem from years of senior level leadership and high-tech management experience with companies such as Kroger, Kohl’s department stores and Shopko. Larry attended Lewis and Clark College along with Mt. Hood Community College prior to beginning his management career and holds multiple industry certifications. Larry has been a member of the board of directors for the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association since 2009, where he currently serves as Vice-Chairman.

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