Communication is the hardest thing we have to do. This is something I have found myself saying over and over again lately. The thing is, it is also true.
When I talk about entrepreneurship to startups and at schools and Universities, this is something I stress over and over again. One of the things I mention is that “Nobody has ever been fired for overcommunicating”.
The problem when dealing with customers, that most people tend to overlook as they sit in the role as the business (and the reverse) is that as a business you know exactly how your service towards the customer is going. You know how much work you have gotten in. You know if you are on track to meet your deadline. You know if any problems arise.
The thing is though, what good does this do if the customer does not know this?
Here is where keeping in touch is important. Frequent updates are important. Personally, I see it as a major failure if a customer has to ask the status. That (usually) means that I have failed to communicate with them properly.
To overcome this, I have added a new routine at Bernskiold Media this fall. Every Monday we send an email to all customers to let them know how we are approaching their project this week and what we expect. This email also includes a link to where they can schedule a weekly short status call (max 30 min) on the Thursday or Friday. Then come Friday, we also send a follow-up email to summarize the week.
What I have found so far is that customers really appreciate these emails, in addition to our other communication during the week. And that’s no surprise. They now always know the status of their project. What I was slightly surprised about is how much easier this has made planning internally, since we now have two fixed points to describe the status of the project clearly, this gives a much better overview of the current load, balance and what needs to be done.
So adapt and apply. I’m confident that this model can suit many and even if it doesn’t as is, look at increasing communication with your customers. You’ll thank me later.