Before anyone thinks I haven’t noticed, I want to point-out that there are some great customers in our Laboratory Informatics industry. Yesterday, I mentioned the great people who work in the industry, but we have some great customers out there and let’s not forget that. Since I wrote, yesterday, about the responsibility those of us in the industry have to try to create our own “continuous improvement” effort, so-to-speak, I would add that customers must participate in that, too.
Customers drive much of what we do, of course. When customers are truly dissatisfied, we find our industry adjusting to meet their changing requirements. Is this the tail wagging the dog? Because customers will often mention that the people they are paying to work on their projects should be the experts – should be telling the customer the right way to do the projects and have all the expert information at-hand.
As we know, this is not the state of our industry. Some of the people sent to customer projects are experts, others aren’t. Even when someone is an expert, it doesn’t mean they’re an expert on exactly what a customer needs done. As such, customers must continue to work for change whenever they feel their needs are not being met.
The industry gauges its response to customer needs based on how “loudly” the customers speak. For example, if customers move in droves to something new, then the industry tries to follow-suit. Customers who have been around for awhile also know to be specific in their requests. They know that if they say “we want the industry to change the way it implements software” and if they say it loud enough that it WILL change – but not necessarily for the better and not necessarily in a way that they wanted. Customers who know what needs to be done are quite specific in what they ask for.
As such, no-one can sit back and wait for others to affect the change. If you want something to change, you have to put some effort into getting it changed. If you don’t work toward change that is important to you, you can’t expect anyone else to do it, either.