Friday, 30 September 2011

Innovative solutions for an awkward customer.

I had a customer recently that needed an intervention, a few patches to be applied and a bit of cluster reconfiguration work. Problem was that customer was being a bit awkward insisting that who ever did the intervention stay on site of for the following 7 days to ensure that there were no bad side effects. I was not alone in the situation as vendor problem manager I had a company technical resource, a service partner company, regional technical consultants on hand to assist.

The deal was that who ever did the intervention had to stay for the monitoring and the customer preferred a vendor resource to perform the install. We all sat down to consider our response to the customer demands and came up with the following escape tactics...
  • The team takes ownership of the whole operation, sliding different folk on to the critical terminal for each stage.
  • Install the patch and at the next customer meeting have a few rounds of "He installed the patch." .. "No I didn't he installed the patch" Rinse and repeat.
  • "Sorry I sipped on a banana skin, hit the return key and installed the patch by mistake."
  • Explain that Auto update popped up dialog box, and no one was available to click "Install later".
  • Have a person in a Santa Claus suit install the patch telling the customer that he is free until christmas for what ever you want to pay him to do.
  • Try the Spartacus defence, All stand up and say "I installed the patch.","No I installed the patch."
Turns out that the customer deferred the whole install leaving them vulnerable to various crashes and hangs etc. I suspect that by the time the customer does get round to have the patch installed it will have been superseded by a later version.