Many people see service providers as just another expense. Every time the service provider is called in, the customer simply sees their hard-earned money leaving.
When there is a really good fit between customer and service provider, the service provider becomes part of the team with a vested interest in helping their customer solve problems. The consulting and services must add value and/or save the customer time (and hopefully money).
We receive calls from clients all over the world asking questions. Many times, we provide the answers at no charge. We see our job as solving problems. If we are the domain expert, we will answer the questions. Sometimes we are a resource to help our clients select another service provider. Recently, one of our clients was looking for a data visualization company. They called us and we were able to make a recommendation. We want our clients to call us with a variety of problems and if we are able, we will solve them. If we are not, we hope to be able to recommend another great firm.
For the most part, our clients are brilliant people working on complicated scientific issues. We pride ourselves on taking care of the “other” issues. The time-consuming, distracting, frustrating issues. Our best clients rely on us to mitigate those distracting problems so they can get back to solving the really hard science issues they are working.