Last night I attended a dinner event and left the house at about 6:45. Â Until then, I was at my desk. Â A client called at 7:30 and when he didn’t reach me, waited about an hour and then called my cell. Â When I answered, his first question was, “are you on vacation?”. Â Obviously this is an extreme example and I did question his assumption immediately (which he recognized was silly). Â But, the point is, when something happens that is out of the norm, what assumptions are your customers making?
With this particular client, it is extremely rare for him to call and not get me. Â Or if I can’t answer right then, he hears back pretty quickly. Â So when he didn’t get me and he needed help, he immediately went to thinking I wasn’t available. Â And actually, this example isn’t as far out as it sounds. Â I often get voice mails at the end of the day that start, “you’re probably gone for the day” and it may only be 4:30.
So, take a look at your process. Â What are those norms customers come to expect? Â Pay close attention to those things you pride yourself on – fast turn around, responsiveness, etc. Â What if you have a situation where your normal response isn’t possible? Â Can you do something to let the customer know everything is okay but in this one instance things are different?
In my case I promised the client if I were going on vacation he would get notice. Â In fact, all my clients would. Â In the past, I’ve been able to manage the calls quickly and still enjoyed my vacation so that works too. Â But it was really important that we have that conversation so he is confident he can get help when he needs it. Â What confidence do you need to ensure?