Don’t Assume Your Clients Know Anything

“I just assumed you knew.”

Have you ever gotten a tip that you know will save you a lot of time and hassle? If the tip comes from a stranger, you are grateful. If it comes from someone who should have told you before, you are annoyed.

Recently while living temporarily in a new country, I purchased a prepaid phone/internet plan from the local telecom store. I returned three times within a few weeks to add more credit to the plan. Finally, on the third visit, a store clerk took my phone, downloaded their Telecom App and showed me how to check my balance and add credit online. Wait, what?

To quote a classic 80’s movie, “Information that would have been helpful to me…..YESTERDAY!” Why didn’t anyone tell me I could do this online? Did they think I just enjoyed coming into the store to say hello?

The clerk that first set up my plan could have anticipated I would need to add credit and told me the easiest way to do that. He either didn’t care about making my life easier (not technically his job) or he just assumed I knew about the app.

Learning to put yourself in someone else's situation and anticipate their needs is a skill. But I think it is a skill that can be developed. And it is something that will make your company and your employees really stand out from the competition.

Making your customers’ lives easier, before they even ask, SHOULD be your job. You will be rewarded with appreciation and loyalty.

When you sell a new product, try to anticipate the questions people will have and the problems they may run into. Things that seem obvious to you may only be simple because you have been doing it for so long. Ask yourself, “If this was all brand new to me (like living in a foreign land), what information would make my life easier?”

When you are doing training, start with the basics. Make sure you and the client are on the same page. Have them show you the way they currently do things, don’t just assume they are doing it the best way. I have heard of Dynamics GP users that literally cry when Amber Bell shows them a basic shortcut they never knew about. They are grateful to Amber, but annoyed that their Partner let them do it the hard way for years.

As you work with more clients, make a “What You Need to Know” list. Brainstorm with your team and your clients to add more items to this list. Then give the list to your clients. Don’t just publish it on your website and assume they will know it is there. Call their attention to it.

Things that seem obvious to you may be very new to someone else. Don’t just assume they know.

And if you visit Bulgaria, download the Telenor app for your phone. And the TaxiMe app to call a taxi. And the eWays app to find the right bus route. I have a list of things I wish I had known sooner.....

By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing 

Twitter: @AnyaCWMktg