Since we’ve launched the Nimsoft MSP Center of Excellence, a team of Nimsoft practitioners focused on the enablement of our MSP Partners, I travel, a lot. One perk, is that I can recite the United pre-flight introduction video almost word for word―something I am both proud of and ashamed of at the same time. Jeff Smisek, United CEO, often speaks of his commitment to building trust through information. It is a noble goal, and a fundamental concept, one that I am sure we can all agree on. However, this is an area that can create angst among service providers and their customers.
We’ve all had the flight experience that taxes our sanity and pushes our frustration levels to the brink, the one where it feels like all the passengers have banded together as a nomadic heard rebelling against authority (the airline personnel in this case). Think about the common attribute every time this happens―an absence of clear information. This creates a lack of understanding, and ultimately leads human beings to assume the worst (I love a good conspiracy as well as the next person.)
I was recently on a flight from Newark to Cleveland to visit two of our service provider partners. Before boarding, there was a high degree of confusion due to a gate change and a late arriving aircraft. I sat and watched as passenger after passenger came up to the counter to ask a question, each with a flavor of “Is this the gate for Cleveland” or “Have we begun boarding?” This ultimately led to the airline personnel becoming annoyed, and who can blame them—anyone getting asked the same question a couple dozen times would start to fray. Passengers started to get frustrated, which is also understandable. The reason? There was no consistent flow of information coming over the loudspeaker. Really, all we needed was a single announcement that let us know what was happening—why the gate had changed, where the new gate was, and how long the expected delay would be. As I watched this unfold, I wish I could have gone behind the counter and made the announcement myself.
Service providers should take note and continuously share information with your customers. Sharing information doesn’t need to be done only when there are issues. The best way to build trust and confidence in your customers is to share information continuously, even when things are going well.
Let customers know what is happening, where things stand and what you have been doing. A little information can go a long way. Think back to the times you’ve sat on a runway waiting to take off. When the captain gets on the loudspeaker and explains why there is a delay, when he expects us to get clearance to take off and that he’ll continue to keep us informed, I (we) become a much more accommodating, understanding and thankful passenger. Airline passengers are no different from your customers.
Sharing information establishes trust and confidence and it creates a sense of patience. When we know what, why and when, we become more accommodating and ultimately a more satisfied customer. Share information often—and your customers will reward you for it. Remember Jeff Smisek’s commitment―building trust through information.
Peter Harteveld, VP of the Nimsoft Managed Service Provider Practice and Business Development, is responsible for the enablement and growth of Nimsoft MSP customers while also looking for innovative ways to expand the capabilities of Nimsoft through strategic partners and relationships. Prior to CA Technologies, Peter spent eight years with Deloitte Consulting where he focused in the areas of post-merger and acquisition integration, organizational transformation and salesforce effectiveness. Follow Peter online via Twitter and Linkedin.
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